Table of Contents Hide
- What Kind of Accountants Do I Need, and What Am I Looking For?
- What Can Accountants Do for a Small Business?
- When Should a Company Consider Hiring One?
- Finding an Accountant: A Step-by-Step Guide
- What to Look for in an Accountant
- Questions to Ask an Accountant
- How much should I pay for an accountant?
- How do I check an accountant is registered?
- Do accountants give you advice?
- What is the first thing an accountant should do?
- Which is best ACCA or AAT?
- Related Articles
Getting to grips with accounting—or hiring a professional to do it for you—is an essential aspect of staying on top of cash flow, taxes, and other business problems. This type of thing is a major roadblock for many firms, but burying your head in the sand about it puts you at danger of fines and other consequences.
Fortunately, no matter what stage your organisation is at, there are professionals whose job it is to assist you with this stuff. Yes, an accountant can assist you. We’ve covered enough information in this guide to help you find a reputable accountant in the UK.
What Kind of Accountants Do I Need, and What Am I Looking For?
To find an accountant and bookkeeper, you must first determine how you will benefit from working with an accountant and what types of results you expect to see. If necessary, write it down to help clarify it.
#1. Reducing the Burden
Are you seeking someone to help you relieve the stress that your accounting responsibilities cause? If so, which tasks would you like to delegate?
#2. Business Strategy
Do you require the services of an accountant to assist you with numbers-based company planning? Scaling and growing a business can be tough, and you may want the assistance of an accountant to establish a realistic growth strategy.
#3. Financial Planning
Any accountant you work with should be able to save you money in a variety of ways, including increased efficiencies and tax savings.
What Can Accountants Do for a Small Business?
Accountants offer a variety of services, and most ICAEW chartered accountants offer the following services that are beneficial to new businesses:
Assisting in the selection of the best business structure—sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited company. The business format has ramifications for taxation, obtaining capital, and personal liability, therefore selecting the proper alternative is critical.
- Advising on setting up accounting records, including use of software
- Advising on who needs to be informed of a new business
- Choosing whether or not to register for VAT
When your company is more established, an accountant can help you with:
- Make certain that tax returns are filed on time and that clients pay the appropriate amount of tax.
- Ensure that the customer takes advantage of all available tax breaks, and advise the client on how to reduce future tax bills.
- Assist with payroll preparation.
- Assist with the creation of business planning and financial projections.
- Assist in selecting appropriate financing for the stage of development of the business and in raising the requisite amount
- Assist with cashflow management so that the company does not run out of funds.
When Should a Company Consider Hiring One?
If you are establishing a business plan, people who are thinking about beginning a business should obviously find and speak with an accountant. They can assist with company strategies (including financial predictions), make suggestions for raising capital, and manage regulatory difficulties such as who to inform when a new business is established.
Once the choice is made to establish the business, the accountant can assist the client in determining which business structure is appropriate for them—basically, a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited company. This is significant because it affects a variety of other issues, such as obtaining the proper letterheads, addressing patent rights, filing the proper paperwork with H.M. Revenue & Customs, and so on.
Finding an Accountant: A Step-by-Step Guide
There are a few ways to find an accountant for your business. Here are the methods we recommend:
#1. Reach out to business owners
What better approach to find an excellent accountant than to inquire about the accountants of other businesses? Inquire with family, friends, or even acquaintances who own businesses about their experience with their accountant and whether or not they would suggest them.
Even if they don’t, they’ll almost certainly have some advice for you on your hunt and be able to steer you in the right direction.
#2. Begin your search.
Along with consumer evaluations, you’ll find professional comparisons of top accounting firms, which can help you decide which accountants to contact.
#3. Participate in social networking
Posting on social networking platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook can help you reach a bigger audience of businesses that utilise accountants. Reaching out for recommendations can help you narrow down your search and make it more effective.
You can refine the search by adding hashtags to indicate your location and industry, so that similar firms are more likely to make suggestions.
What to Look for in an Accountant
It’s a good idea to meet an accountant in person while looking for one, especially if you’ll be working closely with them. This is not required, especially if you wish to vet several candidates at the same time.
These are some more factors to consider when looking to find an accountant.
#1. Hire a Certified or Chartered Accountant
Hiring a trained accountant to manage your personal and corporate accounts is critical. These accounting professionals have received extensive training and hold acknowledged qualifications. When you choose a chartered or certified accountant, you can rest assured that you are working with a professional. As technology evolves, the financial sector is always expanding.
A licenced accountant is even more valuable when it comes to running your firm. They can help with financial planning, budgeting, cash flow management, and business expansion. Their abilities could help your company’s financial success and sustainability.
They may assist you in maximising deductions, allowing you to save money and avoid costly mistakes.
#2. Check The Services They Offer
Chartered accountants are trained to provide a variety of financial services. When looking for a reputable accountant, you should thoroughly investigate the services they provide. Make certain that your accountant is tailored to your specific needs.
Evaluate the services provided to determine their ability to suit your needs. For the time being, you may only require basic accounting services and tax preparation. This may change in the future. Your business accountant should be ready for this.
Check to see if the accounting firm specialises in serving specific types of businesses or industries. A sole proprietorship and a small business are examples of these. Various types of organisations have various laws and regulations. So, hire an accountant or choose an accounting firm that is familiar with your company’s financial peculiarities.
#3. Do They Use Accounting Software?
As a business owner, you want to know that the accountant you pick use reliable and up-to-date accounting software. Accounting software has improved the efficiency and accuracy of the accounting process.
