Blog thumbnail: 9 questions to ask to find a great accountant in Lichfield

After a quick Google map search there are over 20 accountants in Lichfield, there is no shortage. Whether you have just set up your small business or feel you’re not getting the support you need from your current accountant. You’re on the lookout for a new accountant in Lichfield.

The common next step

We ask friends and family ‘do you know an accountant?’. Although this can work, how do you know they’re the right fit for you and your business? Does the person recommending them even know if they are a great accountant?

Chances are they have been with the accountant since the beginning of time and have no comparison.

Every person and business are different, it’s a bit like asking a relative to recommend a restaurant. You may have different food tastes, live in different locations, or have different family set ups.

9 questions to ask to find a great accountant in Lichfield

You’re unique and so is your business, here are 9 questions to ask to find a great accountant in Lichfield.

The accountant

Who’s producing my accounts? If you’re meeting a partner of a big firm, they probably won’t be doing the day-to-day accounts preparation. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s important you’re comfortable with that and you then know who you will be dealing with.

Do you feel comfortable with them? This is a biggy, there are going to be many times where you need to ask the advice of your accountant. A lot of the time for things that you may deem as stupid questions (which they’re not). However you must feel comfortable with your accountant to pick up the phone and ask them. If you feel belittled or made to feel stupid you absolutely won’t pick up the phone, which will damage the value you’re getting.

Do they produce content? If the accountant is producing content on a podcast, blog or across social channels it does a couple of great things. It helps you know whether you like them, whether they’re adding value to you or not and most importantly whether you trust them.

The accountancy practice

Who is your practice licence with? Anyone can call themselves an accountant (worrying) and run a practice. If they’re reputable they will have a practice licence under one of the main accountancy bodies (ICAEW, AAT, ACCA, CIMA, ICAS, CIPFA, CAI). To get a practice licence, you need to meet all sorts of criteria from Professional Indemnity insurance, Anti Money Laundering to CPD requirements. Every Cloud Accounting’s practice licence is with AAT, it’s not cheap and there are a lot of requirements that needs to be met on an ongoing basis.

Do you have professional indemnity insurance? This is an important one and not the sort of question you typically ask. If anything was to ever go wrong and the accountant was at fault, you want to know you’re covered on the accountant’s PI insurance.

The service

Do you get charged for time? A client joked to me recently, when they used to call their old accountant they would speak twice as fast so they wouldn’t get charged as much. Do they bill you for calls/emails/meetings or is this included in the service? Consequently you don’t want to be thinking, ‘I won’t call because it’s going to cost me’.

Do you get an accounts meeting? Do your sole trader or Limited company accounts magically arrive through carrier pigeon or do you get a meeting as part of the service? To talk through the accounts, plan your tax, ask any questions etc… Generally it’s very difficult for a business owner to look at some accounts and be able to digest that information on their own.

What software do they use? Accountants typically fall into one of three categories with software: Quickbooks, Sage or Xero or a mix of all three. Does the accountant support the software you’re currently using? For instance, Every Cloud is a Xero only practice. Clients either need to be on Xero or willing to move to Xero, so I can add maximum value.

Kissing the frog to find your perfect accountant in lichfield

Can you have an initial discovery call or meeting? You must kiss a few frogs to find your prince or princess and it’s the same with accountants, ribbit! Meet with a couple of accountants to find out who is the best fit for you and your business. By having a free discovery call, you can instantly get a feel without having to pay, to decide if they could be your accountant.

Good luck in your search for an accountant. I know it can be a daunting process, but when you have found the perfect fit, it should be a relationship that lasts a long time. Once you have found the accountant you would like to work with, check out this video: How to change accountants – 5 easy steps.

Could we be a good fit? Head to the Accountant Lichfield page for the next steps or drop me a message today to book a discovery call, make sure you ask me the questions!