The criteria for choosing the right accountant
Regardless of your small business’s industry, don’t underestimate the value of a good accounting firm. You can call on an accountant for basic accounting services, or an accountant who can also help you organize your business, avoid tax pitfalls and help you optimize your taxation. This is a contribution in advice that is strategic for the growth of your business.
In order to find a reliable accounting firm that suits your needs, you must do the necessary research. Here are ten tips to help you choose the right accounting firm for your small business.
(Download the checklist template and better understand how to choose the right accounting firm).
#1: Know what you need
But before choosing an accounting firm, you must first understand the type of work or responsibilities you want them to have for your business. If you need to outsource your bookkeeping, possibly with monthly reporting, a fiduciary generally meets this need. But for advice on tax matters, payroll management, or certification of accounts, you must contact an accountant.
#2: Look for experience in VSEs
Beware of large accounting firms. You need someone who has experience with small businesses. If the firm works with companies in your industry, this could also be an advantage. By working for a long time for clients in a specific sector, the firms master the challenges associated with it very well. If the firm has dealt with several clients like you, it can better guide you in making the right financial decisions for the growth of your business.
#3: Decide if you need an accountant or an accountant
Many entrepreneurs start by managing their finances and tax declarations themselves. Nowadays, it has become much easier to perform simple bookkeeping tasks yourself with the help of advanced software.
But after a while, it makes sense to hire a firm to handle the bookkeeping, payroll, and tax filings. For a long time, the choice between an accountant and a chartered accountant was made on the basis of the size of the company: trustees for VSEs and chartered accountants for large companies, mainly for a question of cost. This is less and less true these days. By capitalizing on the possibilities offered by the latest tools and software on the market, many chartered accountants have been able to adapt their offers to VSEs.
#4: Ask for recommendations
One way to find a firm for your business is to ask other contractors who they use. Nothing better than. Ask about their experience working with their firm and get an idea of the budget you will need to pay for these services.
#5: Compare fees
Some firms charge a monthly fee that includes all bookkeeping and tax preparation work. Others charge a supplement at the end of the year, often called “balance sheet costs”.
Also, some firms charge additional fees if you use their services for advice on the day-to-day life of your business (on VAT, payroll, etc.). Others include in their fees a flat rate for these questions.
Want to know how they set their level of fees before deciding? Be aware that the level of a firm’s fees are primarily based on the number of transactions that your company carries out: the more transactions you have, the more time the firm invests in processing them in accounting and declarations.
Their level of fees also differs according to the scope of the services provided and the qualification of the people who deal with your file on a daily basis. Be sure to analyze the proposed fee budget before making the final decision.
#6: Leverage social media
Nowadays, a number of law firms are active on different social media platforms. In fact, having a LinkedIn profile should be a must for any practicing accountant or accountant. This is proof that they have an active business and are highly recommended for their expertise by at least a few customers.
#7: Ask about accounting software
Before choosing a practice, it is important to ask what software they use and if they recommend any software for their VSE clients. This gives you an idea of the firm’s level of modernity and efficiency.
You can also find out if the firm is used to supporting its clients in the phase where they decide to re-internalize their accounting and how they manage data processing at that time when the company hires an accountant in internal but wishes to keep the accounting firm for an accounting review mission.
#8: Check if the firm uses dematerialization
More and more firms are going all-digital. They thus dematerialize accounting documents (invoices, bank statements, contracts, etc.). This can have many advantages for you:
First of all, if the firm has all the documents digitized, document searches become very simple;
Then, digitized documents present less risk of loss or deterioration;
And finally, all this demonstrates a certain efficiency which inevitably has a positive impact for you in terms of your fee budget.
#9: Find out about the frequency of reporting
It is important that you know how often you will receive financial statements from your accountant. Frequent communication is essential between you and your firm, especially as you grow your business. You want to use your firm as a business adviser, and not just to manage VAT declarations and the balance sheet. So set expectations