The first time you approach an accountant you may be unsure of what you’re looking for, or most importantly what the right level of support is for your business.  

Then as your business grows and becomes more established, you may begin to question if your accountant is still right for you. However, it’s important to understand that whilst most accountants provide very similar compliance services there are a number of accountants that provide a range of different services designed to support you and your business as it grows and develops, whilst keeping you compliant.  

So here are our top 5 things you should be getting from your accountant:  

1.Personal Service

As a client, your accountant should make you feel valued not like another number they’re punching into Xero or various HMRC portalsYour accountant should know who you are when you get in contact and know the ins and outs of your business. It is important that your accountant asks you plenty of questions and builds an open and honest relationship with you. When an accountant knows you and your business well, they will be able to provide you with the highest level of support and advice that is unique to your personal situation. Likewise, this type of relationship will help you build the right rapport with your accountant making it easier for you to share essential information about your business and personal situation.  

2.Open Access

A great accountant should be proactive throughout the year, not just at those critical times. So, between getting your tax calculations correct, filling your accounts on time and advising you on legitimate ways to save you tax, your accountant should be giving you regular updates to ensure you are compliant with the requirements of your legal business structure. Find an accountant that provides you with access to them with ad hoc telephone calls, emails and shares useful information with clients via blogs or direct email updates.

3.Proactive Communication

Each year there are a whole host of changes introduced to keep both accountants and business owners on their toes. With every update your accountant should be contacting you with information that is relevant to you and your business. Receiving information from your accountant has been even more important over the last 12-18 months with furlough and SEISS payments along with various other COVID-19 related schemes. Without a good communication channels you’re at risk of missing valuable information and ensuring you remain compliant with any legislative changes.

4.Fair Billing

Rightly or wrongly, accountants have a reputation for billing for every piece of advice that they share with you regardless of how complex the advice may be... However, this isn’t the best way to build long-standing and open relationships with clients. After all you should feel able to share all your questions with your accountant, so you can ensure your decisions won’t have adverse tax or compliance implications. So, find an accountant that supports you with free advice and support for your general queries. Having said that, bear in mind that more complex or sophisticated advice may come with a cost if time or resources need to be invested to ensure you are given the right tailored advice (unfortunately not everything can be free otherwise your accountant might not be in business for much longer!). Finally, your accountant should offer you a complimentary meeting at least once a year. These meetings should include a detailed review of your accounts or other works completed throughout the year whilst providing you with an opportunity to discuss any challenges and upcoming opportunities.  

5.Growth Services

From the early stages of working with your accountant will be helping you create strong foundations for your business along with some good habits (especially when it comes to records management). Your accountant will also be able to give you expert insight to make your cashflow forecasts precise and reliable – and if you are unsure how to complete a cashflow forecast your accountant should be able to create one with you. As you grow your accountant can give you additional support from tax planning, legal company structures, payroll management… the list goes on! Finally, if youre looking to grow or expand your business, you’re probably trying to keep expenses low and reduce your overheads, but you shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to professional support. So, if you’re accountant offers business planning and business coaching along with other business growth services keeping business consultancy within the same space as the management of your finances makes good business sense. 

Finding the right accountant can be difficult but when you do find the right accountant it should be a smooth transition or start up process if you’re newly trading. You should feel comfortable having financial conversations whilst having the opportunity to discuss the best ways to grow your business 

If you don’t feel supported by your current accountant, it’s never too late to look at the options! 

For a complimentary Discovery Call to discuss the most appropriate level of support, a personalised quote and a guarantee of our best possible service, please complete the form below and one of our senior advisors will contact you.
Or if you prefer, please call 01296 681341 for our Wingrave Bucks Accountants office.

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