By |2021-01-10T13:21:33-05:00January 10th, 2021|


Regardless of whether or not you decide to purchase or start a business, you are going to need to know how to hire an outside accountant. This individual is probably the single most important member of your team, and s/he will play an integral role in the ultimate success of failure of your business.  So what should you look for in your outside accountant.

  1. A C.P.A. stands for Certified Public Accountant; in order to acquire this credential, an individual must have a four year college degree, 30 college credits beyond the degree, one year of experience working for a C.P.A., and must pass a rigorous multi-subject examination. While the credential does not guarantee of competency, it is still a very good indicator when looking to hire an accountant in New Jersey.
  1. Employment experience: The outside C.P.A. that you hire should have three to five years experience working for a quality accounting firm. Professional competency in anything is acquired not so much through schooling, as important as it is, but through high quality professional experience. Having worked for a minimum of three to five years for a quality firm indicates that an individual has probably acquired the requisite professional skills that you need.
  1. Tax background: Your outside accountants role in the tax area is to prepare returns that minimize your tax liability within the parameters of the tax law. It is not to understate income or overstate deductions so that you do not have to pay taxes. If you are deemed to have committed tax fraud by the Internal Revenue Service, you might find yourself getting several years free room and board, courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Unfortunately, there are too many business people today who seem to think that running your own business is a license to defraud the government.   

You should also keep in mind that there is no such thing as accountant/client privilege such as is the case between attorneys and clients. While accountants have a professional responsibility to keep confidential their clients business, there is no legal obligation to do so, and that is what matters. ONLY GIVE YOUR ACCOUNTANT THE INFORMATION THAT S/HE NEEDS TO DO WHAT YOU ARE PAYING HIM OR HER TO DO. Never anything more. The Internal Revenue Service pays rewards to individuals who “snitch” on tax cheats, and there have been instances where accountants have done so. Your accountant can also be forced to testify in Court against you. A word to the wise is sufficient. 

This article is not intended to be a rendering of legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice.  Assistance from a competent professional in these specific fields should be sought. 


By |2020-12-07T12:05:25-05:00December 7th, 2020|


Remember the Waylon Jennings song  where the lyrics are “I was looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in too many faces”?  Besides looking for  love, you can also look for a business in too many places, and in too many faces. 

The typical business buyer takes a scatter shot approach to looking for a business to purchase S/he has an ill defined idea as to the type of business desired, the industry, or the location.  For example, I want to buy a service business within 20 miles of where I live.  This mindset is unlikely to result in a successful search. 

Purchasing a business first takes a considerable amount of self-assessment.  What do I like, what am I good at, what is my educational background, what jobs have I held that I liked and did not like?  For example, you have a degree in human resources and you have worked in human resources for the past 10 years.  You have found this position rewarding, and you are thinking of buying an employment agency or executive search firm  within 20 miles of your residence.  This is what I mean by focus.  You have evaluated your background, and the goal is consistent with your background.  You also need $100,000 per year to live on, so the business is going to have to generate at least that amount in discretionary earnings. 

Now that you have focused on your goal, the next step is to begin your search.  There are a significant number of sources that you can use such as internet data bases such as Bizquest and Bizbuysell, industry publications, word of mouth, mailings, and business brokers.  A business broker is probably your most expeditious source since they have a significant number of businesses for sale and they have done at least a preliminary amount of pre-screening. Remember, however, that brokers usually work for the seller and are paid by the seller.  Thus they do not necessarily have your best interests at heart. 

After business brokers, you may want to try a mailing to owners of businesses the purchase of which is consistent with your goals and objective.  Commercial list companies sell names and addresses of businesses by industry as well as their owners.  

Once you have located an appropriate target candidate and the owner has expressed interest in selling, remember the importance of discretion and how you would want confidentiality if you were selling a business.

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