Tips on finding the right accountant for your business

A qualified accountant will understand specific areas of accountancy and tax law to help your business maximise returns and reduce tax liabilities. Here we offer some advice on making sure you find the right accountant to suit your business needs from the offset.

  • Only accept a qualified Chartered Accountant

Be aware that anyone can call themselves an accountant or tax advisor, it is important to commission a Chartered Accountant (CA) who will have the relevant experience and qualifications and be regulated by their professional body.

There are several reasons you should ensure you enlist a Chartered Accountant, but most importantly a CA will keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date with continual professional development and are also required to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance.

A Chartered Accountant will also ensure your business operates efficiently and aids your strategic decision making as well as providing financial confidence to shareholders, clients and the public alike.

  • Do they offer all the services you need?

If you have additional requirements for audits and business strategy advice then make sure your chosen accountancy firm offers these services. It is easier to keep all these services under one roof and build a strong relationship with an accountancy firm that truly understands you.

Don’t forget that your business is growing and there may also be future requirements and services that you’ll need to consider.

  • Do they offer a cloud-based accounting system?

With the recent introduction of Making Tax Digital in the UK, it is important to ensure your online accounting can cope and adapt to the new digital format of submissions. A reputable accounting firm will use a dependable accounting software solution such as Xero, Sage Business Cloud or QuickBooks Online.

Check which system your proposed accounting firm uses and if this system offers upgrades to support Making Tax Digital for VAT.

  • Are you looking for a personal service or the status of a big name?

Consider the type of accountancy firm that you are looking for. With a big name you will value their status ,but a smaller firm with equivalent skills and experience is likely to provide a more personalised service, dedicating more time and having specialists on hand to answer any queries.

Find out how often they will be available for you to contact or meet as required. You never know when a crisis may occur and having specialist advice and support available in an emergency can prove priceless.

  • Look for specialist experience in your business sector

If you operate in a particularly well-regulated business sector then it is wise to look for a Chartered Accountancy firm that specialises in your field. They will have experienced all of the issues that your business faces and understand the legal regulations and requirements on how accounts must be prepared and presented. Many specialisms require specific tax & VAT compliance requirements, which have both unique and complex demands.

A Chartered Accountancy firm with specialist teams operate at a superior level and will keep up-to-date with changes in governance in sectors such as charities, education, healthcare, FCA regulated businesses, property management and CAA Travel, where they are heavily regulated. Their experience and training will mean that they fully understand the challenges and opportunities that your business faces.