When searching for an accountant, it is critical to your businesses success that you find a good one! Unfortunately, many business owners believe that all accountants are the same and that there is only one way to file accounts – but this is far from the truth.
You need to make sure your accountant has the correct background for your businesses industry, for example, do they specialise in small business accounting? You also need to make sure that they fit in well with the company. Contrary to popular belief, accountants are not only nuisances that only deal with paying taxes, but a good accountant can also do so much more, including, providing you with business advice to grow your business.
So how do you know if you’ve got a good or bad accountant? Well, if they display any of the following traits, I’d get rid, and quick!
1) Your Accountant lacks experience
A good accountant will make sure you’re not paying any more tax than you need to by making the most of the exemptions and allowances available to small businesses. Ensuring you’re paying the right amount of tax can take time and requires a lot of knowledge, so making sure you’ve got an accountant who is willing to invest their time to calculate these properly could end up saving you money in the long run.
>Another issue many small business owners face is that they don’t understand their own financial statements – and why would you, unless you’ve done a relevant course. Yet many accountants don’t actually want to help their clients understand their statements. This can be due to lack of knowledge, or some misguided way of maintaining job security. If you want to understand your financial statements, ask your accountant and unless they have something to hid, there’s no reason they shouldn’t tell you.
2) Deadlines get missed
Hitting deadlines is crucial as you don’t want to be fined, or have HMRC on your back. Whether it’s an internal deadline between you and your accountant or a tax return deadline, if your accountant doesn’t have time to complete your tax returns, then now is the time to move onto an accountant that puts your business at the top of a priority list. Missed deadlines can have profound consequences, cause disruption and even hinder business.
This also lends itself to your accountant making mistakes, whether this occurs due to rushing to meet deadlines, or simply lacking attention to detail, incorrect accounts are never a good sign of a professional and good accountant.
3) Your Accountant isn’t up to date
Tax laws and legislation is always changing and being updated, so making sure your accountant knows the most up-to-date information is crucial to avoid getting in trouble with HMRC. Not to mention, ensuring your accountant had the most up-to-date information could also save you money by making the most of the relevant exemptions and allowances available to small businesses. Your accountant should be providing you with advice relevant to your business to encourage business growth and success, yet this would be impossible and ineffective with outdated information.
4) Your Accountant charges by the hour
Traditionally accountants charged an hourly rate, rather than agreeing fixed fee terms. However, the problem with this is that it gives an incentive for your accountant to take longer on each job (thus, you end up paying more!). If your accountant is adamant about charging per hour, then make sure you get a predicted timescale for each job as you don’t want to be paying more than you should. Or alternatively look for an accountant with a fixed fee payment structure so you always know where you stand.
Why We’re Different
If you notice your accountant does any of the 4 points above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Not only is our pricing transparent, a fixed monthly fee and agreed prior to any work being carried out. But we also pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and unlimited support, providing you with monthly catch-up meetings, and the option to call us anytime – even out of office hours. We have experience in many varied industries, including Small Businesses, Food and Beverage, Agricultural Services, IT, Construction, Sports and Fitness, Charities, and many more! You can book a free consultation, with no obligation (in fact, as it’s free, why not book in to have a chat with us and get all the information out of us you can!)