There will come a time when your accounting becomes a headache. We asked accounting experts for their recommendations regarding hiring an accountant for a small business, and some other frequently asked questions. Here are their recommendations.
Should entrepreneurs who are about to develop their business plan hire an accountant before starting operations?
Yes, it is ideal for several reasons: the accountant can guide the entrepreneur regarding the best accounting system to acquire. It also helps to define the correct fiscal regime, the proper way to archive the documentation (as well as electronic records of operations) and to comply with all fiscal obligations.
Entrepreneurs should evaluate at least three professional and economic proposals for the position before choosing the most convenient in terms of cost-benefit.
How do you know if an accountant is suitable for your business?
One way to determine this is to examine their experience, references, testimonials, and negotiate a contract of services and fees with clauses appropriate for both parties. The references of other clients are fundamental to analyse their level of responsibility, so it is pertinent to consult with the owners of other companies who have used the accountant’s services.
Apparently, there are many people with an empirical knowledge of accounting who offer their services. How does an entrepreneur or small business owner avoid falling into the hands of a non-legitimate accountant?
The first step is to ask the accountant to show their professional title and ID. Likewise, it is necessary to verify their affiliation with a recognised accountancy body, and that they are registered as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Is it advisable to find out about their current client portfolio?
Although it is not common, it is recommended to evaluate if the clients they manage have a similar profile to your own business, or are they all much larger or more well established. Remember, you want an ally, someone who will help your business grow, so they should have experience of having developed such growth in other enterprises.
Should a contract be signed with the accountant, as in the case of any other provider?
Yes, definitely. It should specify the rights and obligations of both parties. It should be drawn up by a lawyer who is expert in the field.
Is it necessary for the accountant to be a specialist in the company’s sector?
Yes, in this way the business owner can trust that the accountant is used to specific requirements and that, therefore, the degree of compliance will be greater.
Should an accountant be an independent worker or on the payroll?
Either way is okay, whether it is within the workforce or by contract and fees, like many central London accountants; the key is to verify the services, and the costs of those services, before commencing the professional relationship.