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How to Choose A Chartered Accountant for Your Business

How to Choose A Chartered Accountant for Your Business

Outside the business community many people underestimate the benefits that a chartered accountant can bring to a business. The chartered accountancy qualification is recognized as one of the broadest professional qualifications. Team up with a chartered accountant and you will find a trusted business partner. Someone who will not only assist you in meeting your legal obligations in terms of accounting and tax, but who will also be able to assist you in:

  • finding the optimal legal structure for your business
  • evaluating finance
  • writing a business plan
  • setting up bookkeeping and management information systems
  • selecting software, and
  • finding new and creative ways to develop and manage a growing businesses.

Create a shortlist: You will need to find a list of qualified accountants in your area. The simplest method is by contacting the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales).

Did you know that? Accountants work individually or in groups in accountancy practices. It does not follow that only smaller accountancy practices deal only with small business. However smaller practices may have lower overheads than larger ones and charge less.

Ask other local businesses and friends for their recommendations: A friend, a bank manager, or members of local business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce will be able to recommend local chartered accountants.

Meet the candidates: When you’ve drawn up a shortlist of accountancy practices you’ll need a list of questions to ask your potential accountant. How about:

  • What direct experience do you have with my business activity?
  • In what ways can you help my business grow?
  • Are my business goals achievable?
  • What is your charging structure/charge out rates?
  • Are your staff qualified?
  • Will you be my main contact in the practice?

As you’re interviewing, it’s important to consider whether or not you feel a personal rapport. Although you may well not become life-long best friends with your accountant, it is important to get along well. You’ll be spending a fair amount of time together, and you certainly need to feel you can trust one another.

Making your choice: Having conducted your interviews, it’s likely that you’ll be in a position to whittle the candidates down to one or two. If appropriate, invite them to visit your business, show them around, and discuss your business plan. This will give you an opportunity to get to know one another a little more, after which a winning candidate is likely to emerge.

How to Choose A Chartered Accountant for Your Business


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