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The 10 best ways to choose a good accountant for a limited company

Most small business owners think that their accountant is their most valuable advisor. A good accountant will keep your books in order, help you plan your taxes, and make sure that you meet all of your tax deadlines. Here are some tips from the Taxaccolega team to help you find the best accountant.

Good Accountant in Croydon

How to find the Good accountant for a small business

1. Do your research as early as possible.

Consider hiring an accountant before you start your business, or as soon as you can. They will be able to give you advice on start-up costs and how to register with the tax authorities. They can also set up a company for you, sign you up for Corporation Tax and VAT, and set up your payroll if you want to go this route.

2. Make sure your accountant is qualified.

Make sure that all of the accountants you want to hire have the right credentials. Most firms are members of a well-known accounting group like the ICAEW (Chartered Accountants) and ACCA (Certified Accountants).

3. Use the assistance of a small business expert.

Make sure your accountant has worked with other small businesses, especially ones in the same industry as yours. If you are a contractor or freelancer, for example, you should usually talk to a contractor accountant instead of a “general” firm because there are specific tax laws you need to know about, like IR35.

4. How much will it cost to hire an accountant?

Find out what your accountant’s fees will be. Are they once a year or once a month? Is there a fee to get in or out? How much will extra work cost if it goes beyond the tasks that were agreed to be done for your business? Will they charge you “catch-up” fees if you switch accountants before the end of your company’s fiscal year?

5. What are the included services?

Here are some basic tasks that all accountants should do, like setting up a payroll, putting together your company’s annual accounts if you run a limited company, keeping track of VAT, dealing with HMRC, etc. Will they also fill out your self-assessment forms (which are required if you’re a sole trader but not if you’re a director) and give you references for a mortgage or a rental? Do they offer services for IFAs?

6. Talk to a few different accounting firms.

When choosing an accountant, you should always talk to more than one firm. From your first interactions with each firm, you should be able to get a sense of what it will be like to be a client there. It’s important that you feel like you can build a good relationship, so at this point, your intuition will be your best guide. Before you sign up, ask each accountant if you can meet with them and talk about your needs.

7. What firm size do you prefer?

At Taxaccolega, we often find that smaller accounting firms understand the specific needs of smaller businesses and can often be more “reactive” than larger firms. This is a very personal choice, though, and if you talk to a few accountants, you’ll probably get a “feel” for one of them. From our own experience, we would advise you to stay away from the big “factory line” accountants. For many of the big players, making money is more important than keeping clients happy.

8. Communication:

In the past, we have had the most trouble with accountants when we couldn’t talk to them. If paperwork isn’t sent back to the government on time, your business could get fined, and waiting days for an answer to a tax question can be very frustrating.

9. Technology:

Does your accountant work with all of the best online accounting software. This kind of software has changed the way accountants work and how their clients work with them. It has never been easier to keep your accounts up-to-date and see the status of your payments and taxes right away. If an accountant hasn’t started using cloud-based software yet, it’s best to stay away from them. In a twist of fate, cloud accounting software has also made it easier than ever to switch accountants.

10. Advice from people you already know and trust

One last tip is to ask people you know who run small businesses if they can recommend their accountants. A recommendation from someone you know and trust is hard to beat.

Furthermore, for more information, contact Taxaccolega Chartered Accountants in Croydon.


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