How to Find the Right Brandon, FL, Accountant

brandon accounting

As a small business owner, it can be challenging to decide when to hire a business accountant, explains Accurate Tax & Bookkeeping Services. However, there are several signs that indicate you need one.

First, if you spend too much time managing your finances and less on growing your business, it may be time to hire a business accountant. They can handle your financial transactions, allowing you to focus on your core business activities.

Another sign that you need a business accountant is if you are not confident in your ability (or just don’t have the time) to manage your finances. Financial management requires specialized knowledge and expertise that not all small business owners have. An accountant can help ensure your finances are handled correctly and can provide valuable insights and advice to help you make informed decisions.

Changing business demands, such as business expansion, is another critical indicator the business could benefit from accounting services. This can include creating budgets, forecasting cash flow, and identifying opportunities for growth. An accountant can help you make the right financial decisions to ensure your business grows and remains profitable.

Finally, if a business owner is struggling to keep up with tax laws and regulations, a business accountant can help. They can track changing tax laws and regulations, ensuring you remain compliant and avoid penalties and fines.

While it may be difficult to know exactly when to hire support, it is important to remember that there really isn’t a time too soon, as the professional support provided by a CPA can only benefit the business. 

What is an Accountant? 

A Brandon, FL, accountant assists companies in supervising and organizing their finances. They offer valuable input and advice on improving economic operations. For small enterprises, keeping an accountant can guarantee financial stability and progress.

A key responsibility of a small business accountant is overseeing the financial transactions of the company. This includes recording all incoming and outgoing funds, reconciling bank statements, and ensuring that all transactions are accurately reflected in the company’s financial statements. They also take care of the process and submission of tax documents, which can be intricate and lengthy for small businesses who do not know much about tax laws.

Business accountants offer advice and direction to small business owners with regards to their financial status. They can assist owners in understanding financial trends and making informed decisions when it comes to investments, costs, and other financial matters. This involves devising a financial plan, predicting revenues and expenditures, and recognizing potential for development.

Additional vital responsibility of an accountant is aiding the company to adhere to governmental policies. They track changes in taxation laws and regulations, ensuring that the business remains in good standing with government authorities. They can also provide guidance on how to prevent being fined for not following the rules.

Small business owners may have difficulty monitoring their finances, creating precise financial documents, and understanding intricate tax rules and regulations without a business accountant. Perhaps most significantly, not having proper assistance may be depriving the business from tremendous opportunities for growth.

tax accountant brandon fl

What is the Difference Between Accounting and Bookkeeping?

Accounting and bookkeeping are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Bookkeeping involves recording financial transactions, while accounting involves analyzing data to provide financial insights. Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining accurate financial records, while accountants use those records to generate reports and make recommendations. Bookkeeping is more of a technical role, while accounting involves interpreting data and providing guidance. It’s important to understand the difference when deciding whether to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant for your small business.

Importance of Small Business Accounting 

Small business accounting is essential for running a successful business, and hiring an accountant can be a wise investment. An accountant can help manage finances, audit books, and ensure taxes are filed correctly. They can also offer advice to aid in making crucial business decisions. The role of an accountant is essential in ensuring the financial health of a small business. With their expertise, they can provide valuable insight and guidance to owners, which may lead to tremendous success and growth for the business. 

Determine Your Accounting Needs 

The first step in finding the right accountant is determining the needs of the business. This involves assessing the current financial situation and identifying the areas where you need the most help. Here are three key factors to consider when determining business needs:

  1. Identifying Accounting Needs: Start by identifying the specific accounting tasks that you need help with. This may include bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, payroll processing, tax planning, and preparation, or any other financial services that your business requires.
  2. What Type of Services You Require from an Accountant: Once you have identified your accounting needs, the next step is to determine what type of accountant you require. Do you need someone who specializes in your industry or someone with expertise in a particular area, such as tax law or financial analysis? Do you need someone to manage your day-to-day finances or a strategic advisor to help you plan for long-term growth? 
  1. Determining Your Budget for Hiring an Accountant: The cost of hiring an accountant can widely vary depending on the services you need, the accountant’s level of experience, and other considerations. Before vetting for an accountant, you should first determine your budget and how much you can afford to spend on accounting services. This can assist you in narrowing your search and locating an accountant that can deliver the services you require while staying within your budget.

Before hiring an accountant, assessing your company’s requirements is critical. This will guarantee that you discover an accountant that can deliver the services you need while staying within your budget. Working with the correct accountant will ensure that your finances are properly managed, allowing you to focus on building your business and accomplishing your long-term objectives.

