An accountant should be seen as more than someone who does your finances. While you focus on running your business, you need to trust they ‘have your back’ when it comes to your company.
They need to understand your business and where it is going, be your business advocate, warn you of potential dangers and provide you with advice to make your business better. You need to trust them as if they were part of your company, and know that your success is important to them.
That’s why it is important to choose an accountant that fits with you. That they not only understand your business, but that you trust they are there to help you when you need it.
There is a reason why accountants are amongst the most trusted advisors in the world.
Key things to consider when choosing an accountant
Your business relationship with your accountant will hopefully be long and mutually beneficial – but it is also important not to rush into a decision. Take your time to consider what you require, and investigate your different options. The following pointers should help you weigh up your options.
1) What do you want your accountant to do?
While they can probably help advise what service level is right for you, you should consider whether you want them to do specific tasks or take care of all your finances.
If you do not wish (or are unable) to do the following, then you should investigate an accountant that can fulfill these duties.
•Tax – Are you happy to manage your tax returns? Do you know how to file them accurately and on time, and ensure timely payment is made to the government?
•Accounts – Do you want to create your management and financial accounts? Do you know the legal requirements, and are you able to file them on time?
•Paperwork – Do you like keeping on top of your invoicing, receipts etc.? If you are not a paperwork person, then you should probably pass this over to your accountant.
•Advice – Do you want someone who understands your business and your industry – someone who can advise you when you discuss your business growth ideas?
2) Do you want a local accountant?
Are you happy with email and telephone communications, or are you more a face-to-face person? If face-to-face contact is important, you should choose an accountant that is close to your office.
3) Would you prefer a small or large accountancy firm?
With a smaller accountancy firm you are more likely to get a personal service, and for the staff to know your company better. However, if you are a big company, and feel that your needs won’t be met by a smaller company, a bigger accountancy firm is a viable option.
4) What’s your budget?
Be realistic, and set yourself a budget before meeting the accountants. If you approach an accountancy firm that charges £200 per hour and your budget is £100, then the partnership will never work.
So be clear and up front about what your expectations are – and remember more cost does not necessarily mean better quality!
5) Meeting prospective accountants
Once you have thought about your requirements as much as possible, it’s time to start speaking to potential accountants. Keep the following pointers in mind.
•Meet your accountant – If you plan to go for a local account, this is particularly important. Do you feel comfortable with this accountant as your business partner?
•Test their knowledge – Ask them what they know about your business and its sector. If they have pre-existing knowledge of your sector, it will aid your business relationship.
•What can they offer? – If you’ve established the areas with which you need assistance, run through them with the accountant and see if their experience matches your requirements.
•What are the charges? – Get this information up front so you don’t get any nasty surprises. What do they charge? Is there a retainer? Do they charge you for phone calls?
•Do you like them? – This may be a ‘gut feeling’, were they on time for your meeting? Were they friendly? Were they interested or clock watching? Be sure to choose an accountant that feels right, and which you will be happy to work with for a long time.
Why not speak to Carrington Blake Accountancy?
We would be delighted, if, when you are searching for an accountant, you speak to us.
We pride ourselves on getting to know our customers, and helping them do business better. We understand your needs, offer flat fee accountancy and don’t charge for phone calls.
After all, your success is our success.
Get a Free Quote Now or call us on now on 020 7537 6628 for a no-obligation chat and free consultation.