How to hire an accountant that fits your company (and budget)?

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Company owners of small to mid-sized businesses must multitask to fulfill their responsibilities; managing finances simultaneously gets overwhelming. Multitasking saves time but drains energy and affects productivity.

Furthermore, if you are unfamiliar with debit, credit, or recording transactions and have never dealt with accounting, you may dig greater holes in business finances.

You can hire Chartered or Certified accountants to clean up your mess, correct your accounting books, pay the proper taxes, and stay on top of accounting.

However, the hiring process includes several steps; we’ll discuss them in the post.

Table of contents

●  When to hire an accountant?
●  How to hire a compatible accountant for your business?
●  Conclusion

When to hire an accountant?

Accountants for companies are lifesavers. They are skilled professionals who significantly understand your company and accounting needs. Furthermore, their expertise and skills help you recover from a failure, find loopholes in the system, or look for better opportunities.

An accountant is responsible for developing a business plan, balancing your budget, recording daily transactions, providing financial analysis and planning, tax advice, bookkeeping, etc. They look for areas where you need to improve and find ways to boost your cash flow. Additionally, they know the changing laws in the country and ensure you follow them.

Most business owners on tight budgets worry if hiring an accountant is a legal requirement. No, for small businesses, it is not mandatory to hire such professionals, but staying on top of accounting is essential. You can hire a certified or chartered accountant, get accounting software, or do it manually.

In the initial years, you can do the accounting yourself, but as the needs start expanding, the level of professionalism grows. Here is when you need to hire an accountant:

  •  Inaccuracy in financial reports
  • Delay in tax payment
  • Delay in employee payments
  • Error in tax and VAT return preparation
  • Not ready for an investigation or audit
  • Inefficient cash-flow
  • No growth in business

These are a few points to consider when hiring an accountant, while there are several others.

If your small business is facing trouble with taxes, you can hire an accountant for taxes. They may help you with primary accounting responsibilities. These professionals understand your eligibility for tax deductions and reduce your tax bills accordingly.

How to hire a compatible accountant for your business?

If you are recruiting an in-house accountant, you need a jack of all trades and not someone efficient only in bookkeeping or payroll. But, such an individual may charge you high according to their qualification, experience, and range of services. Companies need an all-encompassing financial professional but have a budget to follow. They can look for a third-party firm or person.

However, when you hire an accountant, you must consider a few steps.

Understand your business requirements
It is essential to study and analyse what your business needs. For example, if you are setting up a business, you need a proper business structure, an accounting system, bookkeeping, and fulfilling tax obligations. But, businesses in the growing stage have different needs. Therefore, make sure you understand your business, set up goals, and then set out to look for accountants.

Define accounting responsibilities
When you are sure whether to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant, you must define their responsibilities. It ensures you connect with the right person.

Accounting responsibilities include the services you are looking for, like tax preparation, payroll, bookkeeping, invoicing, bank reconciliation, etc.

Connecting with professional
You can ask for a referral from closed ones or go through submitted applications to select an in-house accountant or outsource to freelancers and accounting firms. Make a list of candidates that suits your business requirements and set up a face-to-face interview.

Set up an interview
A small hole in the pipe can empty a water tank, and such a hole in your accounting system can drain away company finances. You must hire the right people on staff to protect your business and enjoy steady growth.

An interview helps you understand the qualities of a candidate and how they can fulfill your needs. Ask them questions like:

  • What is their qualification, and what certificates or licences do they hold?
  • What services can they provide?
  • How many years of experience do they have?
  • Did they previously work in a similar industry?
  • What is their specialisation?
  • What salary do they expect?
  • Are they tech-savvy and have a good knowledge of the latest technologies?

Besides these, you can look for their soft skills, like communication, problem-solving, attention to detail, time management, etc. Companies hire accountants online to cut costs and get full-fledged service provider backing.

Think about the cost
One thing you cannot avoid is the cost of hiring an accountant. When you hire a chartered accountant, you pay more than a certified one. Similarly, you pay less while outsourcing accounting to a third party than hiring staff. An employee not only receives a good salary, but you also pay them employee benefits. Plus, you need to keep them even when there is much to do in the company besides record keeping.

If you are tight on budget, look out for companies that work with top-class accountants and provide the best services at an affordable price. You can also claim a part of their costs on your tax return.

Look into client feedback
Finally, look into clients’ feedback they have previously worked for and see if they are a good fit. You can hire freshers who charge you less, but they may not be spontaneous in solving a financial crisis like their seniors. It may further affect your financial health.

Conclusion

You can outsource accounting anytime if you cannot hire a personal accountant. They give you exposure to a group of experts ready to solve any financial situation of your business.

Accounting software can be a good option, but it cannot be an alternative to hiring accountants. Finally, looking into your budget before hiring a professional in your company is essential.

Experlu Editorial Team
The editorial team at Experlu is comprised of seasoned financial professionals dedicated to providing high-quality content on accounting and finance. With a wealth of experience and diverse expertise, the team produces insightful articles that have established the Experlu blog as the UK's leading financial and accounting resource. The team includes accountants, auditors, and business advisors who stay updated with the latest industry developments. Their commitment to excellence ensures that Experlu remains a trusted source of information, helping readers stay informed about audit, business, finance, and tax matters.