How to choose an accountant for your company

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As a new business with a low level of activity you may feel it is advantageous to opt against using accountancy services to keep costs low. Whilst this is certainly possible and there is a wealth of knowledge available on basic bookkeeping online it is not always advisable.

Bookkeeping can be time consuming and errors can be costly. Your time may be better spent in other areas of your company. Whether you require assistance with your preparing the statutory accounts, tax returns, payroll obligations or extracting funds efficiently, the benefits of choosing a suitable accountant can extend far beyond basic bookkeeping.

 

Qualifications

Regulation of accountancy within the UK is well established. Choosing an accountant with a recognised qualification will ensure they are highly capable. 

It is possible to offer accountancy services without any formal qualification and avoiding questionable accountants is paramount to ensuring you do not waste your time and money. When choosing a qualified accountant you can be assured that they are well informed as the examination process is rigorous. 

Financial laws and regulations are constantly changing and updated. To maintain a chartered status qualified accountants are tested on a regular basis and they need to demonstrate an up to date knowledge. This ensures your accountant’s practices are not antiquated and more importantly that they are right for you.

The recognised accountancy institutions within the UK are as follows:

 Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

 Association of International Accountants (AIA)

 Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)

 Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

 

Is this accountant right for you?

Accountant

Your company accountant will regularly be dealing with confidential information and thus they should maintain a high level of professionalism. As an accountant is often a long term commitment you may find a friendly accountant will ensure a cooperative relationship is sustainable.

Locale and responsiveness can also be important factors. A local accountant can be easily accessible when dealing with physical paperwork. Emailing, online conferencing and cloud storage however, may prove that the location of your accountant need not be your biggest concern. Large accountancy firms can provide support on an array of bespoke situations and larger accountancy matters. Nevertheless, a freelance accountable can be more flexible and responsive when you have urgent matters to attend to.

You may also find friends or family members are accountants and using their service may seem like a good idea initially. If you are comfortable with a friend accessing your confidential information and have a strong relationship then this could be ideal. However, if this relationship breaks down on a personal level your business could suffer. When choosing an accountant make sure your prioritise the future of your company.

Please note Companies House processing times are an estimate only and not guaranteed.

Simple Formations is a trading name of Small Firms Services Limited. We have been trading since 1998 and are one of the UK's longest standing Company Formation Agents

Small Firms Services Ltd The Apex 2 Sheriffs Orchard Coventry, CV1 3PP