Even if you’re fastidiously keeping good finance records and getting paid on time, an accountant is still essential and something you shouldn’t skimp on. Accountants know tax inside out and they’ll help you save money, time and stress.
How do you find an accountant that’s right for you? Here are some ideas.
Do they have relevant experience?
While all accountants can be relied upon to understand the figures, every business is different. Therefore it’s worth keeping an eye out for someone who has experience of your particular market.
Someone with experience in your sector will be useful but experience of working with businesses the same size as yours can also be beneficial. Not only will they understand the regulatory restrictions and how your business fits into them, they’ll also be well placed to help you take advantage of any available tax breaks.
Are they recommended?
As with many things, personal recommendations can really help you make choose the right accountant for your business. Ask people with businesses relevant to yours about who they use and whether they’d recommend them and look for online testimonials to help you find the right accountant.
What help do you need?
Accountants aren’t simply bean-counters whose work can be automated and replaced by accounting software. They are often financial advisers that also have knowledge of other areas, such as law, management or marketing. Therefore when you employ an accountant it’s also worth considering, “What else does my business need?”.
If you will only be employing them on a monthly or quarterly basis, think about other areas of your business that could benefit from this sort of regular consultancy. Michael Rubenstein of RWF Rubenstein Chartered Accountants recently blogged for us on the extras that good accountants can offer.
Do you want regular meetings?
It’s worth considering how much you want to interact with your accountant. Some businesses will prefer regular face-to-face meetings so employing a local accountant who you can easily visit or vice versa makes sense.
Alternatively, if you don’t think face-to-face meetings are needed, there are lots of accountants that offer online consultancy too.
With most accountants, you’ll be able to have a preliminary meeting to get an overall feel for the service and to ask questions about how things work in practice – who would you deal with? What are the turnaround times? How much will it cost? Ask lots of questions to make sure you choose the right accountant for you.
Do you have any tips for small businesses on choosing an accountant? You can find an accountant by using our exclusive directory.