What to look for in an Accountant

You have set up your business and are (or should be!) an expert in that product or service. But it is unlikely you are an expert in finance and accounting. Failing to get help from an accountant from the outset could lead to lost profit, inefficiency, surprise or higher than expected tax bills, missed deadlines – and a whole load of unnecessary stress.

The best way to find a good accountant is to ask for recommendations from business owners / advisers you trust. Arrange to meet with several of them to make sure that you feel you can trust them. Go with the one that understands your vision and is someone you can envisage working well with.

A good accountant will start by listening to what you want to achieve and then clearly explain, in language you understand, what you need and how to get there. He or she should be understanding and a good communicator and not only provide you with regular reports but proactively look for ways to enhance your business. This could be suggesting new technologies to improve your business systems, funding opportunities or offer cross-referrals putting you in touch with their other clients.

Please be aware that unlike doctors, solicitors and architects, anyone can call themselves an accountants so it’s vital you check they are a member of one of the two regulatory bodies the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) or ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) otherwise they many not be properly trained, hold Professional Indemnity Insurance or be accountable if anything goes wrong.

Above all, a great accountant should display integrity, professionalism and the desire to help make your company thrive. They will be able to provide you with regular, timely up to date financial information and tax payment forecasts.

An accountant is an integral part of your team. So, make sure you get a good one and do not let them go. Agree a fixed fee so you do not receive any surprise invoices.

If you don’t have an accountant yet and need some advice, contact our expert* Sophie from 360 Chartered Accountants on 01924 950954 or at sophie@360accountants.co.uk.

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.