All businesses require the services of chartered accountants if they are to ensure their accounting commitments are handled legally, efficiently and cost effectively. This is even more so the case for small businesses, as they tend to have limited resources to draw upon. However, it is certainly not a case of any old accountant will do. Keeping that in mind, we have looked at a study done by London accountants into some of the main mistakes business owners make when choosing an accountant so that you can learn from their errors.
Looking back instead of forwards – Of course, it is important to look back so you can get an idea of what could have been done better. However, this is not the most effective use of your accountant’s time, and instead you should be focusing on what you can do in the future. This is the best way to get the most value from either a standard or fixed-fee accountancy service. You need an accountant that is going to look ahead to ensure your performance is maximised in the future and that you reach your objectives through plans, cost budgets and sales targets.
Going for the cheapest accountant – According to many accountants in London a lot of business owners make the mistake of simply going for the cheapest accountant they can find. This is not an advisable approach, as you are almost certain to suffer from a lack of quality, and this will only cost you more money in the long run. Instead, you want to be looking for value. You should consider the accountant’s level of experience and their reputation amongst other things, and then price should be the final factor to contemplate once you are happy with everything else. By going for a fixed fee accountancy service, you will know exactly what your costs are going to be and, therefore, you will be able to manage your finances effectively.
Not utilising all of the services that are available to you – What comes to your mind when you think of accountancy services? Most people will say the likes of VAT and tax returns. However, accountants offer much more than this, from corporate finance to expert tax advice. Make sure you are extracting full value from your chartered accountant.
Selecting a firm that is too big for your business – A lot of people think the bigger the accountancy firm, the better, but this is not always the case. While you may feel secure going for a household name, it is unlikely that you will get access to the partners, instead your accountancy is likely to be handled by junior staff, which is why you may find it much more beneficial to go for a smaller accountancy firm instead so you can get the level of service you desire.
To conclude, the four points mentioned are the main mistakes that are made by people when choosing an accountant in London. If you are in the process of picking an accountancy service, make sure you avoid the errors that have been mentioned.