The post of Accountant is one of the key positions in the hierarchy of any organization for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is to prepare the financial statements that are in line with the requirements of the regulations. Therefore, there should be perfect skills and knowledge to perform the duties of an Accountant. Aside from that, integrity and honesty are part and parcel of the job involved.
There should be clarity whether the requirement is for an accountant or a CPA. That is mainly because their works are different although the basic or the fundamentals remain the same. For instance, an accountant might be required to do book-keeping tasks like posting accounts payables, making journal entries, payroll taxes and receivables. In short, Accountants often manage the day-to-day financial tasks of any organization. However, the same cannot be said in respect of a CPA since the responsibilities included reporting method, auditing financial records and act as a consultant.
Aside from that, the responsibilities of a CPA are much more than an Accountant and represents in IRS audits for their clients. Once narrowing down to an Accountant, seeking referrals from either co-workers or friends could be a way to start with the search so that local talent could be tapped. If the business is a smaller one, the other option is to seek other owners to help in the same industry so that an industry-specific accountant could be spotted. As far as the United States, there is a state CPA society that is available for assistance in selecting either an accountant or a CPA firm.
At the same time, a cross-reference of an accountant could be done with the professional boards like the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. This type of association exists in a number of countries that could be used. Currently, social media sites are being used for the hiring process though not everyone could be reliable. However, it will not hamper the process of checking the credentials of a potential accountant.
While looking for an accountant, a firm should be conscious of the available budget and how far it can be adjusted to accommodate the best talent. The finances play a key part since it can prove to be detrimental to its own progress. On the other hand, if an accounting firm is hired, then the rates should be looked at. It is a normal thing that rates differ based on the firm’s size.
Once a decision is taken whether an individual or a firm should be hired, interviews should be conducted with several accountants that are based on the referrals and searches. Before interviewing, there should be clarity as to what is to expect from an accountant and the services needed. The existing rates of the particular industry should come in handy to negotiate the best talent.
After narrowing down to potentials, references given by the prospects should be cross-checked. This apart, efforts should be made to check with the previous employer about the credentials and the qualifications. On top of it, efforts should be made to check whether the prospect is enjoying a license in the specific State since there are different certifications.