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Common Mistakes Made When Hiring an Accountant

When you own a small business, accounting can take up a good chunk of your time, and it has to be done right. This can mean you end up taking the plunge and hiring an accountant to manage this for you. Because it's so important it may be one of the biggest decisions that you make as a small business.

It can feel a bit like a minefield out there, you don't know who to trust or what service will offer the right cover for you and your new company. We've compiled 5 common mistakes that are made for you to try and avoid them when hiring an accountant.

1. Trying to manage your own accounts

Even though there is software out there that can make this easy for you. It still needs time from you, if you're a one-person-team you may find that you don't have enough time to split between everything you need to do and your accounting responsibilities.

If you're struggling to go it alone, then hiring an accountant may be the best option for you so that your time can be better spent elsewhere.

2. Hiring an accountant who lacks qualifications

If they are unable to explain accounting terms to you, then they may not know what they are or why they're important. This could mean that mistakes get made, or your accounts are improperly prepared, this could lead to problems further down the line.

Also, make sure they are aware of the current rules and regulations that are in place when it comes to accounting. If they don't know how to handle MTD (for example), this should raise some red flags when it comes to hiring them.

3. If they don't use cloud software

Many accountants are stuck in their ways when it comes to what software they use. This can include using Microsoft Excel, while this isn't such a problem, human error can creep in when using it.

While Excel is good at what it does, it's not as advanced as some of the cloud software out there which often employs a double-entry system that can help to filter out any errors.

4. Hiring the first accountant you meet

While you may not have time to fully do your research it can be worth it. There are numerous accountants that want you to hire them, but they may not be the best fit for what you're looking for.

Keep an eye out for accountants that promise the world during your first meeting as these may not live up to your expectations, also, they may be more used to working with larger clients that need the world. Being a small business, you may not need all the services they are offering. Keep this in mind when they're trying to sell you all their services.

5. Hiring the cheapest accountant you find

This goes without being said, sometimes services can be cheap for a reason. When dealing with accounting you can't afford to have someone make mistakes. Hiring the right accountant can save you money in the long run and should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense that should be tolerated.

A good accountant can help save you money, advise you about tax, PAYE, current laws etc. If you hire a cheap accountant they may not provide you with all the information to make decisions about this.

These mistakes can be avoided if you're willing to sit down, meet with a few accountants and see who offers you the best service. Alternatively, our sister companies, Find An Accountant and QuickFile Cloud Accounting Software can help take care of this for you.

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