An accountant is one of the most important investments you will make in your business and a bad accountant could be one of the worst. Your business accountant should be able to manage all of your business finances, guide you on problem areas and sort out the difficult world of tax, so you don’t have to.
When your accountant fails to handle these tasks, it can spell disaster for your business. You could be faced with a tangled mess of accounts or even worse, a hefty fine from HMRC.
Salford accountants, Alexander & Co have offered us some tips and things to look out for, when it comes to deciding whether you should make the switch. It’s something that should always be considered carefully, so make sure you know exactly why you need to switch to avoid making the same mistakes time and time again.
They throw jargon at you and do not explain things in a clear and concise manner
One of the reasons business owners hire an accountant, is so that they can handle the complicated side of their business’ finance. With so much legal jargon to deal with, you need an accountant that can simplify these complicated phrases and words.
The sign of a bad accountant, is one that covers up their lack of knowledge by throwing out as many buzzwords as possible, in order to confuse you and prevent you from asking further questions.
Find an accountant that has the time and patience to sit you down and explain your finances in layman’s terms. Your accountant should be open to educating you as well as guiding you.
They do not have any knowledge of your industry
After an initial conversation, it should be easy to know whether an accountant has any knowledge of your industry. Make sure to ask plenty of industry related questions when you first meet them, to get a feel for how much they know.
If you have only recently discovered that your accountant has a lack of knowledge in your industry, it could be time to shop around. Ask others in your niche for their recommendations and chat to a few different accountants and compare their knowledge to find the perfect one.
They charge you whenever you need advice on your finances
Finance is a very delicate subject, so an open door policy should be practiced. Not only does it help to build trust, but it also ensures that both you and your accountant can stay on the same page.
If your accountant demands a fee for simply sitting down and giving you advice on your accounts, you should look for an accountant that offers free advice as part of your monthly service fee.
They are impossible to get hold of or book an appointment with
Similar to the point above, your accountant shouldn’t be impossible to get in touch with. As their client, they need to put you and your accounts first. This means being reachable should anything urgent or time sensitive arise.
When you are looking for an accountant, make this one of your questions to ask and find out how accessible they will be, should you start to work together.
They fail to understand the latest changes and laws within tax
Tax is something you do not want to get wrong, as it could land you with a very hefty fine. Your accountant should be able to handle anything tax related with little worry or fuss.
Poor tax management can end up costing your business a lot of money, so it is very important that you check how up to date your accountant is with the latest tax laws and practices. The best way to do this, is to research what you can about recent tax laws and changes to those laws. Write down a number of questions around those subjects and test your accountant’s knowledge.
Switching accounts can be tricky, but it will benefit you much more in the long run.