title:A Beginner’s Guide to Finding an Accountant author:John Mussi source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_5414.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

If you’ve ever found yourself trying desperately to manage your own finances, you’ll likely admit that it’s not as easy as it might first sound. Often, the best course of action when it comes to taking care of your own personal finances or those of your business is to hire an accountant to crunch the numbers and do much of the finance work for you.
Of course, you may be wanting to hire an accountant but simply aren’t sure where you should begin looking, or don’t know how to find a good accountant. If this is the case, then the information below should help you along the way to finding the accountant you need either for your own personal finances or for those of your business.
Where to Look for an Accountant
The first step to finding an accountant is to know where to look for one. Most public and business accountants will be listed in local telephone directories, and will likely also have their services listed online. You might also be able to find an accountant in your area by requesting information from a local chamber of commerce or similar organization, taking the time to search the financial pages of local newspapers or tabloids for advertisements that local accountants might place, or finding and contacting a business review board in your area and requesting information that they might have on local accountants.
What You Should Look for
Of course, not all accountants are created equal. You want to find the best person to handle your finances that you can, so it’s important to take a little bit of extra time and find the accountant that will serve you the best. Ask for recommendations, and take a few moments to check them. Request to see the credentials of the accountant that you’re considering, and find out how long they’ve been in business. You should also check to see exactly what services they offer? if nothing else, you may be able to get a discount on additional services such as tax preparation or business earnings reporting.
Make sure that the accountant that you hire is someone that you feel that you can put your trust in, and take the time to keep searching until you find the accountant that will serve you and your financial interests best.
Personal Finances vs. Business Finances
A brief note should be made noting that your search for an accountant may be slightly different depending upon whether the reason that you’re looking for an accountant is because of your personal finances or for the financial needs of your business. The duties of a personal accountant will generally be less than those of one that is hired for business reasons, and you should make sure that a business accountant is familiar with the tax laws that will affect your business as well as the unique financial needs of businesses in your area.
In most cases it is perfectly acceptable to hire a single accountant to take care of both your personal assets and your business finances, though there are some cases where it is more feasible to hire a separate individual for each purpose.
Regardless of which you choose to do, make sure that you’ve taken the time to investigate your options and that you are confident that you’ve found the right person for the job.

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