Sure, there's accounting software. But sometimes, you need a human being to help you.
Thanks to the amount of accounting software and resources that are either free or affordable, it’s never been easier for entrepreneurs to handle most of their accounting needs.
However, there are situations when you’re either too busy or too inexperienced to take care all of your startups accounting and you need to find a part-time accountant. For example, can you properly file taxes and include all of the eligible deductions? Can you manage your startup’s cash flow or payroll? Do you have more than one startup going? Do you have the time for bookkeeping?
If you’re a bit iffy on any situation that involves accounting, then you shouldn’t hesitate to hire a professional — even though you have to carefully watch your spending. The thing is, you don’t have to hire a full-time accounting professional. Instead, you can locate a part-time accountant to assist your startup with anything accounting-related. Here are 15 places to find that individual.
One of the first places to begin your search is by browsing through the CPAs and public accountants. Thankfully, you can find a directory of every state society in the link above. If your startup is overseas, the directory has also a list of international tax and accounting associations.
The AICPA can be traced back to 1887 and has become the world’s largest member association consisting of 400,000 members in 145 countries. You don’t have to be a member, though, to find a qualified CPA. The AICPA has put together a referral database of seven websites where you can search to find a certified CPA in your area.
Another way to stay local is by attending an event hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce. Not sure where your local Chamber of Commerce is located? Just use the search directory in the link above by selecting the state you live in. After finding the location closest to you, check out the website to see which networking events are coming up.
According to SBA.gov, “Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories.” You can use your local SBDC to either ask for assistance with your accounting needs by attending training sessions or ask assistance at one of their events.
Due is primarily known for its powerful cloud accounting software, which includes features online invoices, expense tracking, and accounting reports. But did you know that you can also find an accountant through Due? Since the service is available in 120 countries, you can use the map to find a suggested accountant near you.
As you probably are already aware, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site with over 350 million users. Because of the site’s popularity, it’s no surprise that it’s also a powerful recruiting tool to find a part-time accountant. The cost of posting a job on LinkedIn varies from location to location, but according to Glassdoor, you can expect “a 30-day posting for $495.00, a 5-job pack at a 20% discount, and 10-job pack at a 40% savings, but your job location cannot be edited once your job is posted.”
Craigslist is another site to help you find a local accountant. Craigslist, not just for great deals on an apartment or piece of furniture. Besides being able to post the position in essentially any part of the world, most of the time your listing is free. There are some markets, however, that require a $25 to $75 fee for the listing.
If your startup is listed on Angel.co then you can post jobs on the site for free. While there may not be as many accountants on the site when compared to the others on this list, the ones you find have accounting experience or knowledge specifically for startups.
If your startup relies on QuickBooks, then you should definitely use the QuickBooks Find-a-ProAdvisor feature. These are either CPAs, accountants, or bookkeepers who have tested and have certified by Intuit. You can also use this service to find advisors who can train you or a team member on how to properly use QuickBooks.
According to its website, Accountemps “is the world’s first and largest specialized temporary staffing company for accounting, finance, and bookkeeping professionals.” What’s unique about this site, owned by Robert Half, is that the company has specialized areas ranging from Accounting Clerk, to Auditor, to Data Entry Clerk, to Tax Preparer. It’s easy to search for what you need.
Since launching in 2004, Indeed has become the “#1 job site worldwide, with over 180 million unique visitors per month” in more than 50 countries. Indeed’s simplicity — you can post a job in under 5 minutes — and global reach make it an appealing option when searching for an accountant. Just know that a posting can cost you $0.25 – $1.50 per click.
Wave also provides accounting software for small businesses, such as invoice and payroll, but at absolutely no cost. Like Due, Wave also has a feature that allows you to find local accountants through its Pro Network.
Arguably the best question and answer site online, you can ask the Quora community to recommend any accountants who work primarily for startups.
Known as a pioneer in cloud accounting, AccountantsWorld is another site that has a directory of over 35,000 accounting professionals. You can easily search for qualified public accountants, CPAs, or tax professionals who are located close to you — many of whom will offer free consultations and discounts.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s the time tested referral. In fact, there’s probably no better way to find an accountant — either part-time or full-time — for your startup than asking someone that you can trust. A family member, colleague, or attorney can provide a referral on an accountant. There’s a very good probability that they would not vouch for an accountant who can’t handle the gig.
If you’re an entrepreneur, where have you found an accountant?