It seems that many people think that having an accountant is something that is only necessary if you have your own business, a large investment portfolio or if you are one of the very wealthy. In fact, having an accountant that does your taxes on a yearly basis is actually a great way to take advantage of incentives, deductions and even long-term investment opportunities that can save you thousands of dollars over your life.
Choosing the right accountant is important as you want a top professional that is knowledgeable, experienced and very ethical in their handling of your financial matters. To choose an accountant, consider the following:
- Qualifications – it is a good option to work with a professional that is a CPA or a Certified Public Accountant. This means that the individual has completed all required training and also passed the very comprehensive Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and meets all state-mandated membership requirements.
- Experience – if your taxes and financial issues are straightforward, experience is not as critical. However, if you have a small business, a larger investment portfolio or any special financial issues, including a home business, look for an accountant with experience in that area.
- Good communication skills – you want an accountant that you can talk to about your issues and get an explanation that is meaningful and relevant. If your accountant can’t communicate effectively then you will have difficulty in making informed decisions based on his or her advice.
- Price – while you may have to pay more for an experienced, top accountant than a new professional, the slight increase in price for service may actually save you money over the long run.
It is a good idea to ask around for referrals from your friends, family members, and even coworkers to find out if they have an accountant that they recommend. Often this is the best way to ensure that you find someone that is a great professional to work with.