What to Look for when Choosing a Small Business Accounting Service

When you are considering the pros and cons of various small business accounting services, the pressure of making the right decision can be stressful. The implications of selecting an accountant are large; you want the most efficient tax schedule possible, but you also want the highest ethics possible. Make a simple list to help guide you through your priorities, and see which service offers the largest number of your "must haves." Here are a few simple things to look for.

Seek Other Small Businesses

Large accounting and tax firms have a lot of benefits. They often can offer more in-house services, and they may have more accessible websites or corporate information. However, when it comes to truly servicing the needs of a small business, another small business is often the best candidate. To a large firm, your business will account for a very small amount of profits. You may even be "expendable" as a client. When you connect with a small business, though, you represent a larger revenue stream. The company will want to work with you and keep your business, making that company more responsive to your needs than a larger firm would be.

Recommendation from the SBA

The Small Business Administration is a free resource for various small businesses across the country. Some of the SBA's programs include financial education for business owners. You may consider attending a seminar on small business tax accounting to help become informed on the process. Similarly, you may ask your local SBA office for recommendations for accounting services in your area. There may be a non profit small business firm willing to assist you for lower fees than a for profit organization would charge. Contact the SBA through the Internet or your local office to ask for assistance in the tax season.

Guaranteed Accuracy

Pick a service that has some form of guaranty. A guaranty does not need to be a money-back promise. Instead, ask the firm what would happen if your return is rejected. The firm may offer to refile for you at no additional charge. This is common with many accounting firms. You should also ask what type of support would be given if you did undergo an audit. Would the firm keep your files on record? Would the firm assist you in managing and preparing your receipts for the auditor? The best choices in accounting services for any business, large or small, will offer these promises. 

Ongoing Support

Tax season feels like it comes once a year between February and April. In reality, though, it runs all year long. The better you can prepare your taxes during the year, pre-planning as your go, the easier tax season will be. You can even develop a tax plan that aims to minimize your burden each year. When you first start a business, you will quickly learn owning your own operation means spending a lot of time with tax accounting. Opting for a support service that helps you along the way, instead of one that just shows up around March 1 every year, can make your job easier.

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