What can an accountant do for you, and how do you choose the right one?
A good accountant is someone you can trust to be on your side – they will find you solutions, add value while ensuring compliance, and put you in firm control of your finances and your future.
But how do you find your ideal accountant – and what should you be aware of when you are looking?
Check their expertise – and choose a qualified accountant
Many people do not realise that anyone in Ireland can call themselves an accountant and set themselves up to practice, so it’s important to check for qualifications.
Qualified accountants have trained regularly in order to maintain their qualifications, to keep up with changes in tax and legislation for example, and their institute will insist on them having professional indemnity.
There are four main accountancy bodies in Ireland:
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (ACA, FCA, CTA)
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA, FCCA)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA, FCMA)
- Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA)
Accountants and accountancy practices may hold several of these, as well other qualifications.
If in doubt the key advice when choosing an accountancy practices in Ireland is – check they are a registered Chartered Accountant.
These individuals, or firms, are members of Chartered Accountants Ireland, Ireland’s biggest professional accountancy body, and supervised to uphold the highest possible standard for accountancy. Using one ensures you get someone who is qualified, committed and – very importantly – accountable. Chartered Accountants are bound by a code of ethics and professional standards and required to have professional indemnity insurance in place.
You can search for a Chartered Accountant near you, or verify if someone is a registered member of Chartered Accountants Ireland, through their online directory.
An accountant nearby – or the best fit you can find?
In the past, your options were limited by needing an accountant near you. Businesses in Dublin had to choose accounting providers in Dublin, Cork clients needed someone in their home city.
These days most accounting is generally carried out on computerised systems using cloud-based accounting software. So you in theory you can work with any accountant, based on your preferences and their expertise, anywhere in the country.
These secure cloud systems and technologies, and the availability of virtual meeting spaces, means you can have a strong relationship with your accountant without ever meeting face-to-face. For example, here at Paul O’Donovan and Associates our main office is in Cork but we provide accountancy services to Irish SMEs and individuals in Cork, through-out Munster, in Dublin and all across Ireland– anywhere in Ireland we are needed.
- Does having a local service really matter to you? Or are you happy to work with someone further away? Your choice on this will either widen or tighten your pool of options considerably.
- Additionally, consider if your Irish accountant needs overseas expertise and networks. International taxation and compliance can be complex. If you are thinking of growing outside the Irish market, ask if your accountant already has and can handle international clients. Accountancy firms with international expertise should bring their network of professional contacts and service providers to the table.
Services and expertise
What services are you looking for? Accountants offer many different things – some will provide only basic bookkeeping while others will become a trusted advisory resource, providing insight and advice on your finances.
Accountants can offer many services, including: accounting, audit, business start-up advice, outsourced payroll & bookkeeping, company secretarial, tax compliance & planning, wealth management, retirement and pensions, corporate advisory solutions and succession advice.
- It’s always a good idea to look for an accountant who will be proactive about saving you money, so consider how involved you would like them to be in your finances as well as their expertise. Can they provide this level of integration with your business?
- The key point is to consider what services will provide you with the most value – does your accountant have expertise in that area? Are they equipped with the experience to help you grow or are they learning as they go?
Some accountants may not be able to offer advisory services in your area, or have the specialists on hand for your specific needs.
What are your needs – and your wants?
How to change accountants in Ireland – and what to expect
Don’t stay with a service you’re not happy with. Switching accountants doesn’t need to be a long or complicated process; your new accountant should guide you on how to make it as easy as possible.
At Paul O’Donovan and Associates, for example, we offer new clients a free initial consultation to discuss your needs. We then liaise with your outgoing Accountant to provide a smooth handover and assign one of our staff as your main point of contact who will tailor solutions to your situation. We personalise our services to meet individual needs and seek to add value at every opportunity possible.
A healthy ongoing relationship with an accountant that understands your situation won’t just ensure you are tax-efficient and Revenue compliant, it will keep you updated on the information you need for strong decisions and give you the expert know-how to get to the core of your issues.
Choosing the right accountant for you or your business can take time but it’s an area worth investing in. Ensure they are someone you can trust with your finances who will work with you to build a better future.
Want to know more about changing accountant in Ireland? We provide accounting solutions to companies and SMEs, sole traders and individuals.
We’re happy to arrange a free and confidential chat to discuss your needs. Whatever stage you are at, we can show you how to structure for future goals and save on tax.
Talk to us today, or request a call-back at your convenience, by phoning 021 432 1799 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.