Choosing a great accountant is one of the best investments you can make for your business. A quality accountant can do much more than save you money on your tax bill – although of course, that’s important too. A professional accountant is a strategic business partner who can provide shrewd insight into your financial situation and offer valuable advice that will guide you towards success. They will serve as an advisor who can help you reduce tax liability, create business strategies, drastically improve your cash flow management and highlight growth opportunities that you may be missing. So how do you go about finding the best accountant possible for your business? We’ve put together a guide to make things easier.
Internal vs External
Many small businesses opt for an external accountant which gives them access to expert support and guidance, without the costs of hiring a full-time employee. Another perk of hiring an external accountant is that you can scale their services as your business needs grow and change. However, it may be worth considering an in-house accountant if your transactions are extremely large and complex as this could prove to be a more cost-effective choice.
Consider Going Virtual
Nowadays, thanks to the popularity of cloud based accounting software it’s no longer necessary to hire an accountant based on their proximity to you. It’s also entirely possible to remotely maintain a personal relationship with your client thanks to video conferencing software. This gives you more freedom to choose your accountant based on quality rather than location.
Consider your prospective accountant’s speciality before hiring them. It’s worth hiring an accountant with relevant industry experience because they will have a detailed knowledge of the market and your specific business needs. They will also be able to use their acumen to avoid common problems and pitfalls within your industry and employ proven systems to do so.
One of the many drawbacks of cheap accountants is that they serve thousands of clients at once, so you don’t receive the benefits of a personalised service. You’ll be lucky if they remember your name, let alone go the extra mile to meet the specific needs of your business!
As a business owner, you have specific concerns, pain points and aspirations. You need an accountant who not only understands these, but works hard to find solutions. Look for an accountant who is keen to have a conversation to learn more about your needs and then tailor their services to suit your requirements. Accounting is not a one-size-fits-all approach and a high quality accountant understands that.
Of course, you’ll want to talk to your future accountant before hiring them. It’s a good idea to make a list of what’s most important to you and prepare questions accordingly. A quality accountant will function as a business partner and mentor, and therefore it’s important that you find the right fit. As well as basic questions like price, certifications, software and services, think about:
- What is their idea of a positive client relationship?
- How can they help you to grow your business?
- How often should you be in touch?
- What are some special considerations for your specific industry or business model?
Overall, a great accountant is someone with whom you can completely trust with your financials. As well as the above considerations, it’s vital that you listen to your gut when seeking a high quality accountant. This is an important investment in the financial health of your business that should not be taken lightly. Many business owners see accountants as number-crunchers, but the truth is that a successful relationship with your accountant will be a personal one, too. Your accountant will be a partner and guide, so you must establish a healthy and trusting relationship. When this is the case, the money you spend will be a drop in the ocean compared to the money you save and generate thanks to their services.
If you would like to explore what Ascentant Accountancy can offer, get in touch with our Derby team on 01332 981920 or Ripley team on 01773 424009.