Being in business means making decisions. Whether it is the exact shade of paint to add a touch of gloss to a product or the need to purchase equipment or sadly make someone redundant, business life is full of choices and the need to be decisive.
Sometimes we are so bound up in the need to make decisions that the important choices can be swept aside, taking the easy and quick over the slightly more time consuming. Unfortunately one such choice often revolves around appointing a business accountant. Over a period of time the choice of accountant can make a huge difference to your business success. So when looking for an accountant here are a few points that you might want to consider:
How important it is that your accountant is local to your business (within 10 miles)?
Does it really matter whether your accountant is local to you or hundreds of miles away? We believe that it does. Having a local accountant means that they are more likely to understand your client base, your business culture and the challenges that you face on a daily basis. Local accountants are more likely to act as a source of introductions to potential clients or suppliers as well as having a rapport with the local bank manager which may help when finance is required.
How important is to actually meet you accountant regularly?
Is an accountant just for number crunching time or for life? This is another benefit of having a local accountant as you can use them as a quasi-partner in the business. Impartial and yet committed to your success you can bounce ideas off your accountant, ask for guidance and use your accountant to help in the long term planning of the business. Often your accountant will be able to suggest cost savings or smoother processes which save time.
Are London accountants affordable and competitive enough with accountants outside London?
Many people believe that an accountant with a London postcode will be expensive. This is simply not true. Whilst there are some very expensive accountants around they tend to deal with the larger PLCs. In general accountants in London specialising in smaller businesses are fully aware of the costs and challenges of operating a business in London and therefore tend to keep prices as low as possible.
Why shouldn’t I just use an online company?
Whilst there are a number of accounting services available, some with telephone or online advice attached, they are successful because they rely on having a large turnover of fairly simple accounting processes. We believe that your accountant should be so much more than that. They should understand your business, be involved with your business and constantly be on the look out for ways to improve the long term growth and success of your business. However, we also recognise that the availability of an accounting package is a help and we provide our clients with free access to a good accounting package that will help with day to day tasks as well as keeping end of year costs down.
Nationwide or chain accountant firms, do they provide a personalised service or do they treat clients like numbers?
No matter how good the intent, the larger the firm the higher the turnover. This means that you have just got your accountant trained in fully understanding your business and they move on. At Solid we pride ourselves in providing a personal and friendly service on a long term basis for our clients.