Due to the necessity for accurate book-keeping, many businesses outsource their accounting needs to a proven and successful chartered accountant. Many businesses choose to employ an in-house accountant, which is also a successful strategy, depending on the size of the business. There are several key points to consider when choosing an accountant, four of which are detailed below.
Credentials: It is important that your chosen accountant is suitable educated in their field. They must be appropriately qualified to do the job you employ them for; you don’t want an accountant that is daunted by your books or intimidated by the set workload. An experienced accountant will be more than happy to provide their credentials when asked; it is a more than fair request.
Experience: You may want to choose an accountant that is experienced in your particular field or industry. Specialisation aside, you want to choose an accountant that is proven and successful, with adequate experience to successfully handle your financial affairs. Although a less experienced accountant may be cheaper to begin with, mistakes that could have been avoided will cost more in the long run.
Availability: You need to find an accountant that is available when needed; some accountants are more flexible than others and may be more able to meet your specific needs. If you are flexible, you will find most accountants can meet you when needed. It is worth checking beforehand if you can contact your accountant outside of office hours, in case of any financial emergencies.
Price: One of the most important factors when choosing your accountant is price; a small business owner may not be able to afford the same accountants as a large organisation. Don’t choose the most expensive accountant you can afford; choose the accountant that best meets your requirements, and then ensure that they fit within your budget. Some accountants charge a flat rate, although many will charge by the hour. If you do choose an hourly accountant, be careful when making contact, as phone calls and email correspondence can become expensive if they happen often!
The four points above are a good starting point when choosing an accountant. There are numerous points to consider, and it is important you don’t rush the decision. Remember that the individual you choose will ultimately be responsible for your book keeping, so it is extremely important to choose someone you trust. If you approach a large firm, try to make sure there is an individual that is responsible for your books.
Pearson Buchholz are Chartered Accountants, based in Oxfordshire, specialising in Tax Planning and other business services. If you are looking for Oxfordshire Accountants, please don’t hesitate to visit their website.
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How to Choose an Accountant