Darnells – Newton Abbot, Devon

Darnells  is an established firm of Accountants in Newton Abbot that  focuses on providing a quality service to small and medium sized enterprises and individuals.

They say on their website that “we aim to create value for our clients which means understanding your business in depth, always being available and responsive, tailoring our advice to support your own objectives and ultimately helping you to achieve greater profitability, efficiency and success.”

Key Professional Partnership Ltd – Prestwick and Glasgow

Key Professional Partnership Ltd (KPP) consists of two firms of Accountants – Richard Beattie & Co in Glasgow and GW Reid Associates in Ayr.

Although they mention individuals on their website much of the offerings seems to be aimed at businesses, both small family run and large companies, as they emphasise the payroll, bookkeeping, business planning and many other business advice services that they provide.

One of their specialist areas is acting as IR35 Accountants in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. For a mininal monthly fee (if you are a contractor) they will do your day to day bookkeeping and invoicing, process expense claims, VAT, PAYE and NI returns and complete annual accounts. They also offer to check your current and any future contracts to make sure that they are IR35 compliant thus saving you possible hassles with HMRC over your employment status.

Bloomfield Business Services Ltd – Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Bloomfield Business Services (aka Bloomfield Accountants) are a firm of Chartered Accountants based in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk that state on their website that they consider their speciality to be the family business.

Amongst their client base they cover agriculture, nursing homes, charities, clubs and the usual list of professions, service sector, construction, manufacturing and retailers.

Their business support services include management information payroll, bookkeeping and business planning & forecasting.  In fact if you are running a business in Great Yarmouth or even anywhere else in the area the list of services seems to cover everything that a business would need from an accountant.

10 tips for choosing an accountant

There are many advisers you are likely to encounter when running a small business, from business consultants, IT consultants, Solicitors to Accountants.

Of all of these a good accountant is perhaps the most valuable one to have for a small business and is certainly the one that you are likely to use most often. If your accounts are correct and you are up-to-date with taxes and statuatory returns, you are far likely to be more able to concentrate on the important part, growing  the business.

The author has run a small business for many years now and the tips below are some of his thoughts on choosing an accountant for your business.

  1. Investigate and, if possible, choose an accountant before you start your business, although remember that it is possible to change accountants at any time and in fact the author has done so when he moved from one area of the country to another.
  2. Make sure your accountant is fully qualified, for example as a certified or chartered accountant. These qualifications will be probably be displayed on any promotional material or their website, but make sure you ask, and check with the relevent organisation if you are at all unsure.
  3. Make sure that your accountant works with small business clients. If your business generates a large number of transactions (for example, an online shopping service or you are in the retail trade make sure that they understand the implications of this – the extra bits of paper will probably push their fees up – of course if you are in an industry where you invoice clients monthly then this is not so much of a problem).
  4. If possible make sure the accountant has experience with dealing with companies in your sector, some types of business have specific VAT rules such as the CTN areas – does the accountant understand these rules?
  5. How much does the accountant charge?  Is there a fixed annual or monthly fee to complete all business tax requirements, or do they charge by the hour?  Compare the fees of several firms but remember that the cheapest is not always the best, but neither is  the most expensive.
  6. When you first meet your prospective accountant, spend some time chatting to them, you will know soon enough if you see eye-to-eye,  – do you trust them and do you feel that you can work with them?  Try to talk to several accountants and see which you feel most comfortable with.
  7. Does the accountant provide any other services – can they complete your self assessment tax returns, do they provide business or IT advice or other information to help you grow your business?  Ask for a rough figure as to how much these extra services would cost you.
  8. Many small businesses find that the best accountants for them are also likely to be smaller in size. A smaller firm of accountants will understand what it’s like running a small operation.  The author once had an accountant that was one of the larger accountants in the UK with offices throughout the country and felt that he was just a number to them and not really a valued client, this came as a “shock” as his previous accountant was a small 3 partner firm where he felt that his business was valued.
  9. Ask  if you can speak to existing clients that are small businesses (preferably in your industry) before signing up. Any decent accountancy firm should be happy to arrange this.  When talking to existing clients ask them about the service that they get from the accountant – how quickly are questions answered, documents returned, have there been any problems etc.
  10. Make sure your accountant keeps in touch with your business – not just at the end of the year. How often do they contact you with newsletters and how quickly do they get back to you if you have a question – many will state that they will reply to questions within one working day. 

Finally, remember, if you feel your current accountant no longer meets your needs for any reason, get a new one – there is nothing to stop you doing this as long as you have paid all their invoices.

Leigh, Christou & Co – Coventry, Warwickshire

Leigh, Christou & Co, a firm of Accountants based in Coventry seem to offer a slightly different service to many other accountants in that they provide a forensic accounting service.

They are Registered Member of Academy of Experts and are on the Law Society Registered Expert Witness list.  This means that their work in fraud investigations and professional negligence reviews will be accepted by the courts as being accurate and valid.

As you may also expect from a firm of accountants in Coventry (one of the homes of the UK motor “industry”) they have expertise in providing accountancy services to contractors in the automotive industry, although the list of industry sectors on their websites makes it clear that their expertise covers much more that this single industry sector.

 

DJH Accountants Ltd – Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire

DJH Accountants Ltd is a firm of Accountants based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire offering accounts, tax, business advisory and support services to a wide range of businesses and individuals.

As Accountants in Staffordshire, DJH (who were established in 1984) have many clients in the local community and service businesses, both small and large, across many sectors including:

  • the professions
  • the service sector
  • the construction industry
  • manufacturers
  • retailers
  • agriculture
  • health care
  • charities
  • clubs & associations
  • sports professionals