When you’re employed, chances are that your employer deals with your taxes and other legal financial obligations on your behalf. Every small business owner or freelancer, on the other hand, has to deal with their own financial records and fiscal affairs. It’s not all too surprising, then, that almost every small business owner or freelancer is likely to actively get in touch with an accountant. Accountants deal with your financial records and help you to file your taxes. They can also advise you in other financial areas. But the first accountant you come across isn’t always going to be the best person for the job. Here’s how you can find the right accountant to suit your needs!
Finding Your First Accountant
Finding your first accountant is a journey that is bound to come hand in hand with a steep learning curve. First, you will need to familiarise yourself with what you are looking for in an accountant and then you have to actually go through the process of finding someone who ticks all of the boxes. Some characteristics you should look for in your first account should include:
- Qualifications – generally speaking, accountants have to be professionally qualified to officially deal with your accounts. Remember that taxes and other forms of record keeping are legal requirements, so your accountant needs to be recognised by the law in order to take responsibility over them. Necessary qualifications will vary depending on your geographical location, so make sure to look up what an accountant needs to work in your given area.
- Experience – of course, everyone has to start somewhere, but experience really is great in any accountant. It means they are likely to have come across all sorts of records and documents and that they have been able to deal with challenges that have confronted them this far. You can always ask to see how previous clients felt their service was, giving you comfort in trusting them!
Remember that once you settle on an accountant, you don’t have to stick with this professional forever. There’s always the option to switch accountants down the line. There are various reasons that you might switch accountants. Perhaps you find that you and your accountant don’t gel well on a basic communicative level. Maybe your accountant is effective, but your needs change and you require someone who specialises in a different area or form of accountancy. Maybe your accountant retires, cuts their hours, or can’t meet your workload for other reasons. There are various reasons that you might find yourself looking for a change and it’s important that you don’t feel too awkward to go with what you feel is right for you, your personal circumstances, and your professional progression.
Breaking Off From Your Old Accountant
If you’re only in touch with your accountant at the end of the tax year and don’t hold much of a relationship, it wouldn’t be odd to just not get in touch again. However, if you use your accountant regularly, it’s polite to inform them by email that you will no longer be requiring their services.
As you can see, finding the right accountant for your needs can be a relatively drawn out process. But it’s more than worth putting the effort in!