Table of Contents
- What Makes Accounting Firms in Atlanta Unique Compared to US Peers
- What Services Do Atlanta Accountants Provide?
- How Much Do Accounting Services in Atlanta, GA cost?
- Why Should You Hire Atlanta Accounting Firms?
- How to Select Best Atlanta Accountant
- 11 Questions to Ask Atlanta Accounting Firms Before You Hire One
- Takeaways on Accounting Firms in Atlanta
What Makes Accounting Firms in Atlanta Unique Compared to US Peers
Accounting firms in Atlanta provide standard accounting services and financial consulting, however, they differentiate from their competitors in the rest of the country for these reasons:
1. Atlanta Draws Skilled Professionals from Across the Nation
The Gate City of the South is among the best 20 cities for young experts in the United States. This ranking is based on a couple of important factors such as the number of millennial residents, job opportunities, affordable housing and more.
Additionally, Indeed, the popular job search engine, ranks Atlanta among the best cities for jobs, especially for highly educated talent.
Aside from job opportunities, Georgia’s capital enjoys an affordable cost of living (below the national average) which is the primary reason it attracts young talent.
Currently, there are 2,889 accounting job openings in the area from renowned companies like Coca-Cola, Google and more.
These conditions granted Atlanta the 13th spot among Forbes’ best cities for business and careers.
Atlanta is attracting ambitious young professionals from all over the States, including ready-to-work graduates who want to bring their A-game to ever-expanding accounting needs for the locally dominant industries.
2. Atlanta Is Home Of Growing Industries
A significant number of growing industries push Atlanta’s economy forward, including:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Healthcare IT
- Logistics and supply chain
- And more
Not unlike their peers around the world, accounting firms in Atlanta tend to closely work in these predominant sectors.
Serving local clients first and foremost has enabled them to gather insights into:
- The local business environment
- Market/Economy trends
- Industry key players
- Main competitors
- Local challenges and opportunities
- And more
With these unique insights under their belt, Atlanta accountants are better positioned to create effective accounting strategies for brands operating in main industries.
3. Atlanta Has a Vibrant and Diverse Culture Scene
Thanks to its bustling street culture and graffiti, in recent years Atlanta is nicknamed the “City of Murals”.
The city boasts a diverse art scene, from street art and outstanding live performances to first-class museums and theatres.
Atlanta has long been known as a center of African American culture, higher education and political power; it is a cradle of the Civil Rights Movement and the home of Martin Luther King Jr. which is why It has often been called a "black mecca".
Atlanta also has a vibrant music scene and hosts great concerts and festivals.
Operating in such a lively and diverse environment, accounting firms in Atlanta find themselves in a unique position to cater to a multitude of different clients creatively and efficiently.
What Services Do Atlanta Accountants Provide?
Accounting firms in Atlanta provide a variety of bookkeeping and payroll services, however, some of them focus on niche services like accounting audits, finance consultancy and valuation and tax strategy.
Atlanta accountants specialize in services such as:
- Operational bookkeeping and payroll
- Business development and valuation
- Financial advisory and consulting services
Most of these accounting services can be divided between:
- Full-Service Accounting Firms
A typical Atlanta full-service accounting firm is a large company with a vast number of resources to cater to their clients’ every financial need.
Generally, these providers work with large international corporations and have enough employees dedicated to specific accounting areas.
- Tax Planning Firms
Tax accounting firms in Atlanta specialize in tax accounting on both a corporate and individual level. They are focused on every aspect of tax accounting whether it’s tax strategy, tax preparation, or representing clients to IRS inquiries.
- Audit Firms
As the name suggests these firms perform company-wide audits for organizations, small to midsize businesses, government entities and individuals.
- Bookkeeping Firms
Small to midsize businesses often work with bookkeeping firms, especially if they are unable to afford a professional (certified) Atlanta accountant.
How Much Do Accounting Services in Atlanta, GA cost?
Atlanta accounting firms usually charge their services by the hour, but their pricing model and rates may vary depending on the type of accounting service.
The average hourly rate of Atlanta accountants ranges between $50 and $99, or $100 and $150, depending on the type of accounting project, size of the accounting firm as well as its experience.
It’s important to note that each accounting firm in Atlanta may have different pricing structures. Not counting accounting audits, flat fees are a rather uncommon model as they are typical for recurring or predictable projects so the fee itself largely depends on the scope and nature of the project/work.
Why Should You Hire Atlanta Accounting Firms?
