As a small business grows the need to hire an accountant will become ever more apparent. Calculations that could have previously been made with a couple of spread-sheets and a calculator will become more complex as your business begins to employ staff, increase resource vendors and appeal to a larger customer base. Below are a few things to consider before choosing an accountant.
What Can Your Business Already Do?
Is there already some form of financial expertise at your business? Accountants can perform a number of tasks; book keeping, tax assistance, money management and so on, but if there is someone on your staff that can already perform one or more of these duties then you need only employ an accountant for the jobs you cannot perform. Ask any potential accountant you approach to break down their prices to make sure you are getting the most cost effective and relevant package for your business.
How Experienced Is Your Accountant?
Experience does not necessarily relate to how long a given accountant has been established but rather how experienced they are in your industry. Ask questions of any potential accountant; do they know your market? Will they be able to give you appropriate advice?
Do They Have Testimonials That Can Be verified?
If an accountant has testimonials on their website from other businesses then it may be worthwhile dropping an email, or giving a call, to those businesses and asking some questions about the relationship they have had with the accountant. This will help you get a better understanding of how the accountant works with their clients and if they will be a correct fit for you.
Can My Accountant Save Me money?
When an accountant begins to work for your business they will almost certainly be able to offer advice on the financial decisions you make throughout the business year.Also, hiring an accountant means you do not need to purchase accountancy software, your accountant should already have this, this is another saving.
Does Your Accountant Make you Feel Comfortable?
You are, after all, entering into a serious business relationship with your accountant. Do you feel they are listening to your needs? Are they asking the right questions of you? Do they seem interested in seeing your business succeed? If you are not answering these questions with “yes” then it may be best to look elsewhere.
Having your accounts dealt with externally should provide greater efficiency in-house. Time that would have been spent dealing with accountancy issues can be spent more productively.
About the Author: Kevin Ball is writing on behalf of The Accountancy Partnership, providers of small business accounting and other accountancy services.