What to expect from a professional accountant? (Part 2)

In part one we said that you can expect your professional accountant to provide you with financial information and must help you make wise decisions with regards to your business’ future. We also discussed compliance to all accounting regulations, keeping up to date with changes in their field and having open, two-way conversations with you as their client.

Accuracy was also mentioned, but how does that tie in with what you would expect from your accountant? Does it just mean the figures in the books must be accurate or is there more to it?

Attention to detail and accuracy goes hand in hand. Your accountant cannot ignore the puny details and still expect to give you accurate feedback with regards to your financial situations, as the overall conclusion will lack a solid foundation. Ignoring one small detail can make a huge difference and negative impact on your business, therefore it is important that your accountant has a keen eye for detail.

Another aspect would be trustworthiness. Can you give your accountant all your personal information, financial information and business information without have to worry that you will end up in the Sun newspaper? If you are unsure, it is time to change. This relates closely to ethics and integrity. A professional accountant will not leak information to any third party, whether incidentally or on purpose. Your valued, hard-worked-for information will be safe and secure in their hands and they will use their discretion when sharing your information within the company.

Another great trait would be accountability. They are not called accountants for no reason at all. Your accountant must be able to take accountability for the end results reflected in your financial statements whether those statements are good or bad. They must be able to account for your income and expenses, losses and revenue as well as depreciation.

Professional accountants must also be creative – and we are not talking painting pretty pictures with words. They must be able to think outside of the box to help you solve your business dilemmas involving fresh ideas and creative strategies. This, however, does not mean that they should not be organized and structured. Good organization skills are a must if your professional account is to stay on top of where your business is currently standing. These skills must be accompanied by a great structure which will allow you accountant to work fast, effectively and efficiently.

Lastly, you must also like your accountant’s personality if you want to get along. So good personality traits and moral values would also be a consideration when you start to think about what you would expect from a professional accountant. It does not help if they do the work perfectly, but you are unable to communicate due to character flaws or difficult personality traits.

Make a list of what your expectations are with regards to a professional accountant and go shopping.