Business is often viewed as a numbers game by many – make your income larger than your expenses and you’re all set. Individuals who are trying to focus on the bottom line may have a point, but they often forget that business is not really about the money per se – it’s about finding the right people, and once those people are found, the rest will automatically follow. It’s only when the right people are in place doing the right things that the right numbers will appear on the bottom line. And that includes finding the right accountant for your business enterprise. Here are some helpful tips to bear in mind when searching for an accountant who is a good fit with your enterprise.
- Understand your own business
It seems like a cliché, but of course you have to understand your own business in order to make it work and become successful. But what we mean here is that each business has its own accounting practices, and each different kind of business will register their expenses and incomes in a slightly different way.
If you are a land developer, for instance, you may expect a lot of expenses in building, but are those expenses really costs or are they improvements that lead to a greater evaluation of the land you are developing? The perfume maker or developer, on the other hand, will occasionally have to give out free samples in order to entice the customer, but are those costs written off as a loss or do they belong in the columns of advertising and marketing? Does the baker write off two-day old bread as a loss if they can make some great pudding out of it?
Write down what it is your business does – get into the details and list it all down. Then create and contact a good list of prospective accountants and see if they have experience with similar businesses. The first rule to finding the ideal accountant for your enterprise is to understand your own business – and only then can you expect your accountant to understand it as well.
- Check the accountant’s background
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with checking the prospective accountant’s background – in fact, it makes a lot of sense. Just as you would request a business CV from applicants applying for a position in your company, you have the right (and the obligation) to request a background summary of any potential accountant.
Is your prospective accountant properly registered and do they belong to any particular professional organisation? Have they ever been involved with companies that have come under the scrutiny of the law in the past? Does your accountant understand the ins and outs of taxation laws in the UK, and do they know how to take advantage of existing laws to ensure tax deductions for your enterprise? It is important – nay, crucial – to find out.
- Know your accountant’s fees
Some accountants will charge a monthly fee for their work, whilst other accountants will charge you a yearly fee (to be paid in increments or installments) if they are also responsible for ensuring the yearly statements and the filing of your tax returns at the end of the business year. Accountants can charge per hour, per month, or per year – you just have to choose the accountant who fits best with your business plan.
Choosing your accountant is not always easy – it’s important to choose the accountant who suits your business model and your way of doing things. However, there is sure to be at least one accountant out there who can completely and perfectly comply with your wishes. For the best and most experienced accountants in London and anywhere else, you can always rely on www.gsmaccountants.co.uk.
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