Tips For Selecting An Accountant

Tips For Selecting An Accountant

A majority of small business owners state that their most valuable advisor is their accountant. That is because a good accountant keeps your books in good order, assists with tax planning, and ensures you meet all of your tax deadlines. The following are some tips to help you select the best accountant for your business:

  1. Consider finding an accountant to work with before you even start your business, or at least as soon as possible, since they can advise you on your start-up expenses as well as how to get registered with the tax authorities.
  2. Make sure to only consider fully qualified prospective accountants. A majority of accountants belong to recognized professional associations.
  3. Be sure that the accountant has experience working with small businesses, especially other businesses that are part of the same industry you are in. For example, if you are a freelancer or contractor, usually you will be better with a specialist accountant instead of a general accounting firm.
  4. Find out what the accountant’s fees are. Do they charge by the month or on an annual basis? Do they charge any exit or entry fees? How much is extra work charged at – if it is work that falls outside of the tasks that you have agreed upon for your business?
  5. What kinds of services are provided by your accountant? In addition to standard tasks (such as completing your company’s annual financial statements, setting up payroll, etc..), will they also provide references for leases and mortgages, complete self-assessment returns, provide IFA services, or other specific services that you need?
  6. When looking for an accountant always contact several different firms. It is important to get a good sense of what it will be like being a client of theirs from the initial dealing you have with each of the firms. It is critical that you develop a good relationship, so at this point make sure you pay attention to your intuition. Before signing up, meet with each accountant so you can discuss your needs.
  7. At VatGlobal we frequently find that smaller accounting firms have a tendency to better understand the specific needs that small businesses have, and are more reactive compared to larger firms.
  8. Talk to the prospective accountants and ask if you can speak to some of their existing clients before you sign up.
  9. In our experience, the two major problems seen in the past with accountants involve poor communication with clients and government bodies. Choose an accountant who makes use of modern technology (at a minimum, they should use some aspect of online communications and accounting), since that is frequently a sign that the accounting firm is forward-thinking and efficient.
  10. A good accountant is an invaluable advisor whenever you are thinking about purchasing another business or sell yours.