How to choose your small business accountant
If you are someone who owns and runs a small business, having an accountant will have a lot of advantages. If you have an accountant, it will free up your time so you can focus on your business. It is essential to outsource your accounting work to the right professionals to handle your affairs.Regardless of the size and nature of your business, you will need accountancy and tax specialists to work with you on a monthly or annual basis. An accountant can handle key functions such as
bookkeeping, and filing your company accounts and HMRC returns accurately and on time. For growing businesses an accountant’s input is even more significant covering essential areas like compliance, payroll, and VAT filing. An accountant can also save businesses money in many areas by taking advantages of tax reliefs, increasing tax efficiency, and improving cash flow. Above all, a good accountant provides you with the reliable financial information you need to make key decisions. Here are few things to consider before choosing an accountant for your small business.
Qualification and Experience
It is very important to choose an accountant that is qualified, and their qualifications are recognised by the appropriate professional body. You can quickly find ACCA members or find ICAEW members, and verify their membership. Accountants are regulated by professional bodies who issue practising certificates and conduct regular checks to ensure high professional standards are maintained. Qualified accountants have greater experience and knowledge that will be able to add value to businesses right from the start.
In the past, people would have an accountant in their local area. However, with accounting now being carried out on computer and the cloud using special accounting software, this is no longer necessary. It is now possible to look for a good accountant online and select one based on their expertise and knowledge of the specific industry you are working in. Even if that means your accountant is based in a different city or even county. Video applications like Teams, Zoom and even emails mean you can have an accountant anywhere in the world. Location does not need to mean
local, choose an accountant that is right for you and don't limit your choice. However, if you feel that you like to see your accountant once a year or when needed and like to have that personal touch than search local accountant.
Since the introduction of Making Tax Digital by HMRC in 2019, the cloud accounting fever driving through the accounting profession has revolutionised the way accountants interact with their clients and perform day to day duties. For example, electronic signatures has replaced physical signings, cloud software has replaced manual registers and spreadsheets, electronic invoices with email payment reminders has replaced handwritten invoices. The technology allows immediate access to records from any location online, which will give shared access to both business and accountants. New ways to produce and provide reports streamlines processes which helps accountants to provide more key “value-added” services such as management accounts and financial reporting. Choosing more technology savvy accountants will give easy access to data and reports, more added value service and smooth compliance processes on a timely basis.
People tend to focus on fees charged and less on value for money, which is entirely understandable. However, if something’s too cheap, there’s usually a reason why. On the other hand, going with the most expensive option doesn’t guarantee you great service either. Searching for an accountant who is transparent in their fee structure and offers fixed pricing is a good place to start. Fixed fees and possibly monthly payment plans will help budgeting, and you will not receive a big bill at the end of the year. Most accountants’ pricing models work on an hourly charge out rate so be aware that the more complex your requirements, the more you’re likely to pay.
Your accountant will be a vital part of your business as you will have to trust them to look after financial information. Personality is key in any relationship, so it’s worth meeting your accountant on video or in person before engaging their services as its very hard to judge someone on the phone or by email. You’ll be working closely together, so a personal connection is important and almost essential. Our team would love to get to know you.
We value all our clients, from large commercial entities all the way to sole traders. We support our clients with the expert knowledge of our team enabling us to deliver a service that suits yoru business needs. We like to work closely with our clients and our proactive approach helps us in understanding the numbers so that we can improve client’s efficiency, reduce costs, increase profits and perform tax planning where needed for tax and performance efficiencies.
Our cloud accounting team has specialist knowledge of a variety of cloud accounting software including Xero, FreeAgent, Sage and Quickbooks and can provide a range of services, including system implementation and training. We can also provide advanced outsourcing, including payroll, bookkeeping, management accounts and finance director role.
We pride ourselves on being friendly, approachable, and helping our clients to understand their finances and responsibilities so they can focus on running the business. Our team are always available to help clients with any issues or queries they may have. We can cater our services to all budgets and requirements and offer full accounting and business growth services if required.
Switching to Crouchers
Not happy with your current accountant or looking for a better fit, we're always here to for you.
At Crouchers we have made the whole process seamless and hassle free. We recognise that your priority is focusing on your business which is why we will do all the leg work and deal with all the necessary administration of changing over to Crouchers Accountants. Once our proposal and engagement letter is signed, we’ll liaise with your previous accountant to make sure all the relevant data is transferred to us and ensure we have everything we need to start our new partnership together.