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Choosing an accountant

DaveNay

Klaatu barada nikto
SUPER Site Supporter
I am going to start looking for a professional accountant to handle our business and personal affairs. What are some of the key points I should look for when interviewing different people? I would guess my number one would be to try to find someone with experience in agriculture and specifically horses. Any other major things to look for?
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
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Stay away from the 1 man shop operations, but also stay away from the big guys. We had a great accountant years ago, he was a 1 man shop. He got sick. We got screwed. The firm we have been using the past 10+ years has about a half dozen accountants, each specialize in different areas but they each overlap each other to some extent. If one quits, gets sick or dies, we don't really have any problems because each of them is familiar with our issues.
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
The sad thing is that many of them are very good and would suit your needs perfectly. However, having gone through what we went through, I would never ever in a million years recommend a 1 man accounting operation to anyone. Ditto for lawfirms.

The lawfirm I have for 95% of my needs is a 2 man operation. Both are familiar with my needs, one does the work, the other can step in at a moments notice. The lawfirms I use for the other 5% of my needs probably each have 100+ lawyers (and there are 3 of those firms that I use, each specialized in different aspects of the law)
 

Cowboyjg

Country Club Member
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Think of some of the successful people you know in your inner circle. Inquire of them who they use and why. Sit and interview the ones you get a good feeling about from your conversations. Are they interested in helping you help yourself? Are they openly willing to educate you on what you should be doing differently to maximize the return on your effort and money? Do you feel comfortable talking to them. Can you email them with questions periodically without a list of charges necessarily attached to the questions. A quality service provider like that should be able to throw you a few bones throughout the year.

The wife and I went thru a couple of people thru the years. I have a bookeeper who pretty much gives me the package to give to the accountant. I have found that more cost effective for my situation as independant bookeepers can be less expensive than the corporations in-house staff. If you can keep good records then you don't need the bookeeper. the key is to get the accountant a good set of books. Helps keep thier costs down in the preparation area so that even if they charge you for the periodic consultation it's not a big deal.
 
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