A List of the Essential Questions You Should Always Ask a Prospective Accountant
submitted on 2 December 2021
If you have decided to hire an accountant or outsource your needs to an accounting firm, the next step would be to find the right one. It may sound simple, but the reality is that your chosen accounting firm or accountant is someone with whom you will be working closely Ė and if they're not the proper fit, it can feel like pulling teeth every time you talk to them. Of course, you would want someone who has a good understanding of your niche or industry and knows the scope of your financial requirements and can provide you with services that adhere to those requirements. But how can you tell if they're ideal for your needs? The key is to ask them the right questions. That said, here's a list of the essential questions you should always ask a prospective accountant.
1. How much do you charge?
You should find out about their fees from the get-go so as not to waste time talking to an accountant or firm and then to learn you can't afford them in the end. But here's something to keep in mind: it's essential to weigh their fees against the kind of services they can provide because some services would add value to your business. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for - and if your accountant can help you save in other ways, itís worth considering their services.
2. Can you provide me with a list of your services?
Once you find out their fees, ask them about the list of services that correspond with those fees. Again, it pays to get an itemised quotation so you can more easily compare their services with other accounting firms.
3. Will I get a dedicated contact person or accountant?
Another critical question you should ask, especially if you are dealing with an accounting firm, is whether or not you will get a dedicated contact person or accountant assigned to you. In general, it's handier to have a single point of contact, even if more than one person handles your account. With this, you can gain continuity and establish a stronger relationship with the firm. It also reduces the likelihood of missing deadlines or making errors.
4. How can we communicate?
One factor that distinguishes an excellent accounting firm from one thatís not-so-excellent is their communication with their clients. It's crucial to establish your communication channels from the beginning and decide how you will communicate and when. Will you be more comfortable meeting in person, or are you okay with phone calls or video conferences? It would be best if your accounting firm is open to regular communication, even if you don't have anything particularly crucial to talk about, because it keeps you in the loop regarding your financial affairs. You are more likely to avoid potential issues.
5. Do you have any advice for the kind of business I have?
When you ask them this question, you can figure out your accountant's depth of knowledge and experience with businesses in the same industry or niche. Ideally, it's good to have an accountant with ample experience with similar businesses so they know the opportunities and risks you might face.
Article kindly provided by www.gsmaccountants.co.uk