Selecting an Accountant
There are several factors to consider when selecting an accountant. I have listed below some of the things to consider when looking for an accountant.
Your relationship with your accountant can be very personal, at least from a financial standpoint. In the same way your Doctor knows all of your physical and health related affairs, you must be willing to share with your accountant all of your financial affairs. This can be a very personal matter for most people and as such you must fee comfortable discussing these matters with your accountant. You do not want to feel intimidated or talked down to by this person, but rather feel that the communication process flows freely both ways. Remember that the accountant is not doing you a favor by preparing your work, you are doing him the favor by allowing him to work on your file for a fee.
Qualifications are important as it relates to the type of work you want the accountant to perform. Bookkeeping can be done by a bookkeeper, but complex tax planning and business consulting are better suited to a professional accountant. As a chartered professional accountants, high quality is assured through strict entrance requirements as well as ongoing professional standards to be met and regular reviews by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPAO).
I can never get through to my accountant or he never returns my calls is a common complaint I hear about from new clients regarding their last accountant. If you can not get through to your accountant, he is not much good to you. Accessibility is key to my success and while I may not be available to take all calls immediately, all calls and emails are returned promptly.
Price in and of itself should not be the sole determining factor when choosing an accountant, but is none the less very important. All other things being equal, two accountants with the same qualifications, which you feel are accessible and compatible with you, then price would be the determining factor. In these days of fiscal constraint, price shopping by clients between accountants if very common and most accountants should be more than happy to discuss their fees with you.