Talk to pretty much anyone about the worries that come with running your own business, or deciding to go freelance – and finances are often top of the list.
With a business to run, or deadlines to adhere to, you’ve already got a lot on your plate. So, if you’re waking up in cold sweats over annual accounts, or dreading losing that one, vital receipt – it might be time to call in the experts.
We understand that handing over the reins can be scary. But, with fifteen years’ experience, we like to think we know what we’re talking about. So if you’re ready to take that step, we’ve compiled a list of things to look out for; so your business gets the best, and you’re no longer crying into your paperwork.
This one goes without saying, but, when it comes to numbers, the cliché is true; honesty is the best policy. Great accountancy is built on impartial, expert advice – but the best will also be able to tell you honestly if, and where you’ve been going wrong.
It should also work both ways. If you find yourself unable to admit that you’ve made a mistake, don’t understand the lingo, or that you really have lost that vital receipt; then maybe they’re not the best fit for you.
The more open and honest you are with your accountant, the more they’ll be able to help you.
If you run your own business or startup, you’ll know too well the trials and tribulations of building it from the ground up – with bags of passion and lots of sleepless nights. Your own success is based on proactivity and innovation, and your accountant should reflect this.
Sometimes, you need a fresh pair of eyes to look over your finances; but these should also come with fresh ideas. Ideas to help your business become fiscally effective and financially efficient. Look for someone who offers new ways of working, and who follows the latest innovations in order to offer you the most useful, and up-to-date advice. It might even be as simple as suggesting some new accounting software or pre-empting a change in liability.
They should be as passionate about their work as you are yours, and their clever ideas might save you money in the long run.
Someone you can talk to.
Now, we understand that being self-employed can be lonely – but this doesn’t mean you should prioritise finding an accountant who will politely smile and nod when you tell them ever so enthusiastically what your pet did last Tuesday. What it does mean, however, is that you should find someone with whom you can build a comfortable, open relationship; and who will actively look beyond the obvious to understand what is best for you and your business.
Communication with your accountant should be easy and efficient – so if they’re taking ages to get back to you, are hard to contact, or if they never ask questions – find someone who will.
The perfect fit?
Above all, your accountant needs to suit exactly what you need. Find someone who will take the time to understand the distinct needs of your business. Whether that’s flexible working, a tailored approach, or even a short-term helping hand; the best accountants will appreciate the fact that your needs are as individual as you are.