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7 rules to follow when choosing a reliable accounting provider

It’s best to cooperate with an accounting provider for a long time. It gives a company a feeling of security and a certainty that in case of tax audits, which are often carried out after 3-4 years, the people who have been responsible for the company’s accounting during that time will provide the tax office with explanations regarding the company’s activity. In order to choose your accounting provider right, you should verify some things first.

Rule no. 1 – Check if in the accounting office works a person with accounting qualifications, a Certified Auditor or a tax advisor.

Regardless of the fact whether in the accounting of a company there are Polish tax regulations or not, the office represented by a person who has accounting qualifications, is a Certified Auditor or a tax advisor ensures professional service, since these people obtain their experience both during training courses and their career. The people who provide bookkeeping services have to pass examinations that confirm the obtained knowledge. Clients can rest assured that it is a professional who takes care of their companies. An accountant without an appropriate certificate is like a taxi driver without a driving license. Even if such taxi driver drives superbly, would you decide to get in the car?

Rule no. 2 – Check the validity and the amount of the liability insurance.

It is important to remember that it is the taxpayer who shall be responsible to the tax office for the mistakes of the accounting. It is not possible to be absolved from this responsibility, even by means of a contract with an accounting provider. The accounting provider does not assume the role of the taxpayer, in spite of handling tax liabilities and filing tax returns of a company.

In order to protect oneself from possible client’s claims, each accounting provider should have a valid liability insurance. It is obligatory to have such an insurance. It protects from possible mistakes in the tax calculations of the accountants and it shows that the people who run the accounting office treat their work and clients seriously.

Rule no. 3 – Check the price list – calculate the annual charges.

Some accounting procedures are carried out once a quarter or once a year. Accounting offices often tempt with a low cost of booking of a single transaction. It may turn out that a monthly cost is much higher, since you need to pay an additional charge for each additional service. Moreover, accounting providers sometimes do not present a full price list when signing contracts. Check how the monthly price have been established and which services are included in the lump sum. The more detailed the price list is, the fewer surprises will wait for you in the future.

Rule no. 4 – Check how many people work in an accounting office and how long the office exists.

The accounting offices that are big and exist for a long time do not necessarily have to be better. Sometimes it is quite the opposite. However, choosing an accounting provider with little experience and 2-3 accountants can be risky because in a crisis situation the tax office, the bank or shareholders may not receive important information when due.

Rule no. 5 – Find out what the contact with clients looks like.

When you want to find an accounting provider, analyse the way the contact with clients is organized. The fact that we can be in touch with the person who handles the accounting of our company, and that this person is not only well-educated but also experienced, influences the effectiveness of cooperation.

The average turnover of the staff in the sector of business services amounts to 23%. If you want to decide on the accounting provider, learn about the circulation of bookkeeping documents and the information flow in this office. Any changes in the staff should be nearly imperceptible to clients and in case of such changes the matters of the company should be precisely handed over to a new employee.

Rule no. 6 – Visit the accounting office before you sign a contract.

The work of accountants requires concentration and good organization. Visit the place in which they work and check if there is order and tidiness in the office, and if documents are carefully kept there. In case of a tax audit it is the taxpayer who should present the original documents. If an accounting provider has not introduced internal processes of archiving documents or if the provider does not attach much importance to them, in the future it may turn out that some documents are missing.

Rule no. 7 – Check the whole offer of an accounting provider.

Sometimes additional services which are available to clients can be an advantage of a good accounting provider. It is fundamental for a company that has annual budgets to be given a possibility to receive additional reports which are defined for the company needs. It is also important that an accounting provider offers online access to accounting information. Some providers place invoicing programmes at clients’ disposal and some offer other services, for example tax advice or IT support.