Steps for Finding Accounting Services 

Since an accountant is vital to the financial health of a business, investing time to find the right one is important. Here are the top steps.

Ask For Recommendations From Other Business Owners

Getting recommendations from fellow small business owners when looking for a reliable accountant can be helpful. They can provide valuable insights about their own experiences working with different accountants and accounting firms. It is critical to inquire about service quality, communication skills, and general satisfaction with the services offered. Online directories and reviews can also be helpful in locating reputable accountants. You can make an informed decision about which accountant is the best fit for your small business by gathering information from a variety of sources. 

Conduct Research On Potential Accountants’ Credentials And Experience

Consider their credentials and experience. Researching potential candidates can help ensure that you find someone who is qualified and knowledgeable. Look for professional designations such as CPA or CMA certification, and check their experience in working with small businesses. Examine any available online directories or resources, and don’t be afraid to ask for personal suggestions or recommendations. Investing time in research might help you locate the perfect fit for your company. 

Schedule Consultations With Potential Accountants

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential small business accountants, it’s time to schedule consultations. This is your chance to get to know the accountant and their services and determine whether they fit your business well. Ask about their experience working with small businesses and communication style throughout the consultation. Discuss pricing and services provided as well. Choosing an accountant who knows your objectives and financial needs and can deliver the services you require while staying within your budget is critical. 

Ask The Right Questions To Determine The Best Fit For Your Business

During the consultation with a potential small business accountant, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure they fit your business. Questions should cover services and fees, certifications and credentials, experience in working with small businesses, communication style, and references. By asking these questions, you can ensure that the accountant understands your goals and needs, keeps you updated on financial matters, and provides the necessary expertise to help your business grow. With the right fit, your small business accountant can become a trusted adviser for financial success.

 Ask For Personal Referrals And Recommendations

Asking for personal referrals and recommendations is another technique to find a trustworthy accountant for your small business. Friends, family, and coworkers may have worked with a trustworthy and helpful accountant. You can also ask other small business owners in your network for suggestions. Hearing from people who have had a positive experience with a specific accountant might provide you with peace of mind and allow you to make a well-informed decision. Furthermore, personal referrals often come with a level of trust that online reviews may not.

Look at Online Directories and Reviews

Small business owners can also look at online directories and reviews when searching for a suitable accountant. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has a license-verification CPA directory that is a reliable source for finding accountants. Business owners can also check online reviews and ratings of accounting firms to determine whether they have a positive reputation. These reviews can provide insight into the quality of service provided by the firm and help you make an informed decision when choosing an accountant. 

Schedule In-person or Virtual Consultations

Once potential accountants have been researched, it’s time to schedule consultations. These consultations can be in-person or virtual, depending on what works best for both parties. During the consultation, the small business owner should ask questions about the accountant’s experience, services offered, communication style, and fees. The accountant should also assess the small business’s financial situation and determine whether they fit well. Finding an accountant who understands the small business’s goals and needs and keeps them updated on financial matters is important. 

Discuss Fees 

When hiring a small business accountant, it’s important to consider their fees and services. Some accountants may charge a flat fee, while others may charge by the hour. It’s important to clarify payment structures and any additional costs upfront. In terms of services, some accountants provide basic bookkeeping and tax preparation services, while others may offer more specialized services such as financial analysis and forecasting. It’s important to evaluate your business’s needs and choose an accountant who can provide the services you require within your budget. 

Ask Questions About Their Experience And Services Offered

To find a trustworthy small business accountant, meeting with potential candidates and asking questions about their experience and the services they offer is important. During these meetings, entrepreneurs should assess the accountant’s communication style and make sure they understand the business’s goals and needs. It’s also crucial to inquire about their fees and payment structure to ensure they are financially compatible. These conversations can help entrepreneurs decide on the right accountant for their business and build a solid working relationship with a trustworthy financial professional.

Consider Their Fees And Payment Structure When Making A Decision

When searching for a small business accountant, it’s important to consider their fees and payment structure. Some accountants charge by the hour, while others may provide a flat rate for their services. It’s essential to understand the payment structure upfront to avoid any surprises later. Additionally, some accountants may charge extra fees for additional services, such as filing taxes or creating financial statements. Small business owners should determine their budget and find an accountant that can provide the necessary services within their price range. Understanding the payment structure upfront is essential to avoid any surprises later. 

Consider Communication Skills

Clear communication is crucial for any business role, especially when it comes to a role involving finances. An accountant must understand your financial objectives, provide helpful insights and guidance, and keep you up to date on your finances. Furthermore, they must be able to explain complex financial concepts in a way that you can understand. 

