On November 13th 1789, Benjamin Franklin, upon completing his work on the declaration of independence, wrote about his hopes for the future to his friend Jean Baptiste Leroy. “Nothing Is Certain”, wrote Franklin, “except death and taxes”. There is some debate as to whether Franklin was the first to express this sentiment in writing, but one thing is very certain indeed: you’ll always need to take care of your taxes when administering a business.
Of course, you don’t need to do everything yourself. Many businesses choose to offload their rather dull taxation labor to qualified tax accountants, who typically offer to save organisations money, hassle, and time. Tax accountancy is a big industry within the larger umbrella of accountancy. Although accountancy may be a highly regulated industry, there are still plenty of things to avoid if you want a reliable chartered tax accountant. Choosing a tax accountant for your business can be a rather stressful affair, as making the wrong choice could make a huge financial difference to your organisation.
What follows is a very brief list of the things you should consider when choosing a tax accountant as a business owner. Remember, don’t take the word of one firm to heart. Shop around and get a good picture of what the market environment is like. If you have peers that you network with, consult them before signing any contracts.
What Kind Of Business Do You Run?
You’ll probably not be surprised to hear that different accountancy firms suit different businesses. Tax is complex, and doing tax accounts for business requires specialist knowledge of the legislation that applies to that business’s industry. Larger multinational corporations will need to employ the services of a well-established accountancy firm with experience in international taxation. These companies charge a great deal, but you’ll be guaranteed a large network of specialists.
Some firms, like AK tax accountants in Kent, specialise in working with small businesses. Small business tax accountants make their money by taking on quite a few clients but typically have a very personal relationship with the organisations they work with. They usually integrate well and become close-knit partners to business owners.
How Qualified Are They?
Whilst it might seem like any qualified accountant could work with you on taxes, there are actually some pretty specific qualifications that you need to look out for when choosing a tax accountant. It is always reassuring to know that your accountant has specialist training in tax calculation, return, and advice. Some accountants will take Chartered Tax Advisor courses on top of their bachelor’s degree in accountancy. This is an extremely useful qualification that trains advisors and accountants on how to navigate the ever-complex labyrinth of taxation. An accountant that is properly trained will be far more likely to guide you properly. All accountants in the United Kingdom need to be chartered in order to claim their status as a trustworthy numerical worker. At the very least, you should be seeking out an accountant who is chartered and has gone through the standard accountancy training process.
Who Have They Worked With?
Just as you would do when working out if you should collaborate with any business partner, you need to do a little bit of digging when choosing a tax accountant. Check out their business history. If they have done good work in the past, most accountants will be more than happy to send you a list of companies they have worked with. Try and pick an accountant that has worked with companies of a similar size and in a similar industry to you. It isn’t taboo to contact another business owner that your prospective tax accountant has worked with in order to ask them how good the accountant was to work with. Don’t just go with your gut or the claims on an accountancy firm’s website.
Is It Too Good To Be True?
Tax accountants can save you money, but they can’t completely exempt you from tax or save your business when it is in a downward spiral. Unfortunately, there are snake-oil salesmen out there in the world of accountancy. Firms offering tax savings that sound too good to be true or guidance that appears too cheap have the potential to leave you in a lot of hot water. The last thing that you want is to be in trouble with your revenue collection service. Take the most outlandish claims of unestablished firms with a pinch of salt.