What to Look For When Finding a Local Accountant

A local accountant is a practical solution for the business that wants a professional to take on the responsibility for returns, year-end accounts, business tax, personal tax, VAT and PAYE. Paying for accountant can in the long-term help to save money, free up time for other responsibilities, and make sure a business is properly administered. It is essential to invest the time and effort into finding a reputable local accountant. Some accountants are too busy while others are only interested in their fee. A poor level of service can mean that a business starts to suffer, and more tax is being paid then necessary.

Here are a few things to consider:

Personal referrals

A great starting point to find an accountant is to get personal referrals or recommendations from friends, family or other small businesses. Other options include going online to search for accountants in the local area that appear to have positive reviews. Also, there are organizations like the ACCA and ICAEW that can give further guidance. Even if it is possible to find a few promising candidates, it is still beneficial to a having a face-to-face before deciding whether to hire them.

Relevant expertise

In the process of identifying the right qualities it is essential that an accountant is able to display relevant expertise. This should include working with financial documents and preparing tax returns for a business with similar revenue and size as yours. Also, it can help to find out the type of software used. For instance, if your company makes use of the latest cloud-based software, you will want to work with someone who is already familiar with cloud computing technology.

A further quality is finding the accountant that has experience of working in a similar market to your business sector. A benefit of this is the likelihood of having a better understanding of your unique needs.

Interview a few candidates

Before making the final decision, it helps to compile a short list and have face-to-face interviews with a few candidates. Try to compare the pros and cons of the different accountants and choose one that is able to offer the most benefit to your business. Plus, the interview process is a great way to determine whether you are able to get along and work together, while also gaining a lot of free and valuable advice.

Negotiate fees

The methods used by accountants to charge for their services can vary from one to the next. A fee may be charged based on a percentage of the turnover, a monthly retainer, or charged by the hour. Make sure to go with a service that is fully acceptable in relation to both skill-set and fees.

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