11.12.2019 by Keith
It’s normal to have questions when you choose a new supplier. But it’s especially important when you’re choosing a service that involves financial responsibility. Whether you’re looking for a new accountant to support you with your business obligations or your personal affairs, there are some simple questions you can ask to get a feel for how they’re likely to handle your money matters.
Although the majority of us communicate primarily through email, there are always questions that are far easier to discuss by phone. A professional accountant is likely to have fixed office hours when you can reach them. Of course, your accountant may be in meetings when you call, but can you leave a message with another person during business hours? When can you expect a response to your voicemail? Many accounting matters have strict deadlines, so you need to be confident that your accountant will reply promptly.
Although coffee shops are a popular meeting place to meet these days, they’re not always appropriate for financial discussions (Not dissimilar to those indiscrete phone calls you sometimes hear in a train carriage!) We think you should be able to meet your accountant in a private location. Office premises may be costly (especially in the South East!), but they’re a must for professional occupations like solicitors, accountants and lawyers. We know our local customers like the fact that they can visit us in Henley during their lunch hour.
The likes of GDPR have made us more aware about how companies are using our personal data. But we have to provide accountants, of course, with personal information in order for them to help us! It’s not only digital data that must be protected, but also notebooks and folders need to be secured.
Are you certain that your accountant locks your paperwork away? Not just in an office, but also in a locked cupboard? A quick visit to your accountant’s premises will confirm how they manage their paperwork. There are plenty of visual clues, like a clear desk, locked filing cabinets and a general feeling of organisation. You may not mind your creative marketing agency having an untidy desk, but you’d expect it of your accountant.
Anyone can perform a little due diligence by visiting an accountant’s website or Google My Business profile in order to check out their customer reviews. But truth be told, there are sadly some companies who may embellish reviews on their website – or even make them up.
A better place to look, perhaps, is social media. Individuals must log into Facebook using their own personal Facebook profile in order to leave a recommendation for a Facebook business page. So, you can be a lot more certain that these types of review are genuine. Also, you can search local Facebook groups to see if anyone recommends an accountant – this is a good idea when location is an important factor to you in selecting an accountant.
Typically, you’ll use email to share information with your Accountant. We don’t recommend sharing personal information via WhatsApp or Text messages.
If you’d like to ask any additional questions, you can reach us on (01491) 845575 or email Jefferies Accountancy Services.
If you have any questions about accounting matters, including probate, tax or simply getting financially organised, please call us on (01491) 845575 to arrange an introductory meeting at Chiltern Business Centre in Henley.
We hope you found this article useful and look forward to hearing your questions about selecting an accountant. If you’d like to learn more about how we like to work, please see what our customers have to say.