If you are just starting out in business, choosing the right accountant is essential. They are an important business adviser, who should make you feel at ease and help you understand the financial side of your business so that you can make informed, well-timed decisions.
We look at the key things you should consider before selecting an accountant.
Decide what services you want
To start with have a clear idea of what services you expect them to deliver. You may want them to simply complete and submit your annual accounts or you may want to use their expertise to write a business plan, advise you on how to maximise your profitability or run your payroll.
Find the perfect fit
Once you know what you want from your accountant, try to have conversations and, preferably meetings, with as many as possible. This will help you find an accountant that suits your needs and who you can work well with. Personal recommendations are invaluable, so talk to your friends and acquaintances who have their own businesses to find out how they feel about their own accountants and whether they can recommend anyone.
Sort out billing
Before you start working with an accountant find out how they will be billing you. Will it be a fixed fee each year so that you have access to advice throughout the year? Or will it be an hourly rate?
An hourly rate can result in unexpected bills for telephone conversations or responding to e-mails. If you are being charged on an hourly rate always ask for a breakdown of how the bill has been calculated. This will give you an indication as to how they are charging you and allows you to query charges if necessary.
Change if you aren’t happy
And remember an accountant isn’t for life – you are under no obligation to stay with them if they don’t “fit” with your personality, your business, or simply don’t provide the services that you expected.
We work with clients from all walks of life, so if you are looking for a jargon-free, proactive, approachable accountant, contact us for more information.