Auditing and certification of accounts, advice on payroll management, social or international law… The field of intervention of a chartered accountant is extremely wide. For nine out of ten companies, he is also a trusted third party involved in the entrepreneurial adventure. And you, are you sure you made the right choice? La Mutuelle Générale gives you 5 tips for choosing the right accountant!
The 5 tips we are going to develop:
Establish a relationship of trust.Know your field of intervention.Check his registration with the Order of Chartered Accountants.Ensure geographical proximity and availability.Define the price and the mission letter.?
Tip #1: Establish a relationship of trust
In 2017, according to the CSOEC*, there were 21,000 chartered accountants and 22,000 chartered accountant companies or associations, all registered with the Order and employing some 130,000 staff. Not to mention the 6,000 trainee chartered accountants. So who to choose? The one with the best reputation? Which one specializes in your industry? In your business typology? Nothing better than to organize an appointment to get to know each other . The first appointment is generally not charged and allows you to see if the issues are well understood and if a climate of trust is established between you and your future accountant. The feeling and the bond of trust must be decisive in your choice. Indeed, the chartered accountant and his team will be true partners of your company in the future. You will be required to share a lot of information related to the life of your company, so you should feel comfortable and connected.
Tip n°2: know your field of intervention
A chartered accountant is a real adviser for companies. He brings his expertise in many areas, particularly in accounting, but also in finance, taxation or law . He advises you in your best interests, taking into account your current situation and your long-term objectives. The chartered accountant also helps you in your daily procedures: employment contract, payroll edition, social protection, URSSAFS declaration, management of proceedings, filing of AG minutes at the commercial court registries… Calling on skills this professional allows you to save time in your administrative procedures and brings you peace of mind.
Tip 3: Check your registration with the Order of Chartered Accountants
The profession of chartered accountant is both regulated and subject to an oath and a code of ethics. The Higher Council of the Order of Chartered Accountants also provides a directory of graduates , with a search engine by name or by location. In addition to these references, you can try to obtain the recommendation of a colleague to choose your accountant.
Tip n°4: ensure its geographical proximity and its availability
This is perhaps the most important criterion of all! Because we don’t need an accountant every day, but when we need one, it’s often urgent. The relationship with his accountant must be built over time and in trust . It must be regular and nourished. But it is also necessary that the latter (or his teams) make himself available and travel if necessary, in particular in the event of a problematic closing of a financial statement or tax audit. In these situations, his help will be decisive.
Tip n°5: define the price and the mission letter
There remains the question of the budget. It is essential to address the question of fees from the first interview . Defining an average can turn out to be a risky exercise because the range of intervention of the chartered accountant is very wide and the prices are not regulated. For example, 46% of companies have a budget of less than 3,000 euros per year**, all services combined. In addition to the price, it is important to define a letter of assignments which will specify the framework of your relationship and the amount of the fees, the services included, but also the hourly rate for those which are not.
These 5 criteria are essential for choosing an accountant. The prerequisite for working with an accountant is to establish a relationship of trust. To make the right choice, your chartered accountant must be nearby so that he can intervene quickly and that he fully understands the challenges of your situation. Ideally, turn to a chartered accountant who has been recommended to you and who will be able to best support you in your entrepreneurial project.