When running a business, it’s important to surround yourselves with trusted business advisers, having worked with small businesses for over 10 years I have some interesting stories where people have made costly mistakes by not correctly vetting their accountant or by trying to do their own accounts.
Did you know that you do not have to belong to a professional body to call yourself an accountant, literally anyone can set up an accountancy practice?
When selecting a firm ask them what professional qualifications, If they are a firm of Chartered Accountants or Certified Accountants you can rest assured they are insured and are subject to high quality assurance standards laid down by their professional body and if they do not follow professional standards they could be struck off.
Although other firms may be cheaper it gives your business a better chance of obtaining finance or personally if you have a set of accounts prepared by a professional firm.
Traditionally accountancy firms charge by the hour for work they do, this can be difficult for a business owner to budget for, modern firms will give you a fixed fee quote and allow you to pay this monthly to help your cashflow.
Cheap accountants are not always the best, ask the firm what other services and advice they may give for the fee, are they proactive at making you aware of savings within your business commercially or through tax savings.
When meeting your accountant be wary of there age, if they are close to retirement ask them if they have any contingency plans if they were ill die or retirement. It is not good for your business if your accountant is ill or dies, as it is difficult to transfer files when the firm is going through probate and this could cost your firm thousands in fines and penalties if filing deadlines are missed.
Ensure your accountant is able to use technology most bookkeeping packages are now all cloud based as required by making tax digital rules imposed by HMRC.
Its easier than you think to move firms, if you are a start up business or would like a fresh modern approach to your business finances please get in contact with me today.
Phillip Dolman Director