Last Updated Mar 2, 2011 10:19 AM EST
Most business owners wear multiple hats, but "accountant" isn't usually one of them. Indeed, when tax time rolls around (as it's doing right now, with alarming speed), plenty of owners find themselves scrambling to find good tax-prep help.
Teaspiller helps you find accountants. This free matchmaking service pairs you with qualified, rated experts in your area, then gives you the tools to connect with them, check their credentials, monitor your tax-prep progress, and even pay them when the time comes.
The site is admirably easy to use. Just choose what you need help with -- anything from bookkeeping to business taxes to tax planning -- then enter your city or ZIP code. You'll then get a list of pros who fit the bill, each showing number of years licensed, contact info, a Teaspiller rating, and client reviews.
You can select multiple matches to compare their info and/or request a quote.
When I searched for tax-prep help in my area, I got lots of results -- but only a few had a Teaspiller score (the basis of which isn't explained anywhere), and fewer still had any user reviews. Your mileage may vary depending on where you live, but at the very least Teaspiller offers an easy and effective way to locate licensed accountants.
It's also secure and private, with all data protected by 128-bit encryption and stored on Amazon-powered servers.
What other criteria should you consider when choosing an accountant? eHow.com offers these six tips (many of which, interestingly, are covered by Teaspiller):
- Ask other business owners in your area to recommend an accountant.
- Check with a trade association in your industry. The association may be able to recommend an accountant familiar with issues specific to your type of business.
- Call the Better Business Bureau to check possible complaints against accountants that you are considering.
- Ask several accountants to submit proposals so that you can compare rates and services.
- Call your local or state professional licensing board and make sure that the accountants you are considering meet all licensing requirements.
- Conduct a personal interview with each accountant before you make a selection.
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