The accountants role has changed quite dramatically over the years, especially with the introduction of online accounting. Everything is more transparent and not to mention immediate.
The days of having to wait weeks for your management or even year end accounts are long gone with clients expectations such that a few days turn around is the new normal as you can’t base business decisions on old data.
These days your accountant can also offer a lot more than just accounts production with a lot of practices offering business and tax advice. Another complex area is Compliance, guiding you through Health and Safety, risk assessments along with HR and any ethical policies your business may have.
Getting the best out of your Accountant
Here are a few recommendations when you start to look….
Certified or chartered – choose an accountant that is regulated by a professional body especially if you were to need a business loan or an audit, maybe not immediately, but looking ahead.
Are they familiar with your business sector – engaging with a practice that already has expertise in your line of business can give them added value and become a positive tool in guiding the future of your business.
Cloud expertise – do they use cloud accounting? although they will be preparing you accounts will they also be doing the day to day data entry bookkeeping? You may want to get involved yourself but at the very least have online access to the system so you can see how everything is progressing.
Social Networking – so much of our life is spent online your accountant should also be aware of the merits of social media, Linkedin, website integrations etc which can push your sales information into your accounting package.
What sets them apart from the rest – they may well have a USP, find out what else they offer apart from producing your accounts, this could be compliance, payroll and HR services, tax etc.
Point of contact – whether it’s a large or small practice you need to ensure you have one person you can contact should you need to call or email.
Package price – a lot of practices offer a packaged price, this is normally based on a monthly charge, make sure it covers all your requirements.