How A Small Business Owner Should Choose A Chartered Accountant
Most small businesses say that choosing an accountant is as significant as selecting a business partner. Considering how tough it can be for a business owner to navigate the complex financial world, a competent accountant will offer much-needed assistance. From keeping your books in order and helping with tax planning, tax efficiencies and meeting all tax deadlines, it becomes critical to hire the right person for the job. However, this is easier said than done, especially with so many accountants to choose from. So, how do you choose? To help you make an informed decision, here’s a guide to selecting the best Chartered Account for your small business.
Why do you need an accountant?
The right accountant can be a godsend for any small business owner. Their knowledge and understanding of numbers allow them to stay ahead of all the money coming in and out of your business. This keeps you in line with everything you need to be doing in regard to payroll, HMRC and any audits required.
A certified accountant will aid you in handling complex financial processes like tax, invoicing, and end-of-year reporting, which you may not be conversant with. Instead of you spending time on this and learning everything you need to know and do, you can focus that energy on the operation of your business and focus on everything you need to whilst your accountant takes care of the rest.
A professional accountant will be able to help you to financially secure and plan for the growth of your business as well as ensure you operate efficiently.
How does a chartered accountant differ from a non-chartered accountant?
“Accountant” is a general term that may be used to describe anyone that is technically proficient in financial matters and requirements. However, they must have completed the required level of training or earned practical experience working in the finance department. In addition, they should follow the Financial Reporting Corporate Governance and Stewardship Code.
Chartered accountants are individuals who have sat and passed accounting exams, spent at least three years working in the industry, and pay a yearly fee to be part of a recognised body such as global ACCA or ICAEW, earning them the status of being a “chartered accountant”. These accountants follow strict ethical codes and will charge a higher fee for their services compared to non-chartered accountants.
How to choose a chartered accountant
When searching for an accountant for your small business, remember to consider the following factors:
Ask about their speciality
Accountants provide a wide range of services that will differ from one business to another depending on their area of specialisation. These can range from tax compliance and financial reporting to growth management and auditing. You might want to assess your small business accounting needs to find a chartered accountant with the skills and experience relevant to your venture. For instance, single-person limited companies and sole traders may only require basic financial guidance like business registration and assistance.
Check their qualifications
Accountants who are chartered are those who have completed extensive training, earned industry experience, and belong to industry-recognised accounting bodies. You should ensure that they meet all your requirements before offering them that position. One way to do this is to ask for proof that they are members of bodies such as the ACCA, ICAEW, or ICAS in Scotland.
What is their location?
A lot of accountants will now meet with you via video call or a regular call to review your finances and this reduces the amount of time you need to take out of your business to travel to meet them. If you are a business owner that prefers to meet face-to-face with your accountant for regular updates on your company’s financials, you should consider searching for a local business to support you. Communicating with your accountant virtually works extremely well as long as they can effectively deliver the services you need so always take this into consideration when searching for the right accountant for you and your business.
Consider the sector of your small business
Not all sectors require the same accounting services. Some can be subject to specific tax rules or even extra reporting requirements. In these cases, you should find an accountant who is knowledgeable about your particular sector. For instance, a plumber’s transactions may not involve a digital paper trail, making it hard to trace back all their incomes. However, a graphic designer will likely be dealing with agencies where most of the transactions are recorded digitally.
Consider your budget
For a small business, the budget will always be a constraint, especially when you want to work with skilled professionals like chartered accountants. Always find out the rates of potential accountant charges before making your final decision. You don’t want your fee to be a burden on your business’s finances so this should be part of your decision-making. Always remember though a chartered account will likely cost you more so evaluating what you need and the support you require to effectively run your business is extremely important. It is always worth paying for professional and expert services as making a mistake on your tax returns and reporting could cost you a lot of time, money and stress.
Ask about the services included
Generally, accountants will offer a range of services, including preparing payroll, accounting for VAT, completing annual company accounts, as well as dealing with HMRC. You should always ensure that you are getting the services you need, in addition to other relevant ones for your business.
Are they conversant with the latest accounting software?
Technology plays an integral role in streamlining processes and making them efficient across different fields. The same principle applies to the accounting profession, and you may want to apply it to your own business. Always ask potential accountants if they are familiar with leading accounting software packages like Xero, FreeAgent, and Sage. With cloud accounting software, it makes it easier to stay updated on your accounts and even follow up on your payment status and tax liabilities.
Ask for recommendations
If you are finding it difficult to find an accountant, ask other businesses or contacts for recommendations to point you in the direction of a chartered accountant you can trust. The chances are they have worked with or are currently working with someone who has been tried, tested, and proven. Alternatively, contact reputable accountancy firms and ask them about the services they offer and how they can help you and your business as well as ask if they have any customer reviews or customers you could speak to about their services.
A good accountant
A good and experienced accountant can not only support you with your financials and tax requirements but will also help you to:
- Identify the purpose of your business
- Analyse performance, trends, and reasons for performance
- Identify potential problems so you can redefine your focus
- Identify your goals
- Track your progress
The right account will take your company to the next level by helping to manage your financial duties and advising on critical business decisions. Not only will this save money but also enable you to steer your company in the right direction and help you to grow and become more profitable. You won’t get it wrong when you find the best-chartered accountant for you and your business.
About Hayvenhurst Chartered Accountants
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business looking for more from your accountant, we can assist you. We offer a comprehensive and supportive accountancy service that suits your needs and business, wherever you are based in the UK. By developing a comprehensive understanding of your business, its needs and goals, we can offer you the personal services of a local accountant, but with the infrastructure, knowledge and expertise of a large national accounting firm.
In order to ensure your business’s success, you should always take time to find an accountant who suits your needs and those of your company. At Hayvenhursts we understand the importance of finding the right accountant for your business. Your accountant should always be someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.
When it comes to your business’s finances, we can provide advice and expertise. In addition to financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery, and insolvency, we can assist with as much or as little as you need. With our accounting systems and processes, we can help you drive your business forward by bringing together our skills in strategic forecasting and financial, accounting, auditing, and taxation expertise, all of which are essential to the success of any business, especially in today’s environment.
If you need advice or support, we’re available by phone or video call, and we won’t charge you for every call.
From business planning to reporting and end-of-year tax submissions, we provide an extensive range of accountancy and business support services. Our accountancy services are tailored to suit your business and support your success by spending time getting to know you.
Our Accountancy Services:
- Accounts Preparation
- Bank Accounts
- Book-keeping Health Check
- Business Growth
- Business Health Check
- Business Plans
- Business Valuations
- Commercial Property
- Company Formation
- Company Secretarial
- Contractors and IR35
- Inheritance Tax Planning
- Management Accounts & Information
- Management Systems
- PAYE Health check
- Payroll & PAYE Returns
- Personal Tax
- Property Tax
- Raising Finance
- Reduce your SRA Audit Costs
- Registered Office
- Strategic Planning
- Tax Disputes
- Tax Enquiries & Investigations
- Tax Planning
- Tax Returns & Self-Assessment
- VAT Health check
- VAT Planning & Disputes
- VAT Registration
- VAT Returns
If you are looking for an accountant for your business contact us today at 02920 777 756. We will answer any questions you will arrange for one of our expert and knowledgeable accountants to get in touch with you about the comprehensive services we offer to suit you and your business.