As already mentioned, the tipping point of why you should partner with accounting firms in Atlanta is their unique experience and insight into the local market.
Since they tend to work with local businesses and industries, they are better positioned to:
- Spot key challenges and opportunities.
- Stay on top of industry trends/tax laws.
- Understand the technical lingo of the locally dominant industries.
Additionally, there are several factors to consider when partnering with an accounting firm in Atlanta. These are their:
- Access to top-tier talent: Houston’s living conditions, distinctive culture and job opportunities attract some of the best accounting specialists in the nation, which means you are likely to find top-rated talent to execute your accounting. In fact, Atlanta is the sixth-best city for accountants in the United States.
- Nationally competitive rates: Besides the fact that outsourcing can help you get professional-grade accounting without the commitment or additional costs, hiring an in-house accountant can be time-consuming. Considering the city’s relative affordability, Atlanta accountants will offer high-quality services at more nationally competitive rates.
Additional benefits include:
- Saving time on administrative tasks
- Providing transformative business advice
- Implementing new accounting strategies/reporting systems
- Planning financial strategy
- And more
How to Select Best Atlanta Accountant
Atlanta is home to many highly skillful accountants that move the needle for your business. However, one question remains - How to choose the ideal provider?
In a mission to partner with the best one, there are a couple of steps you can take when thinking of hiring one of many accounting firms in Atlanta:
1. Decide on the Type of Service You Need
Once you define your goals and evaluate your budget, your next step is determining the type of service best suited for your business needs
Accounting firms in Atlanta specialize in a couple of different areas and/or work with clients from specific industries.
So, before you make your choice, determine what you need, whether it’s tax accounting, auditing, payroll processing, bookkeeping or something else.
2. Learn About Accounting Provider’s Expertise
Focusing on your business goals, the next logical step is to look for an accounting firm that has already managed accounting projects similar to your own. Take the time to read through providers’ client reviews and experiences to gain insight into their past work (and following results).
3. Learn About Their Approach
Your prospective accounting partner should try to help you save money, and not simply manage its flow. So, whatever service you opt for, your accountants should demonstrate a clear understanding of your company’s financial operations.
4. Learn About The Team
Partnering with one of the accounting firms in Atlanta is almost a guarantee that you’ll be working with a team of experts. However, you should aim to learn who’s in charge of what, who will manage different accounting tasks, or if they are CPA certified?
Non-certified accountants may be exactly what you need to handle your business' financial statements, analysis, payroll processing and/or bookkeeping. On the other hand, if you seek sound tax advice and return preparation, you should look for accountants who are certified and licensed.
A CPA has an undergraduate degree, and has met the exam and experience requirements for specific state certification and must take continuing education courses to remain certified going forward. A Certified Management Accountant (CMA), for example, is trained to meet the demands of today's accounting requirements in addition to participating on the company's management team, etc.
11 Questions to Ask Atlanta Accounting Firms Before You Hire One
Before hiring accounting firms in Atlanta, you need to gather as much information as you can about their expertise, pricing structure, reviews and the quality of their work.
Ask them these questions:
- How long have you been in business and what services do you provide?
- Do you have the right qualifications and certificates and is your firm, licensed in Georgia to practice public accounting (CPAs)?
- What is your pricing structure?
- Have you worked with clients in our industry before?
- What challenges would you help me prepare for?
- Will my account be handled by a single person or a dedicated team?
- How will you communicate with me and how often?
- How can you help me reach my goals?
- What steps will/can you take to prepare my business for tax season?
- Can you represent me in the event of a tax audit?
- Does your fee prepare my tax return include tax advice throughout the year?
Takeaways on Accounting Firms in Atlanta
Atlanta is home to a large pool of skilled accounting specialists and outsourcing these operations to a local firm will give you access to their expertise, resources and high-quality services.
They are best equipped to infuse the latest accounting strategies into managing your business accounts, tax preparation, bookkeeping and more.
What sets Atlanta firms apart from their peers are the following:
- Access to top-rated talent
- Local market/industry experience
- Working in a diverse environment
They tend to be most competent when working for the locally dominant sectors:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Healthcare IT
- Logistics and supply chain
- And more
Top accounting firms in Atlanta have an average hourly rate between $50 and $99 or $100 and $150, depending on the type of service you require.
When selecting your future accounting partner consider these factors:
- Type of service you need
- Accounting firm’s experience
- Accounting firm’s business approach
- Team expertise
Best of luck!