What makes a good accountant?
If you decide to hire the services of accountant, then your next step is to find a good accountant who will be beneficial to your business. As well as helping you submit tax returns correctly (and on time!), a good accountant will help you reduce costs, claim any tax relief or allowances, and safeguard the future of your company.
If you need a bit more information about what an accountant can (and should) do for your business, check out our guide. ‘Do I Need an Accountant?‘.
Five things you will need from a good cheap accountant
As a business owner you’ll need to work with a financial advisor that you can trust, so it’s an important relationship. To help you get started (or to make the right switch if you’re looking to change your accountant) we’ve put together a list of things to consider.
Do you need to talk to your accountant?
Communication is vital when it comes to building a solid relationship between you and your accountant. Be realistic about how often you think you’ll need help, and in what form.
Traditional high street accountancy practices can give you face-to-face contact if you prefer it, and online accountants will operate a combination of emails, phone calls, live chat, and interactive accounting software to help you collaborate remotely.
Consistency of service
Again, this is down to personal preference, but most people find it easier to deal with the same accountant each time, rather than an account manager who will pass messages on. Dealing with one person helps to build trust, and they can build a comprehensive picture of your business.
Although your accountant is there to advise and guide you, the business and all its financial affairs are ultimately your responsibility. Your accountant will sometimes need to ask questions that are difficult to answer, but don’t take personally (unless they really are just being rude).
They need to know about every aspect of the company to be able to give you the best advice. Don’t suffer poor customer service though – you’re paying the bill, and it’s only fair to expect your accountant to offer advice above and beyond the scope of basic compliance. Rather than waiting for problems to develop so they can solve them, your accountant should be proactive in keeping you operating efficiently.
Find a reliable accountant
If your accountant is always late responding to queries, or they don’t give you enough time to act on the information they provide, you’re well within your rights to consider changing to a more reliable firm.
Work with an accountant who understands you
Find an accountant who has knowledge of your particular business type, or who specialises in the kind of accounting services that you might need. For instance, if you’re a contractor then working with someone with experience of CIS returns is a definite advantage!
A good accountant will offer a package that is tailored to your requirements, keeping costs as low as possible and making it easier to budget. It can make all the difference between success and failure, leaving you free to deal with other aspects of your business.
Need some specific help? Ask a tax question for free! If you want to get started, grab an instant quote for online accounting services.