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How to Choose and Get the Most from Your Accountant

Choosing an accountant is an important decision and you need to find one that matches your needs, you feel comfortable with, can trust and whose fee levels are fair.

We've produced the following checklist to help you choose and get the most from your accountant...

  • Call Whenever You Need. Get an accountant who you can call whenever you need help and advice.
  • Understanding. Get an accountant you can speak to openly and honestly who understands what you are saying and who you understand.
  • Commercial Awareness. Talk to them about your business and your ideas and see how commercial they are. Do they understand your business?
  • Will Visit You. It’s important to build up an understanding between the two parties. Be prepared to have an in-depth discussion via the phone initially, usually followed up meeting in person.
  • Gives Tax Ideas. Ask them what tax ideas they have for you. You want an accountant who will pro-actively come up with regular new ideas.
  • Prepare for Meetings. Make sure you prepare for any meetings you have with them and let them know beforehand what you want answers to.
  • Use of Email. Ask if they communicate by email as it speeds up service and saves costs.
  • Agreed Fees. Make sure you get an agreed fee wherever possible for your work. This is a fee they won't go beyond without your agreement. Don't worry about hourly rates, it's the value of what you get that matters and the more experienced accountants with higher hourly rates can do the work a lot more quickly and efficiently anyway.
  • Quick Response. Make an enquiry and see how quickly they respond. If they aren't fast now when trying to get your business, what will they be like when they act for you?
  • Who Will You Deal With? Find out who you will be dealing with in the firm. Will you have direct access to a Senior Partner or will you be passed around lots of different people, or worse, a call centre?
  • What Services are Offered? Find out if they offer all the services you need and are likely to need in the future?
  • Fixed Timescales. Agree fixed timescales by when work will be done and get them to guarantee it.
  • Existing Clients. Ask to speak with some of their clients to see what they say about them.
  • Engagement Letter. Ask for a copy of their engagement letter and make sure everything you need is included and make sure they keep to what they are to do.
  • Listen or Talk and Take Action? Do they listen to you or mostly talk at you? You want an accountant who takes a real interest in you and your business and takes action on what you need. If not, lose them, lose them quick!

For more information see our ...

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To find out how we would work with you, please contact us.