Choosing your the accountant or hiring a firm for your business, no matter how big or small is a critical decision.It's in your company’s best interests to have a person capable enough of handling one of most the sensitive area of your business - that's finance!
The right person or firm will deliver you the anticipated results saving both time and cash.With the introduction of VAT and record of books being mandatory there are plenty advertising themselves for low prices catching attention of businesses. Most of the times companies pay a huge price later after those numbers are messed up. Hiring a qualified firm doesn't cost you much.
So what's next?...Going around and finding the right firm can be a daunting task especially when you have over a ton of firms to choose with. Here a few things you need to consider:
Qualification - Does it matter or not?
Yes it does sometime. Always prefer firms that have qualified accountants CPA or Chartered Accountant but not necessary. But qualified accountants always add value to your business. So if you have a business that is growing consistently take this option on priority.
Location - Do you prefer a firm located outside your region of operation?
This is the question you need to ask and answer yourself. Advanced technologies like cloud computing doesn't necessary needs you in your office, all numbers are accessible anywhere anytime. But there is a certain tendency over here in the UAE where preference is a local firm. Yes, there is no harm in choosing anyone outside your region but you would certainly love to have regular meetings to discuss those numbers and get valuable outputs. Discussion on Skype or other VOIP providers is a bad idea, you know why.
Another important thing you should consider is industry experience. Accounting varies accordingly to the business types whether eCommerce or retail or manufacturing. Accounting firms do have experience in all sectors but check particularly if the person who will be handling your company accounts has relevant experience.
Research your firm
If you are operating globally then a small local firm shouldn't be your pick vice versa with SMEs going with large firms. Person handling you're accounts from a small firm might not long last with firm, there could be various reasons from pay to growth. The person replacing might take a great deal of time understanding from the left over. This is not quite often with big firms.
Technology - systems compatibility if you already have a software.
Haven't those days changed where manual was the most favored word and automated was far heard of? Technology has taken over rapidly in recent years that has even changed the face of the accounting world. So the old fancy way has vanished and replaced with dropdowns and checkboxes. We are in a era of new accounting age with advanced software which reduces huge effort and be more accurate eliminating human error.
Quickbooks , Zoho , Focus, Sage, Tally and a few more relatively used in the UAE. These have hundred odd modules which makes accounting process simplified, data more centralized, extract reports and more features.
Probably you have spent a handsome amount of buying licences and then realize that accounting firm recommends a different software just because they have been using for their clients. This is often a rare case but cannot be ignored.
Considering the future of your business, expansion will definitely be in your mind sometime. There might be other services you might be looking for ahead. There might be different scenarios for example ; raising capital, acquiring new businesses or even payroll so if a firm has them under a single roof will be an added advantage. The firm can handle all the complex financial issues plus can give you an additional discount and more personalized approach.
Again, it's not a must required option but recommended to relieve from the pain of searching additional service provider.
Recommendation - otherwise word-of-mouth
When you have plenty of options to choose with but clueless which one to choose the best option is to look for recommendations within your network. It will boost your confidence on your choice after hearing their testimony. But listening to a few more will be still considered a better option to assess whether your expectations are met. Your bankers, lawyers are another source which you can rely for better information. Majorly all accounting firms work closely with them you could get valid information.
These are the important points you should consider before choosing your accounting firm. No matter how many accountancy firm are there in the market evaluating them to better fit your business is a must. Work together with firms that you can trust and rely upon.If we missed out any points which in case you think is important mention in the comments section.