A business accounting service is a boon for small and medium businesses, largely because they allow proprietors to concentrate on their business processes through which they can increase their profitability. Whether the business is product or service oriented, many owners have been able to add immense value to their own business by outsourcing their payroll to a third party. For first-timers, consider the following factors to evaluate the services of these firms.
At this point, it is assumed that some firms have been shortlisted to provide business accounting services. The extent of industry experience garnered by the candidates should hold significant weight. This is because the employees of the accounting firm will have plenty of expertise regarding industry practices, not only related to accounts, but other areas such as product pricing and potential business opportunities. They will also be able to advise on the standard level of remuneration and perquisites for employees of the business, and can thus act as propellers towards success for the start-up venture.
Packages Offered Relative to Other Business Accounting Services
The word “packages” above does not only signify cost. A payroll package will most likely differ from an accounting package. Always consider the variety of business accounting services on offer, so that there are plenty of upgrade options. This is because switching firms at the time when your business is experiencing growth is a poor decision; one that can negatively impact the future of your business. Some of the many services offered by these firms are:
- Revenue, Expense and Capital Expenditure Projections
- Cash Flow Statements and Projections
- Tax Preparation
- Break-even Analysis
- Development of Business Plans
- Payroll Management
- Profit/Loss and Balance Sheet Preparation
Option for Personalized Services
This is a vital factor to gauge, especially if it is your every intention to benefit from the insights of experienced bookkeepers and accountants. As part of their business accounting services some firms offer personalized services. This is made possible when an accountant visits the business on a regular basis and takes stock of the situation. As a result, these managers are up to date with all the activities going on and are able to offer relevant advice on the spot. However, it is always better to have at least two principal people who are connected to your business, in case one of them retires or leaves the accounting firm. Otherwise, the situation is similar to having a core employee leave the company: plenty of time is spent making the substitute accountant familiar with the inner workings of the business.
Relevant Certification of Employees/Firm
Accounting is tricky business, especially because there a number of fields within this category, each requiring a certain degree of expertise. From auditors to tax accountants, to planners and managers, each comes with its own degree or certification and it is vital for the client company to verify the competence of the company he intends to work with. This ensures that he hires only accountants who have been certified by the relevant institute.
Other Client References
This one is a no-brainer. The shortlisted candidates for business accounting services must be able to provide quality references; particularly those who operate in the same industry as you do. This will help establish credibility and trust. It is good practice to call the references mentioned, not just to evaluate whether they are genuine, but also for unbiased appraisal of the quality of services rendered.
Anthony Azevedo, CPA is the managing member of EZCFO a bookkeeping accounting services company focused on payroll, human resource, and employer solutions.
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