What questions should I ask my accountant? (part 2)

Sep 19, 2017

For small businesses finding the right accountant is crucial, but it can also be quite daunting. Here are some questions you can ask to help you find the right accountant for you:

In the second part of our questions feature, finding the right accountant for you and your business is crucial, but it can be a daunting prospect. Most people think all accountants are the same, but this is certainly not the case, and finding the right one can make a huge difference to your business.

To help you, here are some questions you should ask an accountant before appointing them to help you with your business affairs:

Do you have any references?

An accountant should be able to provide references from other clients with businesses similar to yours to help you make your decision. Check out their website for testimonials or ask around. It is often advisable to use an accountant recommended by someone you trust.  They may need to ask their clients first as they may not feel happy passing details of clients over to a third party without their permission.

How will you ensure you meet my deadlines?

You may need an accountant to help you with your quarterly VAT returns and monthly payroll as well as your annual accounts and Tax Return. You need to be confident that they will be able to meet the filing deadlines to avoid you incurring unnecessary late filing penalties and interest charges. This works both ways as you will need to provide your accountant with the relevant information to complete these tasks in good time. Make sure you agree a timetable for when you will provide the information to them and when they will complete the work, so you both know where you stand.  In addition you need to provide them with copies of any paperwork you receive from HMRC or Companies House in a timely manner as you cannot be sure they will receive a copy as well.

How can you help my business?

You will want an accountant who is proactive and not just crunching the numbers at the year end. You will want someone who can identify opportunities within your business sector to help you maximise your profitability. Ask them their opinion on your current accounting system, or if they can recommend a package that is right for you.

It may be that you only want your accountant to speak to you once a year.  This is fine but you need to be aware that you will not get all the advice you need.  Accountancy is definitely an area where you get what you pay for!

In addition to satisfactory answers to the above, make sure you can get on with your accountant.  There is no point working with someone who you really don’t like talking to!

Once you have found the right accountant for you, it could be the start of a long and hopefully happy relationship!

If you would like to see how we could help you with your business, new or old, please feel free to contact us.  All initial meetings are free of charge and of course at no obligation to you.

Please visit our website and like our Facebook page (Croombs Chartered Accountants) to hear about other useful tips for your business. Alternatively you can give us a call on 01264 726681 or visit www.croombsca.com for information on other services we can offer.

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