Corralling the little ones every day at your childcare center can be exhausting. At the end of a busy day, are you left with more accounting work than you can handle?
Having an accountant on your side is priceless. Not only do you minimize your taxes and gain financial peace of mind through expert advice, but you also gain more time to enjoy your life outside of work.
If you're thinking about partnering with an accounting service, here are four things to look for if you want a successful relationship.
4 Traits to Look For in an Accountant to Benefit Your Childcare Center
1. Strong Communication Skills
When you work with kids, you know that communicating with them in simple language is key - they're learning, after all. Your accountant should treat you similarly, knowing that accounting is not your area of expertise. Why would you want to work with someone who overcomplicates things when their advice is so important?
If you’re left feeling confused by accounting lingo every time you ask a question, then your accountant isn’t being a good resource for you. You deserve a professional who will truly help you understand your childcare finances in the simplest language possible.
When you interview a potential accountant, pay attention to the language they use and their willingness to leave space open for questions.
2. Excellent Customer Service
Will your accountant prioritize your business? Will you be able to reach them in a timely manner? When you ask for advice, will you get a general answer or a specific response tailored to the needs of your childcare center? These are huge concerns for small businesses that are looking into outsourcing.
An annual accountant lacks year-round communication, and they charge by the minute any time you have a question. Meanwhile, a quality monthly accountant helps with timely decisions, error resolution, and monitoring financial indicators - and they won't charge to answer any one-off questions.
When choosing an accountant, ask about their meeting and response processes to make sure their availability matches your expectations. Go with the one who prioritizes your business, offers tailored advice, and provides reliable service throughout the year.
3. Experience in the Childcare Industry
Each industry has unique accounting needs because each has unique challenges. In childcare, you have to worry enough about legal requirements, licensing, and billing for different areas. An accountant won’t be much help if they don’t know your business inside and out, but it's not your job to educate a professional on the nuances of your industry.
A huge benefit of outsourced accounting services is that they're able to gain experience in your industry from other companies before you work with them. They have real-world knowledge of other businesses to compare yours to, especially if they've been in business for many years.
As you interview potential candidates, be sure to ask about their experience with childcare centers like yours.
4. Positive Reviews
As a small business owner, you understand the importance of word-of-mouth. However, you may not have anyone in your immediate circle to recommend an accountant, especially when monthly accounting is a lesser-known accounting option.
Regardless of the type of accountant you want to work with, a lot of accounting services will have testimonials on their websites, or you can see reviews through a search engine (such as Google reviews) if you want to avoid biases.
Find out what previous customers have to say, and see if you spot any red flags. Don't ignore bad reviews and hope that you won't have that same experience! If you're meeting with a potential accountant, you can also ask for more context for certain reviews.
Work With an Experienced Childcare Center Accountant
These are just a few things to consider while researching an accounting service for your childcare center. Just as parents do their homework while evaluating options for childcare, you should be critical of the person handling your accounting.
Be sure to consider communication skills, customer service, industry experience, and reviews before you make your choice! If monthly accounting sounds like an avenue you'd like to explore, why not consider CSI Accounting & Payroll? We use simple language, offer timely customer service, have over 50 years of industry experience, and have tons of five-star Google reviews.
We want to see if we can be a good match! Click the button below to schedule a free consultation below:
Brian began working at CSI in 1996, and he purchased the business in 2002. As Owner, his primary role is in the management and growth of the firm. Since 2002, the firm has more than quadrupled in size. In 2009, Brian started CSI’s payroll service to complement CSI’s accounting and tax services. Brian received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, with a double major in Accounting and Financial Management. He’s a member of both the National Society for Tax Professionals and the National Society for Accountants, and he serves on the board of directors for the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants, where he was once president. Brian also serves on the business advisory council for Opportunity Partners, an organization that helps people with disabilities find employment. He’s also contributed to several business books, including Six Steps to Small Business Success and The Lean Mean Business Machine. Fun Fact: To help put himself through college, he used student loans, delivered pizzas, and worked summers in a salmon processing plant in Alaska.