6 Tips for Hiring an Online Accountant in the UK for Your Start-Up
Owning and operating a start-up in a dynamic landscape is no mean feat, especially when you have to keep an eye on so many things at the same time. You have to especially take the financial health of your venture seriously, make sure your head is above water even during tough times, file taxes the correct way, and adhere to all legalities. So, hiring an online accountant in UK can be a sensible move for sure. However, with so many options out there, how do you know which one will be the best fit for your business? Here are 6 tips that can help you make a choice.
Look into their experience
Before hiring an online accountant UK, ask them how long they have been in the industry. Check if they have the necessary qualifications and certifications. Most importantly, they should have serviced start-ups like you before and should have an understanding of what your kind of business entails. Since start-up needs are often different from what an enterprise or large business needs, you need to make sure if the accountancy services they offer align with your specific requirements.
Check their scope of service
A reliable and experienced online accountant in UK will usually be adept at filing taxes, forecasting sales and revenue numbers, managing your cash flow, handling your payroll, ensuring HMRC compliance, and more. So, go through the entire range of accountancy services they offer and decide which ones you will need after consultation. Ask if they will help you manage your personal finances as well if need be or if they are open to tweaking their services midway once your business starts growing.
Go through reviews
In a world where every firm or agency claims they are the best, it is wise to take time and go through online reviews and testimonials before taking a call. Try and assess if the online accountant in UK you are considering was deemed professional, collaborative, helpful, and knowledgeable by past clients, from the reviews. To be on the safe side, you can also try and get in touch with a few clients and get a first-hand account of what their experience was with the firm.
Observe their approach
It is not enough to go for a firm that promises to offer a whole lot of accountancy services but lacks the right approach or strategy. In other words, the right agency will try to first understand your business, its structure, how it functions currently, the challenges and opportunities, the teams or people involved, and then come up with a plan of action. They won’t try to force unnecessary services on you just to raise a bigger bill. They will also be open to working with your other employees to figure out any lapses and inefficiencies, and then devise ways to improve financial operations.
Spare a thought for the cost
Before zeroing in on an online accountant in UK, it is advisable to compare at least a few and get quotes from them all. Avoid firms that are ready to lower their rates significantly just to appease you, as you wouldn’t want them to compromise on the quality of accountancy services they provide. Find out if there are any hidden charges or what happens if you decide to part ways after a few months in case you are not satisfied. Check the length of the contract and decide if you are comfortable with it. As a start-up, you will surely have a certain budget to stick to.
Check if they know the latest rules and tools
A reputed online accountant in UK is likely to be aware of the latest HMRC guidelines and regulations when it comes to filing tax and VAT returns. They should be able to explain the same to you as well and devise ways to reduce your tax obligations and maximise refunds. Most importantly, you should be completely legally compliant and be able to avoid unnecessary fines. Also, the accountant or firm should be knowledgeable about the best software solutions and online tools that can automate tedious and manual processes easily and make your financial system smarter and more robust. They should be able to save your time and money.
Get started now
You are now in a better position to hire a firm or professional who offers the accountancy services your start-up needs. However, don’t rush into it. Instead, take some time to research and compare multiple agencies, ask around about them, have detailed discussions about your requirements and budget, and then take a decision. Or, to keep things simple, you can learn all about Unicorn Accountants, the clients they serve and what they do, before getting in touch to take things further.