As your business begins to grow and generate more income, you will likely need to look for professional tax and accounting services to cover your finances. Though this task can be completed internally at first, it will eventually become too complex, or you simply won’t have the time to make sure your finances are in order. This is when you should look into hiring an accountant. Hiring an accountant is a particularly important step for any business, as it will allow you to take your business to the next level. An account will have a specific set of skills to manage your finances and can help you to save money on tax. Therefore, it’s crucial that you work with an individual (or team) that you can trust.
Although there are many fantastic accountants in the market, there are certainly some that are better than others. During your search, it is crucial that you’re extremely thorough and avoid all red flags where possible. Here are some of the key red flags you should avoid during your search for professional tax accounting services.
The Accountant Suggests That You Should Share Profits
The majority of accountants in the industry will either charge an hourly or monthly rate for their work. If the accountant in question suggests that you should share your profits, this is a red flag straight away. They may be looking to take advantage of your hard work in order to gain some of the profit for themselves. During this process, they may encourage immoral practices or tie you into a contract you’re not fully aware of. Make sure that your accountant is transparent with their fees upfront. Any good accountant will be happy to do this and will make sure to inform you if they charge on percentages (although this is a very odd practice).
They Encourage Fraud
There are many legal channels you can go down to make your money back from taxes- this is something that an accountant will be more than happy to help with. However, if you realize that your accountant is encouraging fraud, you should get rid of them straight away. A good accountant will make use of legal means to get your money back. If they’re encouraging fraud, it’s likely they already operate outside the law and could land you into trouble should your business be investigated.
The Promises Are Too Good To Be True
Of course it’s important to hire an accountant who can help save you money and benefit for your business. However, if your accountant is promising things that simply aren’t possible, it’s likely that they’re selling you a false dream. It could be an early sign that they may be willing to break the law in order to generate extra income for your business. Some may even launder money through your business without you knowing. Even though you were not aware of such activity, it could result in problems with the law. Always be wary of what an accountant is offering. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
A Lack Of Credentials and Certification
A fully qualified is likely to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or will hold any alternative credentials needed to legally work as an accountant. If the accountant you’re interviewing lacks these requirements, or they provide you with documents that don’t look right to you, it’s best you look for another candidate. This could be a sign they’re not actually qualified to complete the work you need from them.
Holes In The Resume
A high-quality consultant will always have a good career with each employer listed. If they’ve held multiple jobs for different employers throughout the year, this could be a sign that they’re unable to produce high-quality work. Now, in certain situations, they may have a good reason for their change in employer. As a result, it is always important to ask the accountant why they keep changing jobs and the reason why they left their previous. If something doesn’t quite add up, it’s best you look elsewhere for an individual with a stronger work record.
Negative Talk Regarding Previous Employers
Any high-quality accountant will always speak well of previous employers and will likely not speak of them unless asked. They will take full responsibility for their mistakes, rather than blaming a business. Any professional accountant should have the skills to work as part of a team. If they’re blaming past colleagues or managers for faults in their work, this is a sign that they may not be a good addition to your own team.
Questionable Past Performance
If you find that the accountant you intend to hire refuses to speak of the reasons why they left their previous job, this is very suspicious. It is possible they were unable to actually deliver the services that were needed from them in a past job, which would make them unqualified to help you as you expand your business.
It’s important to remember that no accountant will ever tick all boxes for all businesses. Look for an accountant who aligns with your business, values and colleagues. Find out about their prior work history, their motivation for finding a new job and their work ethic. This will help you to find the right individual who can meet your organisational requirements.