When you’re starting out in business, it’s an all-too common instinct to try and do everything by yourself. Your business is, after all, your baby and nobody knows it as well as you. You keep an eagle eye on its daily operations and prefer to keep all operations “in-house”. Even if you do choose to outsource you apply laser focus and unmatched scrutiny to the companies to whom you entrust your business’ future. You ensure that their work ethic and ethos matches your own. This is commendable, and applying this level of scrutiny means that even outsourced aspects of your business feel organic and homogenous. While this logic is applied to any outsourced company that facilitates your business operations it also needs to be applies to an oft-overlooked facet of business… Your accounts.
Why You Probably Shouldn’t Do Your Own Accounts
The resourcefulness and determination that enables entrepreneurs to take the reigns and build their own companies can also be a rod for the dogged entrepreneur’s back. They tend to assume that with a little research and a whole lot of willpower they can turn their attention to virtually any facet of business but this mindset can be hugely counter productive. Not only will it draw your attention away from the important daily operations of your business, your lack of familiarity (and inevitable time constraints) can leave you open to irregularities and errors in your accounting that could create a serious hindrance come tax season. Attempting to cut costs by doing your own taxes is likely also wrong headed as a good small business accountant will likely save you more than they cost. With so many accountants out there, however, it can be hard to choose the right one for your business.
They should be chartered or registered
Believe it or not, anyone can legally call themselves an accountant without any formal training, qualification or experience. In the fast paced and ultra competitive world of today’s business landscape you need to cling to whatever dependability you can get and a chartership is a mark of quality in accounting. It means that their practice meets certain professional standards and that the accountant will have had at least 3 years’ training and have passed a series of stringent exams. Your business deserves the best and that means choosing chartered!
They should be affordable but not cheap
It’s understandable that entrepreneurs should want to control their overheads but high quality and low cost rarely go hand in hand. If someone is advertising themselves as the cheapest on the market, they’re unlikely to have the expertise your business needs.
They should be busy
If you’re courting an accountant who seems a little too keen to get your business this may be a red flag. A good accountant worth their salt will have a healthy cohort of clients. Ask them about their existing clients and whether they have any clients with comparable businesses to yours. This will show that they have an interest in and understanding of their clients’ operations.
They “get” your business and share your enthusiasm
As with any outsourced asset, an accountant needs to share in your passion and vision for your business. Your dream accountant should be on board with your business strategy and will be able to tailor their services to suit your business’ individual needs.