Question in full:
We are not happy with our current accountants who have made a few errors over the past few years – how would you go about finding a new accountant that you could be sure of?
The best way to find an accountant has always been through perusals recommendation, and this remains the case now. Ask your work colleagues who they use; meet them and see if you could work with them.
The alternative is to look for accountancy firms in your area that have a look and feel that you think you could work well with, that have medical-sector specialism. You can use adverts in the medical press as a guide to whom to approach, though I would try to support this with some background research on the internet.
A good friend of mine advocates that in business you will be served well if you can bring together a good accountant, solicitor and banker to work together in advising you. The approach is too often taken these days that these are commodity tasks rather than roles that can be friends to your business.
The key attributes I would look for in an accountant are: firstly, someone you can work well with, ie, someone you can trust, that wants to understand you and your business and who you feel comfortable with to pick up the phone to ask for advice; secondly, someone that understands your sector, as the medical profession has many intricacies in its tax and pensions arrangements and knowledge of these are essential; thirdly, someone competent – use a firm of qualified accountants that have some standing, so you know don’t need to doubt the quality of the advice you receive.