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3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Accountant

Financial Services • by Creditgenie • 19 October 2017

For those who need to select and instruct an accountant, it's imperative to do it right from the beginning rather than being stunwg by extra fees, delays, and at it's worst the wrong accounts or tax return (it can still technically be correct, but possibly not prepared in the most beneficial format or without all the profit-making and cost-reducing options that are possible for your particular situation). This is for both individuals and business owners, or for those who have done this many times over and realize they need a fresh perspective on either the same or a different accountant.
3 important questions to ask yourself before hiring an account:
Instruction - what are you instructing them to do?

    You must know what you’re getting for your money, and what specific services you want.
    For example, a basic book keeping service or additional advice on account structuring.
    Are there ways in which some initial preparation work can be done so the accountant can just focus on the presentation of the accounts.
    Are they going to submit accounts to relevant authorities.
    After meeting and stated what is required, make sure this is confirmed in writing and have a careful read of all their stated terms and conditions
    Don't be afraid to ask questions or for agreed amendments.

Information - what information do they need from you?

    The clearer this is, the easier you can prepare information to save time and money.
    Don't waste time trying to understand and provide them.
    Are there any supporting documents or invoices required, and if you can’t provide it, will it be a problem.
    Do you need to seek copies from original sources.
    Is there any way you can present this info in summary format, so the accountant can apply them faster.

Invoice - what will their final and total invoice be?

    By knowing what their services will cost, make sure that this will be the full final amount you are invoiced for.
    Make sure there is no hidden costs.
    Find out if the accountant adds VAT to it's fee or if there is extra expenses.
    If there is, check the timing of these charges for both when their invoice will be issued after work is completed and when the due date  payment  is.
    Will it be a once off invoice issued after work is completed or will any interim part-payment invoices be issued before hand.

So these 3 key questions, answered by any proposed accountant, confirmed in writing so there is no misunderstanding later on, will help you determine which accountant to choose.