Are you thinking of outsourcing your accounts? It’s a move that most entrepreneurs make to attempt to save money, as well as make their business more affluent. Before you make the final hire, here are 5 questions you need to ask your prospective accountant during the hiring process.
How do you communicate with your clients?
This question is one that absolutely must be answered correctly – and yes, there is a right answer. You should be looking for an account who encourages having regular face to face meetings and wants to speak to you on the phone regularly. You also need to determine very quickly how documents will be transferred between party’s. Will everything be electronic, or should you expect regular deliveries from your accountant?
Can you provide feedback on my accounts as they stand?
A good accountant is one who is not afraid to point out areas for improvement, even before your relationship with them has begun.
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An accountant who will take the time to look over your accounts as they stand and offer improvement points, as well as identify areas where more money could be saved is an accountant who is worth your investment. In fact, any accountant worth their salt will offer to take a look over your books before you enter into any negotiations.
What challenges particular to my industry concern you most?
Any accountant intending to be involved in start up business accounting needs to be on and ahead of current trends. This question is designed to test your perspectives analytical skills and how well they identify potential risks. They need to be aware of what’s going on at the heart of your industry, so they don’t fall into any accounting traps that could allow your business to suffer.
Are you speaking the same language?
No accountant should expect you to be a whizz at every financial term in the English language; if you were, you wouldn’t be hiring an accountant. It is important at this stage, to test your prospective accountants ability to translate all of the financial jargon into layman’s terms, so you know that if things get complicated down the line, you have someone on your side who will explain everything to you, until you understand.
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If you were feeling sneaky, you could also use this opportunity to confirm that your accountant won’t take advantage of you not having as much knowledge as them to fleece your business of cash. Ask them some questions you know the answers to, to test their honesty.
Do you foresee any conflicts of interest?
You need to be certain that your accountant will have your best interests at heart, whilst also being adept at handling your finances and understanding everything that’s going on in your field. On the other hand, you don’t want to choose the same accountant that your main competitor is with, just in case a conflict of interest arises.