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How to Find the Right Accountant for Your Business

How to Find the Right Accountant for Your Business

Accountancy Services
    Are you paying too much tax? Are your financial figures accurate? Is your accounting software efficient enough? If you are looking for a new accountant, how do you find the right one?

    A lot of questions, to be sure. But where do you start?

    Below is a checklist of what to consider when looking for the right accountancy services:

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    • Qualifications?
    • Do they have industry experience?
    • Fee structure
    • Is the size of the accounting firm convenient for you?
    • Are they in the right location?

    Choosing the right accountant can be a very daunting challenge. Whether you’re a sole trader, limited company or multi-national company, it is likely that you will need the services of an accountant to prepare your end-of-year financial statements and tax accounts.

    As a business owner, it’s important to choose an accountant that acts not only as a bookkeeper, auditor or tax advisor but also as a trusted financial advisor. The idea is that they can advise you on business risks and manage your finances effectively. The accountant will have access to your financial information, so you need to be able to trust your accountant.

    Qualifications?

    Anyone could set up their own business and call themselves an accountant. You can wake up in the morning and decide “I’ll be an accountant today”. It is in your best interests to work with a qualified accountant. Taking a gamble with an unqualified accountant is taking a gamble with your finances and the future of your business.

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    Accountants can only become qualified through one of the following UK bodies:

    • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
    • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland(ICAS)

    Once you approach an accountant, you must find out if they are a member of one of the above institutions – you request for proof of membership. Alternatively, you can check an accountant’s membership of these institutions and their qualifications directly with the relevant organisation.

    Industry experience?

    Accounting is a general field. In addition to certifications, you should look for accountants with expertise in your industry sector or in a similar industry. Some accounting firms may have experience in non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), recruitment or manufacturing businesses.

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    Accountants don’t offer just basic bookkeeping and auditing services; they also provide expert insights. An accountant with experience in your sector should fully comprehend the issues and challenges faced and could provide invaluable advice when needed.

    Fee structure

    How much does the accountant charge? For some businesses, this will be the main choice factor. Look for accountants that allow for fixed monthly fees, instead of supplying one lump sum bill at the end of the year. There’s no doubt that a fixed fee for accountancy services avoids any nasty surprises when the invoice lands on your desk.

    Most businesses expect a reasonable charge for a good accountancy service during the financial year. The accountant may not feel inclined to offer additional support if they are making a loss by preparing your accounts. Remember, accountants can save you money and are more likely to do so if you have a good working partnership.

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    Size of accounting firm

    It’s advisable to speak to an accountant that is similar in size to your business. For most start-ups, a small accounting firm is often a more attractive option than a large multi-national accounting business – large corporations feel more comfortable employing a large, name-brand accounting firm.

    Location

    Most people have internet access 24/7 so this might not be very important for your business. This applies particularly to businesses that prefer to meet their accountant. A locally-based accountant is usually more approachable as they should be more amicable to visiting you at your premises – after all, they are working for you. They can set up accounting or bookkeeping software on your PC.

    Whilst the accounting industry is regulated by independent institutions, this is no guarantee that all accountants will be suitable for your business. Even if you find an accountant that ticks all the boxes in the checklist above, this is no guarantee that their services will be tailored to your business’ needs.

    It’s advisable to speak to a commercial finance broker, as they’ve established relationships with a strong network of accountancy firms across the UK. The stand-out factors of the accountants they work with is that they provide a proactive service, are established, qualified accountants with excellent track records who work with your business 365 days a year…and not just at year’s end.

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2018

    30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

    30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

    Spending time with friends is, in and of itself, a great way to pass the time without spending a lot of money. But if you and your friends are used to going out to clubs, pubs or eateries together as your way of hanging out, then you can change it up a bit and save some money too.

    No matter where you live, there are plenty of places to go and do fun things that don’t cost a lot.

    If you are having trouble convincing your friends to do things on the cheap, then be upfront with them. Tell them straight out that you can’t spend that kind of money right now — and don’t let them pay for you either. But here are some great alternatives you can offer.

    30 Fun Things To Do With Friends Without Spending Much

    1. A potluck dinner party. Host a dinner party and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. If you are not comfortable with cooking, maybe try and learn how to cook a new dish together with your friends.

