Accountants are an integral part of a business. They can help you avoid costly mistakes and save you money in the long run. However, when choosing an accountant there are many factors to consider, so here is a quick guide on what to look for:
You wouldn’t trust your health to an unqualified doctor, so don’t trust your business to an unqualified accountant. Make sure to check their qualifications and licensing.
Are they qualified through one of the main accountancy bodies (the ACCA, ICAS or CIMA)? What is their speciality and what industry experience do they have? Whatever your specific requirements are, make sure that they have the experience and the kind of services that you need. (E.g. goal setting, tax planning or cash forecasting as well as compliance services).
b) Fixed Fee Basis
The next factor to consider when choosing an accountant is their billing rate or fee. Fixed fee accountants charge one price for their services no matter how much you communicate with them, whereas other accountants charge by the hour.
c) Accessibility & Proactiveness
A great accountant is your financial advisor all year round. They are there to support you and your business through all the growing pains, not just at tax time.
When choosing an accountant, check their accessibility (referrals and reference checks is a good way to see whether you’re likely to get handed off to a junior accountant). It’s also good practice to see how proactive they are (e.g. coming up with solutions, such as tax savings or business opportunities) all year round.
d) Personal Connection
If you feel confident and comfortable with an accountant, that’s a great sign that a strong relationship can be built. It’s a sign that you will both get along, resulting in a win-win situation.
You will be working closely with your accountant throughout the year, so make sure they understand the specific needs of your business; they know your motivations and aspirations, and they truly love what they do. If they tick all of these boxes, you can be sure that they’ll make it their mission to help you succeed.
An accountant is a great investment
Regardless of whether you’re just entering the business world or you’re a fully-fledged entrepreneur who has been running your business for a while, you can benefit from the expertise and advice that an accountant brings. In fact, the earlier you partner with a great accountant, the better it is for you and your business. Just make sure to choose the right one.
If you don’t feel you are getting what you need from your accountant any more, we would always suggest that you speak to them first. Perhaps what they can provide has moved on or your needs have changed and you just haven’t had the conversation about making it work better going forward. If you are looking to move, then we can help with introductions to accountants that we already work with well with us and their clients and who also offer a free initial session with potential clients so you can what you think without any obligation.