If you’re a small business owner or an individual looking to hire an accountant, it’s important to choose someone who is reliable, competent, and able to provide the services you need. But with so many accounting firms and individual accountants to choose from, how do you know who to trust with your finances? Here are some tips for selecting a good accountant:
- Determine your accounting needs: Before you start looking for an accountant, take some time to evaluate your accounting needs. Do you need help with bookkeeping, tax preparation, or both? Do you need someone who is familiar with your industry or who can provide specialised services such as financial planning or business consulting? Understanding your specific needs will help you narrow down your search and find an accountant who can best meet your needs.
- Research potential candidates: Once you know what you’re looking for, start researching potential candidates. Look for accountants who have experience working with businesses or individuals like you and who specialise in the services you need. Check out their websites and read online reviews to get a sense of their reputation and the quality of their work. You might also ask for recommendations from other business owners or professionals in your industry.
- Consider the accountant’s credentials: It’s important to choose an accountant who is properly qualified and licensed. In the UK you should look for things like a degree in accounting, The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW / ACA) or other relevant industry qualifications. These qualifications mean that the members are covered by a code of ethics, have to maintain their knowledge each year and will have professional indemnity insurance.
- Look for someone who is a good fit: In addition to their qualifications and experience, you’ll want to choose an accountant who is a good fit for your business or personal needs. Consider the size of the firm or individual practice and whether they have the resources to meet your needs. You’ll also want to consider their communication style and whether they are approachable and responsive to your questions and concerns.
- Understand their fees: Before hiring an accountant, be sure to discuss their fees and billing practices. Some accountants charge by the hour, while others may have fixed fees for specific services, or offer a subscription service as Mazuma does. Understand what you’re paying for, and be sure to get a clear breakdown of their fees before agreeing to work with them. It’s also a good idea to get a written agreement outlining the scope of their services and any additional fees that may arise.
- Check their references: Before making a final decision, it’s a good idea to check the accountant’s references. Check their online reviews on third-party review sites or their online client testimonials.
Choosing a good accountant is an important decision that can have a big impact on your business or personal finances. By following these tips, you can find an accountant who is reliable, competent, and able to meet your specific needs. With the right accountant by your side, you can feel confident that your finances are in good hands.