You may be asking yourself one vital question: do you really need an accountant? But this is what the experts will tell you: it will be in your best interest if you hire an accountant as soon your business is up and running. This way, your accountant can help set up and create your accounting and financial management processes, and they can take care of your payroll requirements as well. If you think you can do it on your own, all well and good – but a lot of businesses, even start-ups, have found that hiring an accountant right away has been able to save them a lot of time as well as money in the end.
This, however, is only the beginning. With the right accountant, you can receive useful advice, keep a close eye on your cash flow (which is vital when you are just starting), keep your financial records in check, and get help with your taxes. So now the question is how you can choose the right one. The following is your step-by-step guide to choosing the right accountant for your requirements.
- Note what you need
You should first define what you need so you can choose according to those needs. What are your criteria for an accountant? Do you need someone to simply work on your books and ensure that you are compliant? Or do you need more? When you write down what you need, it will be easier to make the right decision.
- Set up interviews and ask questions
Once you have a list of prospective accountants, set up interviews and ask questions, as recommended by the respected accountancy firm www.gsmaccountants.co.uk. Compare one accountant with the other in terms of skills, experience, qualifications, background, pricing, and so on. Some important questions to ask include how they expect you to work together, how frequently you will meet or talk, who your main contact will be, what kind of experience they have with your sector or industry, what their fee structure is, and why they think they would be a good fit for your business.
- Check their references and background
An accountant may look good in theory and give you the right answers, but it pays to check their references and background. Review their experience and professional qualifications, and you should also enquire about their charges and fees so you can ensure that they fit your budget. Make it a point to discuss any other services you may need for the future, and ask them for references from both present and past clients.
- Go with someone you like, trust, and respect
While skills and experience are invaluable, you shouldn’t discount how you feel about your accountant, either. Can you imagine yourself working closely with them and trusting them with your most confidential business information? If you are comfortable with them and find them friendly, approachable, and flexible, these are all good signs. It’s about respect as well – not just from your end, but from their end, too.
- Confirm their fees in writing
In the end, you will get what you pay for, so if an accountant’s fees seem too good to be true, then their service may be too good to be true as well. But once you have agreed when it comes to fees, make sure to put everything in writing.