The formula for success includes solving for many variables. Chicago manufacturers regardless of their particular focus and skill, face many of the same challenges in attaining their strategic business goals. Not only do operational issues such as supply chain issues, vendor management, and production optimization require attention, but other areas such as business development, account management, and human resources are also important. In addition, issues arising from changing tariffs on raw materials and competition from global sources increase complexities. To navigate these challenges requires the direction and guidance of a seasoned certified public accountant (CPA).
When seeking to “move the needle” on growth and profitability, finding a CPA with experience should be a top priority since CPAs can provide important insights into the challenges and opportunities a business may encounter. In other words, the “right” CPA firm is essential to the long-term success of a company. The task of finding the right manufacturing CPA can be difficult because from the outside many accounting firms appear to be offering the same services with the same credentials. So, how does one find the right manufacturing CPA?
To assist in the process, look for a firm with the following:
- Depth of Knowledge and Business Interest – While many CPAs have similar credentials, it’s essential to work with a firm with a broad depth of knowledge and the willingness to get to know and understand your business and your goals. Manufacturing companies face a number of challenges through the business life cycle that require detailed knowledge and experience to navigate. Finding the right manufacturing CPA means finding a provider with a broad depth of knowledge on manufacturing accounting issues and the willingness to understand what makes your business unique.
- Organizational Involvement – With the unique issues faced by manufacturing companies, it’s important for a CPA to be aware of the financial, economic, and other issues relevant to your business. One way to evaluate a CPA is to assess their involvement with state and national manufacturing associations, chambers of commerce, and business associations. When a firm is involved with these groups it not only demonstrates their commitment to serving manufacturing companies, but is a strong indicator, they are familiar with business challenges facing companies in Chicago, the state of Illinois and beyond.
- Global Accounting Association – Another important aspect of manufacturing growth is understanding the tax, accounting, and compliance issues and opportunities involved in international markets. For companies with international interests, the ability to navigate regulations while uncovering opportunity is critical. This knowledge is also essential for those contemplating export opportunities or expansion into international markets. For this reason, it’s important to work with a CPA firm that belongs to a robust international accounting association. A global association offers access to a diverse team of international professionals with the needed knowledge. The right manufacturing CPA will have this access to address existing issues or be ready to tackle the challenge when your company is ready.
- Broad Professional Network – Beyond traditional accounting and compliance matters, manufacturing companies may need assistance in other areas of their business including human resource or legal advice. Firms with manufacturing experience often have excellent networks that clients can access as part of their consulting offerings, or as needed for a specific situation. Often, these professionals work closely to collaborate and address a clients’ need. The right manufacturing CPA will have an extensive professional network able to work through issues as they arise.
When the time comes for your company to re-evaluate its accounting relationship, it’s important to select a manufacturing CPA firm with the knowledge, expertise, and access to resources to support your business. If you have questions or need assistance with a manufacturing, tax, accounting or audit issue, Selden Fox can help! For additional information please call us at 630.954.1400 or contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.