Businesses of all sizes eventually need the deft and expert hand of a chartered accountant.

The accounting firm you consider should provide more than tax preparation and basic financial statements. A strong certified public accounting firm will have the experience and skills to offer transformative business growth, whether you are a tech startup, small business, mid-sized enterprise, or investment fund.

Just like with any vendor, it’s essential to shop around and do your research before you commit yourself to services. Below are some of the factors to keep in mind when you’re conducting your search; you will want to make sure that they have references or case studies that back up the following credentials.

Do Their Accountants Have a CPA Designation?

All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs.

Niche professionals that work at tax preparation firms or bookkeeping firms aren’t the same as fully-fledged certified public accountants. CPAs have gone through several years of education and have taken a CPA exam licensed in the states to claim this highly-sought certification. When you hire a CPA, you can do so with the confidence that they have the skills to provide multi-faceted services and advice.

In short – Make sure that all the professionals that would be working on your account have their CPA license.

What Are Their Specialties & Experience?

While all CPAs do financial accounting and reporting, that doesn’t make them uniquely qualified to drive success for your business. You’ll want to ensure the firm you’re looking to onboard has proven experience working with companies of your size and in your industry.

For example, a software company or tech startup will want to look for CPAs with a background working in similar companies. They’ll be familiar with the competitive landscape you operate in, the types of customers you work with, and other financial challenges unique to your vertical.

Consider also the unique challenges that arise from managing the finances of a private equity firm, such as working valuations and tax structures to reduce the tax burden across a portfolio of investments. That firm will want to ensure that the accountants they hire have cut their teeth working in that challenging environment.

These are some of the many days to day professional services that you can anticipate from a CPA firm:

Transactional Services

  • Monthly and Quarterly Close

  • Customer and Client Invoicing

  • Bill Payments

  • Bank Reconciliations

  • Tax Strategy

  • Technical Accounting

  • Journal Entry Processing

  • GAAP Standard Implementation

  • Accounting Software Implementation

Financial Communications

  • Accounts Receivable

  • Accounts Payable

  • Financial Statements

  • Internal Communication

Corporate Workouts

  • Forensic Accounting

  • Audit Preparation

  • Merger & Acquisition Services

  • Internal Controls

  • Revenue Recognition

Investment Fund Management

  • Accounting and Portfolio Tracking Systems

  • Investment Portfolio Management

  • Micro VC Consulting and Management

  • Compensation Plans

  • Business Analysis

  • Budgeting and Planning

  • Capital Calls and Distributions

  • Financial Modeling and Forecasts

Do They Have a Strong Grasp of Law and Industry Trends Related to Tax?

A strong accountant will do more than file your tax returns – they will be able to position your business to ensure your tax burden is decreased as much as possible. You’ll want to find a firm that has a strong track record with the following:

  • Preparing tax returns and reports

  • Maintaining a company’s tax database

  • Ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local tax regulations

  • Evaluating tax regulations and implementing policies to reduce the tax burden

  • Keeping track of shifting industry trends and changes related to tax laws

  • Preparing quarterly and annual tax reports

Do They Have a Strong Background in International Accounting?

As your business expands into new markets, it’s essential to have the backing of accountants who have experience working with international entities. Some of these considerations include:

  • Preparing and reviewing monthly journal entries, balance sheet reconciliations, and BS/PL flux analyses for international entities

  • Assisting in the monthly, quarterly, and annual close process of foreign subsidiaries

  • Compiling PBC files related to US and international audits

  • Reconciling intercompany balances and ensure intercompany agreement terms are followed

  • Preparing, maintaining, and reconciling monthly foreign exchange transactions and intercompany accounts

  • Supporting the onboarding of accounting providers in foreign jurisdictions

Are They Able to Adapt to Changing Needs on The Fly?

As a rapidly growing business, your needs will change quickly – and it’s possible that your business has financial or process-related hurdles that are yet to be identified.

For example, GCG worked with Gemini Mobile Technologies initially in an interim accounting capacity. They soon quickly realized that what they needed was to update their financial and accounting systems, and GCG was in a position to provide an experienced interim CFO to help guide Gemini through a process that included:

  • Specifying and managing the implementation of a robust ERP system that could accommodate Gemini’s international operations

  • Managing the development of a multi-country internal finance and control staff

  • Installing annual budgeting and periodic forecasting processes

  • Bringing revenue recognition policies and procedures in compliance with GAAP

  • Developing a project cost accounting system

  • Planning and managing its initial and subsequent annual audits

  • Supporting several major financings

  • Assisting management in restructuring operations as business and market conditions required

The firm you hire must have financial consultants at all levels of experience and expertise, so when your need arises, you won’t need to start looking for a new firm.

Add Greenough Group to Your List of Candidates

Any search for a CPA firm should include multiple candidates – and we highly encourage you to consult with Greenough Group as part of that process.

Our accounting team has extensive knowledge of the financial considerations of several industries and has provided value to early-stage startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. Our CPAs and CFO Consultants can implement all the systems and procedures you need for a stable financial future so you can concentrate on growing your business.

We can implement all the systems and procedures you need for a stable financial future and provide a cost-effective way for businesses to grow.

Book your free consultation with our team today.