I would like to be impartial with my advice here. I would like to serve members with how to approach their service level agreements with their accountant.
A growing businesses can find they need the services of an accountant in order to help them manage the finances of their business. But which services do they actually need, how should you pay for them, and how do you make sure you’re getting good value for money?
Here’s our top 5 tips for getting the most from your accountant.
1. Use Fixed Fees
I strongly recommend each business regardless of size should be clear on the fees they are expected to pay.
Agree on a fixed fee for your accountant’s services, rather than paying by the hour. This will enable you to plan ahead for the cost of the work and to control costs. The fixed fee agreement should come with clear detail on what you’ll get in return for your money, but you’ll also have the option of commissioning additional work should it prove necessary.
2. Be realistic about your budget
While it’s important to keep a tight rein on all costs, accountancy fees included, review your budget on a regular basis. Over time, the work you require from your accountant will change. Do not be afraid to negotiate terms and pricing at your own convenience.
3. Buy what you need
Most accountants offer a menu of services so think carefully about what you actually want. ONLY pay for what you need. Don't pay for what you MAY need in the future.
4. Timing is crucial
The frequency of the work your accountant produces can make as much difference as the work itself. Be clear on what is expected from both sides.
5. Relationships matter
It is your accountant’s responsibility to make an important contribution to your business’s growth, but if you don’t trust them, or feel comfortable talking frankly and openly with them, you won’t be able to take full advantage. An accountant should be a trusted business partner who is able to provide constructive support as you run your business. If that’s not an accurate description of your relationship, it’s time to ask why.