Examining the software used by an accountant or accounting company can help you assess their ability to handle financial management tasks.
Because of how simple and accessible it is, cloud-based accounting software has become relevant in today’s society. It provides secure access to financial data for you and your accountant from any location with an internet connection.
You and your accountant can collaborate more successfully with real-time access. This guarantees that you and your partner are on the same page.Cloud accounting software is being used by one-third of UK accounting firms to handle more than 80% of their clients.
#4. Are they familiar with HMRC regulations?
It is vital to have an accountant who understands tax regulations to ensure compliance. Because tax law is complicated, efficiently managing company tax is tough. By selecting the right accountant, you can receive beneficial insights and correct tax planning guidance.
An accountant who is knowledgeable about tax legislation can assist small businesses in identifying potential deductions. This may lower your tax bill. They may advise you on how to structure transactions and manage your money effectively so that you can take advantage of potential tax savings.
#5. Make Sure They’re Attentive and Accountable
An attentive accountant is detail-oriented and is concerned with understanding your financial needs. They listen to your concerns and aspirations before providing customised recommendations. They can identify potential financial hazards or opportunities. Professionals that are attentive supply timely guidance to assist your company’s growth lifecycle. Accountability is also necessary.
The actions of an accountant should be accountable. They must adhere to professional and ethical guidelines. This ensures that your financial records are clear and up to date. An accountable accountant communicates effectively as well, providing regular updates on the status of their responsibilities.
It is critical to establish a good working connection with your accountant. They should function as a trusted business partner, working with you to achieve your objectives.
#6. Pricing Plays A Role
When looking for an accountant, you should think about the cost of their services.
While you should hire an experienced professional, the cost of their services should be within your budget. Accountants’ fees may vary depending on their level of experience and credentials. Accounting technicians, for example, can provide more cost-effective services while yet maintaining a professional demeanour.
It is best to inquire about the pricing structure in detail. Check to see if it is an hourly charge or a flat fee. In order to analyse the accountant’s affordability and worth, inquire about prices associated with additional services.
#7. Check If They’re A Member Of A Recognised Professional Group
Determines whether or not an accountant is a member of a registered professional accounting body. It is critical to evaluate their professionalism and credibility.
It is necessary to be a member of institutions such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Also, it demonstrates that the accountant has met stringent educational, experience, and ethical requirements.
Accountants who are members of a professional accounting organisation have access to continuing education programmes. It keeps them up to date on the newest industry regulations and practises.
Questions to Ask an Accountant
When you find an accountant, ask them the following questions:
#1. How much do you charge?
This is an important topic to ask first, so you can quickly narrow down which accountants will fit inside your budget. Because many accounting firms provide customised pricing, inquiring around is the best method to decide which businesses are best suited to your needs.
#2. What services will I have access to?
It is critical that you understand what services will be included in your payments. This allows you to thoroughly compare firms if necessary. It also means that you understand exactly what services your company is paying for.
#3. How will we communicate with one another?
A successful accountant-client relationship requires effective communication. A competent company will have established standard communication practises. Discussing this ahead of time ensures that both parties are aware of each other’s expectations. You should be able to contact your accountant whenever necessary; if this does not appear likely, you should find another accountant.
#4. What will we talk about on a regular basis?
It’s critical that you understand what your potential accountant considers to be significant problems to discuss on a frequent basis. This might range from tax preparation to financial flow management. By asking these questions, you may determine whether they understand your business and any challenges it may create.
#5. What are common mistakes clients make?
Your accountant should have extensive client-facing experience. By asking, you can prevent making mistakes from the start. If they are unable to provide you with a specific answer, this could indicate that they lack the amount of experience you require.
#6. Do you offer any further services?
Some accounting firms provide more than just tax and accounting services. They may also provide financial planning, marketing services, or funding support. Knowing what additional services the organisation offers will assist you make a selection, as you may need these services in the future.
How much should I pay for an accountant?
An accountant who provides basic accounting services will typically charge between £25 and £35 per hour. More specialised services, such as tax planning and business planning guidance, might cost between £125 and £150 per hour.
How do I check an accountant is registered?
If you need to confirm that someone is a CA, you can use our Find a CA service to search for them by name. All members mentioned in this directory are current ICAS members and are qualified to use the title “Chartered Accountant.”
Do accountants give you advice?
An accountant is the most versatile person in the finance industry. Accountants assist their clients in a variety of sectors and must thus be knowledgeable about a wide range of financial issues.
What is the first thing an accountant should do?
Identifying transactions is the first stage in the accounting cycle. Throughout the accounting cycle, businesses will have numerous transactions. Every one of them must be correctly recorded on the company’s books. Recordkeeping is required for all types of transactions.
Which is best ACCA or AAT?
The AAT qualification can be achieved in 6-18 months, whereas the ACCA qualification takes at least 3-4 years. The ACCA qualification, on the other hand, provides a more thorough and worldwide recognised qualification.
Finding the correct accountant for your company necessitates careful evaluation of your requirements, referrals from reliable sources, and extensive study. Following these steps will help you find an accountant who understands your sector, communicates well, and offers the services you require to reach your business objectives. Take the time to make an informed decision, since the appropriate accountant may be a valuable business partner.
- MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT SALARY: A Guide to the Payroll in the UK
- What are Management Accounts? Ultimate Guide
- Sage Accounting Software Review: Pros, Cons & Features (2023)
- Accounts Receivables: All You Need To Know 2023
- Online Construction Management Degree UK | Is It Worth Getting a Construction Management Degree