Even though running a small business is rewarding in the long run, it is challenging at times. To be successful in every aspect of running your business, you need to have a support system in place.
Consider hiring a chartered accountant to handle your business’s revenue and tax obligations. Alternatively, you can outsource these tasks to an accountant or other financial professional; consequently, the choice of an accountant is not one to be taken lightly, however, considering the significance of having a solid accountant on your team.
This article highlights a list of ten simple guidelines to help you find the best business accountant.
Research your options in advance.
Consider hiring a chartered accountant before or as soon as you start your business so that they can help you with the costs of starting up and registering with the IRS. It’s also possible that they can help you set up a business on your behalf, register you for business taxes and VAT, and set up your payroll.
Know what you need.
Before you hire a chartered accountant, you need to know what kind of work or obligations you would like the accountant to perform for your company. If you need accounting reports and bookkeeping, you can employ a non-certified accountant or bookkeeper. A CPA, or certified public accountant, is required for tax planning, tax return preparation, and audited financial statements.
Make sure your accountant is qualified.
Verify the qualifications of all potential accountants. An accounting body like the ICAEW ACA, for example, is part of the majority of business qualifications. Having a business accountant with extensive accounting knowledge can be beneficial to your company.
For the most part, a small business owner hoping to expand and prosper would be well-served by hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) with extensive financial experience and a solid educational background.
Be selective with your options.
There are times when even with careful planning and research you may end up with a partner who isn’t a good fit. Even though discussing this with a chartered accountant may be uncomfortable at first, having the right team for your business is worth the little discomfort of having to cut ties with an employee.
If your accountant doesn’t feel at home, it’s time to find someone new. There may be some short-term discomfort, but you will reap long-term rewards for your company. For the best business decisions, you need accurate financial information. Professional accounting services are the first step in this process.
Look for small business experience.
Beware of big accounting firms. You’ll want a chartered accountant with experience working with small businesses, but it’s a plus if the accountant also has experience working with companies in your industry. Some accountants gain a thorough understanding of the difficulties faced by clients in a particular industry by working with them for an extended time. Choosing the right financial decisions for your company’s growth will be easier if the accountant has dealt with similar clients in the past.
Talk to different accounting firms.
When looking for a chartered accountant, it’s a good idea to check out a few different options. When you first meet with a firm, you should get a sense of what it would be like to be a client. At this point, your intuition will serve as the best guide when it comes to determining whether or not you two have what it takes to start a relationship. Request to meet with each accountant before signing on the dotted line.
Ask about accounting software.
If you’re looking for an accountant with an accounting certification for your small business, be sure to ask which accounting software they recommend. Some accountants may be still using the same desktop accounting software they have been using for years. Changing to the most recent online accounting solutions isn’t something they want to do. You’re looking for an accounting software system that can grow with your business over the next three to five years. Accounting software and a basic chart of accounts should be set up by a professional accountant as well. Your accounting software may also be discounted, so inquire about this.
Ask about reporting frequency.
You need to know how often your accountant will send you financial reports. A strong working relationship between you and your accountant is essential, especially as your company expands. It is important to use your accountant as a management consultant, rather than just for tax season. Make sure you know what kind of reporting and the communication you expect from your accountant before you hire one, because their strengths may vary by their chosen chartered accountant course.
Prioritise character over skill.
All accountants must be seasoned with ICAEW modules. But Inthe end, it doesn’t matter how skilled or experienced a particular accountant is if you don’t feel at ease with him or her as a human being. Having a good working relationship with an accountant is impossible if you don’t get along with him or her personally.
Be sure you can see yourself cooperating with this person for many years in the future before you decide to hire a new accountant. Changing accountants can be time-consuming and distracting to your business, so it’s best to avoid it at all costs.
Compare service fees.
In some cases, a chartered accountant charges a fee that includes their fee for completing taxes, while some charge monthly for accounting needs and then separately for both personal and business taxes. It’s important to know how they charge before choosing a vendor. Accounting services are not all priced the same by every firm or individual accountant. It varies in terms of how many services are available and the certifications of the person providing services.
Tax preparation is one service that some accountants charge by the hour, while others charge on an annual basis for all the services they provide. Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to work out a payment arrangement.
Don’t forget to take a look at your financial situation before making a final decision, and be sure to keep the above-mentioned hiring tips in mind to safeguard your business and your clients.
Visit ICAEW Singapore today to get an accounting certification.