Deciding on and employing the right aws accounts buy or accountancy firm for your business, be it large or small, is an important decision. Not many people realise that almost anyone can set themselves up in business and advertise and label themselves as an accountant.
Here are some key factors you should consider when determining which accountant to employ if you are UK based:
The qualification you need to be looking for is Chartered or a Chartered Certified Accountancy practice. (Whilst anyone can call themselves an accountant, only people who have passed rigorous professional examinations can call themselves chartered).
Chartered Accountants or Chartered Certified by passed the examinations set by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) or alternatively the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The ICAEW is the biggest professional accountancy body in the European Union with over one hundred and twenty five thousand members. The ICAEW’s qualification is recognised throughout the world as a reputable business qualification. Upon passing this examination institute members can call themselves a Chartered Accountant and to use the letters ACA or FCA, which one they use depends on the amount of experience the member has and the length of membership.
Qualified accountants need to maintain their knowledge to ensure that it is up to date. Consequently members under take Continuing Professional Development or CPD for short. This is similar to other professions such as surveyors. CPD requirements normally involve so many hours each year furthering ones knowledge and can be achieved through a variety of methods including self study, attending courses or workshops. If the majority (typically 75%) of owners or partners of an accountancy firm have achieved chartered status then the firm is eligible to call itself ‘Chartered Accountants’ .
Whilst it is optional to use a chartered accountant for your accounts, in the UK if your company or firm has a turnover over a certain limit you will need to have your accounts audited. The auditing of your accounts however can only be done by a firm of registered auditors.
Essentially when deciding on which accountant to use you should select from a list of accountants who have professional qualifications or is from a firm labelled Chartered Accountants to adequately ensure your financial matters will be handled and supervised by fully qualified personnel.
You should try to choose a type and size of accountancy practice suitable to your business. If you are a international enterprise a small regional accountancy firm is unlikely to be the correct choice. Likewise a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) with a small turnover or a start up business would probably not get the best service from an international accountancy firm.
One important factor to remember is that the firm you choose should be able to accommodate you as your business grows. So when selecting an accountancy firm choose one which has clients larger than you so that they have the experience of working with size of firms at a size which you intend to become. Also, whilst tax advice is the bread and butter of accountancy, most accountancy now offer a broad range of associated management functions and analysis to help you make informed decisions on how to structure and grow your business. These services can be of great benefit for people intending to grow their business.
The other item to check is the accountancy firms field of specialism. The major point to look for is if they are currently working for similar businesses from the same sector.