Find a good accountantWhen you buy tangible assets for your business like premises and products you know exactly what you’re getting. But when it comes to something intangible, such as really good financial guidance for your business, it’s not quite so easy. Did you know that anyone can set up as an accountant without necessarily getting qualified first?

Effective advice on your finance and tax affairs can give your business an advantage in the market place. So what should you look for, and what does Tarrant Green provide?

A licence to practice

Find out whether your accountant is a member of a professional body such as The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). This way you’ll know that they’ve completed several years of in-depth training, and probably much more, plus they have practical experience. Members are committed to continued professional development to ensure their knowledge remains up-to-date. ICAEW Chartered Accountants are bound by a code of ethics and if they offer professional services to the public, they’ll hold a practising certificate and professional indemnity insurance

Senior partner, Tarrant Green, is a Chartered Accountant and Member of the ICAEW, as well as other professional bodies.

Start-up advice and raising finance

If you’re starting up a new venture, or expanding an existing one, there are many sources of finance available and each have their pros and cons. Make sure your potential accountant can give you an objective assessment of your options – from sale and lease back and peer to peer lending, to grants, factoring and even employee shareholding (such as the John Lewis model).

At Tarrant Green & Company we support emerging new businesses through the ICAEW Business Advice Service – your first meeting is free.

Tax returns under control

Legally, personal and company tax returns must be filed. A good accountant will make this information-gathering and form-filling exercise as pain-free as possible. So find out how your accountant will approach this. Do they handle everything at an accountant’s rate at the year end, or do they help you to put book-keeping support in place to keep your costs low. And when you provide all the required information, will they prepare the return in good time so you know what tax you owe, or will you have to keep chasing until you finally find out your tax liability and submit your return close to the deadline. It’s worth asking, as it happens all too often.

Completing tax returns becomes cost-effective and trouble-free with Tarrant Green & Company.

In-depth knowledge

Accounting and taxation can be very complex indeed. But with the help of someone suitably qualified, this knowledge will be used to provide you with straightforward guidance. Check that your prospective accountant has expertise to provide the type of tax advice you need.

Tarrant Green represents clients in HMRC tribunals due to extensive tax know-how.

Accounting systems

Find out what experience your prospective accountant has of different accounting systems. Whilst there are many different systems, Sage is a big player. An accountant with expertise not just of Sage but of other systems besides is likely to be able to dovetail their service more effectively.

Tarrant Green has experience of these accounting and admin systems: Sage™; VT Accounts; KashFlow; Intuit Quickbooks; Opsis; Thomson Reuters Elite™ (Legal); Quill Pinpoint (Legal); Eclipse® Proclaim Case Management; Taxcalc®.

Practical commercial experience

Ask questions to establish how well your potential accountant can apply knowledge to provide practical answers. Give them a scenario where you took tax advice in the past and see if they come up with the same solution – or an even better one.

Our senior partner, Tarrant Green, knows finance, and he’s also provided Interim Management on request, with experience spanning over 20 years.

Availability of your accountant

Often businesses complain that they choose an accountant and then can’t get hold of them when they need support. Calls may be passed down the line to a junior, who is not able to handle the query successfully. So find out in advance how your accountant will support you and your business.

Once appointed, Tarrant Green is your Chartered Accountant; he’s pro-active and responds quickly – in person.