Let’s be honest the first time you approach an accountant you might not be sure of what you want, or more importantly what your business needs. You may also find that now your businesses is a bit more established, your current accountant doesn’t quite live up to expectations.
Different accountants can help your business in various ways, but there are some things that everyone wants from their business partnership. So rather than debating about what an accountant can do for your business or what criteria you should base your decision on, we have devised a list of what clients want from their accountants.
Each of the points highlighted below should form the basis of your expectations, all of which should be provided by a great accountant.
Get Your Tax Correct
It is really quite a basic and fundamental expectation. After all, getting this right could cost you the difference between business survival and financial disaster.
You may not have a sound knowledge of all your tax obligations, what is expected of you and your business, but that is exactly where an accountant can help. A great accountant should be active long before the end of your tax year so that they can advise you on how to structure your finances efficiently.
As mentioned briefly in our previous point, your accountant should also be there to remind you of any deadlines. Whilst you are busy running the day to day activities of your business, your accountant should be proactive and make sure you understand your financial reporting requirements and deadlines.
Know Your Business
As a client, you feel that you should be valued by your accountant. And rightly so. You should expect someone you employ to do their homework and know the ins and outs of your business. This includes everything from knowing what you do, how your business works and who your key staff are.
It’s quite simple really, isn’t it? You need to talk to your accountant and they should make every effort to answer, return a call or get in touch with you when the occasion arises. You certainly shouldn’t settle for someone you can’t get in touch with.
Help Improve Your Cash Flow
The truth is that cash is always king for any business. As a client, you should expect to be advised and informed about how cash can move through your business, how you can improve this and ultimately how your business will benefit.
Save You Tax
As well as making money it’s also important to save tax. Your accountant should always be able to find ways that you can minimise your tax bill.
Prevent Any Surprise Bills
Feeling as though you have been deceived or taken advantage of is a sure fire way accountants can lose your business. Therefore they should always provide you with cost estimates on jobs or a cost limit so you aren’t left shocked with the arrival of a hefty bill. For more information on our costs, take a look at our pricing structure.
Know Your Aspirations
Just as your accountant should be familiar with the current state of your business, they need to understand your aspirations. Do you want to grow? Or eventually, sell up? These are all questions your accountant should be aware of in order to ensure a great working relationship.
Treat You Courteously
It shouldn’t matter whether you employ one person or a hundred people, you should always expect to be treated with respect at all times. Your accountant should aspire to nurture a relationship with regular communication and know who they need to contact in varying scenarios.
You can’t always be around to answer questions which could have been directed to your bookkeeper for example. A great accountant will maintain a relationship with a business owner and keep those lines of communication open.
Whilst you’re likely an expert in your chosen industry, you might not necessarily know everything there is to know about tax or self-assessment for example.
An accountant should be courteous to all your staff and happily explain things to you/them no matter how trivial it may seem. You should expect patience and respect from those who deal with all that financial jargon day in and day out.
Keep Up To Date With Latest Legislation
Failure to keep up with ever-changing legislation, laws and regulations can result in a fine. Not only will a good accountant keep you up to date with upcoming changes to the law, but they will also be able to tell you exactly how they will impact your business and how you can best prepare for them.
Be GDPR Compliant
GDPR was one of the biggest changes to business throughout 2018, with high costs for non-compliance. Given the sensitivity of the data your accountant holds about you, in addition to your own GDPR measures, you should expect your accountant to have their own measures in place to ensure compliance with GDPR. Read our blog post to find out more about the importance of GDPR compliance with your accountant.
Use Software That’s MTD Compliant
Making Tax Digital (MTD) is the biggest change to the UK tax system in recent history and your accountant should be prepared. As well as having measures in place to ensure you can report digitally, a good accountant will have implemented HMRC approved software in order to ensure a seamless transition onto the new digital tax system.
Need A Hand?
If you’re a business owner and are looking for an outsourced high-quality accounting service, we can help. We work with a wide range of clients, helping to fulfil obligations such as accounting, payroll, Self-Assessment and more. For more information give the team a call today on 0117 3790810 for a no obligation chat.
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Categorised in: Tips and Guides
This post was written by Steph Roffey