Ten things to look for in an Accountant
What matters most when you need to find professional Accountants to support your business? Doubtless every accountancy practice will have its own merits. To make an informed decision, here are 10 key factors which the team at HB Accountants believe that you should consider.
1. Complete client-focus
Look for an accountancy team that will be as passionate about helping your business to succeed as you are. Find out if they can accommodate your annual deadlines, business strategy and respond to new requirements in a timely manner. Look at the strength and length of their client relationships as an indicator of how well they support their clients.
2. Digital capability
It’s imperative that you select an accountancy firm that has the know-how to help you with the transition to integrated digital tax reporting to HMRC, beginning with the requirements for Making Tax Digital for VAT starting in April 2019. Ask what support they can provide to help you comply with this major new requirement.
3. Professional expertise
Choose an accountancy practice with experience and technical knowledge. They need to give you confidence that they have the know-how to provide precise advice on accounting, tax, audits and payroll that can save you time, poor business decisions and stress.
Make sure that your accountancy firm will get everything done in good time and be ready to chase you for the information needed without you having to chase them. Accountants who are proactive and organised will be able to advise you about the tax that’s about to fall due and do so early enough that both you and your business can set the funds aside, without you getting any surprise tax demands or penalties.
Accountancy has more than its fair share of compliance rules, acronyms and jargon. So, try to find an Accountant who can translate this technical information into sensible advice that relates to your business. Look for a team that’s approachable and ready to speak your language. Avoid those who’d rather blind you with impenetrable jargon.
When you need to speak to your Accountant, they need to be ready to answer your call and be up-to-speed on the status of your financial situation. As well as responding to everyday questions how effective will they be at Year End? Ask for references, in order to find out how their current clients feel about the level of service they can provide.
7. Depth and detail
Being able to ensure that financial details are always accurate is a prerequisite for an Accountant. There is simply no room for assumptions or sloppiness. Look for a team that can understand the context before crunching the numbers. That way you’ll get a problem-solving approach that’s apparent in the fine details.
Whether you need help during the expansion of your operation, to control cashflow through tough times or advice on tax planning, you’ll always need flexibility. Make sure that your chosen team of accountants can align their service to your changing requirements. Do they have the capability to act as your virtual Finance Director and advise on financial performance and plans as you grow if required?
9. Ethical approach
When dealing with company finances, you want to put your trust in an accountancy practice with integrity. The service they provide must give you peace of mind that they have worked within the rules so that your business is fully compliant with the regulations. Look at how well they treat their own people as a barometer of their stance.
10. Local knowledge
Having a local professional accountancy team really makes a difference. They will have local insight and can advise you accordingly. Choosing to ‘buy local’ also helps the local economy. Plus, its reassuring to know that you can meet your accountant face to face at short notice if needed, making proximity a crucial factor when choosing a professional accountancy firm.
Talk to us
We appreciate the challenges that businesses face and we’re ready to support them. Our firm has over 90 years’ experience and a dynamic, professional team. We’re able to help businesses meet the new HMRC reporting requirements of Making Tax Digital for VAT. We even run regular business networking sessions in our home town of Hoddesdon, to enable our clients to make valuable connections.
Speak to our friendly team for an introduction to our service. Just call 01992 444466 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org