Nothing can prepare you for the ferocity of challenges in a business startup. Even the most qualified people find it hard to navigate their way when it comes to establishing a business in London.
One of the most critical aspects of handling a business is accounting. You need to be at top of the taxation rules and accounting codes. Even if you are a certified accountant yourself, handling everything else about the business and accounts can be a daunting task. For those who do not have a good grip on accounting, bookkeeping is a great challenge. That is the reason a lot of small and growing businesses hire professional accountants.
Selecting the right one can be a vexing process but ask the following questions to know the basic details about a professional. But before you ask questions from the accountant, start by determining why you need accounting and bookkeeping services for your business.
What Do You Want From An Accountant?
Know that different accountants specialize in different kinds of accounting services. Some of them can be simple bookkeepers while others are trained and qualified to handle business accounts with international reach.
If you are obliged to provide financial statements to a third, you need someone who can handle the work. Millions of small businesses have been hiring Quick books Accountants to handle their finances.
Determine whether you need the services of an accountant once every year or require management services throughout the year. Answers to all these questions will help you find the right kind of accountants.
Questions You Must Ask
Can You Provide Any References?
It’s the deal-breaker. If there are no references, you are not going to hire them. It’s as simple as that. You need to hear to experiences of other businesses that hired the accounting firm. The references from companies similar to you are even more important. Word of mouth is the most reliable way to see if an accounting firm can live up to its marketing.
What Is Your Expertise?
Start by asking the typical question “why should I hire you?”. If you are getting a high spirited and logical answer to this question, proceed with inquiries about their expertise. Some accountants are good with corporate companies while others provide reliable yet cheaper accounting services for smaller businesses.
Tap into your network to see if people are recommending the particular accountant. You can also check the official website and different review sites to know what people are saying about their expertise.
How Long Have You Been Working?
Be it an individual accountant or an accountancy firm, experience matters. Keep in mind that a great accountant can make the difference between your business surviving and flourishing. The best one can also help you save a lot of money and heartaches. You need to get in touch with an accountant who has been there for small businesses and navigates through the particular challenges well.
Who Will Handle Your Business?
In any given accountancy firm, there are likely to have a variety of people in the workforce. Starting from trainees to the most experienced and qualified individuals, there are different levels of expertise. When you are hiring a particular firm, you must know who is going to handle your business. Don’t forget to inquire if a single person will handle your accounts or a team will manage the work.
With the growing popularity of freelance culture, several accountants rely on outsourcing their services. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, you must know if that is how your business accounts are going to be managed.
How Do You Regularly Communicate with Your Clients?
Communication is going to play a key role. This is not the kind of job where you are hiring a person for a few days. When you are getting an accountant on board, you are going to have lots and lots of communication. In the initial days, you may need to hold meetings on daily basis. So you need to be clear upfront about what form of communication system they use. Ask questions about the sharing of financial documents, weekly or monthly reports and how can you reach them at the hour of need.
The accountant is not only supposed to know where your business stands financially but they should be able to communicate with you as well, in your language. If you are not very good at technical jargon, they must communicate with you in simple and concise language for your convenience.
Can You Assess My Current Accounting System?
If you want to determine how actively an accountancy firm is analyzing the current and potential risks, ask about the most common challenges faced by your industry. If possible, see if they can assess your current accounting system.
The current method of financial recording may not be the most effective but what can they change about it to make things better for you. This will give you an idea of whether the accountant is ready to handle the job or not.
How Will You Prepare Me For Tax Season?
As per the law, your local council and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will collect the taxes from your small business. Any business would agree that the tax season is the most difficult time of the year. Hire an accountant that will use all legal means to minimize your tax exposure but never let you miss any deadlines.
What Are Your Service Charges?
While you are searching for reliable Quickbooks certified accountants, don’t forget to ask about the service charges. How do they calculate their fees? Will you be charged weekly or monthly? Take answers before signing the contract. It may come as a surprise for you but the costs vary tremendously and you can negotiate as well.
A qualified and well-reputed accountant can get you through the annual year-end crush and help your business flourish over the years so don’t skip any of these important questions.