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How to choose the right Accountant : Salon Business Articles
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How to choose the right Accountant

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How to choose the right Accountant

Postby jazz » 13 Feb 2007 12:02 am

What do you need from an accountant?
Why do you need one?
And, how do you hire one?

These are questions we all ask ourselves at one time or another.

Remember, people come to us because we are the professional, so hire a professional accountant to do what they do best!

Since you know the most about what you need, make a list of the services and areas most important to you and your business. Choose an accountant who specializes in small business issues and has experience particularly in the salon industry. Think about the type of accountant you want handling your financial well being. The choices range from retail companies to one-person practices to full service firms. Consider your urgency, your financial future and your specialized needs when making your choice.

Remember, not every person who offers accounting services has the same education and training.
There are:
Accountants,
Bookkeepers,
Certified Public Accountants,
Enrolled Agents
Licensed Tax Consultants or preparers.

An Accountant
is a professional who is trained in the classification, analysis and interpretation of financial records prepared by a bookkeeper.
A Bookkeeper specializes in maintaining the records of financial transactions for a business.
A CPA is an accountant who is licensed by the state and is best for corporate accounting, tax audits and business consulting.
An Enrolled Agent is licensed by the IRS and best for complex tax issues, tax audits and responding to tax collectors.
Licensed Tax Preparer may be licensed by the state and is best for handling straight forward consumer tax returns for a fee.

Decide on the type of relationship that you want with your accountant. A good accountant isn’t just a number-cruncher who prepares tax returns. How available do you need them to be? You need to feel comfortable asking any question about your finances. Do you need someone to assist you through out the year or once a year just at tax time? You may want an adviser who will anticipate your needs and give you the options you may not have already thought of.

Get referrals!. Knowing and understanding what you are looking for in an accountant is a good place to start but also call friends and other salon owners for their recommendations. Ask your Attorney or Financial Planner or your Bank to suggest someone who might be a good match. Always ask for references and pick an adviser you feel you can trust, since he’ll be privy to your deepest financial concerns including money management and assessing your business needs.

Interview at least two accountants and ask a few of their clients how well they have performed for them.
Ask what their specialties and services are.
Do they have experience in the salon/beauty industry?
How are they paid, hourly or flat rate?

It is important to have face-to-face interviews. You want to feel comfortable that your personalities and goals are compatible.
You need to learn the rules before you can break them
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