10 things to look for when choosing an accountant

10 things to look for when choosing an accountant

Accountant

10 things to look for when choosing an accountant.

 It is important to take your time when choosing an accountant. Now that so many businesses and people are working remotely, location isn’t so much of an issue – meaning you can look to hire the best talent to suit you and your business, wherever they are located.

Designated has been able to recruit a team of dedicated accountants that will best suit our clients, here are some of the qualities that we looked for:

Highly Organised

Accountants have a very busy role, with several deadlines throughout the month or quarter, they need to be aware of what is coming up when and who needs to be informed within the organisation. Any data or information must be collected in good time to avoid any last-minute scrambles.

Excellent Time Management

Going hand in hand with being highly organised, one of the top qualities needed by your accountant is excellent time management skills. With so many tasks that will quickly pile up if they are not seen to, your accountant must be able to assess how much time is needed to complete each task. For a senior accountant, there may also be elements of team management and meetings with the company’s leadership that can take up a lot of their valuable time.

Highly Experienced (within your sector) 

Being able to offer a wide range of skills can only come with many years of experience. Your new accountant should be able to offer a selection of testimonials and references backing up their work. Your accountant’s knowledge and experience need to extend to your particular area of business. While ideally, a prospective accountant may have dealt with many different types of industries it is recommendable that they have worked with yours so that they can hit the ground running.

Attention to detail 

Your accountant should be analytical, paying close attention to detail with the ability to spot errors quickly and efficiently. Your accountant should have the skills to be able to review and identify inconsistencies in large amounts of data or information. Attention to detail is necessary to ensure consistency and accuracy in financial reporting. This information can be used to help make crucial business decisions so it must be correct.

Honest and trustworthy 

Your accountant needs to have a strong sense of ethics. Integrity is a valued characteristic within an accountant, they must know right from wrong and always display integrity in their accounting and bookkeeping work. You need to be able to trust your accountant, you also need to know that if something goes wrong and if they make an error, they will be confident and honest enough to discuss this with you so that the mistake can be rectified.

Flexible

Your accountant may be analytical and structured but it is also important that they have a sense of flexibility in their work. Not everything is going to go to plan and they’re not going to always be able to gather the information that they need from a business owner or senior leader when they need it. Another reason why time management is important for this role. A high level of agility is also necessary for quick response to regulatory changes in the industry only then can they provide quality service to the business.

Up to date with the latest technology

If you’re searching for an accountant, you need to know and understand the latest technology that your prospective accountant can use. Designated is a Xero bronze partner and our finance team are all zero certified advisors trained by Xero to deliver you the best financial support. Xero is the perfect finance solution for most businesses providing a fully integrated suite of services, for example, Xero integrates with your bank account to enable easy reconciliations. 

 Up to date with ongoing training and certifications

If you’re searching for an accountant you must ensure they have maintained the proper certifications and are continuing their training and development within the industry. Thanks to the digital age, things are changing all the time, though it may not affect their workload right away, over time technology trends will continue to transform the accountancy industry.

Communication Skills 

Your accountant needs to possess excellent communication skills. They must be able to inform senior leadership of updates and changes in clear and easy to understand language. Accountants can impact critical business decision making, so they must be heard and understood. They may also need to collaborate with employees in different departments, with perhaps little financial experience, so explaining things in a way that will be understood. This leads us nicely onto our next point.

Collaboration

A good accountant can recognise their place within an organisation, make the most of networking and getting to know their colleagues. Accountants are team players and provide support to different departments in the organisation – that’s why they should be able to efficiently communicate the knowledge of their expertise to clients and decision-makers.

At Designated, we believe that a good accountant is needed throughout the year and not just at year-end to prepare your annual accounts and self-assessment. Your dedicated Designated accountant will do this and so much more.

  • Bookkeeping
  • Monthly management reports
  • Payroll
  • Accountancy
  • Strategic financial support

If you would like to know more about working with Designated’s accountancy team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Michelle for a friendly chat: michelle.elliott@designatedgroup.com

Accountancy vs Bookkeeping

Accountancy vs Bookkeeping

Accountancy vs Bookkeeping

 

For somebody who doesn’t work in finance, it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between accounting and bookkeeping, as there are some administrative areas that can overlap depending on the structure of a business and how many employees it has working in its finance department.

However, while bookkeepers and accountants share common goals, they do support your business in different stages of the financial cycle.

Bookkeeping is more administrative, recording financial transactions. Accounting is more subjective, giving you insights into your business’s financial health based on the information provided by bookkeepers.

If you’ve ever wanted a clear definition between accountancy and bookkeeping, keep reading.

