6 Tips for Choosing Your Small Business Accountant
Any time you spend money on the services of another professional for your business, you want to be confident in the choice you make. With an accountant, there are some easy things to watch for, professional memberships that guarantee the quality of their work. Another area to consider is the type of work they offer – many will do more than just complete tax returns or some bookkeeping. Here’s a guide to the top tips to choose a small business accountant around Waterlooville, Portsmouth or across the country.
1. Professional qualification
The first thing you want to know is that they are members of relevant professional associations and that they are qualified in what they do. There are lots of different qualifications and professional bodies but examples to look for include:
- Certified Public Accountants Association (CPAA)
- Accredited to the Federations of Small Businesses (FSB)
2. Ensure they are up with regulations
As well as having qualifications and being members of professional bodies, you want to ensure that they up to date with the latest regulations that can affect your business. Examples of these can be the latest money laundering regulations and HMRC rules.
3. Services you need
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a small business accountant is what services they offer. It is important that you can find a single place to have the most important services handled for you. Examples of these might include:
- Year end accounts
- Income tax returns
- Capital gains tax returns
- VAT returns
This is in addition to standard ongoing services such as bookkeeping and compiling financial records so you can keep track of the ongoing financial status of the company.
4. Company formation services
If you haven’t set up the company yet, you may also want to find an accountant that helps with this. Company start-ups or company formations are services that help you register yourself or your business with HMRC and Companies House if needed. It can also help with company secretarial services such as setting up a registered office and a business bank account to get the company off the ground.
5. Manage payroll
Even if you have a single employee, use freelancers or CIS contractors, you need to consider payroll, and this is another service an accountant can handle for you. Most of the time, this will mean setting up and administering PAYE – the monthly system that collects tax and national insurance from employees before they receive their monthly pay and sends this to HMRC.
6. Local service
Finally, while there’s nothing wrong with chatting online, it can be a big help to work with an accountant that is near to where you are based. Having a local service means you can arrange to have a meeting with them to check over the accounts, the financial position of the company or even to help with planning future developments and investments. And a good local accountant will even arrange to meet at your home or business to go through these important areas.