Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer, have set up your own company or have owned a business for years, choosing the right accountant is extremely important. A good business accountant can make sure your company is set up correctly from day one, that you’re paying the right amount of tax and that you’re saving money wherever possible. So how do you go about choosing a business accountant, and what should you look out for?
It’s very tempting to choose an accountant based on a personal recommendation, perhaps because someone you know already uses them and is pleased with the service. This can be a great way to make an introduction of course, but be wary of going for the first accountant you find. It’s always worth getting a couple of quotes if only to see if your first quote was reasonable.
Speaking of quotes, the cheapest accountant isn’t always the best. A quote may seem high for example but you may get a more comprehensive service, and a good accountant should save you money in the long run. Look through the services on offer and match them to what you need as a business – the quote should balance a good price against a comprehensive service that meets your needs.
Areas of Expertise
One of the most important factors in choosing a business accountant is their area of expertise. Are they a generalist or do they specialize in one particular sector (trading abroad for example). If you have any specific needs as a business it’s important to find an accountant who can meet them, and someone well-versed in your sector is more likely to know the nuances of tax and where you may be able to save the most money.
Do you need someone to fill out your tax return once a year, or do you need someone to handle invoicing and payroll on a regular basis? The level of service your accountant can offer, and how they offer it is very important to ensure you have a good working relationship. For example, if you’d rather handle everything quickly online you’ll need an accountant that offers online upload of documents.
No matter what your expectations from a business accountant, the right one is out there somewhere. Keep your needs in mind when shopping around, and remember that the cheapest quote isn’t always the best – what matters most is the service level and whether they match the needs and expectations of your business.