We have written previously about how to find an accounting firm for your small business but with things changing rapidly, we thought it was time for an update to our previous article.
COVID has proven that accountants can be worth their weight (or even more) in gold, as they help companies to keep up with changing regulations and fluctuations in their finances.
Here is our 2021 update on how to choose the best accounting firm.
Review technology and digital practices
In the past, we have written about making sure your accounting firm is staffed with qualified accountants, which of course is always your first step.
Beyond accounting qualifications, you need your accountant to be up to speed with the technology and best practices that make life easier for all involved. This includes using cloud-based accounting software but also offering services such as real-time accounting dashboards, e-signature capabilities, easy online calendar bookings and video call technology.
A tech-savvy accounting firm is efficient, productive and able to offer you more for your money.
Discuss grants and COVID cash boosts
You should not have to research what is available in terms of COVID grants when you are busy.
A good accountant should be able to update you and let you know how to apply for the funds you need to keep your business afloat if you are experiencing difficulties during the pandemic.
Choose an accountant who is also an educator
The world of business is changing faster than ever before. It is impossible to keep track of all the changes so if your accounting firm takes on the role of publisher and shares content regularly, you can rest assured that it is staying on the cutting edge of its profession.
Follow your firm on Facebook and Instagram and open its newsletters (if they send them). This will help you to keep informed about the elements of financial management that matter to your business.
Check your accounting firm has the right connections
Our accounting firm is highly proactive and has a network of professionals who we can refer our clients to, from mortgage brokers and financial planners to bookkeepers and lawyers.
Running a business requires a big support team and if your accounting firm can recommend the best players to help you stay in financial control and grow, you will be better off in the long term.
Do they know the right accounting methods for your business?
The way you accept payments from your clients should play a role in the way your accountant manages your money and arranges your tax return.
Your accounting firm should review your business model before determining the best way to help you. Ideally, they will have a few similar clients on their books so they can draw from experience to make sure you don’t lose money to the ATO unnecessarily.
Does the fee structure suit you?
Some accounting firms charge by the hour and others offer a fixed monthly fee. Again, the model that suits you will depend on your business.
Have a chat with your potential accounting firm to figure out exactly what you will get for your money. If you are paying on an hourly basis make sure they notify you after you have exceeded your monthly budget.
Look for a partnership mentality
Your accounting firm should see itself as an extension of your business and work with you as though its success depends on yours.
The best accountants do far more than crunch numbers. They are motivated and inspired to help your business to do better. From restructuring your business to reviewing your budget, they should collaborate with you to identify ways to save money and spend in ways that will strategically grow the business.
You should feel as though your accountant understands your business back to front. Make sure you schedule times to catch up so you can find out what ideas, strategies and opportunities your business is missing out on.
Want to find the best Chatswood accounting firm? Contact Imagine Accounting today.