How to Choose a Toronto Small Business Accountant

How to Pick a Toronto Small Business Accountant

Small business owners may be inclined to use a friend from school or their mothers friends sons accounting firm, choosing an accountant with no real strategy. However, as your business grows and technology advances, there’s much more to small business accounting then just counting beans.

These are the top tips for hiring a small business accountant:

  1. Determine Your Business Needs: Do you want someone you can hand off all your books to and will just file your yearly taxes, or someone that can be a strategic part of your company’s growth? Most small business owners have a wide range of topics they’d like to be advised on.
  2. Find Licensed Candidates: There’s three types of professional accounting designations – Toronto Chartered Accountants (CA) have global recognition and can do everything from startup counselling to acting as a Chief Financial Officer for a corporation, to acting as a trustee for bankruptcy. Certified Management Accountants (CMA) integrate business management skills with their accounting expertise to provide actionable insights into managing your business. Certified General Accountants (CGA) have a range of duties from bookkeeping, providing insights into financial statements, and overseeing the internal accounting.
  3. Determine Accessibility: At the beginning you may need to be in more frequent contact with your accountant. This means either having a closer location or a cloud accountant – an accountant that specializes in utilizing the latest cloud technology to always have up to date information integrated from your online accounting software.
  4. Cost: Most accountants charge by the hour, anywhere from $150 – $500. Understand how their fee structure works and when you are billed. Bring in a copy of your tax returns to see if they are able to give you a cost estimate beforehand. Generally though, you should not focus too much on price but rather on the value your accountant can bring to your business.
  5. Referrals: This is the time to take any suggestions from friends or family and utilize the above strategies to determine if the accountant is right for your business. Often times there’s an added obligation to go above and beyond when you are referred by a loyal client.
  6. References: Ask what other industries and types of businesses the accounting firm works with to see what type of experience they have and if they may have insight into relevant laws for your business.
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