When is an accountant not an accountant?
Not a trick question, but did you know that ANYONE can set themselves up as an accountant without holding any qualifications whatsoever! Scary, right?
So, what should you do when looking for an accountant?
Ask them what their qualifications are.
Check them out! You can find me on the ICAEW website both as an individual but also my business, this shows I am qualified, I maintain my CPD each year, I pay my professional membership fees each year and annual fees for my practicing certificate. I also send yearly returns to them about my business and the type of work I do each year.
Ask what insurance they have. They should have professional indemnity insurance, it's a requirement of the ICAEW that I do, that it's up to date and the cover is correct.
Look at their website, do they have testimonials? If you ask for a reference from a current client would they be happy with this.
A qualified accountant will be more than happy with these questions – I am. We want you to be confident in working with us.