In a nutshell, exceptional business accountant is well trained, experienced accountants who work well with others. For example, an accountant who is not a CPA yet who is willing to call in specialists whenever and wherever needed is more valuable to you and your business than a hot shot expert who suffers from the NIH Syndrome (Not Invented Here) who is unwilling to admit to their limitations and actively seek advice from others on your behalf.
Each an every person involved in the accounting profession has their place. Some got very little tax planning specific education in college, so what they know comes from real world experiences (theirs and their contemporaries) along with their continuing education studies. As a business owner, you know this is a critical value your business accountants bring to the table, especially if you intend to seek outside financing, or you are dealing with an audit.
Some business accountants focused on tax planning courses in college and continue to expand their tax planning education through their continuing education – because planning is what interests them. Tax planning gets them excited, and they devote themselves to continually tweaking their knowledge in this ever changing field. Once these business accountants get into their practice, they can expand the practical applications of these strategies and tactics on the ground – helping real business owners make real planning decisions that result in real profits for their clients.
Should you look for a small business accountant whose strength is compliance? Someone who knows how to get you out of trouble, papers over your mistakes, and can keep you from being the subject of annual IRS audits. Or someone you call before you make major decisions or acquisitions? A small business accountant whose insights will keep you focused down the road, so you’re decisions is leveraged in your favor every time. Simple. The business accountant you should have is someone you like and trust, who recognizes their limitations, understands the value of other perspectives, and who has a network – formal or informal, of business accountant they regularly collaborate with.For example bookkeepers, forensic accountants, fraud accountants and investigators, enrolled (IRS) agents, etc.
Exceptional business accountants with a network of accounting contemporaries, when they see a situation outside their areas of expertise, which needs attention – can pick up the phone and get the right people on the case. Also, their relationships with their peers will often result in free advice for you since their relationships are likely to build on the regular exchange of information at no charge between them and their accounting colleagues. Business accounts, please note. People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and are interested in them!