Owning and running a business is not easy. It can be stressful, it requires hard work, knowledge, and dedication, and above all else, it requires a great deal of time, which for many business owners, is an asset they simply do not have. Because of this, a large percentage of businesses are cutting corners and attempting to save themselves as much cash as possible, which results in them attempting to handle their books themselves, which more often than not, only leads to disaster a little further down the line. Here at Phoenix, we recognise the importance of proper accounting and book-keeping, which is why we offer our cloud based accounting services to clients up and down the UK. Hiring an accountant/accounting firm is easy, hiring an efficient and effective accountant/accounting form however, is a whole other kettle of fish entirely. If you’re on the lookout for an accountant for your business, here are 4 things you should look for.
1. Effective communication
One of the first things you should look for when considering hiring a prospective accountant is just how well, or how poorly, they’re able to communicate with you. By this, we don’t mean you should look for accountants that are well-spoken and prolific when it comes to writing emails and reports, we mean you should look for accountants that can help you to understand the technical jargon. They need to know what they’re doing of course, but they should be able to communicate with you, in such a way that you’re able to easily understand what they’re talking about, without being confused by big words and technical terms that mean virtually nothing to you. Rather than simply being there to provide a service, they should become a resource, an extension of your business, helping you to expand and enhance your knowledge of how to run and manage your business more efficiently.
2. Useful to your business
Another thing you should look for in potential accountants is whether or not they can actually be truly useful for your business. For example, if you do encounter problems regarding your books, taxes, or finances etc, are they able to come up solutions and perhaps make recommendations of how to manage the financial side of your business more efficiently?
3. An understanding of your business
Of course, you’re hiring the accountants to take care of your books, taxes, and finances etc, which is obviously what they specialize in, but despite that, they should ideally have a basic understanding of your business and what it is that you actually do. are they willing to learn a little more about your company, can they answer questions about your business if put on the spot, and above all else, if they can’t are they willing to learn? Obviously they don’t need to know every single minor detail of your business, but a basic understanding can, and will, prove very useful at some point down the road.
4. Cloud based services
Let’s face it, as modern technology now plays such a vital role in day to day life, the importance of ‘being on the cloud’ as it were, is absolutely essential if you wish to get anywhere in the business world. Cloud based accounting services are incredibly beneficial for so many reasons. To begin with, cloud based software can be accessed anywhere with a connection to the internet, making it ideal for people on the move and out of the office a lot. It is cost effective as monthly payments can be made as opposed to large lump sums in one go, and it is incredibly user-friendly. Your accountant can easily share info with you, and vice versa, so if you do encounter any monetary issues, they can easily help you out. As an example, you may wish for your accountant to take a look at your VAT returns before they’re filed. No problem, you can share them in a matter of seconds, and then patiently await your feedback.
Here at Phoenix, we live by the mantra ‘Simply Great Cloud Accounting’ for a reason.