Things to consider when choosing a accountant


Now that you're ready to look into choosing an accountant, don't panic, is here to help you make the decision with the minimum of pain and difficulty.

If your looking for an accountant for personal reasons such as self-assesment tax returns, then try asking friends or family members for any recommendations that they may have. If you're a company then do the same but also try asking any contacts you have met through business, as there is no better way of selecting someone than through a personal recommendation.

With regards to costs, it is important to always get the full low down of these in advance. There is absolutely no point in selecting someone, only to receive a bill for some services six months later and be bowled over by the price. Getting in advance what is going to be due and when it is going to be due by will make everything run a lot smoother, if possible we would recommend agreeing a fixed price contract for the work, a lot of accountants will happily do this and accept it in installments throiughout the year to ease the burdon. Also check out whether or not your initial meeting is going to cost you anything, a lot of companies will offer this first meeting for free on a no obligation basis, but obviously others will still charge a fee.

Contact two or three potential companies and aim to meet up with all of them. From this initial meeting you will get a grasp of whether or not you get on with this person, something that is is extremely important because if you see eye to eye with them you will feel a lot better about trusting their company and this person in particular with your finances.

Ask the company themselves for the contact details of some of their exisitng clients, any firm worth dealing with and with nothing to hide should be quite happy to do this and should have a list ready with their clients asked previously if this is ok.

Finally your chosen accountant should be in regular contact with you all the year round. It is no good not speaking to them for most of the year and then getting stressed out when it comes to your financial year end. Some firms might recommend a accountancy service to you, which normally involves a member of their staff coming out to you on a monthly basis to update your accounts or do the payroll etc, but it also means that your in constant contact and that your accounts are always up to date, although there will obviously be a charge for this service.