What should you expect from your accountant/bookkeeper?
The levels of service you receive from accountants and bookkeepers vary considerably as do the prices you pay.
I think it's important that you receive a minimum level of service from your accountant/bookkeeper. Accountants and Bookkeepers should be seen as your business adviser, not just someone that deals with historic numbers and appears once a year followed by a big bill.
Below are the minimum expectations you should have for your accountant/bookkeeper
1. We should understand, be able to relate to advising your business in its growth at no extra costs
2. We should explain to you what documents are needed and not assume you know what to provide.
3. We should be communicating with HMRC on your behalf saving you time and confusion.
4. We should be providing timely, factual, relevant information, in a format to suit you, to help you make your key business decisions.
5. We should be advising and supporting you in developing forecasting for the future of your business based on past information and your plan for the business.
6. We should be supportive, friendly, professional, accessible and efficient without charging a premium for it.
7. We should have a genuine interest in your business and its success.
8. We should be providing live financial data to help you look forward and develop your business, rather than just reviewing past financials.
9. We should be able to provide clarity and understanding over all your finances in your business, not just turnover, expenses and profit.
10. We should be using live data to keep you informed of your tax liabilities, both personal and business related.
11. We should be telling you about the tax-deductible allowances you can claim, and advising on legitimate ways to be tax efficient.
12. We should be sharing best practice as seen in the same or similar industries to help you increase efficiency and profit within your business.
13. We should be offering regular meetings either face to face, telephone, webinars to ensure we know how your business is doing and what challenges are being faced.
14. We should always return your calls and emails in good time and without charging additional costs.
15. We should be able to recommend similarly minded businesses whose services you require to support your business.
You should expect these fifteen points as a minimum and it shouldn't cost you huge amounts Remember your the customer, you should feel you get value and support from your accountant or bookkeeper, not just a means to an end!
If you're not receiving this level of service from your accountant or bookkeeper or feel your paying over the odds for this level of service, then I recommend you get in touch.