As a startup, I just interviewed my friend's very reputable accountant. Should I hire him, or find another that cares more about my business?
My friend loved her experience with her accountant, and is adamant that I should hire him. He did well when I interviewed him and seemed very knowledgeable, but didn't seem very passionate about my business or really seem to care about it at all.
Obviously he's capable of doing the job, but should I hire him or look for another accountant who I feel chemistry with?
I would interview a couple of accounting firms and find one that does seem interested. Check with our local BBB to see who is a member if you don't know any other firms. Linked-in is also another source to find firms to contact.
I think you should look for someone who cares about your business and is looking out for your interests. You need someone you can consult with to help you through the good times and the tough ones. A good accountant is a valuable asset.
Congrats on looking to make a hire! There are already some great answers on this topic which I think can guide you in the right direction.
If you wish to hire another accountant, mosaicHUB can be the right place to do it. We have a concierge service (which you can access on your homepage). Once you post a project to our private board, our concierge team will contact you and personally recommend 3 vetted service providers.
Best of luck with your hire and your startup! Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any more questions.
Chemistry plays a big role in whether or not the person is for you. A good Accountant will ask you questions that you may or may not want to answer but she/he does so in order to guide you and your business in the right direction. Some business owners feel that their accountant is not on their team and when that happens it's time to find someone else. You should be able to call or contact your accountant at any time without feeling anxiety
Not all CPA's can do the CFO/Controllership role either...keep that in mind
The question is not that he is a friend of a friend, it is whether he is competent to do the job and the issues relating to it. Do not be too specific since you find yourself losing out on someone who has "hiddent talents". This is particularly true of computing systems and previously worked sectors; that is not a measure of the person's competence.
It is clearly important that you "get on" with the person which you are engaging since the last thing you want is confrontation once they are engaged, equally they may be useful in "bouncing ideas off" since their experience of the issues raised may different to yours, and realise that actually they have a valid point.
This business of "net-working" is not as sound as people would have you beleive and meeting the person face-to-face and assessing what they are able to do and how that will benefit your business is clearly more important. Something you have clearly done. However do not be put off by the fact that he did not seem enthused about your business; it might be that he just does not understand it. That in part is his fault for not researching your business and its aims etc before attending the interview.
If you explained the business to him, and he still seems apathetic, clearly you may be wasting eachother's time, if three months down the line he decides that it is not the job for him, or vice-versa. Further, he may be looking at you purely as a "stepping stone" and effectively an interim contract.. The only advantage you have is that should you engage him and he turns out not fit for purpose, you will not have paid an agency what may have been a significant amount as a "finding fee".
I can only provide suggestions, only you can make the decision.
Not all accountants know your business, but there are many that are industry specific. I would definitely go with who you interviewed best with because at that point you should have cost, location and knowledge before you meet them for the most part.
If you are looking for a CPA who is passionate about anything, you may be waiting for a while.
There are really two points that should be addressed here. First, the role of a CPA is pretty simple and honestly does not require a great deal of "care" (for lack of a better word), the CPA should be able to do a good job of preparing and filing your tax returns. In this capacity his passion, or lack thereof, for your business is not really an issue.
Many companies rely to heavily on their CPA to provide business management advice, this is really not the best role for the average CPA. This is a function that should be filled by an in-house accounting/finance person. (this doe not need to be a full time employee, by the way).
The inside accountant should definitely have passion for your business and have a good working relationship with the business owner. Competence is obviously of paramount importance, but nearly as important is how they view the business and how they work with others.
This person will be a key part of your management team, will help you formulate business strategy, and will work closely with other remembers of your staff, they will need to get lots of information from other remembers of your team and will need to be able to constructively give feedback to those people and to the business owner.
There is a great deal of truth in the old adage that you "manage what you measure", and the reality is that it is often times the in house accountant that does the measuring, so it is important that he have passion that the business be successful and be a person that other members of the organization can deal with constructively.
I'm not sure that this is a direct co-relation, but I hope it helps. I work with a lot of software developers and they listen to conversations and tend to translate them into logic and flow. This is natural to most of them, but could be easily be mis-construed as a detachment to the human factor. It may very well be that the accountant is very good at their job but any process outside crunching numbers is outside their comfort zone.
Just because your friend had a good experience doesn't mean you will. Keep them in mind but look around a little more. You want to trust your gut feeling and find someone who will care about your business. That way you get the service you want no matter the cost. You will benefit in the end.
Hope this helps.
If you are looking for an accountant for your business, then it is best to find one that has extensive experience in your buisness in particular. That is the very first and most important criteria.