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What to look for when choosing an Accountant

Choosing an accountant

How do I choose the right accountant for me?

In this video Kim explains what things you need to think about when choosing the right accountant for you and your business.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A NEW ACCOUNTANT

How do I choose the right Accountant for me?

 

Have you ever gone off a personal recommendation, only to think I’m really not sure that this accountant is really a great fit for me and my business?  In this video I’m going to explain the factors you need to think about FOR YOU , when choosing an accountant!

Hi I’m Kim from Krystal-clear Accounting , we are based near Altrincham, in South Manchester but we have clients all over the UK.  That’s because with modern technology distance is no longer a barrier, especially with the advent of Cloud Accounting.

 

So the first point to consider is should your accountant be on the doorstep?  Well the answer is, it’s  really down to your personal choice.  They don’t need to be, but you might want them to be if you prefer face to face rather than using technology.  With the advent of cloud accounting and online meeting apps they don’t need to be.  As I have said we have clients all over the UK, but at the end of the day it’s down to personal choice…What do you want?  Are you happy dealing with your accountant on zoom or a Microsoft Teams online meeting?  Speaking on the phone and communication by email, text and what’s app?  It’s a very personal choice and there is no right or wrong answer …just what works for you.

 

Maybe a better question to ask is how do they communicate and how quickly?  Being able to get hold of your accountant when you want and getting a quick answer is really important.  It’s the single biggest factor we hear from prospective clients about why they are unhappy with their existing accountant.  It seems my colleagues in the industry just don’t return calls and emails  and clients are left wondering if there query has been received and will ever be answered. I’m delighted to say our clients definitely don’t have this problems, we return calls the same day and within an hour in most cases if we can’t speak immediately when the call or email comes in!  We know how important it is to our clients, to know that there query has been received and is being worked on.  After all you want a reply as quickly as possible so you can get on with your day!  If its something that is a little more involved, we’ll often send you a video so you can re-listen at your leisure.

Another point to consider is, Do they communicate in a non jargon way?  We often hear from prospective clients that they feel unnerved at times because the Accountant isn’t a great communicator, they speak in Accountanise and the client often feels intimidated.  So, not wishing to ask questions, they come away with lots of unanswered questions and are more confused than when they first started!

We understand that Accountancy terminology is not easy to decipher , so we ‘ll take the time to explain it in as plain English as we can, we’ll use diagrams wherever possible and answer as many questions as you have.  We never talk down to our clients, it is a partnership and if we haven’t explained it so you understand it, then we haven’t done our job properly!

Is the team friendly and do they make you feel as ease? You need to feel at ease with your accountant, they need to make you feel  comfortable and able to ask anything, they need to empathise,   as running a business can be lonely and difficult at times.  You need to feel your accountant and their team are effectively an extension of yours and on your side!! 

Are they knowledgeable in running a business? – A lot of accountants have never worked in a business before and all their experience comes from practice and audit.  It’s important you feel that your accountant understands business and how to help you to grow and what to do to partner with you to move your business on.  It’s very different running a successful business of your own & having lots of experience of working in businesses large or small.  Here at Krystal-clear Accounting we have both –  having worked in industry prior to setting up the business and running a successful Accountancy Business!  Do they have lots of great ideas to help you move your business on.  A really good commercial accountant can talk knowledgeably about all aspects of business like :-

  • How to introduce processes and procedures to grow your business
  • Sales & marketing and different ways to get and monitor customers
  • Recruiting & Managing team members
  • How to calculate how much to spend on marketing
  • How to increase your profits
  • How to lead a team
  • The effects of increasing and decreasing prices on operations and profits
  • How small tweaks like for example how conversion rates can make a massive impact on profitability

A good Accountant is like a GP – they know lots of stuff and can diagnose and help sort out most illnesses in the business but will know when they need to bring in the specialists!

 

Are they qualified and do they keep up to date? It is really important that you go with a qualified accountant, the main qualification in the UK are CIMA (qualifications are ACMA/FCMA) ICAEW ( qualifications are ACA/FCA) and ACCA (ACCA, FCCA).  There are other qualification but these are the main ones.