Evaluate an Accountant’s Communication Skills 

During your evaluation of an accountant, pay close attention to their communication skills. Do they actively listen to you, or do they dominate the conversation? Do they communicate clearly and regularly, or do you have to chase them down for updates? Can they explain financial concepts in a way that is easy to understand, or do they use confusing technical jargon? These are all important factors to consider when evaluating an accountant’s communication skills.

When working with a business accountant, clear communication is essential. You require an accountant that can explain financial topics in simple terms, listens to your problems and goals, and communicates often and clearly. Pay attention to how an accountant communicates and search for warning signs that may signal poor communication skills during the evaluation. Working with an accountant who communicates well can help you guarantee that your finances are properly managed and that you meet your financial objectives.

Consider Availability

When you hire a business accountant, it’s important to consider their availability. You want to work with an accountant who is accessible and responsive and who is available when you need them. Here’s what you need to know about evaluating an accountant’s availability:

The Importance of Having Access to Your Accountant: As a proprietor of a small business, it is essential to be able to contact your accountant when there are queries or worries about your financial situation. It is crucial to have an accountant who is prompt and available for assistance when needed, whether it be to answer minor questions or provide guidance during a major financial decision. 

How to Evaluate an Accountant’s Availability: During your evaluation of an accountant, it’s important to ask about their availability. Determine the speed of their responses to calls and emails, and evaluate if they offer assistance beyond the standard operating hours. Additionally, inquire regarding their accessibility during the tax season when many accountants are typically occupied.

What to Expect in Terms of Availability: While having access to your accountant is essential, having realistic expectations about their availability is important. Many accountants work with multiple clients, which means they may not be available to respond to your questions immediately. However, a good accountant will be able to set expectations about their availability and respond to your questions or concerns in a timely manner.

It would be best to inquire about the accountant’s communication preferences. Some accountants prefer email, while others prefer phone calls or face-to-face encounters. Understanding their preferred communication method might assist you in ensuring that you can contact them when necessary. You need an accountant who is responsive, accessible, and available when you need them. By asking about their availability and communication preferences, you can ensure that you find an accountant who is a good fit for your business and who can provide the level of support that you need to achieve your financial goals.

What are the Risks of Not Having an Accountant? 

Running a small business can be fulfilling yet demanding, and numerous dangers and obligations accompany it. One of the primary duties is correctly administering your finances. Although numerous small business owners aim to control their funds alone, there are consequential risks involved if they do not utilize a small business accountant. Here are several of the most threatening dangers:

  1. Poor Financial Management: Lacking a small business accountant can be hugely detrimental due to inadequate fiscal oversight. Focusing on the major goal can be difficult with the hustle and bustle of a company. An accountant can aid in managing your finances effectively, formulating a budget, and monitoring your cash flow so that you are well-informed when making critical decisions about your operation.
  1. Legal and Compliance Issues: Small businesses encounter a lot of legal and regulatory requirements, such as tax laws, workplace ordinances, and regulations pertaining to licenses and permits. Not meeting these standards may lead to costly fines and injunctions for the business. A certified accountant can support you in being aware of these compulsory obligations and make sure that every necessary law or regulation is complied with.
  2. Missed Opportunities: Not hiring an accountant for your small business could mean giving up a chance to increase profits. An accountant can point out ways to lower costs, like cutting spending or claiming tax breaks. Also, they can help you find ways to grow, such as investing in equipment or expanding product lines.
  3. Inaccurate Financial Statements: Without the expertise of an accountant, precise financial records can be difficult to ascertain. This can cause erroneous financial summaries, which makes it challenging to make informed choices regarding your business. Moreover, flawed fiscal summaries can impede you from obtaining capital from lenders or investors, thereby hindering the expansion of your venture.
  4. Audit Risk: If you don’t have a small business accountant, you may be at a higher risk of being audited by the IRS. This is because the IRS may view your financial records as unreliable, which can trigger an audit. An accountant can help you keep accurate records and reduce the risk of an audit.

Not having a Brandon accountant can be dangerous for your business. Poor financial management, legal and compliance issues, missed opportunities, inaccurate financial statements, and audit risks are just some of the risks associated with not having an accountant. By hiring a small business accountant, you can ensure that your finances are managed effectively and that you are making informed decisions about your business.

Accurate Tax & Bookkeeping Services

Accurate Tax & Bookkeeping Services, LLC (ATBS) is a full-service tax, accounting, and consulting firm located in Brandon, offering services to businesses and individuals throughout the Tampa Bay area. For more information about bookkeeping or other services, call (813) 655-9702.

Accurate Tax & Bookkeeping Services

710 Oakfield Dr. 

Step 125

Brandon, FL 33511