The requirements of any business will change over time, especially if your business is growing and expanding. Your needs when it comes to your product or service marketing strategies may change, and so will your requirements in terms of inventory and skills. But one other aspect that will indeed change as well is your financial requirements. You need to be able to deal with your business’ financial affairs, so you know precisely where your business is going. But handling all of the above plus your finances can certainly be daunting – and the handling of your financial transactions and records comes with its own risks if you are not a trained accountant or financial professional. If you have decided that enlisting an accountant is one of your priorities, what are the top aspects you should consider when selecting an accountant? Not all are equal, after all, so here’s your essential guide.
Before engagement: what to look for
Once you have shortlisted a few accountants or accountancy firms, it’s time to meet with them. You can meet them either in an online meeting or face to face, but you also have to bear their location in mind if you would like to meet with them regularly. If you are in the middle of London, for instance, it would make sense to look for accountants central London businesses recommend if you want your accountant to be accessible and perhaps even go with you to meetings and discussions.
But when you already have your shortlist, ask them about their qualifications. Not all accountants will have the legal qualifications you may be looking for, but you should make sure they are qualified enough. If they are a member of a well-recognised organisation or authority in the United Kingdom such as ICAS, ACCA, ICAEW, or CIMA, this is a good sign. It means they will adhere to regulations and standards and are more updated with legislation. Another thing to look for is chartered accountancy expertise – if they are a chartered accountant, they will be recognised internationally in terms of their professional skill and standing.
Decide on an accountant or a firm
You also have to carefully consider whether you want to work with an accountant or an accountancy firm. In general, it’s best to match your choice to the size of your business, although many small businesses also rely on larger accounting firms due to their goal of expansion in the future.
Discuss their fees
One of the most pertinent jobs of an accountant is to help you save money in the short- and long-term – and they are also there to make sure you are protected from various risks. You can ask your prospective accountant about the ways through which they can help you save money and how their service and expertise can provide you with value. You should also discuss their fees, as the amount you pay them will be based on the service they can offer. Payments methods can differ since there are certain services that require a monthly fee (such as bookkeeping), and there are other services that may have an hourly charge (such as taxes and tax planning). Your business’ size may also play a role in how much your fee is, as the larger your enterprise is, the larger your fees may be.
Image attributed to Pixabay.com