Choosing an accountant for your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. You will generally have plenty of choice. Simply doing an online search of accountants in your area, finding an online accountant, or waiting for the token “we can offer our services” letter to arrive when you’ve started your business are all options you can explore.
The problem probably won’t be finding an accountant, but finding an accountant and having a strong level of confidence that it’s the right one for what you need. Here are some tips that might help you.
One of the most crucial things for businesses, particularly in the start-up period, is knowing where they stand with finances. Therefore, it is always worth looking for an accountant that charges you a flat rate for the entire year, or for the next three years if they’re happy to look that far ahead.
What you don’t want is to be working with an accountant who adds £30 onto your bill for every phone call you make or for every email you send. While this is a sound pricing structure for accountants and it works for some bigger businesses, spiralling costs anywhere, let alone from an accountant who is supposed to help you save money, can be the death knell for smaller companies.
We’re not just talking about finding the accountant or accountancy firm that has been around the longest, we’re thinking about relevant experience in whatever it is you do.
If you’re starting an independent retail outlet, for example, then you want an accountant with experience in this area. You don’t necessarily need an accountant who specialises in the retail industry, but there should be at least some relevant experience there.
Industry experienced accountants are very much a “marginal gain” for your business, but it means they’ll come in useful if you ever need to discuss things like business expansion or how to improve performance without solely cutting costs.
This is crucial if you choose to work with an accounting firm rather than an individual. Will you have a dedicated contact who always deals with your accounting matters? There is nothing worse than when you speak to someone differently every time who doesn’t know your background or have to wait hours for an email answer to what is a five-minute query. You want to speak with the same person every time so they can be committed to your business and give you loads of rich, business benefitting ideas.
Keep these tips in mind when choosing an accountant for your business, and you’ll ensure you pick a great option suited to your needs.