No matter how large or small a business is, it will typically need to liaise with an accountant, be it for auditing, management, tax, or finance purposes. Here are some of the competencies you should be on the look out for when finding an accountant to meet your needs.
While you are focused on the day-to-day operations of your company, your accountant should be proactive in ensuring that you are aware of your financial reporting obligations and deadlines.
Your accountant should assess your financial situation on a regular basis, search for warning flags, and offer advice on cash flow optimization if necessary.
In addition, they should be reminding you about reporting and other crucial financial deadlines, not the other way around, so you can focus on your business’s day-to-day operations.
Your accountant should be quick to respond
The last thing any business owner wants to do is wait days for an overview of their finances or a report that should take less than a minute to generate.
Communication with your accountant should be simple and not seem like a waste of time, but rather an investment that yields something helpful, meaningful, and actionable.
Your accountant should know your industry
You should expect someone you hire to do their homework and be familiar with your company’s ins and outs. This involves anything from understanding what you do to understanding how your organization operates and who your key personnel are.
Your accountant should bring value to your business
When we talk about value, we don’t simply mean keeping your books up to date, submitting appropriate taxes, completing yearly reports, and handling payroll. Despite the fact that these are critical core services, there are hundreds of accountants who can perform them.
As a result, you should expect your accountant to go above and beyond, potentially advising on a business strategy, advising on the legal form of a company, assisting you with loan applications, and so on.
Your accountant must be adaptable
Rigidity is the most powerful inhibitor to innovation, and in today’s fast-paced corporate environment, that’s a sure-fire way to fail.
Accountants now have access to a variety of modern technologies that may automate many of the boring and time-consuming tasks associated with the finance role. Wherever possible, your accountant should use these to help you save money and improve the efficiency of your company procedures.
Your accountant should also be adaptable in their recommendations. You don’t work in a one-size-fits-all sector, and your accountant’s recommendations should reflect that. What works for one company may not work for you, and what worked last month may no longer be applicable this month. Your accountant should have the vision to recognize what methods will work for your company in the sector you operate in, as well as the ability to adjust these plans to achieve long-term success.
Assist You in Improving Your Cash Flow
The reality is that in every firm, cash is always king. As a customer, you should expect to be advised and informed on how cash may flow through your company, how to increase it, and how your company would gain as a result.
Save Money on Taxes
It’s crucial to save money as well as make money. Your accountant should be able to help you find solutions to reduce your tax burden.
Your accountant also should consider getting accountant professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves and your business. To learn more about professional indemnity insurance, click here.
Be aware of your goals
Your accountant should be knowledgeable with the present situation of your firm, and they should also be aware of your goals. Do you wish to expand your horizons? Or do you plan to sell at some point? All of these are questions that your accountant should be aware of in order to have a positive working relationship.
Treat you with respect
It makes no difference if you employ one person or a hundred; you should always expect to be treated with respect. Your accountant should strive to maintain a positive connection with you by keeping in touch on a frequent basis and knowing who to call in different situations.
You won’t always be around to respond to inquiries addressed at your bookkeeper, for example. A good accountant will remain in touch with a company’s owner and keep the lines of communication open.
Examine your contracts and documentation.
If you’re getting into a contract that might have tax or accounting ramifications, it’s a good idea to have your accountant look through it.
Accountants can examine any contractual agreements and inform you of the tax and accounting implications that will impact your financial future. Their viewpoints assist their clients in avoiding the negative repercussions of cash management, financial planning, financial reporting, and insurance.
Estate and trust planning assistance
Because taxes can have an influence on your estate, you should consult an accountant to ensure that more of your hard-earned assets go to your heirs or charity rather than the government.
Accountants can help customers transfer assets on to children or grandchildren before they die, or help non-profit organizations benefit from a client’s generosity while minimizing tax consequences. These tactics assist customers in allocating a higher percentage of their assets to organizations that benefit society.
While you are most certainly an expert in your field, you may not be completely knowledgeable about taxation or self-assessment, for example.
An accountant should treat all of your employees with respect and be willing to explain things to you/them, no matter how insignificant they may appear.
Keep up with the most recent legislation
A fee may be imposed if you do not keep up with constantly changing legislation, laws, and regulations. A professional accountant will not only keep you informed about forthcoming legal changes, but they will also be able to tell you how they will affect your business and how you can best prepare for them.
Observe the GDPR
GDPR was one of the most significant corporate reforms of 2018, with severe penalties for non-compliance. Given the sensitivity of the information your accountant has about you, you should expect your accountant to have their own GDPR compliance processes in place in addition to yours.