Self-employed individuals should seek an accountant with state certification and with previous experience in assisting small businesses, preferably including businesses in the self-employed person's industry, Inc. advises. If a self-employed person wants other services in addition to tax preparation, such as business planning and network building, it is necessary to inquire about each prospective accountant's capabilities in the areas of service desired.
One suggested method for finding exactly the right accountant is to ask for referrals, notes Inc. In this approach, the self-employed individual talks to colleagues, asking which accountants they are using and whether they would recommend their accountant to others. Another source of referrals is any trade or professional organizations of which the self-employed individual is a member. Such organizations usually have officers who advise members regarding their various business concerns. Finding a good accountant is a common business concern, so it is probable the organization's advisory officers would be able to recommend accountants who have served the organization's members well.
Whether self-employed or a larger business, anyone considering an accountant's services should take the time to interview prospective accountants and check their references, Inc. recommends. An accountant has access to business financial records and other sensitive information, and such information should only be entrusted to an accountant who has already proven her integrity.