What to look for in an accountant?

Does my accountant need to be qualified?

Unlike terms such as solicitor and lawyer, which are protected by law, anyone can call themselves an accountant.

It is therefore important to recognise the difference between an accountant and a qualified accountant. The terms chartered accountant and chartered certified accountant can only be used by someone holding the correct qualification. They are ICAEW (ACA) and ACCA respectively. You may also find someone qualified under AAT, although many AAT qualified accountants go on to study ACA/ACCA as they are a higher level of qualification.

When choosing an accountant you should ensure that they have the correct qualifications to suit your needs.

At Plus Accounting we have staff with both qualifications, we are regulated by the ICAEW and we are also an ICAEW and ACCA approved employer for staff training requirements.

Choosing the right accountant for my business

When choosing an accountant you should decide what services you require and how you would like them delivered. Accountants can offer a selection of services such as bookkeeping, annual accounts, auditing, corporation tax returns, management accounting, cashflow reporting, share valuations, personal tax returns and many more!

The best way to determine what you need is to have a conversation and discuss your needs with one, or even multiple accountants, and see who can provide the services you need, together with the relevant experience and expertise.

The services you need can range widely given where your business currently is and the level of growth it is experiencing or trying to achieve. It may be that you want to keep certain areas in house by hiring a team member to undertake these or you may want to outsource the whole function.

To help you understand the services an accountant can provide, why not take a look at ours here.

How can I ensure my accountant will provide a good service?

Along with ensuring the accountant has a relevant qualification, as mentioned above, you should ensure they have the correct experience in delivering the types of services you require. The best way to ascertain this would be to look on their website for client testimonials or ask them for examples of how they have helped similar businesses.

It may also be helpful to ask what quality control procedures are in place, alongside the membership of the professional accounting body. For example, we are members of the Mercia group, who provide us with regular training, to ensure all our staff are kept up to date and they also review our work to ensure we are maintaining the correct standards.

As you can see there is a lot to think about when choosing an accountant and understanding your needs first is key, you can then do your own research and have the conversations you need too to ensure you make the best decision for your business.

Author: Patrick Hoare, Corporate Services Manager, Plus Accounting

Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal, belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of Plus Accounting. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site

Date published: 05 April 2022

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