Organizations need an accounting firm to manage their financial obligations, from tax planning and bookkeeping to business valuation. The right firm can help your business perform these tasks so you can focus on your core business operation. You can choose the right firm to work with if you know them and their services better.

Types of Accounting Firm

Businesses may work with different accounting firms, depending on what they need. The most common types include tax accounting businesses, public accounting firms, bookkeeping firms, and forensic accounting services.

1. Tax accounting businesses

A tax accounting firm specializes in preparing and planning taxes for businesses and individuals. It usually consists of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) who know the latest applicable tax laws, tax planning techniques, and accounting tools through continuing education courses.

Accounting Firm

2. Public accounting firms

Public accounting firms often hire CPAs who focus on tax, audit, and management consulting. They task their accountants to help business clients handle SEC accounting requirements.

If you search for a public accounting firm, some of the usual services you can expect are auditing financial statements for compliance, preparing tax returns, and paying taxes on time. Their services also include assessing existing accounting systems to ensure they are updated and reviewing financial operations to match the industry's best practices. These firms also suggest strategies to multiply profits, improve revenues, and reduce costs.

3. Bookkeeping firms

Bookkeeping firms usually offer the most basic accounting services, such as accounts receivable and payable, preparing financial statements and accounting write-ups, and reconciling credit sales and bank statements. Other offers include preparing loan packages and small business tax and payroll.

4. Forensic accounting services

A forensic accounting firm investigates criminal and fraudulent cases by going through the financial records of both private and public businesses. Firms like these usually collaborate with law enforcement agencies and serve as expert witnesses in court.

Choosing the Right Accounting Firm for a Small Business

Ask these questions after you search for "accounting or audit firms near me" to help you decide what firm to hire:

1. What does your business need?

Determine what accounting tasks you want to outsource. It could be financial statement preparations, payroll, and operational bookkeeping tasks. However, more complex tasks such as tax returns filing, tax planning, and business valuation require CPAs. If it's the latter, look for firms with CPAs on their payroll.

2. Does the accounting firm handle small businesses?

Small business accounting is different from that of large businesses. It would be better to look for firms handling clients in your industry.

3. What accounting software do they use?

Look for firms with the latest online accounting software. Outdated software might damage your business through inaccuracy, inefficiency, disorganization, impeded reporting features, and security risks.

If you look for an "accountant near me with the latest accounting software," they probably enjoy accurate monitoring, lower risk of human error, and automated systems, analytics, and report generation.

4. How much do they charge for your services?

Accounting firms might charge per hour or a fixed rate. Ask them how much your business accounting needs will cost for comparison.

5. What accounting services do they offer?

Accounting firms provide niche services, but some offer a range of services.

Some offer tax planning and preparation services. They can file federal and state tax returns and year-end business documents, represent you in IRS transactions and plan your estate.

Other firms offer a business valuation. They assess revenue history and growth patterns to find your business' value and report it to potential buyers and investors.

Firms that provide bookkeeping services make cash flow records, profit and loss statements, accounts receivable and payable, payroll processing, and other federal paperwork for employees and contractors.

Top Online Accounting Firms to Consider

If you want to work with an online accounting firm, you might want to choose from these top firms:

1. 1-800Accountant

1-800Accountant offers a flat rate per month that remains fixed regardless of how many transactions they handle for you. They also have a mobile app, a local accountant, and reasonably priced tax preparation and filing services. However, you have to pay more for each add-on service you want to use on top of the essential plan services.

The firm provides real-time bookkeeping services. If you have a growing business, you might need bills management, income and expense monitoring, professional consultation, financial reports, priority support, and payroll services and pay additional fees.

2. inDinero

inDinero has financial experts and staff accountants offering an all-in-one accounting service for the small players. Customers can also enjoy its user-friendly dashboard, mobile app, and excellent customer service. Even if their basic plan is a bit costly, it includes balance sheet creation, P&L, invoicing, tracking of accounts receivable and payable, financial reporting, and more.

3. Pilot

If you're a startup, Pilot is an ideal accounting firm founded by startup entrepreneurs who know what startups need. It offers a quick setup, integration with QuickBooks, dedicated bookkeeper, and accrual basis accounting. If you're in search for an "accountant near me" for a startup like yours, Pilot might be the one you're looking for.

As a firm targeting startup businesses, Pilot provides cash forecasting, account reconciliations, and transaction imports for its basic plan. Add-on services include tax preparation and filing, accounts payable and receivable, and inventory tracking.

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