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Find a Good Accountant for Your Agency

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 28 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
Business Accountant Accountants

Every business needs an accountant and your small business is no exception. You may be able to complete some of the financial paperwork yourself, but in order to maximise the financial opportunities available to you, you need to find a good accountant.

It is commonly said that a good accountant will save you more money than they cost. As they know all the available areas you can claim for and the possible government schemes that may be open to you, finding an accountant that understands your business and your industry sector can be worth their weight in gold, quite literally!

Even the smallest of towns will have an accountant, but that is not to say that they are the most suitable for you and your business. It is worth spending some time researching and speaking to potential accountants before you decide, as changing accountants can be frustrating.

Finding an Accountant through Personal Recommendation

If you have joined some sort of networking group, or business breakfast organisation, you may find that you have already met a suitable accountant. Be careful that just because you know them it does not mean that they have the most appropriate experience for your business.

Another way to utilise your personal network is to speak to other small business owners, regardless of industry sector, and ask who their accountant is. You can then phone and make an initial appointment to weight up their credentials.

Understand What You Need from your Accountant

There is no point paying for the services of an expensive accountancy firm, with all their bells an whistles, when what you actually need is someone to help you with your annual tax return and make sure you’re claiming the right expenses. Conversely, if your recruitment business is absolutely booming, perhaps you need a little more sophisticated financial advice than you can get from your local money man.

Think about where your business is going, what realistic aims you have for your business for the next five years and then find a suitable accountant that can fulfil your needs for the short to medium term. If you business ends up growing hugely, you can still change accounts in a few years, but you may find that you prefer to stay with someone that now understands your business inside out.

Ask For Trial

Dealing with accountants can end up costing you a fortune. Like lawyers, they can charge for every minute of their time – every email, every phone call. The more expensive the accountancy firm, the more their ‘hourly rate’ will be. This is the last thing you need when you are setting up your own business, so think about using a smaller firm that will be happy to answer the odd question as long as they know you will come to them at the end of the tax year.

Ask if they will give you an initial appointment to discuss your accountancy needs – if they say no, they are either too expensive for you or too desperate for paid work – either way it is a bad sign!

Help Your Accountant to Help You

Once you have found an accountant, do as much as you can to keep your paperwork in check. Have your receipts in one place, your invoices in another and so on. This will keep their charges down as they will not have to wrestle through all your supermarket receipts the day before your tax return is due.

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