Thinking of outsourcing your business’ accounting? Let these five considerations help you find the right team of limited company accountants.
What Should You Look for in Limited Company Accountants?
No matter how big your business is, accounting remains a crucial part of operations. It’s essential to work with a professional who can maintain your books and dispense sound accounting advice. However, choosing a team of limited company accountants that best fits your needs is quite challenging.
At whatever stage of your venture, hiring the right professional provides many more benefits than using software for bookkeeping and tax return preparation. Consider these five factors to help you find the perfect firm for solid financial management, strategic decisions, and optimum savings.
Why Outsource Your Accounting?
Some companies outsource accounting instead of hiring staff to handle related tasks. While the rationale usually varies from company to company, below are three common reasons:
1. Controls Costs
A primary motivation for businesses to get external limited company accountants is to cut down on operational expenses. Hiring employees may sometimes cost your business more than outsourcing because of salaries, paid benefits, training, and bad hires.
Since oversights tend to happen more frequently with untrained staff, you may incur unnecessary but avoidable expenses. Prevent revenue leaks from rookie mistakes by working with an experienced accounting firm like Sterlinx Global.
2. Improves Efficiency
Many companies hand off accounting to outside professionals to boost productivity and efficiency. When your business has limited resources, it’s crucial to utilise them in a way that delivers the most benefits.
When you or your employees take on multiple roles to keep the business running, it leads to overworked people and underwhelming performance. Error-riddled outputs won’t do your business any good, primarily when it affects your clients. Make better use of company resources by taking non-core functions off your plate.
3. Maintains Focus on the Business
As you try to keep up with a non-core aspect of your business, such as accounting, you’re likely wasting time and effort on something that won’t bring in additional revenue or long-term growth.
Outsourcing this area to experts lets you direct your full attention and energy into running your business’s core operations. Rather than worrying about the mundane tasks of recording daily transactions, you can focus on making strategic decisions to drive earnings, be competitive, and take your operations to the next level.
Working with the right limited company accountants is worth the investment. So choose wisely with the following five considerations in mind.
Like any hiring process, most companies prefer employees with great work experience to get the job done. This requirement is also applicable when you’re looking for someone to manage your accounts, file tax returns, and prepare financial statements.
Hiring a professional with years of experience ensures your financial needs and goals will be met. A professional’s longevity in rendering accounting services suggests they’ve already worked with numerous clients and maintained good business relations with most of them over the past years.
Look for a firm that’s been in business for at least ten years—Sterlinx Global already has 18 years of experience. They’ve likely gone through several economic cycles and survived some of the worst crises, pointing to their resilience and solid experience.
Not all limited company accountants are the same; some specialise in certain industries or cater to particular businesses because they’ve developed expertise in handling accounting issues related to these areas.
Before partnering with an accounting firm, identify their client portfolio to determine if your business is a good fit with them. Ask questions on their areas of expertise and core strengths. Remember—your requirements and their qualifications should be aligned at best.
Suppose you’re an e-commerce seller, and your daily volume of transactions is substantial. Plus, you also need to comply with different local tax laws. Work with an accounting firm that manages clients in the same business as yours—they’ll already have the experience and will know what’s expected of them.
One of the most critical but oft-overlooked considerations in hiring limited company accountants is communication. If you and the firm can’t communicate well, it will usually lead to more significant problems.
Pick a firm that responds promptly to your queries and calls for assistance—if it takes them a while to get back to you, you are not their priority. Expect this type of interaction throughout your partnership, so think long and hard about whether it’s acceptable for you.
It’s also crucial to factor in language barriers and jargon, as these two can make communicating even more challenging. Look for an accountant who converses in a language you’re comfortable with to minimise errors due to mistranslation.
It’s also better when limited company accountants can explain numbers, financial reports, and regulations at a level you can comprehend. If they can break it down in layman’s terms, you can gain insights and make strategic decisions faster.
4. Resources and Technology
Ask your prospective accounting firm about the tools and technologies they’ll use in managing your accounts and preparing reports. Also, inquire how capable their resources are in handling your requirements—some applications have limited capabilities, hindering the proper delivery of services.
Innovations like expense management software and online platforms simplify tasks; however, they require training to be used effectively. If your firm’s accountants are familiar with these tools, it means their skills are up-to-date and they can handle some of the most rigorous activities.
Select a firm that offers prompt, quality support to its clients. A good team of limited company accountants will be proactive in handling your accounts to prevent problems from cropping up and eventually snowballing.
To determine whether a firm is a good fit for your business, ask about their risk tolerance—are they conservative or willing to take on calculated risks? How will they treat income and deductions that may impact your bottom line? If you’re on the same page on such matters, then they can provide the support you need.
It’s also reassuring to know you can reach out to them when issues arise at your end, even outside business hours, on the weekend, or during the holidays. But if there’s a significant time difference, note how long it takes for them to respond and see if the waiting time is reasonable for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should cost be an important consideration when hiring?
It mainly depends on your priorities. If you’re too focused on spending as little as possible, you’ll probably choose the least expensive alternative. However, keep in mind that it isn’t always the best. The firm is likely cutting corners to offer the lowest rates, resulting in sub-par service.
Consider the costs but look into other factors as well.
Are there downsides to outsourcing accounting?
As with any business activity, there are risks associated with hiring external limited company accountants than employing in-house. One is the possibility of security breaches since they can access your company’s sensitive data and confidential information.
Another is miscommunication between the two parties, which can cause delays or problems.
How do I begin the search for an accounting firm?
Nowadays, the best place to start is on the Internet—a quick search will reveal thousands of results. Narrow down your choices by adding keywords to your search phrase. Once you have a list, read customer reviews and feedback to understand how they work with their clients.
Searching for a team of limited company accountants that best fits your financial needs and goals doesn’t have to be a hit or miss. Let these five key considerations guide your vetting process to find the right business partner.