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Old 12th October 2007, 07:09 AM   #1
neenan1
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Default How to find a good accountant in my local area

Afternoon all
I need a good accountant preferably local to myself in Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK. Any one know where i can start or recomendations?

Thanks

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Old 12th October 2007, 10:59 PM   #2
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Do you know other people in your town that have well established businesses and use a local accountant? I would start by asking any business friends you know locally who they use and find out if they are happy. If so, call them and tell them who referred you and ask if you can meet with them for an initial consultation so you can understand the services they recommend you use.

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Old 15th October 2007, 02:43 PM   #3
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As a CPA in Seattle area, I have some hopefully useful tidbits to share about finding a good local accountant. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Start by admitting that there's a shortage of accountants. That means that for anybody who's either good or well-established, you need them a lot more than they need you. (A common topic at accountant seminars these days, no kidding, is identifying and then firing bad clients.) So consider this as you start you search. Stuff about the search will make a lot more sense...

2. Make sure you're looking for someone who's the right size. That doesn't necessarily mean someone whose business revenue mirrors yours... rather, it means a firm or accountant who serves other businesses roughly the same size that yours is. Different sizes of businesses tend to best be served by different approaches. Example: I'm usually pretty bad at providing good service to someone with a business less than $1,000,000 in revenue (because they don't pay enough in taxes to warrant my fees)... and also not the right choice typically for someone with a business that does, say, more than $10,000,000 (because frankly I just don't offer a broad enough ranges of capabilities).

3. Be a good client. E.g., be as organized as you can, pay your bills on time, don't be the sort of person that people don't want to work with.

4. Ask business peers for references (as Logan suggests). Also local attorneys and bankers, etc.

5. Surf the web. The forward thinking accountants and accounting firms should all have good websites up at this point.

6. Consider whether you really need an accountant... or if you can get by with a cheaper alternative. A good bookkeeper or (in the US) a sharp enrolled agent may be a much better fit than a CPA...

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Old 17th October 2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Do you know other people in your town that have well established businesses and use a local accountant? I would start by asking any business friends you know locally who they use and find out if they are happy. If so, call them and tell them who referred you and ask if you can meet with them for an initial consultation so you can understand the services they recommend you use.
Yes, i definitely agree. This is the best option, I think. Good luck!

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Old 13th August 2008, 05:45 AM   #5
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You can find the websites of the local accountant using google local and yahoo local search. Search the accountant here and definately you will find them.

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Old 15th October 2008, 02:03 PM   #6
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Once you've narrowed down your shortlist of potential accountants, meet with them and discuss your needs and find out what they can offer.

It is also helpful to know whether the staff accountant in charge of your work is up to the task. Accounting firms tend to let junior staff do a bulk of the work. If a particular service you require is really important to you, be sure to communicate that you want a person with solid experience doing it to handle the job (they'll charge you higher for it, but if it's important then there's a price to pay). Otherwise, you can assume that a junior learn it on your dime/penny and a senior would only quickly review the work.

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Old 22nd October 2008, 08:25 AM   #7
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Thinking about offshore company and forget about any accountant

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Old 3rd November 2008, 07:53 PM   #8
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And don't forget ... have your questions ready. I know when I'm interviewing people, if I don't write down the questions before had, I forget when the time has come to ask them. And in my opinion, an accountant is a serious choice. It's nice to stick with one as your business grows, so be sure you feel comfortable with them & their charges, etc...

All the best ... Nancy

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Old 4th November 2008, 03:47 PM   #9
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Just ask around - friends, business associates, relatives...
Somebody will be able to recommend a decent accountant.

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Old 1st December 2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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I would suggest that these recommendations, while all very good, are the second step.

Your first step should be to ask yourself what you want or need the accounting professional to do for you. Do you need tax preparation, daily bookkeeping, payroll services, or forward-looking financial management? Do you need a CFO with whom you'll consult on a regular basis about key performance indicators or a clerical service to post invoices?

Most CPA's I'm familiar with are first and foremost tax preparers. Business owners, are generally naive when it comes to the financial management of their business - they just don't have the training to generate financial reports they can use to create and monitor performance objectives. Most CPA's are frustrated with their clients who don't understand the value of sound financial management for their business.

When you know what an accountant must do for you, then you can ask not just for recommendations. You can zero in on the best individual for yours specific needs.

Good luck!

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