My guess is that you read the title of this and thought how strange it was that we were telling you what we looked for in our clients. Of course, we consider all clients and are happy to discuss your needs, however, we also know that when you are looking to change your accountant or appoint a new one, you are entering a long-term business relationship. That means it is important we all make the right choice. Here are a few things we think you should look for before making your decision (in addition to good accountancy skills of course) and what we think is important to a successful working relationship.
Do you need the personal touch?
One of our strengths here at Northants Accounting is our commitment to helping you manage your financial affairs properly. We want you to develop your business with a sound financial foundation. The truth is that every practicing account will be able to perform the standard services such as tax returns and so on. The question to ask is how much of the personal touch do you want alongside that? We think all businesses are unique and that means we should make the effort to know you, and understand what you do, so we can help you in the best way.
Are you currently in a bit of a mess and need help?
The scenario of a shoe-box full of receipts being dumped on an accountant’s desk is a bit out of date these days. There is a plethora of easy to use bookkeeping software out there that should keep you on the straight and narrow. Sadly, that isn’t always what happens. We see a lot of people who have just been too busy to keep up or were unsure of what they were doing. In the world of accounting a simple misunderstand can sometimes lead to a big problem. If you are in a bit of a muddle, then you need to look for an accountant that is used to dealing with unravelling things and getting you back on track.
Are you a start up?
Starting your business is a challenging and difficult time as well as an exciting one. We love working with start-ups, but some accountants are simply not geared that way. Part of being a good accountant for a fledgling business is taking away the stress and worry of your accounts in the initial stages. Being the chosen accounting professional for a new business requires a flexibility of approach, an understanding of the stresses that go with owning a new company, as well as caring for the financial needs.
Do you need an accountant that can scale with you?
As your business grows you will need to change your accountancy practices. Sudden changes in business models, such as the need for VAT registration or a widening workforce, can be challenging times. Our team are there to anticipate your growth and scale our service to accordingly.
Do you want to work with your accountant?
Occasionally we get a prospective client who wants us to do things in a way we are not happy with or totally leave us make all the decisions. We tend to politely suggest other options for their accountancy needs. Experience tells us that the best relationships are built on mutual trust and making sure that you are kept fully in the loop – or at least as much as you want to be. It is about you being involved enough to make the right decisions together.
While these are far from being every question you should consider before choosing an accounting professional, they are perhaps ones that normally don’t get asked or are not considered.
At the end of the day it is all about creating a working relationship that everyone, including your accountant, is happy to be involved with. That is why we spend time onboarding new clients and getting to know them. When we are both happy we can work well together and then we can really get on with helping your business develop and helping you achieve your goals.