The idea of outsourcing certain business needs and requirements isn’t new – in fact, a lot of businesses have been doing it for years, even decades. Outsourcing your business’s accounting can give you plenty of great benefits, including savings on your overhead expenses, no more headaches when it comes to contributions for employee pension and National Insurance, no sick leaves and holidays, and access to a superior team of experienced accountants. But you may already know this – so the next step would be to choose the accounting firm with whom you would like to work. There are many out there, but not every firm will be a good fit for every business.
Here, then, is how you can choose an accounting firm to help your business: your step-by-step guide.
- Determine the accounting responsibilities you would like your chosen accounting firm to handle – be it basic bookkeeping, tax returns, business plans, credit control, and so on. Make a list of the level of expertise you are looking for, and decide on your requirements based on the kind of business you have as well. Are you looking for the full package or a specialist service? Once you have decided on this, you can narrow down your choices and only meet or speak with those who can deliver.
- Research the various accounting firms that are suited to your business based on the type of company you have, your business’ size, and your needs. You may want to do research depending on where you are as well, especially if you want your chosen firm to be nearby. If you are in London, for example, then you can search for central London accountants such as those from the highly-respected firm of www.gsmaccountants.co.uk.
- Get quotes and relevant information and details from potential accounting firms. During this process, it would also be wise to check for reviews about the firm online so you can get a better sense of their expertise, reputation, and service level and support. Remember to ask about the firm’s qualifications and accreditation. Accountants are not generally required to have qualifications, but if you want someone who is qualified, ask them if they are members of a UK authority such as ICAS, ACCA, CIMA, or ICAEW.
- If you can, try to meet your prospective accounting firm in person – or at least in a video conference. Your prospective firm will usually be your partner for the long term, so it’s best to make sure you have a good connection with them. It’s also important to ask them questions and voice out your concerns so you can gauge their skill and expertise from their answers.
- When you have already selected the accounting firm you would like to work with, make sure to carefully review the terms and contract. The fees should work according to your budget as well, and ensure that the contract includes all the services they will be providing.
- As soon as you have come to an agreement and signed the contract, provide the firm with whatever information they would need. Some common documents would include bills, bank statements, receipts, invoices, purchase orders, and credit notes. If this is your first time hiring an accounting firm, they can guide you through what you need to provide and present you with a checklist.