6 things to look for in your next accountant

Hiring an accountant is an important step in your business journey. Finding the right one means you won’t just be guaranteed a stress free time when it comes to your compliance but you’ll also be unlocking a whole new world of potential for you and your business. But not all accountants are created equal. Here are some important characteristics that all great accountants will have. 

1. Do they understand you, your business, and your goals?

Your goals for your business go beyond the numbers on a spreadsheet. Maybe some business owners are content with where they are: working too many hours with too much stress and too little reward. But that’s not you. 

You have huge aspirations. You want a future where your business works for you, and not the other way around. Your accountant should want the same. 

A great accountant will support you in more ways than just VAT compliance and payroll. They’ll take the time to have a deep understanding  of your business: where you started, where you are now, and where you want to take it. 

This is what we call the Path to Achievement at Myers Clark. It starts with a relationship that feels like more than a business transaction: we’ll be your confidant, your motivator, your partner. Once we know what your goals are, we’ll help set the course for you to achieve them, and be the hand on your back to keep you headed in the right direction. Read more about how we take you down the Path to Achievement here

2. Can you contact them easily? 

An ambitious business owner like you needs more than an accountant who appears every few months for a check-in, or only when it’s time to submit your taxes. When your accountant is a true partner, they’ll be a consistent presence on your business journey. You should feel comfortable reaching out to them with questions, concerns, and updates.

In turn, they’ll be contacting you to stay abreast of changes in your business, update you on changing policies or legislation that may affect you, or just to check-in on how things are progressing. 

Some red flags to look for in your accountant’s communications are: 

  • They take weeks to respond to emails, texts, or calls 
  • Their answers to your questions are generic, with no indication this is specific advice for you, your business, and your goals
  • They fail to schedule regular meetings with you 

At Myers Clark, we understand that the time we take with you in the present is an investment into the future. As our client, you’ll have regular, focused meetings that help deepen our understanding of your business and keep you focused on your aspirations. We believe that every question deserves an answer, and every business owner deserves a partner they can rely on. 

3. Are they qualified?

Accountants in the UK must have, at minimum, Association of Accounting Technicians or AAT qualifications. Chartered accountants must receive additional training and qualifications, like: 

  • ACA: this qualification comprises three different levels, requires 450 days of practical work experience and 15 exams.
  • ACCA: The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification is made up of two levels – Fundamentals and Professionals – and 13 exams. It takes on average 2.5-3 years to achieve. 
  • CIMA: Chartered Institute of Management Accounts qualifications has four different levels with four exams in each. 

Your accountant should also be qualified to work with the specificities of your business through proven experience. Myers Clark has been in business for over 100 years. Our team of 40 is made up of exceptionally skilled professionals with experience in all areas of accounting from R&D claims, personal tax, exit plans, and more. We work with SMEs across industries who share our values of ambition, growth, and future focus. Learn more about the Myers Clark Team here

4. Do they promote a digital way of working? 

With cloud based software and game changing accounting apps, there’s no reason for you to be chained to your desktop in order to check your accounts. Your accountant should be adept at using the latest technology in the accounting industry, and be able to give you specific recommendations for the apps and software that would work best for you.

 At Myers Clark, we love using Quickbooks for our cloud accounting because it: 

  • makes compliance with HMRC easier including Making Tax Digital
  • makes accounting tasks, like bookkeeping, VAT, or tracking expenses, easier and faster
  • allows you to see your key numbers day to day
  • means you can access your financial information on your phone, laptop, or tablet whenever or wherever you need 
  • enables an automatic link to your bank account so you can see your data in real time

Quickbooks is also integrated with some of the best accounting apps in the industry to help you with tasks like accounts receivable and cash flow. From Dext to Chaser, Fluidly to GoCardless, we take the time and confusion out of selecting, testing, and implementing the best digital tools for your business.

5. Do you trust them? 

Trust is absolutely imperative when it comes to your relationship with your accountant. The intricate details of your finances aren’t something you share with just anyone. You should feel confident that your accountant will work with integrity and your best interests at heart at all times. 

Trusting your accountant also means you can confide in them about anything. 

At Myers Clark, we believe in honesty and communication at all times. We’re not just here to celebrate your successes: we’re here to work through challenges, overcome obstacles, and surge past setbacks. We’re able to achieve this by having the full picture of your business, and being completely transparent with you about our thoughts. Working with Myers Clark means you’ll never have to doubt your trust in us. 

6. Do they inspire you?

A great accountant doesn’t just handle your VAT compliance or payroll. Their role in your business goes beyond that. They won’t just make your business better, but they’ll make you a better business owner. 

If you’re a future focused leader who loves being challenged in order to see their business grow, then you’re exactly the type of business owner we love to work with at Myers Clark. A key step in our Path to Achievement is Challenge: we’ll make sure your processes, decisions, and strategies are the best for your business, even when that means pushing you past your comfort zone. Stagnation is the enemy to progress. You won’t achieve your goals by standing in place. You want an accountant who inspires you to be better and aim higher than you ever thought possible. If you’re ready to have an accountant, a partner, and a business strategist all in one and get started down your path to achievement, fill out our diagnostic here.