Q: What should I look for in an accountant?
"In today's fast-paced society, you need a progressive, informative accountant," says Dr. James Guenther, MBA, CVPM, a consultant in Asheville, N.C., with Brakke Consulting Inc. Dr. Guenther says a good accountant should be:
- Accessible—easily reached in a timely manner
- Knowledgeable—he or she should understand your needs and your business and be on the lookout for changes in the tax law to help you
- Friendly—easy to work with and rooting for your team
- Reliable—he or she should provide consistent and thorough work
- Informative—willing to educate you and your practice manager on financial issues while giving you tools to help budget and improve your practice.
While your accountant doesn't need to be an expert in your field, he or she should have a general understanding of veterinary practice. Keep in mind, Dr. Guenther says, there are tax accountants, who do taxes and give limited feedback. "Then there are financial advisors," he says, "who do tax accounting and are also active in advising the owner and helping the practice improve."
Dr. James Guenther