Accountants: Six questions to ask before...

All businesses and companies are  required by law to keep financial books and records . Not doing this can be a costly mistake from a financial and tax perspective.

Hiring an accountant to look after your business finances is a wise move. DIY finances aren’t for everyone, especially when your accounts start looking rather complicated. Whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re up and running but looking to expand, it’s always a good plan to talk to an accountant. It can be daunting dealing with government paperwork when you run your own business.

Whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re up and running but looking to expand, it’s always a good plan to talk to an accountant. It can be daunting dealing with government paperwork when you run your own business.This is why so many small business owners hire an accountant to talk through tax and VAT paperwork to make sure that the required legal and compliance documents are filed at the right time.

So if the time is right for you to hire an accountant to help with your business or personal financial affairs, how do you know the best people to help you?

Before you talk to any prospective accountants, it’s important to spend some time determining exactly what your accounting needs are. Do you, for instance, require an accountant who is a specialist in your area of work. Are you obliged to provide financial statements to a third party? Do you want an accountant simply to produce your annual accounts, or do you want regular management accounts or bookkeeping too? which six questions to ask when choosing an accountant.

How long have you been in business?

You’ll want an accountant that has been around for a while and from experience understands the unique challenges faced by different types of business, whether they are large or small, and can offer the appropriate advice.

Do you have any references?

You need to hear from other companies, particularly those similar to yours to confirm that that the accountants firm you’re considering can deliver what they claim. Most decent firms will be able to provide testimonials and will proudly display them on their company web site.

Who will handle my account?

The relationship between you and your accountants is an important one and you will need to find a firm that you can trust. They should communicate with you in a clear manner, ensuring that you feel comfortable with the way that your account is handled and will not pass you around from person to person.

 

How do you calculate  fees and do you quote before you start acting?

Some accountants charge by the hour. Others operate on a fixed-fee basis or practice a value billing system. You need to be absolutely clear before selecting an accountant for your business on how their fees are calculated.

How do you communicate with your clients?

You need to know how your accountant will contact you. Will everything be handled electronically, including the sending of financial documents or will you meet up on a regular basis?

How will you add value to my business?

This question probes how the accountant perceives their role in your business. What services would they recommend for you? How would they save you money? A proactive accountant will offer  ways to develop and safeguard your business and will have suggestions on how to help you.

How will you add value to my business?

This question probes how the accountant perceives their role in your business. What services would they recommend for you? How would they save you money? A proactive accountant will offer  ways to develop and safeguard your business and will have suggestions on how to help you.

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