How to Choose and Get the Most from Your Accountant

Choosing an accountant is an important decision and you need to find one that matches your needs, you feel comfortable with, can trust and whose fee levels are fair.

We've produced the following checklist to help you choose and get the most from your accountant...

  • Qualifications? Is the accountant you are selecting properly trained and qualified, have you checked their qualification with the governing Institute or Association? Cheap unqualified advice can ultimately be very expensive.
  • Experience? Does the accountant deal with people like you? Does the accountant have experience in your particular field? You need experience in order to take advantage of any tax saving opportunities, firms with a lot of experience will know all the latest opportunities to save you money
  • Availability? Get an accountant who you can call whenever you need help and advice
  • Understanding? Get an accountant you can speak to openly and honestly who understands what you are saying and who you understand
  • Commercial awareness? Talk to them about your business and your ideas and see how commercial they are. Do they understand your business?
  • Gives tax ideas? Ask them what tax ideas they have for you. You want an accountant who will pro-actively come up with regular new ideas
  • Fixed fees? Make sure you get a fixed fee wherever possible for your work. If not, get a fee they won't go beyond without your agreement. Don't worry about hourly rates, it's the value of what you get that matters and the more experienced accountants with higher hourly rates can do the work a lot more quickly and efficiently anyway
  • Quick response? Make an enquiry and see how quickly they respond. If they aren't fast now when trying to get your business, what will they be like when they act for you?
  • Who will you deal with? Find out who you will be dealing with in the firm or will you be passed around lots of different people? There are distinct advantages to both and you need to be happy with that arrangement
  • What services are offered? Find out if they offer all the services you need and are likely to need in the future as your business grows
  • Fixed timescales? Agree fixed timescales by when work will be done and ask them to guarantee it
  • Existing clients? Ask to speak with some of their clients to see what they say about them
  • Engagement letter. Ask for a copy of their engagement letter and make sure everything you need is included and make sure they keep to what they are to do
  • Listen or talk and take action? Do they listen to you or mostly talk at you? You want an accountant who takes a real interest in you and your business and takes action on what you need

To find out how we would work with you, please contact us. Also view our promises.