Hiring an accountant can be a fantastic move for your lawn care company—if you can find the right one.

Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here to talk about dollars and cents. 

I’m sure we’ve all at least tried to DIY our finances to save a few dollars. But there comes a time when your money gets bigger than you can handle. It’s a great problem to have—but you can’t solve it for free. Eventually, your lawn care company is gonna need an accountant.

Hiring an accountant is different from hiring a crew member. For starters, you want someone who will stay with you for a long time. A seasonal accountant just won’t cut it. 

Plus, this needs to be someone you deeply trust. After all, they’re managing the books! They can mess up your records, your taxes, and your entire business if they do shabby work.

We asked our best and brightest CLIP users—which is all of them—for their tips on hiring a great accountant.

Think about what you actually need from this person.

Before you start looking for an accountant for your lawn care company, think about why you need one

Do you need help with taxes? 

Are you looking to upgrade your financial systems? 

Or, are you simply overwhelmed managing the books yourself? 

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can look for someone who matches up with your needs.

Ask for recommendations.

The first guy you find on Google may not be your best bet. Ask other contractors in the neighborhood who they use. Make sure you get their honest opinions: What they like about their person, what they don’t like.

And be sure to ask about responsiveness. Many accountants have a reputation for being slow responders. If you’re in the thick of tax season or dealing with an urgent issue, this can be a big problem. Make sure you hire someone who will get back to you promptly when you need them.

Ask any accountants you’re considering for references. A good accountant will be happy to give them to you. If someone gets defensive and refuses, they’re probably not a very good accountant!

Be the kind of customer you’d love to have.

I know, I know: You’re not supposed to play favorites. But let’s admit it: We all have favorite customers—and least favorite customers. You know the one: They’re disorganized, they don’t bother to do any maintenance, and then they blame you when the lawn looks bad—and for everything else.

Unfortunately, many contractors treat their accountants poorly. Don’t be that guy. 

In the words of one CLIP user, “You can’t bring all your receipts in a grocery bag and wonder why the person doesn’t love to work with you.” Keep your records organized, communicate respectfully and on time, show appreciation for their service, and pay on time. It’ll make both your lives easier.

Hire someone right away.

For goodness sake, don’t wait until tax season to hire an accountant! Everyone will be booked, and you’ll be out of luck. 

Find someone now and start building that relationship. They can get you started on good habits that will set you up for success and smooth sailing. Plus, they can start working with your office manager to pull together any documents or records they’ll need. Trust me, you’ll all be happier when you don’t put off finding an accountant.

Hiring an accountant can be an exciting step for your lawn care business. It’s a sign of moving into the big leagues, and it can take a lot of stress off your plate. With a little research and mutual respect, an accountant can be a game-changer for your lawn care company.