If you’re newly self-employed or you’re considering going out on your own, then you’re going to have to handle your income tax. In terms of what you pay, it’s not so dissimilar to that of working for another company, – the only difference is that its your responsibility to take care of it.
This can be an incredibly daunting prospect to many people, particularly if they’ve been employed for their entire working career and have never had to even think about personal tax before. For more people, it’s just a number that is regrettably deducted from their wages at the end of each month. For a self-employed individual, it is something which is going to require your attention.
We cannot stress, how important it is that you take care of your personal tax responsibly and with careful consideration. This doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone though. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all and you’d like some assistance, there are plenty of accountants and firms out there who would gladly oblige. The question is: how to find a good accountant for personal taxes?
Of course, finding a good accountant is easy enough, though you want to find one that you can wholeheartedly rely on. Someone that instils you with confidence; someone that charges you a fair and reasonable rate; and someone that will take your finances seriously.
In this post we’re going to share a few tips on what to look for, so that you can make an informed decision when settling on which accountant to work with. As with anything, when you search for a product or a service on the internet you’ll become inundated with seemingly limitless options; all of which are ‘the very best in the business’.
Well, self-praise is certainly no recommendation. So, rather than take their word for it, have a read through this guide and find all the information you need to deduct your own estimation.
How to Choose the Appropriate Tax Accountant
The most important thing of all when it comes to a professional accounting relationship, is trust. Let’s assume that most accountants and firms are qualified to do a sufficient job with your books. Feeling comfortable in placing that sensitive information in the hands of another however, does not come easily. So, how can you establish that level of trust?
When you’re browsing the internet, you’re going to find an awful lot of companies. You may wish to work with a local firm; you might feel more comfortable with a larger, regional firm; you may even prefer to work with a freelance accountant. In any case, you need to shortlist a few potentials before you even think about making a decision.
Reputation is an important thing to look out for when you’re shortlisting candidates. Ask around with friends and family, perhaps put a post out on social media and ask if anyone has had any dealings with ‘such & such’. This is a good way to get a feel for how other people have experienced their services. You’ll likely have heard of a number of your local firms before as well, which is a good start.
Again, you need to decide what size company you’d like to work with. Some larger firms tend may offer cheaper rates, however medium to small sized firms tend to offer a more personalised service. That being said; these are just generalisations. These are the sorts of questions that you should ask in the beginning: Who will be taking care of my account? Will I be passed around between various representatives? If a firm can’t offer you the dedicated service that you’re looking for, search elsewhere.
While you’re looking for someone to help with your personal taxes, will you want other services in the future? It’s handy to work with a company who specialise in a particular area, though offer a number of other services. The last thing you want is to rush into working with an accountant and then when needing another service later down the line, you have to start the search all over again because they can’t help you.
If you’re going through a firm you won’t really have to worry about this. Naturally, an established accountancy firm isn’t going to hire unqualified accountants. That being said, if you’re hiring a freelance accountant, make sure that they are able to share their qualifications with you. Most people are more than happy to talk about and show off their own achievements, so if they act coy and try to change the subject or turn you off it, bin them off and look elsewhere. When it comes to your personal taxes, you can’t take any risks by working with someone who is unqualified and unlicensed.
Testimonials / References
Most reputable websites will share a few testimonials from some of their clients. Keep an eye out for websites with testimonials. If you need further convincing, you can always ask if they have any references that they could put you in contact with. Any reputable company worth their salt will have worked with certain happy clients for a number of years who will be willing to vouch for them.
References are always a touchy one as no accountant wants to bother their clients unless they really have to. If they outright refuse to put you in contact with anyone then that should raise some suspicions, though don’t be put off if they try to alleviate your doubt in other ways. However, most people are more than happy to take a quick phone call, particularly if the service they receive is genuinely brilliant.
Go with Your Gut
Of course, don’t just rush in with the first accountant that you come across. Do some digging around, short-list some candidates and look at the facts. Once you’ve established contact with a few of your potential candidates, you’ll get a good feel for who you vibe with the most. Following that, you should be able to make an informed decision. Trust your gut! It will rarely let you down.
If you’re interested in exploring our services further, or if you have any questions for us, – please feel free to get in contact with us today. One of our friendly representatives will be more than happy to assist you with any queries that you have.