Choosing an accountant is an important step for any small business. Finding the right accountant is not only vital for meeting your financial obligations but can also be instrumental in helping your company evolve. So what factors do you need to consider when making your decision? Here is everything you need to know about how to find a good small business accountant in Ireland.
Why Is Choosing A Good Small Business
Accountant So Important?
While it’s certainly possible to do your own sole trader bookkeeping, enlisting the help of an accountant will not only save you time but give you peace of mind. If you miss an income tax filing deadline or there is a mistake in your paperwork, the penalties can be steep. But with a good accountant taking care of all the details, you can rest assured that the necessary steps will be taken to ward off any repercussions down the line.
As well as avoiding fines and penalties, in the long run a good accountant will help your company grow. They have the expertise to help you make data-driven decisions about your business, showing you where you can make savings and maximise your wealth. That’s why finding a great accountant for your small business is a step that’s well worth making.
Be Clear About What Services You Need
Before you begin your search, you need to consider what kind of services you’re looking for. As with most service providers, different accountants offer different things. While some provide basic record keeping, others will also take on more of a consultant role, providing insight and advice on your company finances. The level of service you will need is a personal choice that depends on your circumstances and your level of comfort in dealing with numbers and paperwork. However, it’s never a bad idea to find an accountant who will be proactive about saving you money.
Once you have a clear idea of exactly what services you need and which you would rather take care of yourself, you’ll be in a better position to compare what different accountants are offering. If you’re not completely sure about what services you are looking for, it’s a good idea to find an accountant who offers the complete package. That way you can start with a basic service and discuss adding more as and when you need to.
Check Their Qualifications
The term ‘accountant’ isn’t protected by law, so you should always do your due diligence to make sure potential candidates are up for the job. Double checking the professional qualifications of any accountant you are considering will give you a bit of extra security that they are capable and committed to doing the best for your business.
Many accountants will mention their qualifications clearly on their website, but there are a few places that you can check to make sure everything is as it seems. The Chartered Accountants Ireland, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and Institute of Certified Public Accountants are the main bodies for professional accountancy qualifications. Each website has its own search function so you can see if any potential accountant is a member.
While there is no legal requirement to use a certified or chartered accountant, doing so is a wise decision in the long run. Their experience and training will be invaluable once your company begins to grow or if you’re ever audited.
Ask About Relevant Expertise
While qualifications are extremely important, it’s also beneficial to find an accountant that has experience in your area. For example, some accountants are geared towards working with startups, while others specialise in certain fields like property or construction. Requirements can vary significantly from industry to industry, and having an accountant who is familiar with yours can be hugely valuable for both you and your business. If you are starting your first online business, you might prefer to work with an accountant who specialises in small businesses and is able to give you clear guidance on everything you need to start your company in Ireland.
Your compatibility in this area doesn’t just boil down to the kind of industry you are in, but also the kinds of systems you will use. For example, if your company primarily works with Xero cloud accounting software or a different one, it would be advantageous for you to find an accountant who is familiar with cloud computing and who can follow technology innovation in accounting. It’s small details like this that can make a big difference in achieving a seamless and stress-free accounting process.
Check For Testimonials
It’s always beneficial to hear other people’s experiences when it comes to finding the right accountant. If other clients speak highly of their work and have been satisfied with their service, it gives you some reassurance that your experience will be a good one. You can take a look at Google reviews or testimonials on the company’s website. These should give you some good insight as to the reputation and abilities of any potential accountants. Reviews on third party websites will also confirm that the company is a legitimate one before you hand over any details of your business.
You don’t need to hire the first accountant you talk to, and it’s never a bad idea to speak to several service providers so you can compare what they have to offer. Naturally, a major concern is going to be how much an accountant will cost. You want to make sure that any potential accountants will bring you value for money while also making sure that you are not compromising quality work just to get a lower price.
The way that accountants charge will vary, with some working on a monthly retainer with others working by the hour. Get written quotes from each accountant you speak with, outlining exactly what services you will be getting for that price. Consider not only if the cost will work for you, but also if the fee structure aligns with your business and will still do so in the long-term. A fee structure that works well when your company is just getting started might not be the best approach for you in the future. Ask potential accountants about what kind of structures they can offer and if there is any flexibility for change further down the line. That way you can go into any agreement with a clear picture of how cost and payments will work.
Trust Your Instincts
If things go to plan, you will have a working relationship with your accountant for the foreseeable future. That’s why it’s so important that you not only feel confident in their abilities but also trust them with the fine details of your business. So when you speak with or meet an accountant for the first time, consider your intuition as well as the logistics. Whether it’s something you can’t quite pin down or something they say or do that doesn’t feel right, you’d be wise not to ignore it. With something as important as choosing a business accountant, if something doesn’t feel quite right, then listen to what your gut is telling you.
Finding a good small business accountant in Ireland is an important step in starting your company. While there are several key factors to consider, taking the time to do your research will always pay off in the long-run.
At SCK Group, we specialise in working with small business owners to help them make informed decisions and maximise their potential. We offer comprehensive accounting services including payroll service, bookkeeping and financial planning, freeing up more time for business owners to focus on what matters most. If you would like to find out more, we would love to hear from you. Simply head over to our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.