How to Find the Right Accountant

Dealing with financial issues comes easy for some people. For others the mere thought of trying to make sense of a string of seemingly unrelated numbers can be extremely confusing and stressful. Fortunately a few of the former make working with numbers, and their financial ramifications, their life’s work. We call them accountants, and if you can find a good accountant to help you with your business and/or personal finances it would be a good idea to hang onto them. They could be an invaluable resource. Here are a few tips on how to find the right accountant.

Determine Your Needs

In searching for an accountant the first step is to know what you’re looking for. Determine what your needs are. Do you simply need someone to enter debits and credits? Do you need a financial plan? Will your accountant be doing your taxes? Decide exactly what you will be using an accountant for, and then go about finding the right one to fill your needs.

Experience Counts

Since you’re going to be entrusting your finances to someone who is probably a stranger to you, you want to get the best qualified person you possibly can. That means you’re looking for someone who has experience doing the type of accounting work you need. Looking for an experienced accountant is a double edged sword. The good ones are probably so busy they can’t take on any new work, which means you may have to settle for someone a little less experienced. However, being less experienced doesn’t necessarily mean they’re less qualified. It could be they’re just starting out and haven’t built up a client base yet.

Word of Mouth

When searching for a professional of nearly any sort, be it a mechanic, an automobile dealer, a lawyer, a doctor, or an accountant, word of mouth is most likely your best method of finding a good one. Find out who your friends and neighbors are going to. Ask local business people who handles their finances, and if they would recommend them. Determine whether or not they’re satisfied with the services their accountant provides. Find out how long they’ve been using this accountant. Are they accessible? Do they provide the required services in a timely and efficient manner? You will quickly discover that a good accountant is in demand, which means they serve their clients well.


Keeping track of your finances for tax purposes is probably the chief reason for hiring an accountant. Sure we all know it’s important to pay taxes, and not just so you won’t be audited, but in order to keep the country running–it’s done with tax dollars. It’s your civic responsibility to pay your taxes; you just don’t want to pay any more than you absolutely have to. Having the right accountant can ensure you don’t overpay. Tax accountants are specialists within the accountant community and can help you find ways to save money that’s tax deferred or even tax exempt. Other accountants specialize in other areas. If all you need is a bookkeeper, paying for a tax accountant or a similar specialist will undoubtedly cost more than you should be spending to meet your needs. It all goes back to knowing what your requirements are when you seek out an accountant.


For a professional association of any type to work properly, the principals must get along with each other. If you and your accountant don’t see eye to eye, your professional relationship won’t work. It is more than a matter of listening to their professional advice and deciding whether or not to adhere to it. It’s a matter of compatibility. Some people simply rub each other the wrong way. Life is way too short to surround yourself with people you can’t get along with, whether it’s in your professional or personal life. Finding the right accountant isn’t limited to their professional competence, but rather a combination of doing the job correctly and on time, and being professional in how they comport themselves. If an accountant is lax in presenting a professional bearing they may also be slipshod in their work. Choose carefully.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for

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