The word Accountant is not a protected term and anyone can call themselves one.  So, its really important that you check.  Its very important they are a member of one of these institutes  as they will then have to do what we call CPD – continuing Personal Development.  This way you can rest easier knowing they are expected to keep up to date on all the latest Accounts and Tax information.

I personally though, think you should ask an additional question – do they grow themselves as a business owner?  How can they help you and your business if they never develop themselves or theirs! Do they read books on the latest business leaders and business ideas, go on course, not just accounts and tax related but more general business and mindset growth!

Personally, I’d be asking them if they have a coach….do they invest time and money into being the best business owners they can be…as if they don’t how can they help coach you to grow your business!

Here at Krystal – clear Accounting we know one person can’t know all there is on everything, but we belong to other organisation’s to learn and develop whether its additional resource on Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Leadership, People skills or organisations with additional expertise we can all on as needed.  We also have a business coach – to help us as a business to be the best we can be.  We feel that is of paramount importance that we continually grow so we can offer the best ideas and  business support to our clients.

Have you checked out the industry sectors they operate in?  Some accountants are totally across the board generalists, some specialise in only 1 industry sector like “dentists” and some like us have a few specialisms – for example we don’t deal with builders or Financial Advisors but we do deal with digital marketing companies, entrepreneurial family run businesses – check out our website for more info on this!

Values – we feel that’s values is huge when choosing an accountant – do they behave and operate in the same way as you?  Are you a great fit for each other?

Our Values are all about

Integrity, personal touch, commerciality and giving a shit!!

Hopefully that doesn’t offend you? 

We need any business relationship to work commercially on both sides for you as the client and also for us.  We can’t do things for free or bottom dollar price, but if you want a company that gives a very high level of service, helps you to grow and improves your profit, improves your stress levels as we take care of everything so you can sleep easily at night, and helps you to get your business under control operating well so it  gives you more time to spend with your loved ones then we may well be a great fit!!

We genuinely are proactive – a very over used and under delivered on word in the Accountancy industry.  We won’t over promise…we do what we say to the timeframes we give.  We will always be looking out for ways to add value and suggest different ways to do things that are more beneficial for you.

With Krystal-clear you won’t get a fine….It never ceases to amaze us how often prospective clients come to us having received a fine.  Just after your year end we will be speaking with you to find out when you will have finalised the accounting bookkeeping records so we can produce the accounts.  The benefit to you is, the sooner the accounts are produced you know your tax bills both personally and from the companies perspective and you can get the money together if you haven’t already!

Also worth considering is do the Accountancy firm have awards and accreditations ? For peace of mind you will want to know they are accredited by an institute but also does the practice have awards or at the very least have been finalist in awards as that shows a pride in their company.

Finally do you feel comfortable putting your trust in these people?….Have they demonstrated they have taken the time to understand you and your goals, understand what you want and allay any fears you may have, rather than just telling you about them..

Having the right accountant in place should save you time and money, ultimately make your life easier and help you achieve your goals as success means different things to different people.

Hopefully now you know what questions to ask when you next look for a new accountant.

If you’d like to have a chat over a coffee (Virtually or face to face) and to see what is possible, all you need to do is call me or one of my team on 0161 410 0020 or email wecare@krystal-clear.co.uk

 

Hope that helped. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of the content we release.  Feel free to hit like and share,  thanks for watching.

It is important that you take professional advice before making any decisions based on the information that you learnt here. While every effort has been made to make sure it is accurate it cannot be precisely tailored to your personal circumstances. This article is for general information only and no action should be taken, or refrained from, as a result of this information.  Professional advice should be taken based on specific circumstances in each individual case.  Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information contained in the article is correct, no liability will be accepted by Krystal Clear Accounting which is a trading name of Kim Marlor Associates Ltd or damages of any kind arising from the contents of this communication, or for any action, inaction or decision taken as a result of using any such information.

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