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What You Should Expect from a Great Accounting Team

What You Should Expect from a Great Accounting Team

A Great Accounting Team AND YOUR NEEDS!

One of the challenging things a small business owner must do is to create and maintain accurate and reliable accounting records.  Most small business owners wisely determine it’s best to get some professional help with this part of their business.

Of course, we believe every small business owner needs a good accountant working for them all year long. 

What's reasonable to expect from my accountant?

This is a question many small business owners ask themselves. Whether you’re looking for an accountant to help a newly formed small business or you need to transition from one accountant to another, it’s essential first to understand your needs and the needs of your small business.

This can be tough to answer if you’re a new small business owner. You may not know what your needs are.


If this describes you, congratulations, you just determined your first need and one of the more common needs. A good small business accountant will help you understand what you and your business need – bookkeeping, payroll, sales tax, income tax, 1099s, etc.

They’ll ask many questions and get to know you and your business. They will help establish bookkeeping and accounting processes or suggest how to streamline existing processes.

Transitioning to a new accounting team

If you need to transition from one accountant to another, you probably have a better understanding of your needs. You’re likely reading this article because those needs weren’t being met.

It could’ve been a lack of responsiveness, a surprise tax bill, or letters from taxing authorities. Maybe you feel you’ve outgrown your accountant or that they’ve outgrown you. What a small business owner needs from an accountant often relates to fixing problems that have piled up. A more reasonable expectation from an accountant would be to address any current issues, sort them out, and help implement better processes to prevent them from happening again.

Any small business owner should expect their accountant to:

  • Listen, be responsive, and follow through.
  • Help you stay on track with bookkeeping and payroll.
  • Be proactive about taxes throughout the year.
  • Be open about fees. 

If any of these expectations are unmet, we suggest you consider whether a different service provider would be a better fit for you and your business.

What shouldn't I expect from an accountant?

As part of this discussion, covering a few things you should not expect from an accountant makes sense.

Don’t expect an accountant to take aggressive positions on tax matters, which may lead to trouble with the IRS (for them and you).  It’s probably unrealistic to expect a more prominent accounting firm to treat your small business with the same care and attention as its larger clients.

Lastly, don’t expect every accountant to be the same. Different accountants provided different services and different levels of services. Do your homework and make sure you’re hiring an accountant that suits your needs. Have questions after reading this article? Reach out and start a conversation.

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