8 Things to consider while choosing an accounting firm for your start-up in Canada
Are you perplexed with various financial decisions you must make in starting and running your business, ranging from managing cash flow to minimizing tax burden? Many accounting firms in Canada provide financial advice, assist small businesses in creating budgets, and keep abreast of new tax rules. How do you know which accounting firm is the best fits you?
You should always ask some fundamental questions before hiring an accounting firm, regardless of whether you need someone to handle bi-weekly or monthly payroll, are just searching for some trustworthy tax guidance, or require someone who will go above and beyond when it comes to your finances.
Before entrusting a third party with managing the finances of your company, you should consider the following –
- Experience and Expertise the accounting firm has
In the case of financial management, experience, expertise and knowledge are absolute essentials. When outsourcing your accounting function, inexperienced professionals should be avoided at all costs. Reputable accounting firm may be able to share their success stories. They also have expertise in business management. Verify their experience and knowledge about recent tax code changes.
- Types of Services offered by the accounting firm
Ideally, you should not have to work with multiple accounting firms for various services. Make sure you do thorough research on the types of services provided by the accounting firm you choose. When searching for a reputable source of accounting services, look at the company’s services. If you want full-service financial management services, you need your accounting firm to assist you with bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, CFO support, Audit support, budgeting and other accounting activities. Most reputable firms provide each of these services at a fair price.
- Level of communication
You don’t want to recruit somebody unable to translate complicated accounting jargon into everyday English. Additionally, the service provider must be able to regularly advise you on the financial health of your business, including both the positive developments and potential future issues. It does not mean that you are relieved of responsibility for accounting issues simply because you have contracted with a professional service provider to handle your company’s finances. Make sure that the experts you recruit have practical communication abilities. They must be able to make things simple for you and keep you updated on your company’s financial health.
- Advanced technologies used by the accounting firm
In this digital era, where everyone wants to go paperless, selecting an accountant firm with good hands-on cloud, data security, and client portal is essential. Make sure the accounting firm uses the latest technology for providing reliable services. A quality accounting firm must also keep up with industry changes. They won’t be able to give you wise counsel or first-rate services until they are up to date with the latest cloud technologies.
- Check the availability and response time
Some clients are happy to meet with their accountant once a year for tax filing purposes. Others have questions related to their business more frequently that need prompt responses. Find out how often you will meet and discuss the financial situation. Also check if you may call your accountant anytime or if you need to set up a time to speak with them virtually or in person. Also find out the most preferred form of communication whether it is email or text or through a secure client portal.
- Audit Support offered by the accounting firm
For some small-business owners audits are a way of life, but for others being the target of an audit is very stressful. Make sure that the accountant you choose will be by your side in case Canada Revenue Agency or any other Government department wants to audit your tax returns or other financial information. Choose an accounting firm whose top objective is to reduce stress and provide peace of mind during an audit.
- Check if it is registered CPA accounting firm
Ensure the accounting firm you choose is certified and professional, keeping the right track of the rules and regulations. Professional bodies that oversee accounting qualifications and work to uphold high professional standards control accountants. Chartered Professional Accountants are highly skilled professionals who have completed a professional competency programme, degree-level coursework, and job experience. A certified CPA will ensure they will guide you to grow your company and take care of your cash flows.
- Fees charged by the accounting firm
Prices for accounting services vary depending on the size of the firm and complexity of the services provided. Make sure the accounting fees is transparent, predictable and upfront. These days many firms have started to offer accounting services on a value based fixed price model. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of engaging an accounting firm based on the state of your company. Investing in expert financial management services is a good idea.
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