January 2, 2013. Starting a new business is an exciting moment in a person’s life though this time can come with a number of hard realizations. Something that first-time small business owners even in San Francisco, CA, are surprised to learn is how complex their financial bookkeeping needs actually are. Tax preparation, for instance, requires a highly detailed financial record; most small business owners don’t have the time or experience to manage their records to the degree required for optimal financial management. It thus becomes necessary for them to find an accountant or bookkeeper.
What an Accountant Does
Accounting is a broad subject that encompasses all aspects of the greater financial industry; most large businesses and corporations with many financial service needs will have a number of accountants working for them. A certified public accountant (CPA) might specialize in any one of the following:
– Personal financial management
– Payroll calculation
– Forensic accounting and the providing of expert witness in court cases
– Business and corporate finance
– Trusts, wills, and property
Choosing an Accountant in San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is one of the major financial capitols of the world and this city can boast some of the finest CPA firms in the country. It’s easy to locate an accountant, though choosing who you want to work with can be a more difficult task.
When considering which financial service group will be the best fit for your organization, keep in mind that bigger is not always better. The Bay Area is home to many large firms representing the top businesses in the country. The range of services provided by these firms make them very appealing to new business owners. A good tip to keep in mind is to choose a firm that best meets your needs. Don’t choose a large firm just because it’s well-known; choose your financial service group based on the immediate benefits that you’ll receive as a client.
You’ll find that the selection process goes a lot smoother if you are very clear on what your financial needs actually are. All businesses will need assistance with tax preparation though not all will need payroll services. Don’t be sold on an accountant that can do a lot of things for you if those services aren’t what you’re in need of.
And finally, look for an accountant or CPA firm that’s responsive to your questions and excels at customer service. This element of the accountant/client relationship is of primary importance since you’ll be working together for a long time.
Working with a San Francisco Accountant
To begin your professional relationship with your accountant of choice, you’ll need to visit with them to discuss your specific needs. Even if your needs seem fairly limited at first, you’ll discover that as your business grows that your financial needs will grow, too. It’s easier to take these shifts in stride if you have an established relationship with your CPA. They’ll be able to explain the changes that are taking place and will help you with the financial management that a growing business requires. Investments, donations, incorporation, and other complex financial matters have to be handled promptly and with skill.
As you can see, the customer service element of your experience with an accountant is just as important as the practical services they provide. Make certain that you take service into account when choosing a CPA for your small business.