How to choose an accountant

Have you started with high expectations only to be disappointed by reality.

The internet’s full of examples we can laugh at but what it if was something important like choosing an accountant?

Everyone has their own personal view on what an accountant does but sometimes there’s a huge variance between the service you think you’re getting and what you actually get.

So here’s 3 top tips to help you choose:

  1. Be crystsal clear on exactly what you’re engaging your accountant to do. 
    Never ASSUME as it makes an Ass out of U and Me.
    We’re often asked ‘why didn’t my accountant tell me this?’ or ‘why didn’t my accountant do this for me?’ and it’s usually because they weren’t asked or were asked for the cheapest available service....which leads nicely to my second tip… 
  2. Price and Perception Do you understand that quality management accounts are an investment in your business that can help it grow? Or, do you view your accounts as a nuisance cost to fulfil your statutory obligations; like file your Tax Return to HMRC or annual accounts to Companies House.

    If you pay minimum costs for statutory compliance then don’t expect anything more. Plenty of accountants will provide the bare minimum for a bargain basement price.

    They’re automated to churn out numbers but won’t analyse them to check its right.

    So remember my warning:

    Garbage In .....  Garbage Out!
    ...and if you’re reviewing prices, make sure you’re comparing like for like.  
  3. Ability
    Look at what you have the ability to do within your business and ensure you engage your Accountant properly to do the rest for you.
    If you have a basic bookkeeping ability in house but nothing more, make sure your Accountant knows you want them to do all the other accounting entries, complete the accounts for you, check the work your bookkeeper has done and then produce the various Annual Accounts and Tax Returns and confirm to you they believe they are OK.

    Also, don’t forget to ensure they update your accounts system to reflect what the Annual Accounts say!

No, that will not come cheap but it will be accurate, meaningful and to an extent help you with the running of your business.

 So unless you can be sure the service you’re buying ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ make sure you follow this guide.