Choosing the right accountant for you is important. Your accountant needs to be familiar with your business, your needs and your current size.
We are startup and scale-up specialists, we are entrepreneurs who understand what it’s like to battle in a business and grow it from the ground up. We understand 21st-century businesses! Crypto, e-commerce, and social media influencer business models, that’s our thing and that’s what we are good at. That does mean we aren’t for everyone, and we’re ok with that. We know what we are good at, who we get the best results for and we build on our reputation… But with all that being said, how do you filter out the right accountant for you? How do you narrow down the sea of accountants out there to find the one that’s right for you? Here are a few questions to ask your prospective new accountant.
What type of companies do you specialise in?
I think it’s a warning sign when an accountant says “none, we serve all businesses” Sure we all have a mixture of businesses as clients but I think the best firms are the ones that say “We have a big mixture, but we are known as an eCommerce specialist” (replace Ecom with anything else)
Because as a specialist they’ll understand the nuances of your business model. All accountants go through the same basic training, but learning and being involved with the day to day running of a particular business definitely adds an edge and depth of knowledge not found with a generalist.
Do you have any testimonials?
Ask if you can see some testimonials or feedback from existing clients. What are they saying, are they similar businesses to yours?
What’s your preferred method of communication?
This one’s an important one… if you’re an email user yet your accountant likes to write letters, it’s not going to work! Also, asking how long they usually take to reply is a good way to see what the service will be like.
If the answer is 1-2 business days, you might want to see if you can find someone who will answer quickly, even if that means paying a bit more. What’s important to you?
How often can I speak to you?
This isn’t meant to be the RJF show, but a pet peeve of mine is when accountants time phone calls or log time spent on an email reply and bill the client.
Ridiculous and old fashioned!
Sure if you’re working for a big company and that’s the agreement, do it.
But small businesses need certainty over costs and need prompt support.
We charge a fixed monthly fee and you can speak to us/email us as often as you like. We don’t log or limit interactions. We are here to help as best we can. Check if your prospective accountant matches your expectations.
Do I have a single point of contact?
Will you be dealing with the same person each time? Having that continuity allows one person to get familiar with your business and current challenges.
What software do you use or recommend I use?
There are loads of options out there, it’s worth asking what they use, recommend and why. (Plus how much it costs)
What will you need from me throughout the year?
This is a good one. If you can understand how you can both work together to get the best outcome for your business you’ll be in a far more powerful position. What can you do in the partnership to make their job easier?
How can you help me save tax?
This one’s a bit of a trick question… You’d expect your accountant to be doing everything all accountants do. Expenses, salary and dividend mix etc etc. But here’s where specialist sector knowledge could help. They might suggest something you’d never heard of, a strategy or relief you’ve not thought of before. That’s when you know you’ve found a good one!