There’s a lot to consider when looking for an accountant and many businesses, therefore, treat it just as seriously as hiring another member of staff.
How do you find a good accountant? And how can you be sure that they’ll do a good job? Here, we have compiled a list of top tips to break down the process of choosing an accountant and make it that little bit less daunting.
Are they qualified?
The qualifications held by your accountant will show not only their level of knowledge but also the extent to which they are regulated by a professional body, in terms of professional indemnity insurance and so on. Are they chartered, for example? An accountant’s qualifications can say a lot about the sort of practice you can expect from them.
What’s their experience?
This doesn’t just refer to how long they’ve been practising accountancy, but also to their level of experience in dealing with firms just like yours. For example, if you are a small business, you will want to be looking to hire an accountant with experience in dealing with small businesses. Other things to consider would include their experience with firms in your sector and firms with a similar life stage. For example, if you are a start-up company in the early stages of maturity, you may want to look for an accountant with prior experience in dealing with start-ups. Little things like this will help you to ascertain whether a certain accountant truly is a good match for you.
Do they provide the services that you require?
Should you require specific services such as audit, investment, insolvency and so on, you will need to check that a potential accountant is qualified and authorised to undertake this work.
Do they have a good reputation?
It’s always helpful to ask for any customer feedback or referrals systems that they may have in place, as it can give you a good insight into how satisfied their existing clients are with the services that this accountant is providing.
Will they add financial value to your business?
Many people believe that an accountant’s only real job is to crunch the numbers and look after annual accounts and tax compliance. A good accountant, however, would be proactive in finding ways to make your money go further. They can help to raise capital by finding grants, funds and tax relief schemes that you may be entitled to. Consider asking a potential accountant, “What could I be entitled to that I don’t know about?” This “above and beyond” attitude from an accountant is what will truly add value to your business.
Once you’ve chosen an accountant, it’s not advised that you just sit back and let them get on with it. It’s important to monitor their performance going forwards to check that you are still satisfied with the services that they are offering. It will be helpful to schedule regular meetings with your accountant, to see what they have achieved and to ask for their professional view on your business and its finances.