Choosing the Right Accountant for your Small Business

Most small businesses will say that their accountant is integral to keep their business success.  They can be responsible for balancing their books, helping with budgeting and making sure those all important tax deadlines are met.  It can be a difficult decision choosing the right accountant for your business, so we have put some tips together to help you on the right path.

  1. Choose your accountant as soon as possible in your business journey.  They can help you with start-up expenditure, how to register with the tax authorities etc
  2. Make sure that they have the relevant qualifications.  There are certain things that you can look out for such as if they are recognised by the ICAS.
  3. Check the level of your experience of your accountant when it comes to small businesses and other clients in your industry. Depending on your area of business you may be better off with a specialist firm as opposed to a freelancer
  4. Find out what the accountancy fees are and the regularity of them (monthly or annually).  Are there any exit fees associated? And will there be extra costs incurred if any work falls out the originally agreed remit?
  5. Confirm what services they are able to provide. As well as standard accountancy tasks such as payroll and dealing with HMRC, do they offer references for mortgages or letting purposes?  What about IFA services?
  6. Don’t be afraid to compare to other accountants.  It’s important that you make the right decision, so feel free to chat with more than one and see who you have the best relationship with
  7. Smaller accountancy firms can often be more responsive and reactive than larger firms. What is the size of the business?
  8. You can also ask your accountant for references.  This gives you the opportunity to speak to previous clients to find out their experience
  9. Have they embraced new technology? It’s a good indication that they are forward thinking and pro-active in terms of taking on and offering new ideas
  10. Find out if they have experience in mergers and acquisitions.  It could be that further down the line you may want to sell your business on, and an accountant can be an invaluable adviser

Choosing an accountant an be a long and arduous process, but with these handy hints – hopefully this will make things a little less daunting.