Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Why you need an accountant ?
If you are self employed or run a small business then you going to need an accountant.
Having a good accountant on your side can free up time by taking over all your accounting tasks. You will not have to worry about doing the VAT return, filling company accounts, completing annual return and doing day to day bookkeeping.
Good accountant provides you reliable financial information and provide you timely information which can help you to plan cash flow and concentrate on business growth.
What is the best way to chose an accountant ?
I wish if there was a one best way to chose an accountant. You can chose an accountant with many different ways. It depends on your requirement.
It is a digital age, everyone is using phone and internet. Try to search for Accountant online such as 'Accountant near me' or Accountant in ilford or Accountants in London, Local Accountant or Accountant in Barking etc. You will find lot of accountant listed on search engine. Try to read their reviews.
Word of Mouth or Referral
Ask your friend and relatives, they will be able to advise you a good accountant which they have used in past or their friend or family used in past. This will give you assurity you are choosing the right accountant.
What can an accountant do for your business ?
An accountant can help you save time and money. In addition, he/she can provide invaluable general support such as business advise.
Here are some of the services your accountant can offer:
As you can see their are different type of services an accountant can provide you, it is important to find an accountant who is expert in the area you looking for. Not all the accountants provide all the services mentioned above. Now question is
Is this accountant right for you ?
10 year ago if you have asked me the same question I would have advised you to meet an accountant in person before engaging their services but in today digital world, It is not necessary and due to COVID-19 you may not want to meet face to face.
However, I would still recommend to do a video call so you know you are dealing with right person.
It is good to ask about the services they offer and make sure they meet all your needs. It is also a good time to ask about their qualification and experience. Most Accountant have website and about section which can also provide you details about their experience and education.
A qualified accountant should be registered with one of the UK recognized Accounting body such as AAT, ICAEW, ICAS, CIMA or ACCA. You can search their details in recognised accounting directory such as for S K Punia Accountant you can search on here.
Choosing small firm or larger firm ?
If you are small firm or sole trader than a small firm or one person company will suit you best as it will give you better value for money. If you are trading in millions then I would suggest you go for medium size firm.
Reviews, Testimonials and reputation
Sites such as google will let you see rating and reviews for any type of business listed online. look for reviews by businesses or similar size to yours- You should be targeting for 4 to 5 start review. In my opinion if you see a firm having 5 star review from all the clients that would be daunting unless reviews are in less quantity such as less than 50.
Does the location of your accountant matters to you ?
In todays world the location should not matter much as most of the work can be conducted remotely. It is a personal choice. Their are lot of video app available which provide the same level of experience as face to face meeting in person.
Video call can save you travel time which can be used toward your business growth.
What questions should you ask an accountant ?
What do you charge ?
It is good be clear on money so no confusion on later date.
Ask about their fees and is it all included or will their be addition fees such as for advice etc.
Will you assign a dedicated accountant ?
The bigger the firm the more accountant they would have in their firm. It is better to get one point of contact with in the accounting firm even more than one accountant or bookkeeper will be working on your accounts.
Other question to ask:
What issues should we discuss regularly ?
Are there any special considerations for my type of business ?
What additional services do you offer ?
How will you make sure I do not miss deadlines ?
I hope the above blog will help you chose a right accountant for your firm.