If your business has reached the stage where doing all of your real estate accounting is no longer feasible internally, you may be wondering how to go about the search for the best options for an external accountant. Some accounting services out there would claim to have all of the experience and training necessary to help any kind of client working in any sphere or industry, but this could not possibly be true, as any business owner and manager will tell you that their business or organization is unique and has requirements and features that no other would possess. Managing the day to day accounting and bookkeeping of a complex enterprise is no simple feat in itself, and real estate accounting in particular can get very tricky and potentially risky if it isn’t done right. An accountant working with other industries, no matter how proficient and experienced, may not—and probably does not—have the knowledge and the expertise necessary for success in the real estate accounting world. If that is so, your scope of search needs to first of all delimit the accountants that are familiar with your industry specifically. The important question is, of course, how to do that. |
Do your research
An accounting company that has experience with real estate accounting per se will usually state so directly and be able to tell you how many years its team members have been working with this industry. Importantly, simply putting real estate accounting into the list of provided services does not qualify an accountant to be your service provider. What you are looking for is information on the particular partners and associates that have worked in real estate before and have the intimate understanding of this industry that an accountant that has dealt with retailers or non-profits would not have. A real estate accounting professional would be able to glide seamlessly between accounting and real estate terminology, have specific happy clients in the industry who would serve as references, and understand the full scope of issues and problems of this particular industry when it comes to finances, budgets, taxes, and so on and so forth.
Is it a good fit?
Even within the world of real estate accounting specialists, there may be some differentiation when it comes to the particular clients a company takes on. Do they work with developers or investors, primarily? Have they had any construction companies among the list of clients recently? What about manufacturing companies or those managing private properties? The specific expertise and experience of the accountant will mean saved time and money for you in the long run, thus it is important to ensure that your service provider of choice is the best fit possible out of the options you see. Remember that any time spent on researching the options now is a great investment into a fruitful and positive relationship with your future real estate accounting service provider. Tread carefully and good luck in finding the connection that makes the most sense!
Miller Kaplan is a leading certified public accounting firm in the US and specializes in real estate accounting services along with business management, tax planning, 401k audit, trademark enforcement, licensing and royalty auditing services for high net worth individuals and industries. To know more on why you need real estate accounting, visit Biggerpockets.com.
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