Choosing the right accountant could be one of the most important business decisions you ever make. A good accountant will save you money and help you grow your business, whilst a bad one will cost you much needed money and restrict the growth of your business. You put a lot of faith in your accountant, you have to trust that they’re going to correctly advise the best course of action for your business. With thousands of accountants to choose from in the UK, it can be hard to choose the right one, we’ve put together some advice to help you choose the best accountant.
The term ‘accountant’ is not regulated, meaning anyone can call themselves an accountant regardless of their experience, training or background, so the first thing you need to look for is qualifications. There are formal accounting qualifications and on gaining these, an accountant becomes qualified. Examples of qualified accountants are those that are members of recognised accountancy bodies such as:
• Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ACA or FCA)
• Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (CA)
• Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
• Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA or FCCA)
• Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA or FCMA)
• Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CPFA)
• Association of International Accountants (AIAA or FAIA)
• Association of Accounting Technicians (MAAT or FMAAT)
An accountant that is a member of a recognised accounting body will adhere to the guidelines set by their professional body. Plus, often they need to have gained sufficient experience before they can achieve their qualifications, meaning that these accountants are not ‘fresh out the box’.
Finding A Good Match For Your Business
A good accountant isn’t necessarily the one with the glossiest brochure or the grandest offices, it’s the one which is going to best understand your business needs and give you the best advice and support to grow your business. It’s important to find an accountant that has experience within your sector, or working with similar size businesses as yourself. It’s not necessarily a good idea to be an accountant’s smallest client, because you’re not going to get a lot of their time and attention. Plus, find an accountant that you get on well with personally, you need to have good constant communication with this company to get the most out of them.
Local or Remote Accountants
Traditionally, businesses have only ever used local accountants which are physically located near the business. There is nothing wrong with this, there is a lot to be said for choosing an accountant which you can visit regularly and discuss your accounts over a coffee. However, there is an increasing number of businesses choosing to work with accountants the other side of the country from them. With communication
Here are a few other questions that you might not have thought of, but are worth asking any potential accountant which you’re thinking about working with:
• Seek recommendations from businesses already using the accountant.
• Ask prospective accountants for client testimonials or for the names of reference contacts.
• Find out about their relevant experience.
• Ask how many clients that they have like you.
• Ask for a full break down of their charges – is their fee fixed or will you be expected to pay any ‘extras’?
• How will they ensure your deadlines will be met and that you won’t have to pay any fines?
• Do they have professional indemnity insurance?
• What is their complaints procedure?
Finding a good accountant for your business is critical, it’s important that you find an accountant that will help you grow your business. Choosing the wrong accountant can have a severe negative impact on your business. Also, if you don’t feel like you’re getting what you need from your current accountant then find another one.
If you’re currently in the search for a new accountant, then why not try getting in touch with us to see how we can work together. Call our office on 01954 771 025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.