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Choosing A Business Accountant With Your Goals

Aug 8, 2008
One thing business owners don't enjoy is keeping the books. And that's why it can often seem easier and quicker to hire the services of an accountant. However, for most, it isn't as straight-forward as that. You have to consider what tasks you expect your accountant to complete, what you will continue to do on your own, and the results you expect your accountant to deliver to your business.

If you intend to go it alone with your accounting, it is worthwhile knowing that you will likely require the services of an accountant at one point in the future. For example, most limited companies are required to have their accounts audited. Although you may think that you will spend more money through using the services of an accountant, you may find that you end up spending more on tax; getting less attractive financing options; and that you sacrifice time on accounting that should be spent growing your business.

Sector Experience

It's great to work with an accounting firm that has experience with clients in your sector. An investment fund, with international elements, isn't something that all accountants will be familiar with. Although it's not necessary to work with an accountant that has sector experience, it is always a plus. Ask your accountant for examples of clients similar to you that they've worked with. If they can't, then ask them why they think they're right for the job.

An Accounting Firm or An Accountant?

If you work with a larger accounting firm then it is likely that you will have access to experience in more areas. Larger accounting firms have experience in dealing with business consultancy, taxation, mergers & acquisitions, auditing and other complimentary services. However, their prices will likely be higher. They have more expenses and, as a services firm, they don't get much economies of scale.

An individual accountant, on the other hand, will likely form a closer bond with you and your business. They might not have direct access to all of the experience on hand, but you are more likely to be able to get their services for a cheaper price. An individual accountant might not be able to perform certain legal requirements for your business. It is best to ask them about this, and how they get around it, before using their services. For many small business owners, though, this will not be a problem.

Recommendations

It's always best to get recommendations from other business owners before choosing an accounting company or accountant. Find out about the experiences other have had, whether they completed work on time, whether they offered tips for their business, and whether they found their prices to be reasonable.

It is worthwhile pointing out that larger accounting firms may provide a vastly different quality of service depending on the area of the country where you live. That's why it can often be best to ensure that you find out about the experiences of people that have worked with the individual accountant you would be working with.
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