Everyone knows that running a successful business requires a myriad of skills and expertise, and one crucial aspect is managing your finances effectively. This is where a qualified accountant comes into play. Choosing the right accountant can significantly affect your business’s financial health, whether you’re a small startup or an established company. So, what does it take to find the right accountant? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to help you find the perfect accountant for your business’ needs.
- Assess your requirements
Before you start searching for an accountant, take some time to assess the requirements of your enterprise. Consider factors like the size of the company, the industry you operate in, and how complex your financial transactions are (and this also includes your mortgages, if any!) Are you seeking basic bookkeeping services, tax planning, or more advanced financial analysis? Understanding your needs will guide you in finding an accountant with the appropriate skills.
- Qualifications and credentials
When it comes to handling your business’s financial matters, qualifications matter. That said, look for certified accountants with relevant credentials (such as Certified Public Accountant or Chartered Accountant designations), as evidenced by London-based accountants like GSM & Co. These qualifications ensure that the accountant has undergone rigorous training and adhere to ethical standards.
- Industry experience
Every industry has its unique financial challenges and regulations, so finding an accountant with experience in your specific industry can be incredibly beneficial! They’ll be more familiar with industry-specific deductions, tax regulations, and financial practices, allowing them to provide more tailored and accurate advice.
- Services offered
Accounting is not a one-size-fits-all service. Different accountants offer different services – some might specialise in tax preparation, while others offer comprehensive financial planning. Make sure the accountant you choose offers the services that align with your business needs, and common services include bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, tax filing, and financial analysis.
- Availability and communication
Effective communication is crucial in any professional relationship. You’ll want a responsive accountant who promptly addresses your queries and concerns. Gauge their communication style during your initial interactions. Do they explain complex financial matters in a clear and understandable way? A good accountant should be a partner in your business’s financial journey.
- Cost structure
Accounting services come at a cost, and it’s essential to understand how an accountant charges for their services. Some accountants, for instance, charge by the hour, while others offer package deals. Consider your budget and the value you expect to receive from their services. Remember, a skilled accountant can potentially save you more money than they cost by optimising your financial strategies.
- Trustworthiness and integrity
Your accountant will have access to sensitive financial information, so trustworthiness and integrity are non-negotiable qualities. Conduct a background check if necessary and ensure that your potential accountant operates ethically. A trustworthy accountant will always prioritise your best interests and comply with legal and ethical standards.
- Personal rapport
While technical skills and qualifications are crucial, don’t underestimate the importance of personal rapport! You’ll likely be working closely with your accountant, so having a good working relationship can make the collaboration smoother and more enjoyable. During your initial meetings, pay attention to how comfortable you feel discussing your financial matters with them; this goes a long way to fostering a long-term partnership.