A good accountant can make the difference between enjoying being your own boss and wondering why you ever set up a business in the first place. Whether you choose a large accountancy practice or a sole practitioner, take time to consider which accounting services your business requires and do not rush into a decision.
Basic accountancy services should include completing your annual accounts, dealing with HMRC on your behalf and providing advice that enables you to reduce your tax bill. As a trusted business adviser, your accountant should be someone you can turn to for advice on a wide range of topics, from business savings accounts
to finding the best business networking groups.
Because they will know all your financial details, it is very important to choose a qualified, experienced accountant in whom you can place your trust. There are several steps you can take to find the best accountant for your business.
Make a Shortlist
Compile a shortlist of five or six accountants that you feel may be suitable. Ask friends and family for recommendations and search the internet for professionally qualified accountants in your area who are potentially a good fit for your business. Having previous experience with clients in your specific sector would be a huge advantage, as the accountant will already be aware of the problems and issues that you face.
Contact Them by Phone
Before phoning each accountant, draw up a list of questions to ask so that you gather all the facts needed to make an informed decision. Questions to ask might include whether they offer specialist business advice in addition to standard accounting services, their fee structure and their response time if you have an urgent query.
Make an Appointment
There will probably be two or three accountants that you feel are suitable, so arrange to visit each of them to discuss your business needs in more detail. During the meeting, they should show an interest in how your business operates and explain how their services will benefit you. You will get an idea of which accountant is best suited to your business once you meet them in person, are able to view their offices and possibly meet some of their staff.
The main search criteria for a good accountant should be professional accounting qualifications, in addition to professional indemnity insurance. If they have experience in your business sector, this would be a distinct advantage. Choosing an accountant is very subjective, however and feeling able to trust and build a working relationship with them is equally important.