Tax planning issues? Want to ensure you are not overpaying your Corp Tax or reporting things incorrectly? It is essential that you have a chartered accountant for your business, but how can you find a good one and at a fee that you can afford?
You want to be finding a good accountant for your needs, so with so much choice out there, it pays to take a bit of time choosing the right accountant. There are a number of tips that we can point you towards when choosing an Accountant for the first time :
Ask friends, colleagues or business associates if they would recommend their own accountants. Alternatively, ask your local Business Link or bank manager for advice on accountants in the area or log on to the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants for a list of local accountants.
Check that the accountant is suitably qualified and is a member of an approved accountancy body. Look for the letters ACA or FCA after the accountant's name if he or she is a chartered accountant, ACCA or FCCA if he or she is a chartered certified accountant or ACMA or FCMA if he or she is a chartered management accountant. These qualifications mean the accountant has gone through numerous exams before qualifying as well as spent several years gaining practical experience.
Ask how many businesses of a similar size your accountant handles and whether they have specialist knowledge of your particular industry.
Take along a copy of your business plan and details of areas in which you would like the accountant to be involved - business advice, financial reporting, tax and auditing work.
Find out if there is an hourly fee and whether this varies depending on the seniority of the person doing the work. Also check whether there is a fixed fee for your annual audit and when and how these fees are payable.
Find out who within the firm of accountants will be doing the work. Ensure you are happy to work with this person and that they can give you and your business the attention it needs as and when you need it.
When choosing an accountant, it's also a good idea to consider: