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7 Questions You Should Ask When Hiring an Accounting Firm for Your Small Startup

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by Startacus Admin

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Tips and advice on hiring an accountant for your startup


pexels 669610Hiring an accounting firm is one of the most important decisions you can make when starting a business. A good accountant will be able to show you how and where you’re spending your money, introduce you to government schemes you might be eligible for, and keep you in the loop if they see any irregularities. An accountant will also play an important role in making sure that you remain compliant with the HMRC.

Choosing an accountant can be a daunting decision for any business, especially small ones, and you have to be careful to pick someone who will not only be competent but who will also be able to mesh with you. Here are some of the questions you should ask when hiring an accounting firm for your small startup.

Are You Used to Working with Small Business Clients?

This one is very important. You want to work with a team you will feel comfortable with as a small client. You want to get treated as equal and feel like they have your best interest in mind. These are the ones who will work extra hard to help you, find deductions, or give you advice about areas where you might be able to improve.

Firms like Hodge Bakshi, for instance, work with companies of all sizes and are a leading chartered accountants in Cardiff for small businesses. You’ll get the expertise of people who handle multi-million accounts working for you, and they’ll give you just as much dedication as they do any of their clients. They can also offer business and management advice, help with financing, and give you taxation pointers if you ever decide to change the structure of your enterprise.

How Much Experience Do You Have in My Field?

Some accountants will be well versed in all industries, and some will be specialists. In either case, make sure that you ask them questions about their experience in your particular line of business and whether they have clients similar to you. Those working in the same industry will already be aware of most of the benefits you might be eligible for and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. They will also know the specific tax particularities of businesses in your field and allow you to avoid pitfalls.

pexels 2058136Can You Give Me Advice on This Deduction?

This one is really a test. You want to know if the accountant truly understands your business and isn’t simply saying so. Do your research on some deduction pertaining to your industry and ask the accountant for their opinion about it. If they look flustered and start stumbling over the answer, this could be a clear indication that they don’t really know what they’re doing.

How Long Have You Been in the Business?

You also want to know how long they’ve been in the business. Ideally, you want to work with a firm that has been around for a while and has a solid track record. That doesn’t mean that newer firms are automatically incompetent. But, if you’re in a sector that’s heavily regulated, it would be wiser to work with a more experienced team.

Can I See References?

If you’re going to hire an accounting firm, you have to ask for references. If they can’t produce any, look the other way, simple as that. You need to be able to verify their claims and check their reputation. You want the references to be from fairly recent clients, and preferably in your field of business.

pexels 3727510How Will We Communicate?

You also want to get a sense of their communication style and how they will proceed. Ask if there will be regular face to face conversations or if most of it will be handled electronically. This will be important, as some people might not be as comfortable sending important documentation through email and will prefer to sit down with their accountant whenever possible; this is something you’ll have to make clear from day one.

How Many People Will be Handling My Account?

This is also something you’ll have to ask before you work with any firm. Some will take your account and just pass it over to junior accountants. While you get the prestige of the firm, you don’t really get it in terms of service. This is why you should find out if you can have your account handled by one accountant and one accountant only. This will make sure that you avoid confusion and that you can actually build a relationship with them.

If you ask these few important questions when hiring an accountant, you should be able to start getting a nice list of potential firms you could work with. Make sure to take your time, gather feedback, and choose a team that really understands your field, so they’ll truly be able to help you.

 


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Published on: 7th July 2020

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