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Choosing an accountant when going self-employed

Although it is not obligatory to hire an accountant when going self-employed, many people find that doing so enables them to manage their finances much more easily. Before choosing a suitable professional, it is important to decide exactly what tasks the accountant will be asked to perform. Some people prefer to do their own bookkeeping, for example, while others might be happier to hand this job over.

A decision might also need to be made regarding whether the accountant will be responsible for completing and filing tax returns. Working out exactly what services will be needed before approaching an accountant makes it easier to assess what the costs will be.

When considering the financial aspects associated with choosing an accountant, it might be tempting to go for the most reasonably priced deal. However, it is not always best to go with the professional who offers the best price. Prudent business owners will take a thorough approach, researching how much they will be charged and weighing up what they will get in return. If there is a fixed payment system, it is crucial to determine which services will be included and which will not.

A friendly and professional relationship that will last over the years

There are personal considerations to take into account when thinking about which accountant to hire. Recommendations can be excellent, but it is wise to check everything in person and make sure there is some kind of rapport with the suggested accountant. It is important to feel comfortable when discussing business and financial matters. A local firm may be a suitable choice as it can be easier to check its reputation with other business owners that use its services.

It may not always be clear which member of an accountancy firm will be responsible for dealing with a business’s accounting needs and it is important to check whether a specific individual will always be available. If there is an option to deal with the same person over time, this is usually more efficient, as the accountant will get to know the client’s business well. It is ideal if the accountant will ensure they are available to answer basic queries when needed, making it possible to pick up the phone for advice at any time.

Experienced accountants can help businesses to grow

When selecting an accountant, a professional with experience in the relevant field of business will immediately understand the industry and the client’s place within it. Such an accountant should have a good grasp of all the relevant regulations and will be able to remind the business owner when forms need to be completed at certain times of the year. One thing to bear in mind is that there could be possible conflicts of interest if an accountant is advising competitors, and it is best to check this before choosing a particular firm.

Businesses can change dramatically over time and the right accountant should be able to cope if a firm expands. Advice regarding employees, investors and acquisitions could all be needed in the future, and the right professional should be fully equipped to help.

Posted by Peter
September 30, 2013
Features

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