Top 10 tips for choosing an accountant for your small company
A skilled accountant will keep your records in order, assist with tax planning, and ensure that you meet all of your tax deadlines, according to the majority of small business owners.
Picking the Right Accountant: Some Pointers
1. Do your homework early on and learn everything you can about your alternatives.
Consider hiring an accountant before or as soon as you start your firm, since they will be able to advise you on start-up costs and how to register with the HMRC. If you choose to go this way, they will be able to incorporate a corporation for you and register you for all applicable taxes.
2. Verify your accountant’s credentials.
Check to see if any potential accountants are completely qualified. The majority of businesses are members of an accounting body such as the IFA (Institute of Financial Accountants), ICAEW (Chartered Accountants), ACCA (Certified Accountants), or ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants) (in Scotland).
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3. Employ the services of a small-business expert.
Check to see if your accountant has worked with other small firms, especially those in your field. If you’re a contractor or freelancer, for example, you’ll want to talk to a specialist accountant rather than a “generic” business because you’ll need to know about specific tax rules like IR35.
4. What is the cost of hiring an accountant?
Determine what your accountant’s fees will be. Is it a one-time or recurring fee? Is there a charge to enter or leave? What will be the cost of extra work if it is not part of the agreed-upon obligations for your company? Will there be any ‘catch-up’ fees if you switch accountants before the end of the fiscal year?
5. What is included in the package?
All accountants should perform a number of essential responsibilities (such as setting up a payroll, completing your company annual accounts if you run a limited company, accounting for VAT, dealing with HMRC, etc.). Will they also prepare your self-assessment returns (necessary for a sole trader, but a personal cost if you’re a director), and offer references for mortgage or rental purposes? Is IFA a service they offer?
6. Speak with a number of different accounting firms.
When looking for an accountant, call multiple firms. From your first interactions with each business, you should get a sense of what it’s like to be a client. It’s critical that you feel confident in your ability to form a positive relationship, so trust your instincts at this point. Before you sign up, see if you can meet with each accountant to discuss your needs.
7. What is the maximum size of business with which you are comfortable?
However, this is a very personal choice, and you’ll probably acquire a “feel” for one of the accountants you contact. Consider hiring a small accounting firm to assist you. Because small businesses are more agile, small accounting firms are often more able to deal with them than bigger accounting firms.
8. Communication is another important factor.
According to our previous experience, communication is one of the most prevalent problems that accountants face. Whether this is due to a breakdown in communication between the accountant and the customer or a breakdown in communication between the accountant and HMRC, the end result is less than ideal.
9. Information and communication technologies
Choosing a company that employs cutting-edge technology can help you avoid communication issues. Companies that operate partially or entirely online are usually technologically savvy enough to keep up with new communication methods. Having experience with Xero online accountancy service as well as other popular online accounting software. It’s better to avoid accountants who haven’t yet implemented cloud software.
10. Recommendations from a reliable source
Ask other small company acquaintances if they have any accountants they recommend. A referral from a friend or family member is unbeatable.
Here are some questions you should ask a potential accountant for your company:
How long have you been a chartered accountant?
This inquiry can aid you in determining a prospective accountant’s skills and work experience. As much as feasible, you want someone who has dealt with businesses in a comparable industry to yours.
What are your areas of expertise in accounting?
You definitely have some challenging accounting responsibilities that you’d like to concentrate on, so you might want to hire an accountant with experience and training in certain accounting problems, such as tax preparation or budget planning and analysis.
Do you have the ability to work full time?
Accountants who operate as freelancers or part-time employees are available. If you wish to recruit a full-time accountant, you should ask this key question and follow up on compensation payment choices that are flexible.
Good Accountant Characteristics
A skilled accountant possesses both technical and soft skills in accounting principles and techniques.
When it comes to selecting an accountant, these are the attributes to look for:
Skilled Communication Skills: A good accountant is able to readily explain his or her thoughts as well as accounting concepts and words in a straightforward and simple manner. For smoother connections, you should feel at ease talking to your accountant.
Ability to Solve Problems: This positive characteristic can no longer be understated. An accountant is expected to have strong problem-solving abilities, such as the ability to plan how to produce tax deductions that are beneficial to your company while avoiding an IRS tax audit.
There are a number of factors to consider when hiring an accountant for your small business, including the accountant’s expertise, training, and reputation. Try speaking with other small business owners you know if you want to find a fantastic accountant. One of the greatest methods to identify a trustworthy accounting firm is to get personal referrals from business owners you trust.
Related Topic: What is an Online Digital Accountancy and How Does It Work?