How to find a good accountant?

Managing businesses’ tax returns, preparing financial accounts, and formulating tax-saving strategies are complex and time-consuming. Entrepreneurs outsource these responsibilities to professional bookkeepers and accountants for obvious benefits. 

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Table of Content

Although managing accounts independently can be cost-saving, hiring a professional yields better results. The accounting profession in Ireland has witnessed significant growth, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 10% in 2024. 

What key areas does a good accountant help with?

A good accountant will provide help with a diverse range of requirements, including:

  • Financial analysis: Accountants will remain in significant demand for financial analysis and planning as companies increasingly prioritise data-driven decision-making. An accountant is proficient in interpreting intricate financial data, conducting forecasts, and crafting strategic financial plans. Organisations spanning multiple industries will actively seek accountants capable of delivering actionable insights to support decision-making processes.
  • Risk management: Data shows that 78% of businesses in Ireland are willing to increase their spending on risk management tools. The ever-changing business landscape calls for robust risk management. Accountants possess a deep understanding of risk management frameworks and devise and execute risk mitigation strategies. 
  • Tax compliance: Irish taxation is constantly evolving. Businesses need specialist industry-specific accountants to navigate complex tax laws, offer tax planning guidance, and ensure adherence to regulatory standards.

10 Tips to choose your accountant? 

Check your business’s growth trajectory and evaluate your skill set for keeping financial records. If you lack expertise in accounting or legal compliance, seeking the services of a qualified accountant is necessary. 

An experienced accountant helps meet critical accounting deadlines and ensures your business’s sound financial health, increasing business operations efficiency. 

Here are the 10 tips to find a good accountant:

1. Determine your requirements

The first thing to consider when choosing an accountant is your requirements. 

Why do you need an accountant? Do you need an accountant for financial advice or for filing tax returns? Once you correctly understand the need, you are better positioned to find an accountant with relevant expertise.

2. Ask for recommendations

When looking for a reliable accountant, seek referrals from trusted sources, such as friends, family, and coworkers. Their personal experiences can provide insightful information on the accountant’s skills, dependability, and customer service. These suggestions also facilitate the search process by offering a selection of possible accountants to consider.

However, the challenge with this is that not all accountants are well-versed in all industries. So, an Ecommerce specialist accountant may not be suitable for your tech startup or property business. 

3. Do a proper background check

When choosing the right accountant, it is essential to vet their background. You can look up their educational background, additional certifications they’ve earned, and more. This suggests how proficient they are in their ideas and abilities.

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It’s also critical to consider the accountant’s experience in your industry or a particular business area. Accountants with previous experience dealing with similar organisations can provide crucial industry-specific knowledge and tailored solutions to meet specific needs. 

These accountants can foresee problems and implement strategies tailored to your company’s requirements.

4. Don’t settle for the first one

When hiring an accountant, talk to multiple candidates. Do not just go for the first person you speak to. Evaluating candidates through interviews helps you better gauge them. 

During the interview process, inquire about their professional history, the typical clientele they serve, and their approach to financial management. 

It’s crucial to observe their communication abilities closely, as clear and effective communication is vital for establishing a successful working partnership. 

5. Discuss the fee

Don’t hesitate to discuss billing details openly with potential accountants to ensure they align with your budget. Ask questions like whether they charge hourly rates or offer packaged services, and inquire about fees for phone or email tax advice. Make sure to request written quotes from every accountant you interview and take the time to compare them thoroughly. 

You can consider different fee structures; what may be suitable for a small company might be better as it grows. Fee arrangements can be flexible, such as requesting a sliding scale based on turnover or a combined charging method. Feel free to propose your preferred fee structure; you only know if the accountant will agree if you ask.

6. Review the services provided

Accountants provide a diverse range of services. Some may be good at auditing, while others may be good at risk management. It’s essential to hire an accountant who aligns with your requirements. 

Always discuss your requirements with potential accountants during the initial consultations to determine whether s/he fulfils your requirements.

7. Evaluate tech-savviness

Today, technology is well integrated into the accounting field. A certified or chartered accountant is well versed with the latest accounting software that can optimise efficiency, minimise errors, and provide you with up-to-date information. 

8. Discuss communication methods

Clarify how you will connect with your accountant. This may include whether they schedule regular face-to-face or virtual meetings, offer progress reports, or provide access to online portals for real-time monitoring of financial information. 

A transparent communication plan ensures that both parties stay informed and aligned regarding financial matters. 

9. Tax deductions

Talk about tax deductions if you need an accountant for any tax-related issues. A skilled accountant knows tax rules and processes, which can help you reduce your tax liability. They must be adept at reviewing your financial records, determining which deductions apply, and taking advantage of chances for customised tax savings.

10. Location preferences

It is always advisable to find a good accountant locally. Local accountants offer convenience for in-person meetings, while online accountants provide broader access to clients nationwide or globally. 

It’s essential to think about your preferences for geography when choosing an accountant and whether you want to be close for in-person meetings or appreciate the flexibility and accessibility that come with online accounting services.  

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Conclusion

Choosing the right accountant is critical for personal or business finances. A skilled accountant answers your questions immediately, communicates effectively, provides insightful advice, and upholds a reputation for accuracy and dependability. 

By taking these actions, you can hire an Irish accountant to achieve your compliance goals by managing finances skillfully and offering insightful advice.