Find A Chartered Accountant For Your Business

There are a number of tips that we can point you towards when choosing an Accountant for the first time:

  1. Ask friends or colleagues for recommendations

    Ask friends, colleagues or business associates if they would recommend their own accountants. Alternatively, ask your local Business Link or bank manager for advice on accountants in the area or log on to the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants for a list of local accountants.
     
  2. Check that the accountant is suitably qualified

    Check that the accountant is suitably qualified and is a member of an approved accountancy body. Look for the letters ACA or FCA after the accountant's name if he or she is a chartered accountant, ACCA or FCCA if he or she is a chartered certified accountant or ACMA or FCMA if he or she is a chartered management accountant. These qualifications mean the accountant has gone through numerous exams before qualifying as well as spent several years gaining practical experience.
     
  3. Find out if the accountant has expertise at dealing with your sort of business

    Ask how many businesses of a similar size your accountant handles and whether they have specialist knowledge of your particular industry.
     
  4. Set up an initial meeting to discuss your needs

    Take along a copy of your business plan and details of areas in which you would like the accountant to be involved - business advice, financial reporting, tax and auditing work.
     
  5. Find out how much the accountant charges

    Find out if there is an hourly fee and whether this varies depending on the seniority of the person doing the work. Also check whether there is a fixed fee for your annual audit and when and how these fees are payable.
     
  6. Check who will actually handle your work

    Find out who within the firm of accountants will be doing the work. Ensure you are happy to work with this person and that they can give you and your business the attention it needs as and when you need it.

Best practice :

When choosing an accountant, it's also a good idea to consider:

  • Whether you feel comfortable and at ease talking to the accountant about the business and any problems you may have
     
  • Asking for a guarantee that charges won't rise steeply after the first year.
     
  • Getting advice on the best accounting and payroll systems to use.
     
  • Keeping your accountant informed of any changes to your business to ensure you get the best, most up-to-date advice.
     
  • Regularly comparing costs to ensure you are getting value for money.
     

 

Further Reading

  • Find a good accountant

    It is important to find a good accountant for your business, find out how in this simple guide.
  • Guide To Business Planning

    Guide To Business Planning. Help your business get a good start and maximise its potential. Read our guide to good business planning to ensure you get a great start.
  • Find The Perfect Office Rental For Your Business

    Deciding on an office is probably one of the biggest decisions you will make in your business. So check out our guide to ensure you make the right decision.
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