Choosing the right accountant for my construction business

By Michael O'Brien - 19th Nov 2015

Find under: Accounting

As a small business in the construction trade, your time is precious. Small builders have to cast bids to win construction projects with no guarantee of winning the business. Plumbers must answer emergency calls throughout the day and night. Electricians must follow strict safety guidelines when performing even the smallest jobs while painters must consult with homeowners on the right interior or exterior colour choices.

With all the tasks that you have to do outside of the business, accounting may not be your strong point. Even with easy-to-use accounting software, all the tax codes, invoicing and expenditures can start to get out of control. What you need is someone who can take on the bookkeeping tasks to keep all the financial aspects of your business in working order. Checking the business budget, you may be wondering if it is time to hire an accountant.

Accountant services

For many small business owners, hiring an accountant is essential so they can have accurate bookkeeping records and financial reports. Yet an accountant can offer much more with their services. They can help your business file the right tax returns. They can help you raise capital, find investors, assist you in selling shares of your business and manage group benefit plans. An accountant can also be your business advisor so that the money you make with your construction business can be placed into the right opportunities to further business growth and expansion efforts.

Choosing the right accountant

Before you start calling up accountants, you need to decide on what services you require. Are you looking for simple bookkeeping services? Do you need tax preparation services? Or do you require more extensive services. Understanding the financial tasks that you will manage and the accountant will oversee will allow you to narrow down your choices.

Next, you need to decide the type of accountant you want. Your small business may benefit from a part-time, outside accountant when you are only looking for someone to create financial reports and analysis. When business transactions become larger and more complicated that you can’t complete the tasks on your own, then you may desire a full-time inside accountant.

Things to look for in an accountant

Not all accountants are created equal, and you want to select the right one immediately so you can get back to running your construction business. There are several characteristics to look for when searching for an accountant:

* Certifications

* Offered services

* Industry expertise

* Firm size

You may find the perfect accountant in a smaller firm that can give you specialized services versus a larger national accounting firm. When interviewing your possible accountant, there are several questions to keep in mind such as:

* Will you be working exclusively with one accountant, or will multiple accountants be assigned to your constructing business account?

* What are the hours of operation and can the accountant handle your desired types of communication, since you run a business in the construction industry that may require you to call, text or email the accountant at different hours of the day at various locations?

Ask questions relevant to your work, the accountant’s experience and what services you desire. You can successfully narrow down the choices until choosing the right accountant that will work efficiently with your business.

About the Author: Michael O'Brien

Michael is the marketing manager for Big Red Cloud. Apart from trying to demystify accounting software, Michael enjoys rugby, photography, good food and seeing as much of the world as possible.