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Hiring An Online Accountant Checklist

Gary Green
Gary Green
May 15, 2020

Hiring an online accountant is a big deal for your business. In today's post, we provide a handy checklist to work through before you make your decision.

When it comes to hiring an online accountant, there are a few things you must make sure you do. Our previous article How To Choose An Online Accountant For Your Business ran through the process in detail. Today, we'll give you the 10 questions to ask yourself before you hire a new accountant.

If you’d like some more information about all the changes that might have affected your business so far, check out our Coronavirus Tips. And be sure to visit our Coronavirus Update page.

1. Do you know what you want?

What do you plan to keep doing yourself? What do you need help with? Which tasks cost you a lot of time in the business? Is there anything you CAN'T do?

2. Is the accountant chartered?

Have you checked? Which professional body is he/she chartered by (ICAEW, ACCA etc)? Have you seen a certificate?

3. Have you seen any reviews?

Have you seen a case study? Are you able to read a review or testimonial? Tip - look for reviews on contractor websites.

4. Does the firm have a blog or article archive?

Good online accountants will have lots of free tips, advice and information on their website.

5. Are you clear on the fees?

Will you be paying hourly, monthly or by completed job? Are there any hidden fees? Will you have to pay extra every time you pick up the phone to ask a question?

6. Do you trust them?

Follow your gut. Are they easy to get hold of on the phone? Do they take the time to listen to you before trying to sell to you? Do they have a professional website and a registered address?

7. Has the accountant worked with a business like yours before?

Small businesses need accountants who specialise in the finance and tax affairs of small businesses! Can they help with obtaining funding (EIS, SEIS, R&D etc)?

8. Have they ever worked with your accounting software?

If you use (or plan to use) Xero, are they a Xero Partner? Are they data savvy? Do they understand cloud accounting? Do they practice good cyber security?

9. Are they on social media?

If the accountant or firm doesn't have a social media presence, it's a red flag! They should be visible (photos), professional and engaging. Tip - when was the last time they posted/tweeted anything?

10. Have you asked about reporting?

How often will they send you reports? Will they only contact you if they need something? How hands on do you want to be?

If you've worked through this checklist and are still interested in working with us, please get in touch! We would be happy to have a free, no obligation chat to answer any questions you might have.

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