You trust your accountant to handle the financial side of our business, which you may otherwise struggle with. But, what do you do when you sense that you may be being deceived? Does it seem too coincidental that you draw the short straw time and time again? Do you feel you may be being short changed for the services provided?
Here are the tell-tale signs that it is time to make a change and seek accountancy services elsewhere:
One of the main qualities of a good accountant is regular, effective communication with clients. This should consist of genuine, face-to-face discussion, not just a few emails here and there. The amount of contact that you have with your accountant will vary and be specific to you and your needs, but consistency is key!
This holds such importance as your accountant should be invested in understanding your circumstances and the goals you have for your business, which of course, can be subject to change.
The most vital indicator that your accountant is an effective communicator is their ability to explain the numbers of your business to you in an understandable way, using plain English. If this is not happening then your accountant is letting you down. After all, if you don’t understand the numbers, then how will you know if your business is doing well, and subsequently make it better?
There are no circumstances in which it is appropriate for your accountant to miss deadlines. If your accountant misses external deadlines, such as ones with HMRC, then this will cost you money as it will lead to fines. Moreover, if your accountant misses internal deadlines (i.e. promises made to you) then they are overtly demonstrating their insincerity and general lack of commitment to you and your business.
In keeping with HMRC’s ‘making tax digital’ regime, a progressive accountant will use cloud accounting, as opposed to keeping paperwork alone. This is much more efficient, and a prominent indicator of a truly 21st century accountant. Through cloud accounting, you have access to the numbers relevant to your business at all times, putting you in control. It also saves your time, since you will no longer have to tirelessly input figures.
Why not put yourself in the driver’s seat, as opposed to aimlessly lagging behind an accountant stuck firmly in the last century?
If your accountant only ever meets the minimum legal requirements for your business, then it is likely that you have signed up with a mediocre accountant. While not as detrimental as an downright bad accountant, mediocrity will not serve your business in the long run, as your personal goals and hopes for the future will not be taken into account (excuse the pun).
You should seek an accountant who goes above and beyond to add value to your business and save you money where feasible, while also catering to your personal aspirations.
A good accountant will bill a fixed fee for each bit of work that they complete, as opposed to charging hourly. This is because an hourly rate discourages regular communication, and your accountant should want to be in regular contact with you, ensuring that they are meeting all of your accountancy needs. In paying an hourly rate as opposed to a fixed, conditional fee, you also run the risk of paying for your accountant’s inefficiency.
You should seek an accountant who charges a yearly fixed fee, with the option to pay in monthly instalments, not one who leaves you worried you’ll receive a bill for merely picking up the phone.
At Gow & Partners, we are a trustworthy team of accountants, priding ourselves on offering honest services at a fair price. When you sign up with us, you are signing up for effective communication and absolute transparency. Join us for a free consultation at your convenience and we will explain our reliable, responsive and proactive approach to accounting in more depth.
Simply call our team on 01254 589799, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.