How to Choose Your Accountant
Choosing an accountant is not always a straightforward decision for a business. Choosing the right accountant can bring a lot of benefits and ultimately help your business to grow, but there are many factors to consider.
So if you know you need an accountant but you’re not sure how to make your decision, here are some of the most important factors to take into account when you choose your accountant.
Is Location Important?
One of the first things to consider is the location of the accountant and whether it makes a difference for you. Many accountants now work 100% online, often for clients all over the country, and they rarely meet their clients in person.
But while this might work for some people, we always recommend choosing a local accountant, especially for a business.
At Keith Graham Chartered Accountants, we work with businesses in Surrey and Hampshire, and we regularly meet up with our clients. This is not only important when discussing complex tax issues, but it also helps to build a personal relationship built on trust.
Which Services Will You Need?
You may require a wide range of accountancy services when you choose your accountant, and it’s important to know that they have extensive experience in all of them.
Does your accountant have experience in PAYE and VAT, maintaining records, sorting out your returns, and even preparing for an HMRC investigation? It’s good to have an accountant who knows all about these and can help you prepare properly.
Also ask yourself whether you need bookkeeping services. While you can hire a dedicated bookkeeper, it often makes more sense to get bookkeeping and accounting from the same place.
Does Your Accountant Have a Good Reputation?
You don’t want to trust something so important as your accounts with someone who you don’t trust entirely. That’s where reputation becomes important.
When you choose your accountant, you might find one who charges half the rate, and while this sounds great, have they actually performed well for other clients? Do some digging – you can usually find out quite quickly if there are issues surrounding an accountant by reading some reviews online.
Ask around as well. Talk to colleagues in business and ask for recommendations. You can usually trust a good recommendation over anything else.
Finally, look for your accountant’s qualifications, amount of years they have been working, and membership of any professional bodies (like the ICAEW), as this will show you that they are professionals.
Talk to Them
When you choose your accountant, it’s important to talk to them before you hire them, even if you don’t meet up with them. Use this as an opportunity to ask them lots of questions; you’ll get a much better idea of whether you want to work with an accountant once you have met them.
Think of Your Accountant as a Trusted Business Partner
Overall, you should choose an accountant based on how well you think they would be suited as a trusted business partner, as someone who can help your business to grow, provide you with expert advice and guidance, and to be with you over the years.
This is what you should be looking for when you choose your accountant, so take the necessary amount of time you need to find the right one for your business.