Best Practices Finding an Accountant For Your Small Business


One of the best parts of owning a small business is seeing it grow beyond a one-person operation into a cooperative effort. You will know the time for this transition has come when you no longer have the time to perform specific tasks, and chances are, the first tasks you will begin to adjourn are related to accounting and bookkeeping. So, to help you make the best choice when it comes to the person handling your business’ finances, here are a few best practices to follow in the selection process. 

  1. Look for Someone With An Eye For Detail.

The best type of bookkeeper or accountant is the one that won’t leave you alone. The best bookkeepers are ones that will check your bottom line for line and point out any mistake or missed opportunity. This type of extreme attention to detail in bookkeeping is essential because any failure to record your enterprise’s financial activities correctly can lead to you losing a good deal of money. On the accounting end, the more detailed the accountant’s analysis, the more accurate their report will be.

  1. Find Trusted Referral Sources

As you begin to go through resumes, whenever you find one that seems to fit well with your business, be sure to make time to ask other companies about them. As a small business owner or a small business mentor, you know that people will go to great lengths to sell you their services.

It is to be expected that people put their best face during an interview, and their resume will only contain their positive experience. So you have more information beyond what your potential accountant or bookkeeper says about themselves, try contacting their former employees to get a better picture of how they operate in the performance of their duties. For example, an accountant may be extremely qualified academically and technically but be a poor team player and refuse to cooperate with other employees. This is not something that you can get from an interview or simply reading a document they wrote.

  1. Take Software Into Consideration

Before hiring an accountant or bookkeeper, be sure that you have full administrator access to the software they are using. One of the worst things that can happen is someone using the software’s security measures to withhold your information from you. The person keeping track of your company’s economic activity should be as transparent as possible with your financial data, not just so that you know you can trust them, but because this will enable you to provide feedback on their work. Remember, it’s your business, and much like you should be able to inspect any other operation, you should be able to see how things are going in the financial department.

  1. Don’t Go With The Lowest Bid

It is perfectly normal for most small businesses to operate on a budget, making it easy for their owners to consider the budget mentality when hiring bookkeeping and accounting services.

This is a mistake you should definitely avoid falling into. After all, much like other clichĂ©s, the saying “you get what you pay for” holds true.

Professionals in all areas tend to compensate for their lack of experience by charging under the average market fee.

So, when considering salaries or service fees, don’t ask “which is cheaper?” but rather, “Which one delivers the most?”

  1. Think About Compatibility

This may be the most subjective of our suggested best practices. Still, you should consider whether your potential accountant or bookkeeper has a personality that matches yours and your business’.

It may seem like a superficial thing, but your business is, to an extent, a product of who you are, with your work ethic, values and rhythm playing a big part in how it operates. Even if you have found an extremely talented professional, if you either can’t stand them or if they can’t adjust to your way of doing things, they will not stay with you for a very long time.


The worst mistake a small business owner can fall into when hiring someone to handle bookkeeping and accounting is to start a trial and error cycle.

That is to say, you hire one professional based on inadequate parameters, and when things go awry, they do the same thing again with another until they find “the one that fits.”

Hopefully, this article has helped you avoid this money-wasting cycle and find a professional accountant that has the skills and experience you need. If you want to deepen your business management skills, not just in hiring but in all aspects of entrepreneurship, why not also consider hiring a business consultant.