For typical taxpayers in the United States, it would be fair to say the tax system is a complex beast to handle. You can read as much as Accounting Today as your heart desires, but attempting a DIY approach is generally easier said than done.
Of course, there are exceptions, but on the whole more and more people are turning to an accountant. This is one of the reasons there are so many adverts for the profession in the middle of popular TV programs; the demand for these professionals is through the roof.
This is something that Barry Bulakites knows all too well about. Being an expert in the industry, we have tapped into his brains to find out some of the best tips before you make your final choice on your accountant.
Does the accountant fit your business?
Sure, the accountant you have found might be one of the most renowned in the United States. However, this doesn’t mean to say that they are a suitable pick for you.
On the contrary, some accountants are better in certain industries than other. Particularly if your business is based in a really niche industry, it might be more advisable to turn to a specialist in that field. A general accountant might not have enough knowledge to efficiently present your accounts.
It’s not just about putting numbers into a spreadsheet
One of the biggest misconceptions about accountants is that they simply copy and paste whatever you provide them into a spreadsheet, and then pass it onto the relevant tax authorities. Suffice to say, this isn’t the case in the slightest.
The very best accountants out there are there to save their clients’ money. It’s these guys which are able to charge the most as ultimately, they are helping to save their clients even more.
Of course, this can be something of a grey area. After all, while you do want your accountant to shave money from your tax bill, you want them to do this in a completely ethical manner. This means that you must check that their reputation is completely in-check before you proceed.
Is the accountant able to communicate properly?
Again, this all boils down to the “behind the scenes” skills of an accountant. They might know how to submit your tax return and at the same time, they might know how to save you a bit of money from your tax bill in the process.
However, if they can’t communicate effectively to you, you are on a hiding to nothing. You need to understand exactly what is behind your tax bill, and why you can’t claim for certain elements of it. The best accountants in the land aren’t going to throw a bunch of buzzwords at you in the hope that you stop asking questions. The very best out there will instead put all jargon to one side, and spell out to you exactly how your accounts are formed.
Ultimately, if you are not able to understand the accountant you are thinking of working with, the risks are too big to proceed. Go out and look for someone who can communicate the numbers concisely.