Small business growth continues to rise in Central Oregon. In July of last year business registrations in Bend hit a high of 275. That was an 18 percent increase from July 2017. What’s behind this continued boom in small businesses?
“We’re seeing more and more folks comply with the requirements around the business registration, but we’re also just seeing a whole lot of new businesses,” Ben Hemson, business advocate for the city of Bend told Central Oregon’s News Channel 21.
Growth is great, and having your own small business can be life changing. However, it is tax time, and the complexities of having to file small business taxes can be challenging for new business owners. If you’re thinking about finding an accountant to help, you are probably doing yourself and your business a favor.
Finding the right accountant for your small business, however, can prove to be tough. Accountants are not interchangeable. They each have their own specialties and professional interests. The following can help you find small business accounting services that work for your business.
First, think about what your small business actually needs
To begin your search for the right small business accountant, you need to start with your business and what it actually needs in the space of financial advice. Maybe it’s payroll taxes and deducting expenses. Or maybe annual tax filing help. It could be daily accounting services. Whatever it is, identify it. This will help you find the right accountant with the right specialties. After you do this, you can start narrowing your search.
Start your small business accounting services search
Once you have a list of the small business accounting services you need, it is time to make a list of potential accountants and accounting firms. But, this is where it can get tricky. You may find some great accountants in the area. That’s great. However, don’t forget the Internet. There are a lot of exceptional small business accounting services available online that are affordable and efficient. Explore both options and vet them equally. You may be surprised what you come up with.
Do your homework and treat it like your interviewing job candidates
It may seem silly to approach finding an accountant so seriously. But if you don’t, you could be putting your small business at risk for IRS complications down the road. You want to ensure the accounting services you are getting are top notch and compliant with local, state, and federal guidelines.
When you have your list of potential accounting service providers, begin the vetting process. Do your online homework and search for ratings, reviews, and client testimonials. The Internet is a wonderful thing when it comes to researching businesses to hire, so use this resource to the fullest.
Once you have done your online research, and shortened your list a bit, it is time to whip up some questions you will be asking accountants and accounting firms. This is the job applicant part. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
- Do you have small business experience? This is an important one, because small business accounting can have some nuances you want your accountant to be fully aware of and know how to capitalize on it for your benefit, like higher tax returns.
- Do you have experience in my industry? This is another important question, because each industry has unique tax deductions, as well as the need for very specific advice from knowledgeable accountants in that space.
- Will I have a dedicated accountant? This may seem trivial, but like lawyers, you could get passed around from one accountant to another. This can cause chaos and end up costing your small business, since the information about your business may not get passed along correctly if it changes hands often.
Know how much it will cost and how often you need to pay
Cost is of course important, and knowing the fees and payment schedule can help you make a decision on accounting services, and ensure there are no surprises down the road. For instance, some accountants charge per hour while others have flat rates set up for services. There are also some accountants that charge per hour for some services, but flat rate for others. Also ask about charges that may be small service charges or technology fees. These types of fees can add up over the year.
In Conclusion . . .
When it comes to tax time, small businesses are hustling to get all documents together and paperwork completed in time. Having an accountant can ease this process significantly. The above ways to help you find a small business accountant can be helpful, from doing your homework to truly defining what your business needs.