What to look for when choosing an accountancy firm
Whether you’re a start-up or established business, accountancy services will become a necessity for many. With so many firms out there, how do you choose which provider is right for you? If you already have an accountant, is it the right one, and could you benefit from switching?
Do they have the basics right? – ensuring the provider can carry out all the core services from payroll and audits to end of year tax returns and tax planning, is key. Whilst all firms will claim to be experts in these services, ensuring there is an established knowledge – as well as a continual commitment to keeping up-to-date with the latest legislative changes – will negate problems later on. Areas such as payroll need careful handling to ensure compliancy with HRMC rules, and rather than prioritising cost, business owners should think about whether the provider offers security and flexibility – two important aspects of this particular service.
Ascertain if they are keen to create a partnership – for companies starting out, finding the right accountant and creating a partnership from day one will reap rewards later on. Getting professional advice from the outset will help with important decisions from which business structure to choose, to guidance on the business plan and education around managing the books to ensure compliance with HMRC’s requirements.
Do they keep in contact? – For established companies, viewing their accountant more as a partner than a service provider to go to when things go wrong or end of tax returns need filing. Working closely with your accountant on a regular basis will help them to help your business. They can help identify potential issues early on and put in place measures to help prevent them escalating – avoiding potential disasters and putting you back on the right course. Equally, they can help in identifying opportunities and how to capitalise on them – as well as advise and aid on funding sources and preparing the right information for a lender. See our case study on how we did just that for local firm.
Look for value-add – some forward-thinking accountancy firms have additional services they have developed for the modern business. For instance, our Board Support package offers a range of services from budgets and forecasts, management accounts, quarterly reviews and unlimited telephone support for a fixed fee. This can really benefit businesses needing an extra level of support, fulfilling a finance director role without the hassle and cost of employing one. The fixed fee negates the fear of a meter-running or an escalating bill. Our Business Protect credit check service can help a business avoid costly mistakes by working with a new supplier or client who has bad debt.
Don’t stay with your accountancy provider if you’re not happy. Many business owners do out of loyalty or tradition, or because they don’t know how to go about sourcing a new provider.
If you’re keen to learn more about how hiring Adams Moore or switching to us can help your business, get in touch with Tessa on 01827 54944.