We always recommend sourcing an accountant at the very beginning allowing you to properly structure your finance from the get go and making sure there are no last minute deadlines or rushes to organise your books. We also suggest you make a list of what you need from your accountants. No two firms are alike so pinpoint your requirements so you can find a firm to match your needs.
We have also created a handy guide to help you create a strategy for choosing the best possible accountant for your business.
Becoming an accountant requires a great deal of exam taking and even more if an accountant wishes to specialise. Having a great degree from an outstanding University is not necessarily an indication of an accountants credentials – ensure they have passed the necessary examinations (as well as any supplementary specialist tests they may have taken.) Not only this, but all accountants should be proficient with software (the main ones being Sage and Xero) so find out what your accountant is using to ensure he is truly equipped to help you empower your business.
This doesn’t necessarily mean years practicing, but rather if they have acted for clients within your sector before. Every client is an individual, but they often share problems or obstacles so if your accountant has acted for a footballer (however famous and appealing) he may not necessarily be the right choice for your Tech Start-up.
You will find yourself with plenty of questions for your accountant during your working day (and even outside of working hours.) Ask around and find out if your accountant is truly happy to help support your business, or if their role is focused only on specific tasks. The easiest way of finding this out is to ask around, and you can certainly ask the accountant to speak to their existing clients. It may also be worthwhile asking friends and families for recommendations and referrals. At Sterling Finance we take great pride in the eagerness of our current client base (all around Greater Manchester) both in recommending us to their friends and families as well as speaking to any potential clients about our company strengths.
What makes a good accountant great is going that extra mile so you can focus your efforts on running your business. Your accountant should have a calendar of your important dates and a system in place to ensure you are notified when these are approaching so there are no last minute dashes.
Many accountants hide their fees in extra costs for meetings and telephone calls. Make sure you ask precisely how much your account will charge. You want to ensure you can feel comfortable calling your accountant with any concerns without worrying about your bottom line.