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What To Look for In an Accountant: Understanding the Hiring Processes - Shenward

What To Look for In an Accountant: Understanding the Hiring Processes

Thinking of hiring an Accountant? Want to understand how to navigate the hiring process? You’re in the right place.

It’s no longer satisfactory to conduct a google search for your nearest accountant and make the call. It’s vital you dig deeper into whether they are the right match for your business. Not only does your accountant need to be a fit professionally, but also personally.

Here, we help you understand exactly what to look for in an Accountant when navigating the hiring process, and why Chartered is the first box to tick.

Choose Chartered

Choosing to hire a chartered accountant gives you guaranteed peace of mind over the quality of service you will receive.

Chartered accountants must be accredited by a professional body. This means they must undertake further exams and practices to ensure they meet the correct standards.

Chartered accountants usually become members of professional bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Being a member of these groups means the accountant must adhere to their ethical and professional codes of conduct. You know that they are doing the right thing by you as if their working practices aren’t up to the respective standard, they may lose their accreditation. Chartered Accountants are required to have professional indemnity insurance, which means both you and the accountant will be covered if a mistake occurs and causes you financial or reputational losses.

Check if they have the relevant experience

Is it enough for your accountant to only have the capabilities to submit your taxes on time? Accountants are capable of helping you with so much more, especially if they have prior knowledge that is relevant to your business.

It’s always worth asking what kind of clients the accountant works with so that you can establish what their capabilities are to recommend the right course of action for you. Sometimes, it can be beneficial to also know what size businesses the accountant usually works with – it clarifies that they are more likely to be aware of your needs.

Check the Service Offering

This is an important one, for obvious reasons. Before hiring an accountant, you need to be aware of not only the services, they offer, but the services you require.

Many Accountancy firms offer a great deal more than the typical accounting services you would expect. The question is, what kind of services do you need? Are you only looking for assistance with your paperwork and Tax or VAT submissions, or would you benefit more from working with a multi-disciplinary firm?

Multi-disciplinary firms generally also offer services that complement your accounting needs. This could be anything from HR and payroll to health and safety or even marketing.

Ask if they are up to date with the latest technology or software

You don’t need us to tell you the business world has become predominantly digital, so when we say it’s important to make sure your accountant is up to date with the latest technology and software within financial services, you get it.

With VAT now being digital, and Tax following suit by 2024, you need to ensure your accountant has the technical capabilities to facilitate digital accounting. If an accountant has trepidation around new practices, they probably won’t be the most helpful going forward.

Asses their communication styles

This is less about the accountant’s expertise and more about how their working styles will suit your own. After all, alignment of values and workstyles plays a part in helping you decide whether an accountant is right for you.

When researching and talking to different accountants, asking how much contact they prefer to make with their clients and their preferred modes of communication – this will help you gain an understanding as to whether they value communication and the commitment they have to keeping you up to date with changes.

Final thoughts…

There’s a lot of consideration when it comes to hiring an accountant. Remember, you’re essentially hiring an integral part of your team – the fact they work externally makes no difference – so treat the process as you would if you’re taking on a new employee.