- ask business colleagues if they would recommend their accountant
- ask your bank manager or solicitor
- ask an adviser working for a Business Link (England), Local Economic Development Unit (Northern Ireland), County Enterprise Board (Republic of Ireland), Business Shop (Scotland), Business Connect (Wales) or the Chamber of Commerce.
Questions to ask the accountancy firm
- how many partners are there in the firm?
- how many clients does the firm have?
- who will undertake the work?
- what are the typical response and advice times to be expected?
- what are the scales of charges and rates for partners and staff?
- what is the firm’s estimate of fees?
- what expertise can the firm supply?
- is it possible to speak to existing clients of the firm?
Select a short list of firms
- arrange meetings with at least three firms
- present the requirements/shopping list and a brief summary of the business
- interview the firms; look for a firm that will add value to the business. Look for a firm that plans ahead, will look at future business development and will listen to and respond to business and personal aims
- having selected a firm it will then issue a letter of engagement. This document is a contract between you and the accountancy firm which details, amongst other things, your responsibilities, the firm’s responsibilities and the basis on which fees will be charged.
Other pointers for selecting a Accounting firm for small assignments are:
1. First consider what services you might need from an accountant.
2. Determine the expertise you need, verses the knowledge you have.
3. Be realistic about your (or your organization’s) knowledge of accounting.
4. Accessibility and Service Levels. What’s right for you?
5. Don’t Underestimate the value of a Certified Professional.
6. Getting your Ducks in Line.
7. Examining your Options.
8. Make it Happen!
Source: Hunter Group
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