What Makes Accounting Firms In Houston Unique?

Houston, the world’s “space capital” and home of NASA’s space program, is continuously pushing innovation and has become one of the most important tech hubs in the world.

The fourth-largest city in the USA is a diverse center, brimming with a top-tier workforce and various industries, with digital technology leading the way.

The city houses more than 8,200 tech-related companies, including more than 500 venture-backed startups. With such a booming, forward-thinking market, the demand for accounting firms in Houston grows accordingly.

What sets them apart from their peers across the nation isn’t limited only to the adoption of tech-enabled practices. A few other reasons that make Houston accounting firms different are:

1. A Highly-Competitive Workforce

Houston is a welcoming place for globally competitive talent thanks to:

  • Low cost of living: Compared to the US average, the cost of living in Houston is 4.4% lower and a whopping 25.6% below the average of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas.
  • Tax-friendly conditions: Houston’s residents are exempted from paying income tax. Texas, the “Lone Star State”, is the only one that does not collect it. However, this does not mean that accounting firms in Houston are lacking when it comes to tax strategy, quite the opposite.
  • Favorable business environment: Houston is a business-friendly place that houses a great number of globally renowned companies like Sysco, Amazon, Siemens, Accenture and Deloitte. Third-placed in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies in the city, Houston represents a wellspring for high-paying jobs that require highly skilled talent.

According to Houston.org, the city’s population is growing and it was expected to reach 7.1 million by 2020.

2. Cultural Diversity

As the most diverse city in the country, beating out big major metropolitan areas like Jersey, NYC and Los Angeles, it is a genuine melting pot of ethnicities and cultures.

In fact, people in Houston speak more than 145 different languages (of which Spanish is spoken by 38.76% of the city’s population according to the U.S. Census Bureau). This makes Houston one of the liveliest locations in the US to both live and/or employ bilingual talent.

3. Diverse, Growing Industries

Houston is home to a highly skilled and growing workforce that has experience in innovative and traditional industries like:

  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Digital technology
  • Life sciences and biotechnology
  • Energy

What differentiates accounting firms in Houston from their peers across the nation are the unique insights they have gained into:

  • The local intertwined network
  • The local market
  • The industries’ major challenges and opportunities

Businesses operating in the area are likely to outsource their projects to local accounting firms.

Houston accounting firms

The fourth-largest city in the USA is a diverse center, housing more than 8,200 tech-related companies

What Services Do Houston Accounting Firms Offer?

What makes accounting firms in Houston one step ahead of the competition is their tendency to work closely with the locally dominant sectors. While almost all of the accounting firms in Houston offer bookkeeping and payroll services, some of them tend to be more specialized in niche services like audits, business finance consultancy and valuation, tax strategy, or working with the specific industry.

Like any other accounting provider, Houston accountants specialize in services such as:

  • Operational bookkeeping and payroll
  • Business development and valuation
  • Financial advisory and consulting services

They can be divided into:

1. Full-Service Accounting Firms

A full-service accounting firm is large enough and has enough resources to provide every single type of financial service there is.

Typically, providers that distinguish themselves as “full-service” work with international firms and they have hundreds of employees dedicated to specific accounting areas.

2. Tax Planning Firms

Despite the unique Texan tax policy, many accounting firms in Houston specialize in tax accounting work on a corporate and individual level. These are more commonly known firms that specialize in various tax planning tasks including plans for high-income tax preparation, real estate taxing and more.

3. Audit Firms

As their name suggests, these firms perform company-wide audits for organizations, small to midsize businesses, government entities and individuals.

4. Bookkeeping Firms

Small to mid-size businesses often work with bookkeeping firms, especially if they are unable to afford a professional (CPA-enabled) accountant.

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How Much Do Accounting Firms In Houston Charge?

Generally, Houston accounting firms charge their services by the hour, but the cost and the pricing model may vary depending on the type of service they provide.

The average hourly rate of Houston accountants ranges between $100 and $150 - however, as mentioned, this may vary on the type of work, size of the accounting company as well as its experience.

Additionally, each accounting company in Houston may have different pricing structures. Some can be based on the client’s revenue, or they may offer a flat rate followed by variable costs.

Excluding audits, flat fees are fairly uncommon 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 One Of Houston Accounting Firms?

The primary reason why you should partner with accounting firms in Houston is their unique experience and insight into the local ecosystem.

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.
  • Understand technical terms of the locally dominant industries.

As noted, there are some additional factors to consider when partnering with an accounting firm in Houston:

  • Access to top-tier talent: Houston’s living and working conditions attract some of the best experts in the nation, which means you are likely to find leading talent to execute your accounting project. In fact, Houston has been deemed the fifth-best city for accountants in the US.
  • Nationally competitive rates: Considering the city’s affordability, Houston 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 Houston Accountants

The “Bayou City” is home to many competent and skillful accountants that can skyrocket your business’ financial gains. On the other hand, choosing one accounting firm over the other can be overwhelming.

There are a couple of chosen steps you can take when thinking of hiring Houston accountants:

1. Decide On The Type Of Service You Need

First things first. You need to clearly define your business goals and determine the type of accounting service best suited for your business needs.

Accounting firms in Houston specialize in different areas in order to offer the widest scope of services for their clients. Whether it’s tax accounting, auditing or bookkeeping, you should know precisely how an accounting firm can help you achieve your objectives before your search for the right one even commences.

2. Determine Accountant’s Expertise

Depending on your goals, it’s only natural to look for an accounting firm that has already tackled accounting projects similar to your own. Take the time to read through their client reviews and experiences to get a solid understanding of their past work and what results they have delivered.

3. Evaluate Their Approach

Your chosen Houston accounting firm will try to help you save money, not just manage it. For that to happen, accountants require a thorough understanding of your company’s cash flow and a proactive approach to achieving a cash surplus for your business.

4. Learn About The Appointed Team

Partnering with one of the accounting firms in Houston is a safe bet as you’ll be working with a proven team of experts, but nonetheless, learn about said team. Who’s in charge of what, who will manage different accounting tasks? Are they CPA certified?

5. Evaluate Your Budget

As mentioned above, accounting pricing may vary wildly, considering the duration and type of service, specialties, experience and more.

Before partnering with one of Houston accounting firms, you need to check whether their pricing structure fits your budget limits.

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10 Questions To Ask Houston Accountants Before You Hire One

Before hiring Houston accountants, you need to gather as much information as you can about their approach, expertise and the quality of their work.

Ask them these questions:

  1. How long have you been in business and what services do you provide?
  2. Do you have the right qualifications and certificates and is your firm, licensed in Texas to practice public accounting (CPAs)?
  3. What is your pricing structure?
  4. Have you worked with clients in our industry before and what challenges specific to our industry concern you most?
  5. Will my account be handled by a single person or a dedicated team?
  6. How do you communicate with your clients and how often?
  7. Are you a cloud-based firm or a paper firm?
  8. What steps will/can you take to prepare my business for tax season?
  9. What tax software do you use to prepare returns?
  10. Does your fee prepare my tax return include tax advice throughout the year?

Takeaways On Accounting Firms In Houston

Considering the rather unique business climate, accounting firms in Houston are among the most qualified in the USA and the world.

They are able to implement the latest accounting strategies into your business’ finances, managing accounts, tax preparation, bookkeeping and more.

What sets them apart from their peers are the following:

  • Top-rated talent
  • Local market/industry experience
  • Multicultural environment

They tend to be most competent when working for the locally dominant sectors:

  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Digital technology
  • Life sciences and biotechnology
  • Energy

Most accounting firms in Houston have an average hourly rate between $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
  • Your budget

Best of luck!

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