    2. Host a spa day. Give each other manicures. Try out new hairstyles. Make some facial masks or exfoliates using natural, at-home ingredients. Then drink mimosas.

    3. Movie marathon. Log into Netflix and watch every episode of “Stranger Things” Or do an ’80s movie marathon, watching “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club” and all of our old favorites. Don’t have a Netflix membership? Get the free trial just for the marathon!

    4. Pinterest party! You know all of those cool Pinterest crafts you say you’re going to do? Do them. At home one night with friends. Then make up some of those bacon-wrapped whatevers you’ve been dying to try!

    5. Go to the park. Pack a picnic. Hang out. Watch people. Play on the swings.

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      6. Have an organization party. Set up a day of each weekend where you go to each of your friends’ houses and help them clean out a closet, a room, a garage, whatever. Serve drinks and food and trade stuff among yourselves.

      7. Hold a yard sale. After all of that cleaning, why not hang out together and make some extra cash too?

      8. Concerts in the park. All summer long, many parks host free concerts. Go with your friends. Hang out, bring a picnic dinner. This is a very relaxing way to chill out on a hot summer night after work.

      9. Volunteer together. Offer to do the yard work for the local senior center or hang out with the kids at the YMCA. After a few hours of volunteering together, you will have new respect for each other and something new to chat about.

      10. Play board games. Drag out the Scrabble or the Yahtzee. You can hang out and play all sorts of games with large groups or small ones. Hold a tournament and compete against each other. Here’re some board games ideas.

      11. Video game tournament. Not into board games? OK. Well, how about a video game tournament? Whether it’s the latest dancing game or “Call of Duty,” play against each other and award prizes (or food) to the winners.

      12. Grab a ball and a bat and go play baseball at the local park. Grab a basketball or a tennis racket. Most parks have courts and fields you can use for free as long as there isn’t an organized event going on.

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      13. Go to the school play. This might cost a little for admission, but it’s a great way to support your community and have a fun time.

      14. Iron Chef night. Bring your friends over and have an Iron Chef night where you cook dinner out of only the items in your pantry. No buying anything!

      15. Go dumpster diving. Yup. I said it. Check out the dumpsters in your area and see what you can find. You might even find dinner! Here are some tips for respectful diving.

        16. Go to yard sales. Take all that money you made at your yard sale and cruise around your town together looking for cool stuff. Maybe you could even fix something up and resell it.

        17. Go fishing.

        18. Go camping.

        19. Find some cool trails around your town and go hiking. Here’re some of the best hiking trails you should try.

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        20. Get out the bikes and bike everywhere for a weekend.

          21. Dig out the old croquet set — or borrow your Mom’s — and play croquet. Do it! Totally fun.

          22. Swap movies and music. Have everyone bring over a box of old movies and CDs they don’t want anymore — or don’t watch anymore. Then swap with abandon.

          23. Go on a walking tour of your town. Most towns or cities have a historic district. Find out if there is a walking tour available. If not, make one up!

          24. Scavenger hunt. Put your friends to the test — yes, this is for grown-ups — to find different things in your city…like a certain bike rack, a vintage sign, that sort of thing. The winner gets a dinner cooked by the losers.

          25. Find out when the free days are at your local museum or zoo. Most have them and they can be great fun to visit with friends.

          26. Hold a quilting bee. No, you don’t have to be fancy — or old — for this. Grab some old T-shirts that you love, old jeans, whatever. Cut them into squares and sew them together. Who knows? Maybe it will become a regular thing?

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          27. Go to Open Mic night. Your town is likely harboring some great talent at an open mic night that has no cover and cheap drinks!

          28. Go to a religious service. Even if you’re not religious, going to a service in an unfamiliar religion can be enlightening and a great way to meet new people.

          29. Find a swimming hole. Head to the old town swimming hole — or find a new one. What a great way to spend a lazy afternoon with friends.

            30. Start a book club, card club (canasta anyone?), sewing club or scrapbooking club. Something you and your friends like. My parents used to belong to a cooking club where once a month all of their friends gathered at one house and the host family cooked a meal from a different country. I learned a lot about food that year.

            You don’t really need to spend much to have lots of fun with your friends! Pick a few of these ideas and start trying them out this weekend with your friends!

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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