What is a Bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping is a legal requirement for all businesses of any size to carry out, and it refers to the recording of the financial transactions of a business, whether a sole trader, a partnership, or a limited company.

A bookkeeper will record all transactions either manually or within an ERP system like XERO and keep copies of all invoices, receipts and evidence of these incomings and outgoings.

The role of a bookkeeper will include:

  • Recording financial transactions
  • Posting debits and credits
  • Producing invoices
  • Preparation of financial statements (balance sheet, cash flow statement, and income statement)
  • Maintaining and balancing subsidiaries, general ledgers, and historical accounts
  • Completing payroll

What is an Accountant?

An accountant has expert knowledge surrounding taxes and accountancy. A business needs to consider more than just the in’s and out’s calculated by a bookkeeper, the right accountant will guide and act as financial business partner, ensuring all allowable expenses are claimed and all decisions are tax efficient to not only the business but the owners, directors, and partners.

The role of an Accountant will include:

  • Preparing adjusting entries (recording expenses that have occurred but aren’t yet recorded in the bookkeeping process)
  • Reviewing company financial statements
  • Analyzing costs of operations
  • Completing income tax returns
  • Aiding the business owner in understanding the impact of financial decisions

Designated Accountancy Services

All business owners want to have complete control of their business finances and have an up-to-date view of their financial performance. Our team of Designated accountants are experts who work with you on a flexible basis, whether you need support one day a month, one day each week or more.

Designated is a Xero Bronze Partner and our finance team are Xero certified advisors, trained by Xero to deliver you the best financial support.

Do you wish you had answers to questions like these?

  • How much tax will I need to pay next year?
  • How much profit did we make last month?
  • What do you mean by Tax Digital?
  • Am I managing payroll in the most effective way?

If so, then our Accountancy services may be your solution. Read about all our services in our Accountancy brochure.

Virtual business support and what it means for sustainability

Virtual business support and what it means for sustainability

Virtual Business Support Sustainability

Virtual Business Support and What it Means for Sustainability. 

The term work-life balance took a complete turn during the height of the pandemic. While many missed the mid-morning coffee machine banter, others thrived by spending more time with their families, had time to focus on their mental and physical well-being and some even uprooted their lives completely, re-locating to areas they would actually like to live with no lengthy commutes to consider. Saving a small fortune in the process.

For the employee, remote working or even a hybrid model is an easy sell. Fortunately, most employers have been willing to look at the future of work for their business.

The benefits of remote working for employers include:

  • On-premise cost savings
  • Productivity of workers
  • Mental health and wellness of employees
  • Expansion of talent pools
  • Communication improvement

But that’s not all. One of the most beneficial and impactful arguments for remote or hybrid working models, sits with sustainability.

The UN believes 14 of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be solved or advanced through virtual work. Living and working sustainably is more than just good business.

In the world today we are facing several threatening global issues, a health pandemic, economic crisis, climate change, mental health emergency and not to mention the entanglement of race and inequality. Though remote working won’t eradicate these issues entirely, virtual jobs have the power to change the lives of employees, businesses, and communities across the globe by impacting:

  • The Economy: When employees are spread across countries rather than packed into cities and hotspots, wealth can spread and help to uplift poorer communities.
  • The Environment: Working remotely means shorter commutes, lighter carbon footprints, reduced air pollution, carbon emissions but it also has a knock-on effect on things like food production, energy usage, elimination of physical office waste like stationary with cloud technology. Fast fashion which is a topic currently discussed a lot will be impacted, employees won’t have the need to purchase as many clothes.
  • Diversity: Equal remote work earns equal opportunity.  It turns out that when managers are focused on the what of results, suddenly the whowhen, and where doesn’t matter as much. Consequently, traditional discriminatory factors like race, age, gender, and family status are reduced or eliminated in virtual workplaces.

Here at Designated, we saw the benefits of remote working long before COVID-19 made it almost mandatory for businesses to adapt to using virtual and cloud technologies.

Managing Director Jane Braithwaite has been able to build Designated with an unlimited pool of talent, sourcing industry experts across PA, Accountancy, Marketing, HR & Recruitment both locally and globally to the benefit of all Designated’s clients. There is no traditional 9-5, no distractions, lengthy meetings and no burnout or stress from commuting. The work is done quickly and efficiently using the best virtual business support teams available.

Remote business support allows business leaders to focus their time on what matters. With flexible support options available you can choose to hire a virtual PA, virtual marketing team or a virtual accountant when, and how you need it.

For more information about virtual business support contact Michelle Elliot on michelle.elliott@designatedgroup.com

 

 

 

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