Choosing your accountant is not an easy thing to do. It’s a really important decision, once you've made that commitment and decision, it's going to have a massive impact.
How to choose your accountant is this week’s episode of I Hate Numbers. Not all accountants are created equally. Just like in any walk of life, any profession, some are more effective than others. In this podcast I'm going to share some tips with you as to how you go about making what will be a very important selection for your business, and it's going to be important because the right accountant can have a big impact on your ability to grow and move your business dial forwards.
Firstly, do your homework before you start speaking to an accountant. Check out last week's episode where the topic was what do accountants do? Choosing your accountant is the same as finding good effective supplier for your business. It needs to be for purpose.
What are your current and future business needs? Are you looking for someone to do the traditional compliance work, prepare your accounts and tax return once a year? Do you want more of an ongoing relationship? What is it you feel that you need for your business, now in all of these questions, you may not necessarily know what the answer is, but have some form of idea of what you think you need here and now, and what you believe that you will need for your business going forward.
Do you feel that you need a local service provider, somebody who's located where you live, or does that not matter? On a personal note my clients are based locally, nationally and Internationally. Technology helps makes the world a smaller place. Regular communication and the ability to access client support may be more important to you.
Not all accountants are the same. Lots of people describe themselves as accountants but have zero level of experience. Lots of people have experience but no qualifications. Qualified doesn't mean competent and competent doesn't necessarily mean qualified.
The ideal combination is got professional exams under their belt and real-world experience to back it up.
Seek recommendations from those in your network. Check out reviews on people's websites, which ones catch your eye and what are they saying? How old are they? How recent are they? Which ones look appealing?
Once you've got a short list of say five or six to begin with, then carry on with your research. Look at the firms in your short list, check out their websites, check out their social media presences. Look at the company, the staff, the range of services they offer. Make a short list of no more than two to three accountants that you can have a conversation with. The conversation should be a dialogue, not a monologue.
Have some form of agenda that you want to cover in your meeting. As with any future supply arrangement, then don’t be wary or afraid, or nervous in asking questions. They can be technical, ask about working styles, skills, experiences, meeting times and costs!!
People buy from people
Do you like accountants who are more formal, who are very jargon laden? This could be your bag, or it may not be for you. The interaction with that individual and their team. Who did you get to speak to? Do you feel relaxed when you speak to them? Are you someone who likes robust, straightforward advice, or, perhaps a bit softer?
How to choose your accountant is one of the more important business decisions you will make. Prepare, shortlist, have a conversation and then decide helps you make that decision easier. Contact us to find out more
Grab a coffee, make yourself comfortable, sit back and listen.
I love doing this podcast and sharing my love of Numbers with you. Check out the link to subscribe and do not miss an episode.
In this episode
- Understanding the approach to choosing an accountant
- How to make a short list of accountants to talk to
- Speaking to prospective accountants
- Developing your own Numbers confidence and decisions
- Take more control of your numbers to help make you money, survive and thrive