How to find the right accountant & bookkeeper for your contracting company
Only an accountant and a bookkeeper can reassure you that your taxes and other financial responsibilities are taken care of. Many small businesses use independent accountants and freelance bookkeepers to take care of their taxes and manage their financial books.
The Difference between an Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
There are several differences between an accountant and a CPA. A CPA passed your state’s licensing exam as well as completed a certain amount of hours in continuing education. Plus, the accountant needs to work under a CPA for a year. A CPA must hold the highest ethical standards.
Both accountant types know how to complete your taxes, but a CPA will represent you if there is an IRS audit. The CPA is qualified to help you through the audit process as well as write reports that the IRS requires.
CPAs also act as your fiduciary, which means they can work on your behalf. Finally, CPAs consult by giving you essential information regarding your business, taxes, or provide other services, such as changing your business from a sole proprietorship to a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC).
Accountants, on the other hand, haven’t taken their state’s certification test, taken the required courses, or worked under a CPA for a year. Further, they can’t represent you as a fiduciary or defend you in a tax audit.
When you’re interviewing different CPAs for your business, look for these qualities:
- Make sure they have experience in tax law to guide you through the process.
- Ask your candidate how long they’ve been a CPA.
- Does your candidate have experience in tax compliance, tax planning, accounting systems, and financial statement preparation?
- Does your candidate have experience in your industry (landscaping, irrigation, lawn care, and plumbing)?
- Ask the candidate what industry magazines they read or companies they follow on social media. You need a CPA who understands your industry.
Why Your Contracting Business Needs a CPA and a Bookkeeper
Bookkeepers keep your financial books. Many small businesses hire a freelance bookkeeper or hire one part-time.
Bookkeepers stay on top of accounts payable, accounts receivable, pay your vendors as well as make the payroll. Bookkeepers complete the everyday financials and keep records, so your contracting company stays in the black.
Hiring a bookkeeper to manage your books is as important as hiring a CPA to do your taxes. Here are eight ways a bookkeeper keeps your financial house in order:
- Records your business transactions using accounting software or a spreadsheet.
- Keeps your bank accounts updated.
- Manages your bank feeds—you and your bookkeeper see all your bank transactions in real time.
- Handles accounts receivable.
- Handles accounts payable.
- Works with your CPA.
- Prepares financial statements.
- Takes on payroll and some human resources work.
4 Tips for Hiring the Right Bookkeeper and CPA for Your Landscape Contracting Company
When you hire a bookkeeper and a CPA, you should feel confident that they fit into your company’s culture, or at least, approachable with any questions or concerns you may have about your books.
Here are four tips for hiring the best bookkeeper and CPA for your contracting business:
1. Ask your network for referrals. If you belong to any networking groups, such as your local Chamber of Commerce or BNI (Business Networking International), ask your fellow members whom they recommend.
2. Go to accounting and bookkeeping associations’ websites. Most associations have tabs for business owners to find professionals in their local area. For example, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and the American Institute of CPAs have website tabs to find a professional near you.
3. Check your candidates’ referrals. It can be a hassle to call references, especially if you feel confident you found the right CPA and bookkeeper for your company. However, you should hear former employers and other referrals’ opinions before you say, “You’re hired” to a CPA or a bookkeeper.
4. Evaluate your bookkeeper and your CPA periodically. You have meetings with your staff and technicians regarding their job performance, so why should your freelance bookkeeper and CPA be any different?
K-Rain’s Premier Contractor Program Streamlines the Irrigation Side of Your Contracting Business
While we don’t handle bookkeeping or taxes at K-Rain Irrigation Solutions, we do have our Premier Contractor Program where you earn money starting with your first K-Rain purchase at an authorized dealer.
Our rebates come in debit cards or distributor credit for your next K-Rain purchase. You also reap benefits such as homeowner referrals in your area and access to complimentary online marketing tools.
The more you spend on K-Rain products, the higher your rebate rate rises. We have four purchasing tiers:
- Bronze: If you spend between $0 up to $14,999, your rebate rate is 4%.
- Silver: If you spend between $15,000 to $29,999, your rebate rate is 4.5%.
- Gold: If you spend between $30,000 to $74,999, your rebate rate is 5%.
- Diamond: If you spend $75,000 and up, your rebate rate is 5.5%.
You can join our rebate program today by visiting our website. If you have any questions about our Premier Contractors Program, you can call our customer service at 800-735-7246 or by opening a ticket.
AICPA.org, “Working in the Public Interest.”
Edmonds, Ron, “Choose a Good Accountant.”
Soyturk, Nick, “5 Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Hiring a CPA.”