Choosing an accountant is not a spur of the moment decision. Considering what an important role they will be playing in your finances, it makes sense to do your research and take the time to choose the right one. Sound financial advice can help you grow your business and expand; it is vital you choose somebody that you trust. Companies of all sizes can benefit from having an accountant, whether you need help with tax, payroll, auditing, etc. We’ve compiled a list of things to consider when choosing an accountant.
Check to see that your accountant is a registered/chartered accountant.
There are many people out there offering accountancy services, but you want to make sure you choose someone with relevant experience and the right qualifications. A Chartered Accountant will have the credentials and knowledge to deal with businesses of all sizes. Not only this, but they will typically have a much broader range of skills, capable of dealing with everything from auditing to bookkeeping.
How experienced is your chosen accountant?
Always choose an accountant with relevant experience. Ask yourself what other companies they have worked with in the past. You want somebody who has worked with a similar sized company, in a related industry. This should offer you reassurance that they will be more than capable of dealing with your finances both now and in the future.
Check out your accountant online.
It is now easier than ever for a satisfied (or dissatisfied) customer to leave reviews online. Be sure to check out listings, social media, etc. to get an idea of what your accountant’s previous customers have to say.
What services does your accountant offer?
While there are many accountants out there offering a broad range of services, it is worth noting that some specialise in a particular area, e.g. working with start-ups. Others may deal with payroll. Always ask yourself what you need from your accountant right now, but be mindful of what services you will need should your business grow.
Do you feel comfortable with your accountant?
You will need to trust your accountant 100% and feel comfortable taking financial advice from them. It is important that you feel like you can ask questions when something comes up, regardless of how irrelevant it may seem. Any accountant worth their salt will take their time to explain everything in clear and concise language. Always have that initial meeting and see how you interact with each other.
Consider cost when choosing your accountant.
This generally goes without saying, but it is important to find out what way your accountant charges or bills you. Is it by the hour or a fixed rate? Every accountant is different, so it is well worth finding out what way they operate. Ensure that this is affordable and manageable for your business.
Consider your accountant’s location.
Will you require regular meetings or one on one updates with your accountant? If the answer is yes, then it may be worth choosing one nearby. Many accountants charge for travel expenses if they need to come to you. If you plan on doing most of your dealings via phone, email or CRM system, then you can afford to look further afield.