The 5 most important things you should look for in an accountant
At some point in time, every business needs the services of an accountant.
Whether you’re an early-stage start-up searching for your first accountant, or an established family business that’s looking for a new broom, you’ll find yourself searching the internet for a great accountancy practice to help you out.
But what makes a good accountant? And what key pointers should you look out for to make sure you’re hiring the best possible adviser for you and your business?
To help you out, we’ve cribbed together five of the most important attributes your perfect accountant needs to have.
1.Knows more than just the basic numbers
Let’s face it, all qualified accountants should be able to do their job! And, at the most basic level, that’s about helping to get your bookkeeping and accounting in order.
The very minimum you should expect is help to set up a well-organised accounting system, alongside the preparation, review and sign-off of your statutory annual accounts and tax returns.
But a modern accountant should know much more than just the basic numbers.
In fact, a 21st century accountant is more business adviser than bookkeeper. So you should be looking out for a firm that can offer you analysis of your numbers, regular detailed management accounts and plenty of advice and guidance on how to improve and enhance your business finances.
2.Listens to your viewpoint
Good listening ears are an important skill to look for in your accountant.
A large firm of accountants can seem like a good option on some fronts – but there’s always the danger of you getting a rather formulaic ‘plug and play’ service where you’re pushed into using their latest generic package.
What’s more important is finding an accountant who will sit down with you and genuinely listen to your issues, your goals for the business and your needs as a business owner – and who then tailors their services to fit your particular needs and preferences.
3.Provides a trusted personal service
Forging a great working relationship, and building real trust in your accountant, is so important for a productive business partnership.
In order to get the most out of the relationship with your accountant, you need to feel confident that they understand you and that you’re able to communicate openly and easily with them.
In our book, this is probably the single most important factor to consider. You’ll spend a lot of time working with this person – and that will be so much easier when you feel at ease around this person, and truly trust their professional judgement.
4.Up to speed with the latest tech and apps
In today’s changing digital environment, you also need an accountant who can deliver the best value from the latest accounting and financial technology.
This isn’t just about being technically up to date. It’s about finding an accountant who uses the latest software and business app advances to bring you new (and highly advantageous) benefits from the technology.
For instance, a modern accountant will be able to offer you cloud-based accounting software, electronic signing of your important documents, automated smart-scanning of your receipts and expenses and all manner of different helpful business tools
5.Takes a holistic approach to business advice
As we mentioned in our last blog, the advice you get from your accountant will be all the more valuable when your adviser takes a holistic approach to solving your financial and business issues.
Dealing with a financial problems in isolation is a case of putting out one fire when, in fact, the whole building may be ablaze and about to fall down around your ears.
What will really help is an accountant who looks at both your business and personal situations in the round – and get’s a properly fleshed-out overview of your whole financial position by doing so.
Are we your perfect accountant?
We’re never ones to blow our own trumpet too loudly, but when you work with Caplan Associates you’ll find yourself partnering with an accountant and business adviser who ticks all 5 of the important key attributes of a great accountant.
We won’t be right for everyone – as we said, personality is an important deciding factor when choosing the best accountant for you. But if you’re looking for a modern, tech-savvy accountant who spends the proper amount of time getting to know you, then we think we’re a great choice.
Give us a call and let’s sit down for chat to see if we’re the perfect fit for you.