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Accountants are becoming scarce and more costly. Discipline and corruption have led to the collapse of many medium-sized to large accounting firms across the globe. Investigations by authorities into other corporations' malfeasance led to innocent businesses losing their accounting firms.
With stricter exams and more stringent requirements for auditors and accountants, the admission process to this industry is getting tighter. As a result of regulation, the pool of qualified practicing accountants is shrinking. However, it is possible to find the perfect firm. It is not possible to find the perfect accountant, but a firm.
Although the advertising of accountants is strictly controlled by these agencies, most are allowed to advertise in the Yellow Pages and newspapers. The best form of advertising for accountants is a website. You will find many firms that offer their services if you look through their websites, Yellow Pages, newspapers, or any search engine on the internet.
These guidelines will help you choose the right firm.
* If you are a small to medium business, identify a small to medium firm.
* Choose a registered firm or company. It doesn't matter how many partners you have.
* Office for Professional Practice. Proper infrastructure includes modern computer equipment, software, and telephones.
* Library. It doesn't have to be huge, a bookcase containing relevant reading material about tax, GAAP, and labor will suffice. This shows that the firm is up-to-date with legal developments.
* Archiving. Proper storage for documents and files.
* It is important to measure professionalism by using operational, permanent, and working files.
* Skills. Are they qualified and skilled to provide the services?
* List of services. All aspects of accounting, tax, and business advice are available under one roof.
* Referrals. Refer to references from clients who are current or former clients.
* Pricing. There are varying fees, but you can compare the cost of services and the speed with which assignments and projects are delivered. You should be happy with the level of service provided. However, you must accept that the fee is a significant amount. Do not choose a firm that is cheaper than you would prefer to negotiate rates.
An engagement letter (or "agreement") will be prepared by a professional firm. Before you authorize the firm to work, insist on such an agreement. This agreement should specify the services provided, the rates, and the terms. You can also resolve potential disputes by including this agreement.
Do your research before you choose the first candidate. You will establish a long-lasting business relationship if you do your research. It is good for your business to have a loyal relationship with an accounting company.