Four characteristics of a great accountant (and how best to work with them)

6 Minutes

An accountant can be a pivotal advisor to a growing business. When you are working together effectively, success and growth can come quicker and go further.

Together you can plan to overcome hurdles as well as spot and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. So what exactly makes a great accountant? This blog is not to list out the technical qualifications but to dig deeper into the characteristics and workings of a great accountancy relationship.

Four characteristics of a great accountant

1. Let us start with the obvious –

a great accountant takes an interest in you… all year round.

It may sound daft but if your accountant genuinely does not have an interest in your business and what you are trying to achieve, then you are not going to get the best advice from them. There could be a variety of reasons why they are not taking an interest in your business – they have too many clients to manage or simply have more of an interest in them – but if they are not interested in your business then they aren’t going to be a great accountant to you.

2. The second characteristic of a great accountant is that they are approachable. If you feel uncomfortable making contact with your accountant, ask yourself why that might be. A sound relationship (which we will expand on shortly) allows for both parties to have an open and honest dialogue. Your accountant will fail to provide the right advice to your business if you cannot open up to them, which is why they have to make themselves approachable.

3. A great accountant will have worked with a variety of businesses and have experience to draw upon and bring into your relationship. If you operate in a niche sector you could find that an accountant who has specialised in this space is more beneficial as they already understand the nuances of your market. At WoodWhite Accountants one of our specialist advisory areas is new business start-ups. Through our decades of experience in helping entrepreneurs get their enterprise off the ground, we know that these clients do not immediately have expertise in the legal, financial or taxation aspects of running a business. That is what our team brings to the table. You can find all the details of our business start-up services here.

4. Our fourth and final characteristic may surprise you a little. A great accountant does not necessarily know all the answers but they do have great connections for when you need specialist advice. Reaching out to experts and bringing them in as required can also be more beneficial to you from a cost perspective. Your accountant can outsource for specialist advice rather than keep them in house, and potentially add to your fee.

Top tips for getting the best from your accountant

Now you know what makes a great accountant, here are our top tips for getting the best from working with them!

1. To start with, find the right accountant for your business. Be selective, ask them lots of questions and make sure that the person you are building this relationship with fits your business. Taking recommendations from a friend is a great filter but keep in mind that their needs could differ to yours.

2. Maintain a regular dialogue with your chosen accountant. Good practice is to have regular (quarterly) meetings in the diary so you can review progress throughout the year. It takes time to build up knowledge and insight into your business so be proactive in keeping the conversation flowing.

3. Take their advice. This might sound obvious but you are paying your accountant for their knowledge and expertise – if they have advised that you do something in a specific way or use a certain type of software, there is a good reason for doing so! Ignoring the advice is a waste of money.

There you have it – how to spot a great accountant and how to work effectively with them!

Could WoodWhite Accountants transform your business potential?

If you would like to understand if WoodWhite Accountants could be a great accountant for your business, get in touch today. We offer a FREE, no obligation consultation, tax review and services quote. Call us on 0118 997 7100 or email enquiries@woodwhiteaccountants.co.uk