For a self-employed person, keeping a full-time accountant can be an expensive affair. This is where hiring accountant for self-employed becomes a viable option. Focused approach and flexible billing option make it easier for self-employed to avail accounting services and ensure that taxes are paid judiciously. However, while hiring an accountant ensure that you ask yourself these 5 questions:
1. Is your accountant registered practise firm in UK? What is his qualification and regulatory membership?
A person or organization who seeks to offer accounting and auditing service should ideally be registered with any of the RSBs (Recognised Supervisory Bodies) orRQBs(Recognised Qualifying Bodies)for statutory auditors in the UK under Companies Act 2006and regulated by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The list of RSBs and RQBs can be found here. As for the qualification, the person should have either AAT qualification or ACCA, ACA, AIA or CIMA qualifications to showcase himself/herself as a Chartered Accountant.
2. Does your accountant comply with AML fact finding requirements? Is he HMRC’s authorised agentand Company house presenter?
The term AML stands for Anti-Money Laundering. As per the current rule, accountants are bound to report any activity of their clients that appears suspicious to them in respect of monetary transactions.
On the other hand, the accountant should also be an authorized agent with HMRC. This authorization allows the accountant to act on behalf of his client. For this purpose, you can find who should get registered with HMRC as an agent the company house presenter registration can be done online here.
3. Does you accountant work posts engagement letters? What about Annexed Proposal?
Engagement letters serve as an authentic document that establishes the relation between an accountant and self-employed. Make sure you and your accountant, both sign this document before you start working together. Additionally, documents like annexed proposal should be thoroughly checked in order to have a clear understanding about scope of work, terms of service, breaches and process of disengagement, professional indemnity insurance in case promised service is not delivered in time or as per documentation.
4. Is your accountant available to answer over phone in 1–2-day notice?
Availability is a key factor. As a self-employed person you will be busy in your routine work. There will be times where you would need the help of your accountant and for that their availability is essential.
5. How does your accountant transfer your confidential documents? Is it compliant with privacy terms under GDPR?
Ensure all your paperwork is kept private and secured. Cloud-based encrypted communication ensures that your confidential private documentation is only accessible to you and the accountant. Also, privacy terms under GDPR needs to be followed. For a clear understanding of these privacy, terms click here.
In case you are have questions, feel free to have a second-opinion with us. We are an accountant and listed “quality assured status” by independent auditing and practice monitoring body AIA in UK annually. You can contact us for a free consultation at +44 330 133 1114.