Hey you! Yes you, the business person on the up, reaching skywards. It shows. If you’re looking for an accountant then congratulations – your business must have grown to the point where you need help. Whether that’s in organizing your year-end accounts or helping you figure out tax break to maximize your profit, requiring the assistance of a professional isn’t an admission of defeat here, rather one of success.

Picking one perfect for your business is a process which requires a little time and foresight. To help you make the best possible choice, here are 5 IDEAL things to ask before hiring an accountant.

WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY OFFER FOR THE FEE CHARGED?

Accountants usually offer a variety of packages, some are quite comprehensive – with a monthly fee covering everything you need to do both during, and at the end of, the financial year; others offer basic services with various additional add-ons available at an extra charge.

On the other hand, you can choose to pay for services only as and when you need them, say with balancing the year-end books, or when you need to access specialist advice. A good accountant will not try to over-sell services, something which will soon become obvious during a preliminary, no obligation chat. For those looking for a firm in Scotland, B-ABLE accountants Glasgow are a good option.

WHAT LEVEL OF CERTIFIED SKILL DO YOU HAVE?

Not all accountants are certified, but if you’re looking for help with serious things like an IRS audit or other specialized services, it’s worth spending more to hire a CPA. On the other hand, if your needs are quite simple then a regular accountant will likely be fine, and cheaper too.

WHAT IS YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT LIKE?

Unless you’re approaching someone referred by a trustworthy source the only way you can get an idea of their standard of work is through reviews and testimonials. It’s best to look beyond those on their website and check what people may have said in other places on the web for a more balanced take on things.

…AND YOUR GREEN CREDENTIALS?

Sure, it’s natural to be selfish when protecting your business’ profits and investments, but you should always have a responsible approach to the environment at the forefront of your decision making, too. As with any company you’re considering hiring or working with, you should give their green credentials a once over as best practice. Check out their broader approach to corporate social responsibility too; if they have none, move on.

HOW DO YOU TREAT AND RESPOND TO BOTH CURRENT & POTENTIAL CLIENTS?

Sure, a decent accountant will probably be quite busy, but what matters is how they manage their time, or the importance they place on good customer service. If you send a query message and get no response, never chase, simply erase them from your list. The same applies to those who take forever to reply to your messages or queries.

A good accountancy company will treat all customers equally well, whether potential or established – if they are poor at the start it’s unlikely things will improve; a situation which will become increasingly irritating as deadlines approach, or important questions are not answered promptly.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.