Tax laws gets twisted and tweaked, every year leaving average citizen helpless, when they experience financial decisions like tax deduction claims for home office or investment property sale.
Accounting firms always keep themselves updated about new tax laws. They are in the best position to give financial advice because their Raamatupidamisbüroo (Accountancy Office) has qualified accountants and tax advisers with relevant qualifications and regulated by professional bodies. They even need to have professional indemnity insurance.
General accounting practice will hold expertise in four basic areas –
- Business advisory service
- Tax advice
- Accounting & record-keeping
Tips to hire an ideal accountant or tax advisory firm
Take an inventory of your needs and carry out a search
- Check what kind of services you need, whether you require tax advice or audits or estate planning.
- Look for a firm that has experience in handling business similar to your niche as well as size. They will understand your issues much better.
- Check qualifications and are they sufficient for your specific needs.
- Make sure the accountancy firm is authorized to undertake audit, insolvency, or investment advice.
- Check their reputation
- Do they hold professional indemnity coverage?
- Will they be suitable to 3rd parties like shareholders and finance providers?
- Will they agree to meet you in person or on phone as frequently as you desire?
Contact and communicate with them
- To find the right tax adviser invest time by scrutinizing some prospective advisory firm’s website that provide the services you require.
- After narrowing the list of prospective advisor contact them and schedule a meeting.
- Communicating with them will help you get an idea of how comfortable you will be working with them.
- If you are a new business then discuss about how you keep accounting records. Can they suggest some improvements?
- Find out, if they will be able to provide necessary services all during your business development phase.
- Make sure that the person you meet is the same, who will be dealing with your business. In many accounting firms new business needs are handled by partners initially and then actual accounting work to others.
- Ask them how they handle situations related to your niche, for example how will they deal with an IRS office inspection, which seeks authentication of vehicle expenses. It allows you to evaluate the professional’s compatibility and competence.
- Ask about the upfront fees because majority charge hourly and some work on monthly basis.
- Get an estimate of annual charges on the basis of necessary services you discussed.
- Never base decisions on fees because the accountant who charges by hour has more experience and work faster than a beginner, who charges less.
- There may be extra charges for additional services like running a payroll or preparing VAT returns
After appointing an eligible advisory firm you must expect to receive an ‘engagement letter’ that gives details about services, engagement terms, and fee structure clearly. This ensures that both your accountant and you have same expectations and averts misunderstandings or hard feelings.
Maintain your accounts and records, so that the professional spends less time and you will need to pay low fees. The time you spent in hiring an ideal accountant/advisor can help your business to soar.
Earl McGee has written this Guest Post. Pallas & Partnerid run an efficient Raamatupidamisbüroo (Accountancy Office) in Tallinn, Tammsaare tee 47. Their team gets regular training, so they are well aware of the latest changes in laws. Expert advice from them will help you take better decisions related to tax deductions.