Business accounting can be a complex and lengthy ongoing process that to the layman may as well be quantum physics to most of us. Normally businesses will employ somebody to deal with the nitty-gritty of their company’s finances to avoid confusion and potential mismanagement. But most people don’t really know what makes a good or a bad accountant and this presents a problem with knowing who to trust with your most important and sensitive financial information, so hopefully, we can help to enlighten you about the kind of things you should watch out for.
In most countries, accountants are highly regulated by different bodies, some linked to the government and other, more serious bodies are regulated by bodies affiliated with the police. These bodies regulate and control accounting qualifications do their best to maintain certain industry standards and makes sure that they all comply with the relevant laws and regulations as outlined by the government. A chartered (or certified depending on where you are in the world) are the extremely qualified professional accountants who have completed a degree-level study, such as a Bachelors, in accounting and are also generally highly experienced. And are best positioned to start adding value to your company when they start working with you and can prove a vital asset if you ever find yourself being audited.
It’s all very well and good hiring an accountant who deals with large financial institutions and large-scale companies, however, if they don’t have experience dealing with the nuances of an e-commerce store then they aren’t going to be able to say that they understand your industry and how to deal with the financial side of things with confidence. A good accountant will be very upfront whether they have experience and with some industries some leeway can be given with specific experience and its really up to you to decide whether individual accountants are going to add true value to your company and be an asset, or whether they are likely to spend that time learning about your industry.
Meet face to face
This is a great way of seeing exactly how they operate and what they can do for you, arrange to set up meetings with the accountants that made the shortlist at their offices to discuss their services and your requirements, prepare relevant questions to ask them. Another factor is how comfortable you feel you could work with them, after all, you will be discussing your intimate financial information with them so it is important that you feel comfortable and that you feel you can trust them.