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?
First, let me congratulate you on your New Margins start-up venture. The app sounds quite intriguing. I wish you much success.
My practical experience over the past 30+ years has led me to the opinion that a client generally selects a firm based on chemistry between the client and the accountant, location of the firm’s office, cost and perceived value of services, professional expertise, and trust.
In my practice, we strive for long-term relationships in our approach to service which makes us the exception that proves that rule. While the world around us moves at an ever-increasing pace, our one-to-one relationships do not vary. And our values, standards, and the care with which we treat our clients are enduring elements that can be relied upon never to change.
Accordingly, my vote is for chemistry. I must note that, by your stopping to weigh this significant relationship, you have already made another step towards success. Much luck and keep us abreast of your final decision.
Bryan, it very much depends on what you want your accountant to do. If you want an accountant that is going to provide you with all of the compliance aspects of your business, preparation of accounts, tax returns, payroll then I would say it doesn't matter too much about whether they have a passion for your business.
If however you are looking for more of a Business Partner relationship then you may want to look elsewhere.
You might also want to consider how urgently you need the accountant's services, if you have accounts to file or have already missed a deadline I would say go with an accountant now but be on the look out for a replacement. Changing your accountant shouldn't be a difficult process.
Hmmm...interesting question...you know...first off, I am tempted to say, you should obviously hold out for someone you feel a chemistry with, and I guess that's the right answer, but mentally I wouldn't cross him off the list. The truth is we accountants aren't really people persons, and you really aren't hiring us to be a source of inspiration. That being said, we should come off as "caring about you". So, my answer is, keep looking, but don't cross this guy off, he has great reference and frankly charisma ain't our strong suit.
Also, I would be interested in what your friend would respond to your concerns. She might know another side of this guy. Maybe you just caught him on a bad day.