Most business owners would readily say that choosing an accountant has been one of the best decisions they have ever made – after all, your accountant can be your invaluable advisor. They not only make sure that all your books are in proper order – but they can also take care of your tax returns (and help you with your business’ tax planning, besides), make sure that you are fully compliant and adhere to the latest regulations, and more. But not all accountants are created equal, so it would help to choose the right one for precisely what you require. Here, then, is your best guide to selecting the right accountant for your business’ needs.
Do your research early
Ideally, you should think about getting the services of an accountant early on – even before you begin your business or as soon as possible. The reason for this is simple – they can help you with your expenditures once you start, and they can assist you when it comes to registering with the relevant tax bodies and authorities. Your accountant can even form your company with your authorisation and register your company for whatever taxes are relevant.
Check their qualifications
Another important consideration in selecting the right accountant is to check their qualifications. Once you have a list of prospective accountants, check if they are aptly qualified. Good accountancy firms with central London accountants such as those from www.gsmaccountants.co.uk would be members of an accountancy authority or organisation such as the ACCA for certified accountants, the ICAEW for chartered accountants, or the Scottish ICAS.
See if they have experience with similar business or industries
If you have your list of prospective accountants, you should also see if they have experience with similar businesses or industries. It would help greatly if they have already worked or are working for businesses in the same line as yours or the same industry. With this, they will be more familiar with what your business needs, particularly if you are in a specialist sector.
Determine their fees
Another important factor you need to consider is their fees. Accounting firms will vary according to the fees they charge, so ask if the fees will be charged monthly or annually. You should also confirm if they have any entry fees (and exit fees) and if they will charge you for additional work and how much. Some firms may charge catch up fees, especially if you have worked with another firm or accountant prior to your company’s year-end accounts.
Ask about their service inclusions
You should also make it a point to ask about the inclusions of their services because there are some core tasks and duties you can expect accountancy firms or accountants to provide. This often includes setting up your payroll as well as completing your annual accounts (if you have a limited company). It may also include VAT accounting as well as handling HMRC concerns and tasks. You should also ask if they will be completing your self-assessment returns, which is vital for sole traders, but if you are a business director, it would be a personal expense. Other services you should confirm include whether or not they can provide you with references, particularly for lettings or mortgages, and if they can offer IFA services as well.
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