The right accountant will become a trusted partner of whom you can depend on, who can offer the best advice and guide you past any obstacles that present themselves as your business grows. So, as far as starting and growing a business is concerned, these are the fundamentals that will mean you keep your doors open for business for years to come.

Therefore, it’s not exactly surprising that selecting the right accountant becomes a huge priority to any business owner. It’s important to choose an accountant carefully as you will need to be sure that they are keeping the interests of your company to mind at all times and if possible, are capable of advising on other important areas of your business using their extensive experience in the field.

At Northants Accounting, we understand that an accountant plays a huge role in the development of a company, even if it doesn’t seem that way to begin with.

The main aim of any accountant is to project the bigger financial picture and work with it to collectively achieve business goals. Given the importance of the situation, we have summarised the points that must be considered by every business owner when choosing an accountant to work alongside.

Location

Previously, it was important that your company’s accountancy firm was located nearby.  But with the advancement of technology and the invention of numerous digital tools, companies are able to collaborate with accountants and manage their work remotely.

With the development of online accounting, it is possible to get access to real-time data irrespective of your location. So, location is no longer at the forefront when decisions are being made regarding which accountant to work with.

The focus is now on finding an accountant who understands the issues faced by your business, not on choosing one that is more easily accessible.

However, if you prefer face-to-face contact then of course location becomes a huge factor. Nevertheless, it will limit your search to only those who work in nearby areas or those who are willing to travel when required.

Whatever your terms and condition may be, make sure they are an experienced accountant who is well equipped to help you and your business.

Division of Work

Usually, accountants can handle every aspect of accounting work, whether it’s bookkeeping or business finances. The majority of businesses simply bundle up their invoices and bills and hand them over to their accountant to handle.

But honestly, that is not the ideal approach. Accountants are known to charge by the hour and do you really want them to waste their valuable time and expertise sifting through piles of paperwork and doing simple data-entry tasks?

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It is better to get involved with your accountant and to ask as many questions as you can. It will help you get a better grasp of your business expenses and revenue, plus you will be utilising their well-earned experience.

To make it even easier, there is a huge amount of accounting software available that you can use to streamline data and understand it better. The software will take care of lots of the boring tasks that you and your accountant hate.

So, choose an accountant who won’t mind working closely with you and who can support you throughout the process.

Good accountants will be happy to show you the ropes with software too, so look out for the ones who are proudly partnered with Xero and other cloud based software.

Certification

Many businesses follow the norm of hiring professionals that are accredited because it means that they know the individual chosen will maintain set standards. These professional bodies are known as Chartered Accountants (CAs) or Associate Chartered Management Accountants (ACMA’s).

They are highly qualified professionals with work experience and a specialised capability plan. They can add value to your business from the start. It is always better to hire a professional accountant at the beginning to guarantee business growth.

You can hire accountants with no certification but it may be an unwise move on your part. There are many tasks that don’t require an accounting degree, like tax preparation, general financial management and bookkeeping.

However, should you need a loan for your business growth or if your business is audited, it  will be helpful to have someone who has an in-depth knowledge of accounts.

Networks

Start your search on your existing social network. You already have a sense of trust with those people, so they may be able to provide you with the ideal candidate.

Start asking your friends and family members. If they have their own business, they can even recommend their own accountant.

Alternatively, you can use technology to your advantage – look online and see what people are saying. There really is nothing better than authentic customer reviews, so check out what is being said about an accountant you have in mind before committing to working with them.

Ultimately, choosing an accountant is a personal decision, and there is no one size fits all solution.

Keep your expectations clear with your accountant to make sure that you are both on the same page at all times. An accountant can help your business in so many ways, some of which you might not even be aware of. The best thing you can do is take your time during your search to ensure you make the right choice.

Feel free to get in touch today to discuss more about working with an accountant.