CHOOSING YOUR ACCOUNTANT
Many business owners believe their accountants are their most valuable advisors. A good accountant maintains the business’s books, ensures submissions are made on time and the client knows exactly what tax they have to pay and when. An excellent accountant adds value by looking into the future and focusing on the current weaknesses and potential opportunities of each business it helps.
Is finding the right accountant that important and when should I start looking? Finding the right accountant is so important! Getting the decision right could save you a great deal of time and money. A great accountant should charge you less than they save you. You should research your options early, if you can do this prior to business start up then we strongly advise this as it will allow your accountant to advise you on the most tax efficient structure, help you register with the relevant tax authorities and even incorporate a company for you. What can my accountant help with? Your accountant should be able to help with your bookkeeping, VAT, End of Year Accounts, Personal Tax, Business Tax and much more. A great deal of individuals find these tasks difficult and many more f
eel this time could be better spent growing the business or at home. An accountant should save you money by advising the most tax efficient structures and advising on entitled allowances. They will also do all they can to ensure you do not miss deadlines saving you money on penalties. What qualification should my accountant have? Did you know anybody can call themselves an accountant? It's not like a doctor where you need a MBBS or MD degree. This is quite scary when you think about it. It could mean many business owners find themselves with 'cowboy accountants'. Our advice is to always choose an accountant with the following letters after their name:
At Glass Accountants we guarantee your accountant will be qualified with at least one of the qualifications above. We will ensure this is on all correspondents so you know you are dealing with a qualified advisor. What type of accountant should I NOT choose? And what questions should I ask them in my our meeting?
Some accountants are so busy they cannot give you the level of service you require, so make sure to ask what their average turnaround time is. Some accountants are unfortunately only interested in their fee so make sure you ask how they will add value to your business. Some accountants are scared of embracing new technology and ideas, so ask about cloud accounting and third party apps that could help your business. Some accountants do not keep up to date with their continuing professional development, so ensure you ask what types of training courses they go on to keep up to date on the latest changes. The importance of personality We believe that, when choosing your accountant, factoring in character of the person you will be dealing with is so important. You should choose an accountant you are comfortable to pick up the phone to. They should be professional, but also friendly and approachable. Make sure that your initial meeting includes the accountant(s) that will be looking after you. There is no point being sold into the practice by the partner who you like, only to be passed over to a client manager
you don’t get on with. The importance of communication Communication is the lifeline of any relationship. It is imperative that you choose an accountant who communicates with you and one that you feel comfortable communicating with. If your accountant isn’t communicating well you should seriously consider switching. You could face
significant penalties if deadlines are not met. And waiting days or even weeks for a reply to a tax question could mean many lost opportunities. Should I choose a big accountancy firm? Large accountancy firms are well established accounting agencies. They contain a large number of employees meaning there is a vast wealth of experience. However the downside is your business will likely be just another one of many clients. Large workloads can lead to significant turnaround times and the practice may not be able to adapt to the specific needs of your business. Our opinion is that if you are a medium sized organisation then you should seriously consider a large accounting firm. If you are an individual, partnership or a small entity, it may be more beneficial to use a smaller firm or an individual. How much will an accountant cost? An accountant's f
ees will vary depending on the size and type or services you require. Important questions to ask are. Are the accountants fees annual or monthly? Does the accountant charge an annual fixed fee? Can I pay through a monthly direct debit? Are there any exit fees involved? Will my accountant charge me for extra work? Do not only consider price when deciding on your accountant. Remember, there will always be someone who charges less. You need an accountant who will care for your business and not cut corners to justify their ‘competitive’ fee. Importance of technology The accountant you choose should be comfortable with a variety of accounting softwares, both desktop and
cloud based. The world of accountancy technology is advancing at a rapid pace and your accountant should be keeping up with this. Successful cloud accounting will allow your business to have real time information and allow for incredibly successful tax planning. If your accountant has not yet adopted cloud software we advise that you should consider switching. We hope you have found the above useful. Our last tip is not to rush your decision. At Glass Accountan
ts we offer a fixed fee quote and guarantee this quote for two months. This allows you to shop around and give you the time you need to make an informed decision. Book a consultation today and get your fixed fee quote: Contact us