The author of this opinion piece is the owner of a successful international business and has over 10 years experience in the social media business. The author has requested that the piece is published without being named.

From experience and hearing some disaster stories from Irish businesses over the last number of years (post-recession), here are a few things to consider asking yourself before committing to someone with you and your business money.

How competent are they?

Due diligence goes both ways for a client and a service provider, in any industry.

Do your homework at the companies house, Solocheck.ie, business owner referrals and good old fashioned picking up the phone for a chat one-to-one with them.

How do they bill for their fees?

In most cases people will avoid any service provider these days who bill by the hour.

A flat, transparent monthly or yearly fee agreed upon in advance for what is needed is less stressful and fair to both parties.

Are they trustworthy?

The horror stories out there about Irish accountants are told all too often but it is important to remember that the vast majority of accountants and finance companies are honest, hard working and law abiding people.

Keep in mind you are going to be revealing information about your business to this person that could be commercially sensitive and / or of a personal nature – so make sure they are the right fit for you personality-wise and are someone you can trust.

Also, do they genuinely care about you as a client or is it just a pay check for them?

Obviously no one will be as passionate about your business as you, the owner / board of management, but if you are talking to someone who does not give a you know what about you or your business, why should you care about them enough to hire them and trust them with your money?

How tech savvy are they?

Ireland traditionally as a small country is slow on the uptake for technology.

Most top worldwide accountants tend to use accounting packages to streamline their process and make it as easy as possible for themselves these days.

Ask what accounting software they use and check to see how up to date it is in comparison with the rest of the finance market.

See if they have a website and how they promote themselves online. It’s quiet baffling how many accountants in Ireland don’t even have a website.

If they demonstrate they are willing to move with the times this shows they are not the stereotypical boring accountant-type and are genuinely interested in their work and their clients’ progress.

Ultimately, will they save you money and time?

Perhaps these are the two most important questions business owners way up when selecting the appropriate accountant.

Running the core aspects of one’s business is time consuming enough and you want someone who once what you need is agreed upon, can work on their own and save you on the time it would take to do book keeping duties.

Different government schemes and legitimate tax avoidance advice to only pay what you have to is crucial for your cash flow, capitalisation and business’s continued growth.

A good, competent accountant should be doing all this for you automatically and advising you of it – not just filing a tax return at the end of the year.

If you want to learn more about working with Accounting Pro Ireland please email info@accounting-pro.ieor call 061 518 264

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