So you need to find an accountant.
There are lots of articles around giving advice on where to go, what to look for and recommending certain companies or individuals.
I’ll keep it short and sweet with a few key points to help you decide:
- Choose an accountant either before or soon after you have started in business. Don’t wait until just before an accounts or tax filing deadline.
- Make sure they are a qualified accountant, through one of the main accountancy bodies. Ask them for details of their qualification. There is nothing to stop someone calling themselves an accountant, even if they don’t have a qualification.
- Can they provide the range of services you require and do they have access to specialists should you need them.
- Make sure you choose one who isn’t like Father Christmas (you only see him once a year!). A proactive accountant who keeps in touch with you throughout the year is essential. This way you will be in a far better position to keep more of what you earn and pay less tax.
- You should insist on fixed fees for an agreed level of services. This way you stay in control of the fees and won’t get any unexpected bills. Obviously if you ask for extra services during the year, expect to pay extra fees.
- You need to like and trust your accountant on a personal and professional basis. They have to be someone who you feel comfortable discussing financial matters with, this way you will gain far more from their expertise.