Choosing the best accountant for a business, is a key financial decision, which requires fore-thought.
Before making a choice, a business needs to assess what accountancy services are required. Which services can be performed in house, and which tasks require professional help?
In a small business, often the owner performs the book-keeping and accounting tasks, but is that value for money? An accountant should have the knowledge, skills and experience to help a business owner to make the best decisions.
When to choose an accountant?
A lot of start-up owners commence business with a go-it-alone attitude. However, this mind-set, may be an expensive choice. Consulting an accountant, when creating a business, can prove beneficial.
A good accountant, with specialist knowledge, should offer advice before the start-up commences trading. They should help to find suitable funding sources and grants.
Established businesses, will need an accountant’s services as they grow, or if problems occur. As businesses grow, their financial transactions become more complicated, and can become over-whelming.
Where a business, has not been prudent with its financial transactions, it may need help to rectify problems. A professional accountant, with relevant experience of an individual businesses sector and size, can offer independent advice and solutions.
Finding the best accountant for your North-West England business
Like fine wines, all accountants are not the same. Each business, whether large or small, has individual needs. The accountant working with a specific company needs to be familiar with the business sector and size.
When an establishment is based in a regional city, using an accountant from that region, provides them with local knowledge.
An accountants in Manchester will understand what tax incentives are available within the surrounding area. If the business falls within one of the United Kingdom’s 24 enterprise zones, a local accountant will know about the available incentives.
Interviewing prospective accountants
Before deciding on a specific accountancy professional, it is best practice to interview at least three, ideally face to face, and be willing to ask direct and challenging questions.
An accounting professional needs to add financial value. Find out how much they charge, and how they bill? Also ask about their availability, are they willing to meet regularly?
Find a professional who is willing to challenge the business, and bring initiatives to the table. Meet the specialist who will be doing the day to day work on the account. Seek opinions about accountants from other businesses of comparable size, who trade in the same sector.
When you are ready to choose a specific accounting professional, determine their professionalism. Ensure they are a qualified professional, who is accredited with a regulated accounting body.
Do they also possess professional indemnity insurance? Ask for client references from their existing clients.
When looking for an accountant, there must be a synergy between the business and the accountant. It is more than preparing accounts and meeting tax compliance regulations.
The relationship between business and accountant, needs to be a partnership, which will grow in trust and mutual respect.