Accountants are expensive people and anything expensive is certainly not a feasible option for small businesses. Even then it is highly advisable for a small business to have a professional accountant. Initially you might be wondering how to find a small business accountant within your budget.

First thing to determine is when a small business does need an accountant. Initially you may be able to handle your accounts on your own, managing them using a number of different accounting software available. But when your business is on a growing stage, your software cannot do all that an accountant can.

A right accountant can help you not only with your financial problems but also help you in enhancing your business plan. Accountants have large networks and they can be good for referrals or finding mutual benefits for different small businesses. Often, tax services for small businesses are complicated, specifically for those businesses operating from their home.

When to Look for an Accountant

An important decision a small business may have to take is whether to hire an outside accounting firm or an inside accountant for your company. Hiring an accounting firm can be a good option when your accounting needs are limited. Outside firms charge you an hourly rate for their services. For small firms who cannot afford to have an accountant on regular payroll, this can be ideal.

When the company is at a growing stage, the charges of accounting firms will increase with services. When you have an estimate that these costs are higher than the cost of a permanent employ would be, it is time to hire your own accountant. However, compensation is a secondary issue.

More important is to determine what you want your accountant to accomplish and select the best candidate, then you can settle the compensation accordingly. A performance-based compensation plan can also be set up.

When you have finally decided to hire an internal accountant, now is the time you should look for tips of how to hire. Since an accountant plays a vital role in an organization, handling the complete financial base of the company, it is a very important decision to make. Here are a few things you should consider when you are looking to acquire CPA services for your small business:

What to Check

  •  Qualifications – When you are looking to hire an accountant, the right qualifications does matter. If you are looking for advanced accounting services for small businesses, you need a qualified CPA or CMA. However, if you are only looking for bookkeeping services, small business can hire a general accountant as well.
  • Experience – Qualifications apart, the right experience is also essential. Small business accounting services are way trickier than that of large companies. Even a little financial decision can make or break a small business. Try to find an accountant who has experience of handling accounting services for the same industry and more importantly, experience of handling a small business.

Where to Look

  • Directory of CPA’s – The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants provides a list of all CPA’s, accounting companies and accounting societies. If you are a women entrepreneur looking for a female accountant you can look at American Society for Women Accountants.
  • Internet – Everything can be found on internet nowadays and finding an accountant would be convenient enough, but not advisable. Internet being a complete public source of information has lost some of its credibility. Since an accountant is a vital part of any organization, it is preferable to have a face to face contact.
  • Referrals – The best way to look for an accountant is word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and acquaintances who run a similar business or works in the same industry to refer a good accountant for your firm.

How to Select

  • Interview – When you have a list of names that you find well-suited to your requirements, you can start interviewing the candidates.
  • Check References – Ask the candidate for references from his previous work involvements. After you have checked on these references, you will have a fair idea of the candidate’s abilities.

Once you have selected your ideal candidate, you can negotiate compensation. You may find creative ways to settle a compensation benefit that suits both of you.


Having an accountant for a small business which is growing is an essential requirement. It is necessary to report accounting expenses in your business budget accordingly since it is not a function everyone can perform.