Choosing the accountant that's right for your business
It's important to select an accountant who's right for your business. Speak directly to everyone on your shortlist, discuss their experience and services and outline your business needs. Ideally the relationship you have with your accountant will be long term, so these are important considerations.
Telephone your shortlist
Ask each accountant about their practices:
- Experience - do they have clients in your sector and experience of businesses of a similar size? Can they deal with your business' specific needs?
- Charges - what do these cover, how are they scaled and do they offer all-in fees?
- Personnel - who will look after your business most of the time - a partner or someone more junior? How many partners are there? Sometimes smaller practices suit smaller businesses.
- Efficiency - what response times do they work to?
- Added value - what additional services can they offer?
Choose about three to visit. Check whether you will be charged for this meeting.
Meet your prospective accountant
When you visit a practice, you should discuss:
- How the practice can help you develop your business.
- Whether it will be able to offer you advice.
- What services you will be charged for and how and when you will pay for them.
- The level of access you will be given to the data held about your business. This is important as you might need data to update your business plan or for a tender document. You will also want easy access to this information if you ever decide to change accountants.
Take your business plan and other useful information about your business to the meeting. A good accountant should want to know as much about you as you do about them.
A good accountant should also be happy to pass on names of clients for you to take up references.
Once you have chosen an accountant, let them know that you have selected them and they will issue a letter of engagement. This letter will be the contract between you and your accountant and should detail:
- your responsibilities
- the accountant's responsibilities
- their fees and how they will be charged
There were so many results for accountants in the EC1 area, however, Carbon Accountancy kept cropping up so I decided to see what they were about.
Their website seemed very legitimate with case studies and quotes from their clients approving them. The site was well laid out and clear to navigate. They seem almost perfect.