Choosing an accountant can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s important to remember that not every accountant will be right for you. Having the right accountant for your business is essential in helping you increase profits and save money on expenses. Here are some points to consider when choosing the right accountant for your small business.
- Referrals – Ask colleagues, friends, trusted contacts if they know an accountant who they would recommend. But remember that just because an accountant was right for their business doesn’t mean that it will suit yours. So still take the time to contact the accountant and discuss your business’s needs.
- Local directories/Google – Not everyone will know someone who already has an accountant. Look at local guides, like the local Chamber of Commerce or search for local accountants on Google.
- Location – With current technology, being based in the same town is no longer essential, but you can’t beat sitting down for a coffee and a chat with your accountant. If this type of personal service isn’t essential to you, communicating via Zoom, telephone or email is easily achievable.
- Size of practice – As a small business, you are not likely to need the extensive (and expensive) services of one of the larger practices, and a small local practice will often be better suited to your needs.
- Qualified – An accountant doesn’t need to be qualified as an accountant to call themselves an accountant. However, a qualified accountant will have professional indemnity insurance and have proven to their institute that they can practice as an accountant and undergo continuous professional development.
- Relevant experience – Whilst every accountant can complete a set of accounts and tax returns, some industries have quirks and rules that not every accountant is familiar with. In this case, you may want to find an accountant who works in your particular industry.
- Cost – The cheapest isn’t necessarily going to be the best option. Unfortunately, it is particularly true in services that you get what you pay for.
- Trust – The right accountant for your small business will become your trusted adviser, so it is essential that you feel your accountant has integrity and you like and trust them.
- Fees –Many accountants now charge a fixed fee which allows you to budget for the fee with confidence. Check that you know what is included when comparing quotes.
- Speak your language – Make sure your accountant speaks in a way that you understand. Many accountants can talk in a technical language but struggle to present financial information in a way that business owners comprehend.
And if you make a mistake and find that the accountant you choose isn’t right for you, start the process again. Don’t be afraid to move on.