When looking to grow your business, it’s important that you are asking the right questions to the right people. Partnering with a seasoned accountant will give you access to a wealth of knowledge, given that many of them have worked with dozens of small business owners just like you.
Once you’ve gone through the process of finding someone that you trust – it’s now time to pose the right questions:
Here are the top questions to ask your accountant
1. What experience do you have with small business accounting in New Jersey?
First and foremost – you want to get a full understanding of the experience that your accountant is bringing to the table. Have they worked with a business in your industry before? If so – you can ask to see case studies or client testimonials that attest to the beneficial outcome of their previous working relationships.
2. What can you do to help me save on business taxes?
One of the most common questions that small business owners have for their accountant is how they can minimize their tax liability. While there’s no easy answer, your accountant will be able to advise you on a number of strategies – such as taking advantage of Small Business Health Care Tax Credits or writing off business expenses.
3. What are some common financial mistakes that small businesses make?
If you’re just starting out, asking your accountant about the most common financial mistakes that small businesses make is a great way to get some insight into what you should be looking out for. This can help you avoid making costly errors – such as failing to properly track inventory or mix business and personal expenses.
This is a valuable question because it will give you some key insights into the accountant’s past experience with business owners at your stage, and allow you to compare your current state of affairs to that of others.
4. How can I improve my cash flow?
Cash flow is one of the most important aspects of running a successful small business – and your accountant can offer a number of useful tips on how to improve cash flow management. They may suggest ways to better manage inventory, reduce accounts receivable, or take advantage of early payment discounts from vendors.
Ultimately a good accountant will start by making sure that all of your financial documents are organized, as well as that your budget and long term tax strategy are in place.
In addition to asking the right questions, there are a couple things you should look out for when choosing your accountant in the first place:
5. Is your accountant local to your area?
You don’t necessarily have to work with an accountant in your area, but if you value local knowledge and expertise, then it’s definitely a plus. BSM Accounting Services has been working with small business owners in Clifton New Jersey for the past 7+ years. BSM accounting provides tax, bookkeeping, payroll and advisory services across the tri-state area.
How many years have they been in business?
While age is definitely not everything, you want to choose an accountant that knows the ropes. That means sticking to firms and individuals that have more than 5 years of industry experience at a minimum.
This will help you avoid dealing with mistakes often made by up-and-coming CPAs and will give you access to a deeper knowledge base when dealing with the firm you choose.
Asking your accountant the right questions can help you get the most out of your relationship – and ultimately, help your business succeed. Do you have any other questions that you think are essential for small business owners to ask their accountant? Share them in the comments below!