Need an accountant? Find your perfect match
Choosing the right accountant for your business can be tricky. Even if an accountancy firm looks good on paper, when you meet face-to-face you might find that the chemistry is lacking.
Given that this working relationship is likely to be built over years and perhaps decades, it’s vital that there’s one hundred per cent trust and transparency from the outset.
So, what should be your top considerations when you start looking for a new accountant? Aside from the obvious advice to check qualifications and accreditations, there are a number of important factors to bear in mind. We’ve put together five key qualities that any effective accountant should possess – tick these boxes and you’re likely to enjoy a long and happy partnership!
We all have to start our careers somewhere, and it would be wrong to say that a newly-qualified accountant should be avoided. In fact, it takes years to qualify as Chartered Certified Accountant, and the standards are rigorous; by the time chartered status is gained, accountants will have spent many hundreds of hours carrying out hands-on as well as academic work. Reputable accountancy firms will also ensure that trainees and recently-qualified staff are mentored by a more experienced senior. If you’re worried that your prospective accountant seems a little green, don’t be afraid to ask about previous experience. Here at Perrys, we employ only the best new recruits and ensure they are fully supported by established partners.
For the working relationship to be successful, you need an accountant who ‘gets’ you and your company. Ideally, he or she will have experience in your sector, and will have an immediate grasp of the unique challenges facing your industry. For example, a construction firm employing sub-contractors must deal with very different regulations to a school looking to convert to academy status. Within many accountancy firms there will be specialists in certain sectors, so ask to see the person whose knowledge is tailored to your business interests. Before long he or she should know your business DNA as well as you do (and sometimes even better!).
This works both ways. You must be completely transparent about your business affairs in order for your accountant to be in a position to offer frank and realistic advice. Let your accountant know your priorities, whether that’s minimising your tax bill, handling VAT, completing company accounts or statutory audits. If your accounts are in a bit of a mess, don’t be embarrassed! The more information you can give, the better your advisor will be able to get your finances working smoothly and efficiently.
Mention the word ‘accountant’ and many people will conjure an image of a stuffy be-suited professional spouting incomprehensible jargon. These days, the profession is moving away from the dry, factual approach, and certainly at Perrys we aim to be the antithesis of the starchy stereotype. We’ve found that the vast majority of clients prefer to deal with friendly and approachable accountants who are able to explain financial matters in clear, unambiguous language. If the thought of ringing your accountant with a query fills you with dread, it’s definitely time for a change.
True, accountants are legally obliged to follow a myriad of rules and regulations, and their attention to detail must be exceptional. However, there’s room for creativity too, and the best accountants will work hard to suggest tailored solutions for your business in order to maximise efficiency and fuel future growth. Ethical tax planning, re-structuring and careful analysis of various trading options can provide the optimum framework on which your business can flourish.
Could Perrys be the perfect match for you? We have seven branches in Kent and central London, and we pride ourselves on our motto ‘Exceptional as standard.’ With tried-and-tested expertise in many different sectors, we’d be delighted to get together with you for an informal meeting, with absolutely no obligation whatsoever. Contact us via our enquiry form today.
We hope to be in touch very soon!