Deciding to start a business is a major decision. Likewise, it is an important decision to choose the right accountant that will properly match your business. A good accountant will be able to streamline your accounting process and boost your business growth.
You should hire an accountant who can work with you like a business partner; someone who will add financial value to your company and has the knowledge and skills to sustain a small business.
Choosing the right accountant depends on how a business owner does his homework. Experts suggest interviewing at least the top three candidates in a short list. The owner should know the qualifications of each accountant, if they are regulated by a professional association, and have professional indemnity insurance.
- Know how an accountant can help your business grow. Keep in mind that an accountant not only handles tax compliance and annual accounts. A good accountant can help a business owner increase his capital by finding tax relief plans, government funding and other financial grants. Of course, everything that an accountant does for you has a corresponding charge. Be upfront when you interview an accountant and discuss the rates for providing all the accounting-related services you need.
- Know if you and the accountant fit. The right accountant for you is one who understands the needs and challenges faced by a small business. The accountant must be able to share insight relevant to your business. You have to ascertain that the accountant you are hiring has experience working with small businesses in your industry. It is also a good idea to work with an accounting firm that is similar in size to your own business because they will understand your situation better, and their rates will be lower.
You should also establish the frequency and mode of contact, because accountants’ rates depend on it. It is also important to ensure that your accounts are assigned to one person, and that you will only deal with that person throughout your contract.
- Know their qualifications. The accountant you hire must be a member of any of the core accountancy bodies in the UK such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Aside from their professional qualifications, you will need to determine the accounting services that you actually need. Accounting firms can handle tax returns, preparation of financial reports, bookkeeping and payroll and budget management. Payroll services include the submission of PAYE details every time an employee is paid.
A business needs bookkeeping services to maintain ledgers for cash flow, budgets, taxes, and purchases and sales. Accounting services from, for example, accountants Central London offers are typically more in-depth, and normally include accounting functions like budget creation, expense planning, financial statement preparation and other services such as VAT registration assistance.