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Stop Hiring Just Anyone to Help Your Business! Interview Them First!

By: Amanda Mitchell, AFC, EA

You wouldn't hire just any one off the street to hire your most sensitive information would you? So, why do people just hire the first bookkeeper or accountant they come across that has a nice website and they have had a single phone call with? Interviewing your financial professionals, whether they are financial advisors, accountants, or attorneys, is an important step in finding the right professional for your needs. As a business owner, you need to know that this is someone you will be able to form a bond with. Someone who can explain things that might be out of your wheelhouse in a way that makes sense to you. You need someone who's risk tolerance roughly matches your own. You don't want someone who is going to suggest some wild strategies that you aren't comfortable with! Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why you should interview your financial professionals:

  1. To assess their qualifications: An interview can give you an opportunity to assess the qualifications and credentials of your potential financial professional. You can ask about their education, training, and certifications, and evaluate whether they have the necessary skills and expertise to help you with your specific financial needs. Just because they are a bookkeeper or handle taxes does not mean they are well versed in things that pertain to your particular situation.

  2. To understand their approach: Financial professionals can have different approaches to managing finances, and an interview can help you understand their philosophy and strategy. You can ask about their tax strategies, risk management techniques, and other factors that will affect how they handle your finances. You want someone whose philosophy will match closely to your own.

  3. To build a relationship: Building a relationship with your financial professional is important, as it requires trust and open communication. An interview can give you an opportunity to evaluate whether you feel comfortable working with the person, and whether they seem like someone you can trust and communicate with effectively.

  4. To discuss fees and costs: Financial professionals charge for their services, and an interview can give you an opportunity to discuss their fees and costs upfront. You can ask about their fee structure, any additional costs or expenses, and how they bill for their services.

  5. To clarify expectations: An interview can help you clarify your expectations and goals with your financial professional. You can discuss your financial objectives, concerns, and priorities, and ask how the professional can help you achieve your goals.

"Second Rate players = a second rate team."

Overall, interviewing your financial professionals can help you make an informed decision about who to hire, and ensure that you find a professional who meets your needs and is aligned with your financial goals. Remember, this is YOUR business, YOU get to choose who has access to it. Make sure its someone you want to align yourself with because they end up becoming a member of your team. Second rate players = a second rate team. Set yourself up for success by taking the time to ask all the questions you need to ask to make sure they are someone you want to put on your team!


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