Top Five Things to Look for When Hiring a Professional Chartered Accountant
Hiring an accountant is crucial to your business. The right accountant will keep you in compliance with the law through proper tax filings, and accurate financial statements. By hiring an accountant, you also have the benefit of their knowledge and the ability to seek their advice on important financial decisions.
An accountant can guide you through the process of registering your business and discuss the structure that would be best for you. An accountant can also figure out your potential tax liability throughout the year. Most importantly, they can be the trusted advisor who helps you grow and operate your business successfully in the years to come.
If you’re looking out for a Chartered Accountant, here’s a list of the top five things to look for.
1. Referral from someone you know and trust.
The first place you will look will probably be the closest. Ask neighborhood friends, known business people or family and friends for referrals. People will be happy to recommend their accountant if they’re happy with them.
If you happen to be doing your own research, a prospective accountant should be able to provide quality references. Most firms will put you in touch with a few clients who have agreed to share their opinions of the firm. Their advice will be useful in weighing in your prospects. Ideally, at least some of the referral companies should be within your sector.
2. Knowledge of the income tax act and the various sales taxes.
A qualified accountant will know the fundamental issues in any business and can assist with standard tasks such as year-end tax filing and other compliance activities. However, your business issues may be dependent on your industry or the scale of your business. If your chosen accountant has specific expertise in these areas, you have a better chance of receiving service that will be beneficial to your business. With tax laws changing continuously, you want your accountant to be on top of those changes, ensuring the protection of your business.
3. Can explain complex situations in simple language.
As accountancy can be complicated, an accountant should be able to explain tax laws, rules and situations in common parlance for the average person who is less informed. While accounting is different from a customer service-oriented job, it is still providing a service and the same basic rules apply.
4. Easy to work with and listens to your needs and concerns.
The trust between an accountant and their client is of utmost importance. An accountant should be transparent and straightforward about their observations and findings. And the client in return should never withhold any relevant information or documentation that is pertinent to the business.
This kind of relationship allows for open conversation and genuine concerns to be vocalized. And a good accountant will help you work through any situation with ease. After all, your business is extremely personal too. Your accountant will certainly be able to help your business grow over time. They will be able to provide you with advice on how to grow your company further and provide support with running a payroll, as a result, your business advances.
5. Is available when you need them.
Depending on your requirements, whether personal or business, find out up front when the accountant is available. Some accountants only work during tax season. Others are available year-round. If you need year-round access to your accountant, you need to ask directly if they provide that service.
When meeting with your accountant, different accountants have different preferences when it comes to conducting client meetings. Some prefer personally meeting the client, while others prefer holding virtual meetings, or some combination of the two, subject to the weight of the matter. If dealing with a firm, be sure to have one point of contact within the firm for all your needs in simplifying your contact with the firm.
At Gray & Associates, helping our clients achieve financial health is our number one priority, and we genuinely enjoy guiding clients to success. We are currently seven employees and partners, and our office is located in North Vancouver, B.C.
We serve across Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, including North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver, Whistler, Abbotsford, Squamish and Chilliwack. If you’re looking for a Chartered Accountant, reach out to Gray & Associates. To learn more about the services we offer, please click here. To get in touch with us, please click here.