With so many tax consultants offering tax and financial advice, choosing the right consultant for your needs may seem like a daunting task. Finding the right consultant will not only reduce your tax liability it will also save you a great deal of stress and frustration.
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Here is the the Tax Consultants Guide to finding a tax consultant who is right for you.
Choosing your accountant
Nearly all businesses small or large are to a degree dependent on the services that others provide, it may be the window cleaner keeping your shop front looking pristine or an advertising company promoting your product. Your business will be highly dependent on the quality of service offered by others; of all of these service providers your accountant will be in a key position he will have the most intimate knowledge of your business and its financial status.
You will be dependent on his skills to balance your books while reducing your tax liability to the minimum and still keeping your business legal. Choosing the right accountant for your needs from day one will leave you free to do what you do best “your business”, while your accountant will be able to do what he does best, providing you with a financial service that will minimise your taxes and maximise your profits.
Your accountant selection criteria
It can be very difficult choosing the right accountant for your needs, as with all financial service providers he will be privy to all of your financial records and documents, discovering that you’re not getting the best financial advice with your current accountant can leave you in a situation where you need to complete a significant amount of remedial work to move to another accountant and rectify the problems.
The bottom line could be that you’re paying more taxes than you need to while loosing valuable business time rectifying problems caused by poor tax and financial advice. Follow our guide below to help with your accountant selection.
You may already have a very good source of reliable information, such as a family member who runs a business similar to yours and has already found a very good accountant for his needs. This type of recommendation can be invaluable, however if you are in very different business types this may not be so good.
For example you are setting up an IT software house and your friend is in agriculture; chances are, that accountant may not be familiar with any IT specific tax advantages, nearly all trades have their own tax advantages and disadvantages, the more experience the accountant has with your business the greater the chance of him knowing them.
When starting a business it’s not uncommon for friends and family to offer to do your books, they are keen to help you to succeed in any way that they can, take care this can be one of the most effective ways to lose a friend. Financial advice should always be impartial and it’s very hard for friends to be impartial. The old adage about business and pleasure is always worth bearing in mind.
If you don’t have a reliable reference from someone you know and trust you’ll need to do the research your self.
Clarify your requirements
Before you start to call around or email potential accountants take some time to decide exactly what you want. Accountants today are able to offer a great range of tax and financial advice services. Before you meet, draw up a list of the services that you need.
Here are a few things to consider
Specialised financial services: Accountants often specialise in particular business areas, it is often beneficial to seek an accountant who works specifically within your industry, his prior knowledge of your business will put him in good stead to offer you the best tax and financial advice.
Choosing a large or small accountancy: Big accountancies often offer the greatest range of financial services, however if you’re a small business and your just starting out the lack of personalised contact may not be suitable to you, be sure that you have just one contact name and that they are fully experienced, not an office junior.
Should the accountant be in your town? With the internet and modern communications it’s not critical or even a requirement to meet with your accountant on a regular basis, however that said there are still many advantages to be gained having personal contact with your accountant. During a person to person meeting we are better able to understand each other, this will make it easier for the accountant to expand on points that you are not clear about and for you to build up your confidence in your selection of an accountant.
Set the highest standards
Tax Consultants Guide provides you with a perfect tool to start to do your research, each listed accountancy firm has a full page describing his services and normally a link to their business web site, you can do a lot of the preliminary work without having to spend ages on internet search engines finding accountants in the wrong country offering the wrong service, or reading the Yellow pages trying to figure out from a small ad block if they offer the financial services you require.
Draw up a short list of several accountants who appear to meet your needs, prepare some questions. Ask the accountancy adviser about their specialisation, their experience in your field of business, don’t be too specific about your business this will make it difficult for the accountant to modify his financial services description to fit your business perfectly.
Initially the accountant will be selling his range of financial services to you therefore he should be more than willing to offer you a free of charge informal meeting to discuss your needs. If not then we would advise you to find someone else.
Don’t wait until a month before financial year end before you check that your accountant has been managing everything the way he should, test his services, call him when you require financial advice, a good accountant will know the answer or will always get back to you promptly with the answer, if you don’t get replies to emails or find it difficult to get beyond the receptionist these are warning signs you should heed.
The Right Tax Consultant
After doing your research and selecting the best consultant for your needs you will have chosen a very good ally who you will build up a long term business relationship with. He will help you with all aspects of tax and financial advice, reducing your taxation and offering financial solutions that will enable you to build greater financial strength and security.