An accountant can play a variety of roles for your business, but the foremost role they will definitely play is to make sure your financial records and paperwork are in order. They are there, after all, to ensure that you keep track of all your incomings and outgoings, but not only this, they are there to provide you with professional advice regarding the growth of your business – taking out loans (and when), what you can do to reduce your taxes, how you can deal with your taxes, and so on. This is one premier reason why you need to choose your accountant wisely. So how can you select the right one for the job? The following are the top questions you should ask your prospective accountant – and how you can maximise their use and purpose for your business.
The first steps
The first steps would be, of course, to draw a list of prospective accountants and speak with them over the telephone or meet with them face to face so you can see for yourself how it would be to work with them. When you meet your prospective accountant, take any relevant paperwork and records with you, including your business plan, so you can go over this together, and they can have a better idea of what you want for your business – and what you may expect from them.
The top questions
Hiring an accountant is an investment; your investment should, therefore, be worthwhile, as attested to by experienced accountancy firms like www.gsmaccountants.co.uk. You aspire to get best value for your money, so asking them a few relevant questions should give you a good perspective of their suitability based on their answers.
- What qualifications do you have as an accountant? Do you have any affiliations with professional groups, and if so, what groups are those? How long have you been practicing as an accountant?
- If you are part of a firm of accountants, how many partners do you have in your firm? More importantly, will my file be assigned to anyone in particular? In other words, who will be handling my account?
- Do you have experience with businesses of the same size or same industry? Do you have experience with businesses in the same stage of development and growth? What do you think you can do to help me develop and grow my business?
- When it comes to response times, how fast do you think you can answer if I have any concerns or queries?
- Will you offer proactive service, meaning will you send me a reminder or contact me if I need to submit paperwork or accounts, or if there are any deadlines that I should meet?
- Do you provide additional or extra services, such as inheritance or estate planning, the establishment of trusts, or advice and recommendations on various accounting platforms or software we can use?
- What are the services you will set a fee for, and how will I pay for these services (and when)?
- Will I have access to your business data if necessary?
With these questions, you can determine the suitability of your prospective accountant and gain deeper insight into how they can help your business – and, thus, help make it grow and succeed.