For some business owners, it’s crucial to have someone who can provide proper accounting advice during every stage of your venture – from start-up to succession planning. Accountants are there to offer you the correct guidance on all your finance needs, but finding the right accountant for your business can be tricky.
Legally anyone can call themselves an ‘accountant’ – they don’t need any qualifications, training or experience. This can lead to problems for you as a client; for a start you may not be given the correct advice, and this could result in paying more than you have to in taxes and also breaking the law. Secondly, you could be paying for a second rate service for example, receiving your payslips late or not getting your accounts done in time to avoid penalties. Because the world is constantly changing, you need the most up-to-date financial advice and somebody who understands how the latest regulations affect you and your business.
So how can you be assured that your accountant is right for you? ICAEW Chartered Accountants are financial experts with the knowledge, initiative and judgment you can trust. The ‘Chartered’ title is an internationally recognised professional designation which can be used by qualified professionals including accountants, engineers and surveyors. It demonstrates the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct, up-to-date technical expertise and capability of a qualified professional.
You can recognise an individual ICAEW Chartered Accountant by the ACA or FCA after their name. In order to qualify they must complete a minimum of three years in-depth training, they are required to hold a practising certificate and professional indemnity insurance and are subject to review as part of the Practice Assurance scheme.
So what do you need to know? When you see an accountant make sure you ask them the following questions:
1. Are you a qualified chartered accountant?
2. Do you hold a practicing certificate?
3. Do you have professional indemnity insurance?
4. Do you offer the services and have the experience I need?
5. Are you authorised to do audit, investment business or insolvency work?
To help you run your business with confidence the ICAEW also runs a Business Advice Service (which Sibbalds are members of) which can provide valuable articles, information and workshops for you to utilise. This can be found here and you can also sign up to receive a monthly newsletter with great tips and hints to maximise your business potential.
Here at Sibbalds, we ourselves are Chartered Accountants, and pride ourselves on giving you the complete accountancy experience. If you have any questions you would like to ask us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively call our office on 01332 242257.