How to choose an accountant for your business

1 year ago
How to choose an accountant for your business - Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Choosing an accountant is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. Finding a good accountant – or a trusted advisor – that really understands your business will be invaluable to its growth. While choosing the wrong accountant could end up costing you time and money.

Here are five important things to consider when choosing an accountant:

1. Get references and check accreditation

It’s wise to do a background and accreditation check, which you can usually do online. Ask the prospective accountant to provide client references. It’s also useful to get a recommendation from someone in your industry to be sure the accountant has a real understanding of your business’s needs.

2. Create a shortlist of candidates

Have an introductory chat with a few accountants, get quotes and make a shortlist. Establish how they prefer to communicate with their clients and if this suits your business.
Traditionally, many accountants only met with clients once a year. Today, younger and more forward-thinking accountants are embracing the online world and using platforms like Skype and FaceTime to keep clients updated on a more regular basis.

3. Check accountant fees

Often companies are charged by their turnover level, but you should really only pay for completed hours. Check how the accountant works out their fees, as this can potentially save you thousands. Always ask for a quote based on workload rather than what your business is making.

4. Stay in contact with your accountant

Ensure your accountant will have the time to stay in regular contact. If not, they won’t be able to provide you with the best advice. Companies often go into liquidation simply because they haven’t kept their accountant in the loop.

5. Could you be getting added value?

Pick an accountant that understands customer loyalty and retention. Many go above and beyond for their clients. Some are happy to recommend accounts software based on your business needs. Others like to hold regular networking events and business workshops. Some will even give you regular reviews of your finances free of charge, and make recommendations to help you boost profitability.

7 responses to “How to choose an accountant for your business”

  1. My workplace really wants to hire a new accountant. Thank you for all the tips on how to hire an accountant. I really like your tip about getting a recommendation from someone in our industry. It would be nice to now that the accountant has a real understanding of our business.

  2. I think it is also important to choose an accountant who goes out of their way to be proactive, especially for small business clients. As a business, there are so many things we need to keep on top of and sometimes it is not practical to stay up to date with the latest changes in regulations. Right now we are in the 3rd Quarter in Australia and a good small business accountant has the duty to be proactive and contact their clients who may not be achieving their target numbers from last year and talk about options.

  3. Thank you for suggesting that you should make a short list of candidates. Hiring an accountant seems like a smart move for businesses. Hopefully, they look into finding the right one.

  4. You’ve got great tips for choosing an accountant. I like how you said to create a list of potential people. Talking to them in person would help me make that decision because face-to-face interaction says a lot about a person.

  5. I agree that you need to find an accredited accountant. Finding someone who has good customer reviews would also be helpful. I’m trying to find someone to help me do my taxes, so I’ll have to consider their qualifications first.

  6. Thank you for letting me know that younger and more forward-thinking accountants are embracing the online world and using platforms. I’ve been thinking of starting a company, and I haven’t known what to do with finances. After reading this, I’ll need to look more into finding an online accounting service.

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