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The Most Important Criteria for Selecting an Accounting Agency

Every year, reviews over 156 accounting firms in the Boston area and selects the top firms. We’re proud that we made the list in 2018. Of course, we believe that outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting makes a lot of sense, but we know it can be hard to figure out what you’re looking for in a provider — even if you look only at the cream of the crop on a list like this one. So here are some tips to help you figure out who’s a good match for your company.

Size: Does the Accounting Firm Work With Businesses Like Yours?

Take stock of your organization’s accounting needs. Are you an entrepreneur tired of logging the hours on QuickBooks? Or maybe you’re a small business executive with accounting needs escalating faster than you can manage. Whatever your situation, your company’s size should be the first factor considered. Some firms specialize in small businesses and will be better suited to helping grow an organization than managing accounts at the enterprise level.

Needs: What Are Your Accounting Needs Today and Will They Grow?

Assess your service needs for right now and in a few years’ time. Basic tax filing might be enough today, but what happens when you need auditing services or in-depth financial advice? The ideal provider will be able to handle your accounting needs as you grow. Otherwise you’re starting over when you outgrow a particular provider.

This is a key advantage of hiring a firm instead of a single consultant or part-timer. As your organization grows, accounting firms will scale their services to meet your changing accounting needs. You won’t have to worry about changing firms or hiring additional people; everything is done for you.

Expertise: Does Their Staff Know Accounting?

Naturally, you should review the qualifications and certifications of every accounting firm you’re considering. Most firms have trained CPAs on staff, while others may include specialists such as Certified Management Accountants to handle specialized issues. You’ll also find that many firms specialize in certain accounting industries so be sure to verify these qualifications before handing over your financials.

And aside from the qualifications proper, you should make sure the firm is able to guide your organization with advice, support, and financial counselling. This type of supervision is valuable as your business grows and you need to begin making decisions about expanding your internal accounting department.

Pricing: How Do They Charge for Accounting Services?

Organizations will have different pricing structures, usually varying between set fees for specific services like tax filing to hourly rates. Depending on your organization and the capital you have available, certain pricing structures may work better for your balance sheet than others.

Try not to get too focused on the bottom line, here. A heavy price tag doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive the highest quality services, and inexpensive providers may be able to provide better service than you expect. Use industry referrals and personal recommendations whenever possible during your search to get an insider perspective on how each firm performs.

If you’re interested in learning more about SmartBooks, contact us today.

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