Managing your business’s tax returns, accounts, and deadlines can be complex and time-consuming. Many business owners find it more beneficial to outsource these responsibilities than handle them themselves because managing the Revenue and CRO requirements often requires specialised expertise, and business owners can use their time better.
While managing your accounts may seem like a cost-saving measure, hiring a professional is advisable in the long run. Hiring an accountant or tax professional can provide several advantages and contribute to the overall success of your business.
Consider your business’ growth trajectory and evaluate your skill set. If you lack expertise in accounting or compliance, it is highly recommended to seek the services of a qualified accountant.
In this blog, we’ll review the common features to look for when hiring an accountant.
When to hire an accountant?
Hiring an accountant for your business can provide peace of mind with your important accounting deadlines and efficiency in your business operations. It is not limited to any specific situation.
If you feel overwhelmed, need more financial expertise, or want to ensure the financial health of your business, consulting with an accountant is always a wise choice.
Contact our team for tailored advice and services to meet your unique business needs.
If you find managing your accounting requirements overwhelming or complex, it's an excellent time to hire an accountant. A qualified accountant will have the expertise to navigate these tax filings and can help minimise your tax liability while ensuring compliance with all financial regulations in Ireland.
An accountant can provide guidance if you need more clarification about managing your cash flow effectively. They can provide insights into optimising cash flow and managing expenses.
An accountant can handle your bookkeeping tasks if you struggle with maintaining accurate and organised financial records. They can ensure that your financial information is up to date, allowing you to make informed decisions based on reliable data.
When engaging in complex financial transactions, such as raising capital, an accountant can provide invaluable expertise. They can assess the financial implications, perform due diligence, and offer advice.
Legal and compliance matters
An accountant can be an essential support if you face legal or compliance issues, such as audits or late deadline filings. They can liaise with regulatory authorities, provide documentation, and represent your interests to help resolve any financial matters.
Time and efficiency
As a business owner, your time is valuable, and handling financial tasks can be time-consuming. Hiring an accountant frees your time to focus on core business activities, strategic planning, and growth opportunities.
How to find an accountant for your business?
1. Search by location
People can hire a local accountant in their local area. However, this is no longer necessary, with accounting now being done on cloud-based software.
It is possible to look for a good accountant online and select one based on their expertise and knowledge of the industry you are working in. Even if that means your accountant is based in a different city or country.
Software like Microsoft Teams and Zoom means you can have an accountant anywhere. Choose an accountant right for you, and don't limit your choice.
2. Search by price
Although you spend money on an accountant, we understand you are still on a budget.
Keeping your expenses under control and ensuring your accountant is efficient is vital in any new business. However, even with that in mind, you want to maintain the quality of the work you receive. Searching for an accountant that is transparent in their fees and offers fixed pricing is an excellent place to start.
3. Seek recommendations
Since accounting and bookkeeping can include sensitive information about your business, you want to make sure that the person you are hiring for the job is someone you can rely on to keep your info safe.
For someone new, you cannot guarantee whether or not they are reliable. Thus, finding recommendations and referrals for your chosen accountant can ensure a satisfactory experience.
In the past, you would ask people you know personally. Nowadays, you can ensure that an accountant will be satisfactory even if they are not recommended to you by someone you know. Online reviews and ratings can be found easily online, giving insight into how other people like you found their experience.
How to choose an accountant?
Choosing the right accountant for your business is important, and you might feel overwhelmed by choice. You should reach out to a range of different accountants and take time to interview them for suitability with your business.
Here are our top things to consider when deciding what accountant to choose.
1. Industrial knowledge and expertise
Different industries have different requirements when it comes to accounting. For example, only Limited Companies must prepare financial statements and Directors’ Returns.
An accountant focusing on Limited Companies and Startups may be suitable for new businesses that need help understanding what’s required to start a company in Ireland.
Another example is the construction industry. Your accountant may have to account for a significant amount and variety of raw materials, and they would focus more on inventory than they would have to in another industry. The technology sector usually has less inventory and more focus on tax-deductible business expenses and wages. Some accountants focus on helping Amazon, Ebay or Etsy sellers, and a good accountant can advise you on running these types of companies in Ireland.
Therefore, you need to consider what kind of industry you belong to and whether the accountant you choose is experienced. If they are not used to your industry and sector practices, look for someone who is.
2. Compatibility with your business
Compatibility is an essential element to consider when you’re hiring an accountant. Only some people are compatible with the structure or practices of an organisation. For example, if you’re running a Startup that operates remotely, consider seeking accounting tips for startups and working with an online accountant; it is the best choice.
Many of our clients work full-time at the beginning of their Startup journey. Therefore, it wouldn’t be suitable for them to leave their 9-5 job for a meeting with the accountant. Having an accountant that is flexible and available outside of face-to-face meetings is very important to our clients.
Another thing to consider is that your accountant doesn’t need to be based in Ireland if you have an Irish Limited Company. However, there are different accounting standards around the world. Ireland follows the IFRS Standards, so if you hire an accountant more used to UK practices, for example, there might be some problems.
3. Qualifications of accountants
You should check for qualifications to ensure your accountant knows what they’re doing. In Ireland, there are four main bodies for professional accountancy qualifications: Chartered Accountants Ireland, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Choosing an accountant that is a member of one of these institutions can give you confidence they are certified by a recognised body. Accountant Online are members of Chartered Accountants Ireland, which means we are supervised by this organisation to uphold the highest possible standard for accountancy.
You can recognise a Chartered Accountants Ireland member by looking out for this logo on the website:
4. Proactive to deadline management
When looking for an accountant, you should consider how proactive they can be in ensuring your business complies with all the laws and regulations for businesses and accounting in Ireland.
This includes registering for the appropriate taxes, filing your tax returns on time and communicating with Irish Revenue when necessary.
Instead of finding an accountant who would do your books for you, you want to make sure that it is proactive and accessible on online platforms. They should be able to ensure compliance with all the laws concerning your finances and be willing to put in the extra effort to maintain your records.
Without this level of proactive behaviour, you would spend more time pouring over your books than your accountant.
5. Range of services on offer
Of course, when hiring someone to do something for you – whether that’s painting or accounting – you would want to ensure they offer the services you need.
Typical accounting services include tax preparation, bookkeeping, financial reporting, and budgeting. However, some accounting firms can offer additional services, such as company secretarial and payroll services. You can choose to hire all these services under one roof.
Enquire about the accounting software and tools the accountant uses. Ensure your chosen accountants are up-to-date with technology and can leverage efficient systems for managing your financial data.
Our onboarding and processes are done online, providing convenience and accessibility to our clients. For example, many of our clients who are first-time business owners are taught how to use Xero bookkeeping software through our proactive webinars and workshops.
7. Communication style
This continues from the above point. You want to choose an accountant with a communication style that matches your expectations.
Clear and regular communication is crucial for effective collaboration. Ensure your accountant will be responsive, approachable, and able to explain complex financial matters in a way you can understand.
For instance, if your accountant speaks in jargon and makes you feel like you can’t ask them questions, consider hiring an accountant that understands and empathises with your situation.
Find out what accountancy services you need
At Accountant Online, we understand the importance of finding the perfect accountant to support your business’s financial management. Our highly qualified Chartered and Certified accounting professionals have extensive industry knowledge, cloud-based technology, and a commitment to exceptional service.
Discover if we are a fit for you – contact us today.
Kelly is the Marketing Manager at Accountant Online. Kelly is passionate about making the complexities around running a business simple to understand and accessible to the every-day person. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology.