As your business grows it is important to have an external accountant you can trust. Choosing an accountant is very much like choosing a brand-new business partner. The right person for the job will become someone you can depend on, who offers sound business advice, and provides critical financial guidance as your business evolves.
With the level of involvement they are likely to have in your business, it is important to use a checklist to assess your potential accountant. Some considerations for your checklist include:
- Does location matter? With businesses collaborating online more than ever, the importance of having an accountant close to you is minimised. It really depends if you want face to face contact, but there is always Skype!
- Choose a certified or chartered accountant. Both ‘titles’ represent a level of professionalism that you can rely on. They have completed tertiary qualifications, have considerable work experience and undertake regular refresher training.
- Relevant expertise. It is important to consider a professional who has completed work for companies that are in similar market sectors or are of a comparable size. You may even want to check that they can handle your needs as your business grows and develops in size.
- Are they proactive or reactive? Do you want an accountant to merely manage your accounts and complete your tax returns or do you want someone who will suggest opportunities to save money?
- Fees – are they within your budget range, and are they negotiable.
Some ways to find your account include:
- Tap into relevant social networks. You may find that the ideal accountant may be much closer than you think! Start by asking your friends and family, and you never know what may happen!
- Explore other sources of information online. LinkedIn may be an invaluable in assisting you to source your accountant, but it is also just as important to consider any online reviews of any accountants that may shortlist.
It is almost certain that you will identify many other characteristics that you want from your accountant. By following our checklist and identifying those other characteristics, and then proceeding to interviews, you are likely to find an accountant who can help your business grow.