Just how taxation requirements spook many new business owners, accounting or book-keeping necessities of business too can make an entrepreneur want to scream for help. Ledgers, Trial Balance, Bank Reconciliations Statements, Cash Flow Statements, Profit & Loss A/c, Balance Sheet – a number of new entrepreneurs often find themselves groping in the dark trying to follow the accounting principles and standards as per the enforced accounting laws.
Are you one of them? Qualified Accountants are then your saviors. An accountant will relieve you of not only the basic book-keeping but will also draw up the final accounts at the end of a fiscal year, make tax assessments and file returns.
How to Choose your Accountant:
Let us then see what it takes to get an ‘accounting messiah’ onboard your business!!! But first, make sure that your hunt for the ‘right’ accountant is not hurried. Talk to other business owners in your area of operation, look up the internet/yellow-pages, newspapers and business classifieds for a few names. Once you have short-listed a few accounting firms, draw up the following interview pointers in order to zero-in on the ‘right guy’.
Check whether the accountant has his qualifications in place. He/she should be a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of India and has a Certificate of Practice from the Council of ICAI
• Back-Ground Check:
This is of vital importance, as the person you will employ as your accountant, will have access to sensitive business information like your pricing, profitability, taxability, etc. Make sure he is of sound and impeccable character and has not been involved in any instance of cheating/mal-practice in the past. Getting a reference check done is a very good way of assessing his credentials.
• Experience: Once you have checked and verified his qualifications, you need to assess his experience in accounting and finalization of books. For example, a relative new-comer may not be able to give you deeper insights into your business’s dynamics.
But at the same time, he may exhibit the right passion and zeal, believe in your vision and have the drive to go the extra mile to realize the dream.
• Understanding of your Business Line:
Make sure that the accountant has adequate exposure to the industry/line of business to which you belong. Without this, he may not grasp the nuances of your business’s operations. For example, if your business is on the e-commerce model, make sure he understands everything associated with online businesses, like payment gateways, payment options etc
• Additional Services:
Check if he can bring to your business specialist business advice which is over and above the basic accountancy services and tax duties. For example, check if he can offer you financial planning, refer to any connections, know the local banks and have contact with venture capitalist/ legal advisors that may be useful for your business.
• Cost (Fees/ Salary):
Finally, get a quote on his services as an accountant for a calendar year, and see if he will charge extra for doing up your statutory books/returns at the end of a fiscal. Negotiate for a fixed fee that will include the maximum number of services in the deal.