Managing finances for your business can get tricky sometimes, especially when you aren’t knee deep in the process of debits, credits and recording transactions. Yet it doesn’t mean you should be struggling with it all by yourself.
Accountants play an essential role in every business by helping with financial planning and ensuring all the company’s finances are in order. From managing audits to administering payrolls to filing tax returns, accountants have no shortage of responsibilities on their shoulders. This is a major reason why it’s critical to have an accountant working actively for your company.
Before deciding on hiring an accountant for your business, it is important to do proper due diligence since their work majorly dictates the success of your business. Through our guide, you can learn everything about when is the best time possible for you to hire an accountant and what factors should you look out for while doing so.
Do you actually need to hire an accountant?
Before getting into details of how to hire an accountant, it is crucial to understand why your business needs one. In retrospect, accounting is an umbrella activity that encompasses different finance-related activities. It includes preparing records of financial transactions, preparing statements and then analyzing them to take proper action. While a bookkeeper can take care of preparing records and statements, you need the help of an accountant to analyze the information and use it to actually improve your finances.
An accountant is responsible for several activities including:
- – Analyzing financial statements to identify any problems in the company’s finances.
- – Internally auditing financial statements to ensure compliance with laws and norms.
- – Preparing reports for investors, shareholders, and others.
- – Ensuring payroll operations are done effectively.
- – Ensuring taxes are calculated properly and returns are filed on time.
- – Coordinating with external audit professionals.
- – Reporting to the management on all issues related to the organization’s finances.
As you can see, an accountant’s job role is highly important for they can help a company make the right business decisions. More so, it is vital to hire an accountant whom you can trust with your finances and who holds appropriate qualifications.
Should you hire an accountant or outsource?
One of the most vital responsibilities of any company is to maintain healthy and stable condition of their finances. Every dollar of income must be tracked, bills and salaries must be paid on schedule, and tax obligations must be fulfilled on time. If you decide to hire an accountant, you need to consider whether it would be prudent for you to hire an accountant in-house or outsource to an external agency.
Let’s break down the differences between the two to understand which is a more convenient option for you.
Hiring an in-house accountant requires you to establish a dedicated accounting department in your business. You need to hire people, provide resources, pay their salaries, monitor their work, and cover all miscellaneous expenses. All this requires a substantial amount of money, time, and effort and going through an extensive hiring process. While it may seem doable for large-scale businesses, for small companies, they usually do not have the wherewithal to do all this.
In that case, outsourcing your accounting function would be a better idea to save both, time and money. When you outsource work to a reliable service, you ensure that the work is done by professionals who bear years-worth of experience in this field. As a businessperson, this gives you levity to focus on core business work and leave the number-crunching to the experts. Above all, you will only need to pay for the services they provide, not the whole package. This is a more cost-effective solution. At Monily, this is how we work with our partners.
Starting small is always safe bet, and you can always choose to have a full-fledged accounting team once your business grows.
How To Hire An Accountant?
Once you have decided that you need to hire an accountant for your business, the first thing you must know is whether you’re in need of a full-time or a part-time accountant.
Having an accountant who works only for a few hours each day or a couple of days each week seems like a suitable arrangement for small companies whose financial operations are not too complex. Your accountant can come in when there is a requirement for them, and you can pay them only for the hours of the work they do.
If you have more work that needs to be done, then it would be more efficient to hire a full-time accountant.
The following pointers can help you understand how to hire an accountant and what to look for in the most suitable candidate:
- – The first thing you need to do is prepare a clear job description, which should outline all the responsibilities your business would require.
- – The accountant you hire must have the necessary skills. They must be qualified and hold considerable experience in the field.
- – Based on these requisites, you can prepare an advertisement outlining what you are looking for and publish it either in a newspaper, magazine, job portal, or circulate via social media.
- – Once the applications start coming in, you need to do a rigorous screening. You can organize the profiles based on the candidates’ qualifications and experiences. This process will help you cut through the applications faster and allow you to select a few you believe to be the strongest candidates.
- – Once you have shortlisted the candidates, you can move ahead and schedule interviews with them.
During the interview, you need to understand the following about each of the candidates:
- Their knowledge of accounting processes and actual experience.
- What kind of value they can add to your business.
- How efficient the candidate is in analyzing financial reports and offering inputs for managing finances in real-time.
- Their ability to make forecasts and budgets.
- Their ability to communicate well – both orally and in writing.
- What kind of analytical skills they have.
- Their knowledge of software programs used for accounting.
- How trustworthy they are and how consistent they can be with their work. You can provide sample reports and ask the candidates to analyze them. This is a good way of testing while hiring an accountant.
Finally, you need to conclude the selection process and make an offer based on their experience and ability. Once the offer is accepted and they become part of your company, ensure that they can start contributing to the organization right away.
See Also: Accounting 101 for Small Business Owners
An accountant can greatly assist you throughout the different stages of your company’s growth. It is a critical position and therefore, hiring the right person for the job may seem quite challenging. However, the above thought-out process will help and enable you to select the best candidate who can help maximize your financial growth. If you hire wisely, you will lay the groundwork for a finance team that will evolve with your company and add value to your business in the long run.