Whatever your business, whatever your experience as an owner and however long your business may have been running; you will face the constant and rather daunting aspect of dealing with your business finances.
Dealing with finances is no easy task and the pressure is regularly on as one slip up could land your business in murky waters. From bookkeeping, to tax, to VAT and PAYE returns; there are numerous financial ‘boxes’ that you must continue to tick off but with a business to run, employees to manage and success to reach, many agree that the best way to keep on top of it all is with the ongoing advice and support of a professional and qualified accountant.
There is a stigma surrounding accountants and I am almost positive that as I have even uttered the word; many of you will think of boring, suited men that charge far too much money and do very little to help your business. However, contrary to popular belief the right accountant will not only charge little for your services but save you a heap of money in the long run and of course ensure that your business finances remain in the best shape possible.
Below are my top tips that can help you ensure that, in your search for the right accountant, you get only the right results…
Experience- This is almost a given point to look for; as the more experienced the accountant, the more chance you have of ensuring you receive the best service. There is however another point to consider; has your chosen accountant got experience in dealing with small business and start-up business finance? The two can differ greatly from the financial situations faced by moderate and larger sized corporations so be sure to check into this before you make any decisions.
Fees- There is a myth that all accountants including small and start up business accountants charge large fees for an hour’s service however did you know that there are many accountancy firms that offer fixed fee services too? a fixed fee accountant is your best chance of getting the right service without a crippling price tag.
Services- An accountant isn’t just the tax man; the right accountant can become a trusted advisor who can help your business stay in the best financial shape, pay less taxes and may even advise on ways in which you can save money. Take the time to ask what services are on offer; bookkeeping, tax return advice, PAYE checks and help and support on VAT returns are services you will all need at one point and getting them all from the same trusted accountant is often easier, simpler and far more cost-effective.
Whatever your business, an accountant can make life easier by ensuring your finances are up to date and in the best shape possible. The right accountant is out there; one that supports your business in a way that it deserves and one that ensures you aren’t hit with constant crippling fees. Simply take the time to research your options, think carefully and think ahead when making that all important decision.
Ben Black is the Director of Calculated Accountants, a firm of professional start up business and small business accountants dedicated to providing solid, trusted financial advice and support.