What Qualities Should You Look For in a Tax Accountant

Michael Pignatelli
Oct 13, 2021

Disclaimer: Please note this article is not financial advice. The purpose of our blog is purely educational, so please consult a professional accountant or financial advisor before making any financial decision.

Can’t catch up with your booming business?

Small business owners can be a victim of their own success. As your business grows, your inventory becomes larger and harder to maintain. Simultaneously, the number of customers you have to serve increases, so you must hire even more employees.

Keeping track of your business becomes a more difficult task. With a rapidly growing business, everything can quickly become a huge mess. When tax season comes around, you’ll be scrambling for your copies of invoice receipts, statements, and other important documents.

Who will save you from the financial mess (and surprise audits)?

A tax accountant, that’s who! Of course, you need a reliable, sharp, and honest tax accountant working closely with you as you grow your business. But which traits should you keep an eye out for when hiring a tax accountant?

In this handy guide, we list down the most important qualities that your tax accountant should have. Read on!

Trustworthy

Inevitably, you have to share all information you have about your business with your tax accountant. Every invoice, transaction, and expense has to be accounted for. With that treasure trove of information about the inner workings of your business, your entrepreneurial instincts are right to tell you that you can’t just trust anyone.

That’s why the first and most important trait that you have to look for in your potential tax accountant is trustworthiness. Could they be trusted not to divulge sensitive information to anyone? Would they tell you if there’s something amiss with your books? These are the questions that you should ask yourself before deciding to hire someone.

Remember, you have to treat your tax accountant as a business partner. There should be mutual trust between the two of you to make a professional relationship work.

Knowledgeable

The best tax accountant not only knows the tax laws in your country but also has a good grasp of the industry your business belongs to. There are tax regulations that are specific to certain sectors that an inexperienced tax accountant might miss. Your tax accountant should have you covered from all sides.

When interviewing potential candidates as your tax accountant, ask them for their work experience. Check their resume if they have any prior experience with a client that belongs to the same field as you do. Let them share their experience working with such clients. Find out what they liked the most about it and the difficulties they faced.

You can test their field knowledge by throwing some scenarios at them. These scenarios could be entirely hypothetical or something you’ve encountered in the day-to-day operations of your business. A quick-witted and experienced tax return accountant would instantly know how to resolve these problems.

Needless to say, the bare minimum standard for your tax accountant is that they have to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Team Player

Business owners usually describe their business as a team. That couldn’t be any closer to the truth. Each member of this team has a specific role to fulfill. If even one of them goes missing, productivity would surely take a hit.

Your tax accountant should be able to work with anyone in your team. Bookkeeping demands coordination from the different members and departments of your business. They would be working not only with numbers but with people as well.

There will surely be times when you will have to ask more from your team members. It could be filling in for someone who took a sick leave or even working for more hours than expected. Your tax accountant should be eager to do more for the sake of your organization’s goal.

Organized

As the day goes by, receipts and statements can easily pile up on your desk. With so many things to do, you might misplace a document or two. When it’s time to write the reports and account for everything, you will probably regret not being organized sooner.

A tax accountant searches high and low for every piece of paper trail that your business has. The sheer amount of documents can easily overwhelm a disorganized tax accountant. However, your tax accountant should be able to systematically organize your business documents, file your tax returns, and do bookkeeping with zero fuss.

If ever an external audit comes to check your books, you can rest easy knowing that everything has been organized and accounted for by your trusty tax accountant. Their accounting method matters more than you think.

Lifelong Learner

Laws and regulations change all the time. They change more often than you can count. That’s why your tax accountant must hold themself responsible for learning about developments in the tax law and new regulations concerning your business. 

They must also keep themself updated with the latest developments and innovations in the field of tax accounting. For example, tax accountants now use more complicated and advanced accounting software that makes their jobs easier and more efficient.

An accountant who is stuck in the past will drag your business down.

Upstanding Character

A business that has a good reputation attracts more customers.

You work hard to keep your business clean and honest. Would you ruin its untarnished reputation by hiring a tax accountant with a dubious background? As the saying goes, a rotten apple can spoil the entire barrel.

When entertaining a candidate, make sure that their integrity is intact. Likewise, when accounting tax and balancing sheets, they should uphold the highest ethical standards. You should feel assured that they will be honest while doing their job even if no one’s looking. 

Final Thoughts

Accounting tax and balancing sheets are difficult without help

Hiring a tax accountant is a serious matter. Depending on the skills, experience, and values that your would-be tax accountant possesses, they can either be an indispensable asset to your business or lead it towards financial ruin.
Does your potential tax accountant have these traits? If they do, you’re halfway towards greater financial success!

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Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting.. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.
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