Looking for a new accountant can be a minefield so we’ve put together some top tips for helping you when choosing your new accountant.
1) Is location important to you?
Having an accountant that is local to you can have many advantages that go beyond convenience, however with the continued improvements in technology, communication is now a lot easier, meaning you can still get a personalised service no matter where you are in the country.
Find out where the accountancy firm is based, if they have additional offices and think about whether location is important to you?
2) Are they clear & easy to understand?
Make sure that your accountant can communicate your accounts in a way you can understand. It’s crucial that you understand the numbers and the legal responsibilities for your business.
Speak to the accountant in person and make sure you feel confident they can relay important information appropriately for you to fully understand.
3) Are they chartered accountants?
A chartered accountant is a professionally qualified individual who is bound by a code of ethics and professional standards.
When dealing with your personal and business finances you need to have confidence and trust that your accountant is trustworthy and discrete whilst having the correct insurance and procedures in place to support you.
4) Have they got the expertise & experience you need?
Make sure your accountant has experience in dealing with similar sized businesses as yours, particularly other businesses within your industry.
Get a sense of whether they’ll be able to handle the evolving needs of your company and have the team to manage your requirements. The right accountant will save you time and money year after year.
5) What services are offered?
Alongside standard tasks such as setting up a payroll, completing annual accounts, bookkeeping, dealing with HMRC, etc, will your accountants help with tax planning, tax returns, company formation, strategic consultancy and other services that are essential for your business?
Think about the services you need now and potentially in the future and whether your accountant can support your needs.
6) What team will be supporting you?
Many accountancy firms will have a team of people ready to support you and your business, however find out who you will be specifically dealing with as this relationship will be key.
Select an accountancy firm that will consider you as a valuable partner instead of just a client. A partner who understands your business will be able to provide invaluable insights into helping you grow and save money as you go.
7) Is the accountancy firm proactive?
Select an accountancy firm who will be proactive as well as reactive. If you could save money in tax, you would want to know wouldn’t you? An accountancy firm who will contact you and not need chasing will be one that is more likely to want to work with you to achieve your goals.
Crunching the numbers should be a given for an accountant but look for an accountant that will look beyond the numbers and build a relationship to help you grow.
8) Do you understand the fees?
Find out what fees your accountant will charge. Are they annual fees, or monthly? Are there any entry or exit fees? How much will additional work be charged at if it falls outside any agreed tasks?
The last thing you want is to be stung with a huge bill just because you like to ring your accountants for an update or don’t fully understand what you have signed up to. Accountants offer different levels of engagement for different needs, so don’t be afraid to ask about what their fees cover and what you get for your money.
9) Look at client testimonials or references?
Find out what existing clients say about your prospective accountancy firm. Testimonials will give you a good insight into what they think. Ask them to give you some references who you can talk to about their experience.
10) Can you work together?
One of the most crucial areas when choosing an accountancy firm is whether you can trust and get along with them. A good accountant will be one that works closely with you to deliver more than just compliance and keeping your books managed.
Look for an accountancy firm where you feel valued and where they really want to work with you to drive your business forward and see your success.
At Langricks we’re not your typical accountancy firm, you see we build our services around your needs, supporting you in a personal and flexible way that works best for you and your business.
We naturally provide all the usual services you’d expect from a chartered accountancy firm. But what makes us unique is the way we deliver them: supporting your team with the expertise needed; interacting on a frequent basis to highlight issues, risks and opportunities; and always doing what’s in your best interest.