It’s a common myth that only the elite and wealthy need a tax accountant. No matter whether you are an individual agent dealing in real estate, or a startup founder, you must engage online tax accountants at some point. What needs more attention is how you selecting an accounting firm. While references can be handy, we recommend that you start with online reviews and check what other clients have to say about an accounting firm. Once you have a shortlist of two to three accountants, you need to just follow the pointers listed below.

Find what they offer

The role of tax accountants is a diverse one. There are varied kinds of tasks that they do beyond basic tax planning. Company taxation, property tax accountant, personal tax assessment, inheritance tax – These are just some of basic aspects that you can expect help with, but again, every accounting firm is unique and has its own pool of services. Accounting firms that work with businesses and enterprises on tax planning matters also often offer advice on business plans. They can work as a consultant on various compliance matters.

Discuss cloud accounting needs

For many companies, hiring online tax accountants is not a choice anymore. Much like other business processes, accounting has moved to the cloud, and businesses have no choice but to adopt accounting software such as Quickbooks. The whole process of migrating from the desktop software to cloud, transferring data and keeping up with compliance can be a complicated one. An accounting firm that has some experience with cloud accounting and has handled projects for clients in an effective manner must be given priority, because you may need assistance with this aspect in years to come.

Ask questions

Interviewing tax return accountant is often the most complicated part, because clients are too hesitant to ask questions. No matter how small a job may seem, you need to ask a few basic things, such as –

  1. What kind of accounting services do you specialize in?
  2. How long have you been in this industry?
  3. Do you have specific experience in my niche?
  4. Will you offer a free consultation session initially?
  5. Do you have an in-house or outsource your work?
  6. How early should I consult your team for my tax return needs?
  7. Can you share a few references?
  8. How do you bill your clients?
  9. What kind of privacy policy do you follow?
  10. Who will be accessible to answer my questions?

Finally, you need to figure out the extent to which an accountant will have access to your financial information. It could be just about tax return or about having a team that looks into every matter that pertains to finances or can impact business decisions. Keep in mind that your tax return accountant will be relevant for years to come, so some initial homework always comes in handy in reviewing what may work for your company and personal needs. The more an accounting firm can manage for your tax and finances, the better in the long run, and expertise in cloud accounting is always an advantage!

Author Bio – Aadil Butt is a Chartered Accountant and Founder of Finance Equation who are award winning Chartered Certified Accountants providing Cloud Accounting, Tax and Consultancy services in London and Essex in the UK.