How to choose an accountant?
Choosing an accountant can seem a hard task, especially as there are so many to choose from. Typing Milton Keynes Accountants into Yell.com – 152 results appear. So the question is – How do I choose an accountant?
Choosing an accountant is one of the most important decisions you, as a small business owner, can make. A good accountancy firm will save you time and help you grow your business, a bad one will just cost you money for little in return.
When choosing an accountant, one of the main questions to keep in mind is: how will the accountant add financial value to your business? Do you want an accountant that will just keep you compliant? Or do you want an accountant that will act more as a business partner; someone with the skills and knowledge to support and grow your business?
What do you want from an accountant? Do you want one who will just do annual accounts and tax compliance or do you want one who will help raise capital to grow your business? A good accountancy firm will be able to offer help on tax relief schemes, find grants, help sell shares in a business and crowdfund. Some now even have their own wealth management department, looking after pensions, investments and so on. An accountants key objective should be to provide you with knowledge of what you are entitled to that you don’t know about already, providing you with the recipe for success.
Before deciding and signing up to an accountant, check to see if they have credible testimonials and if possible meet with a current client to ask questions and see whether they are happy with their services.
When looking for the right accountant, the cheapest accountant isn’t necessarily going to be the cheapest for you! They might be the lowest priced, but they may not save your business the most money. This is where viewing testimonials, talking to current clients and asking the right questions to the accountant in the initial meeting will be able to provide you with an idea of whether they have the ideas and knowledge to save you time, money and provide opportunity for growth.
Does the accountant have experience in your sector? This is another key question. If they have experience, they will be able to offer more knowledge in line with your business growth strategy.
In a larger accountancy firm, it may be the case that the person you speak to on the phone isn’t the person dealing with your account. It is important that you know who is going to be dealing and overseeing your accounts, so you are happy knowing that your account manager understands your business.
Are your accountant’s right for you? Measuring performance is an ongoing task. A good accountancy firm will keep in touch on a regular basis, checking how your business is doing and asking if there are any problems, questions or queries .
Finally, it is also important to check the accountants qualifications and to see whether the practice is regulated by a professional body. This ensures that the standards and ethics of the accountant are credible. For example, ACCA professional accountants have achieved a qualification which comprises knowledge, work experience and ethics orientation. ACCA members are required to maintain their skills and knowledge annually through continuing professional development.
Written by George Bruce
Ad Valorem Accountancy Services