Tax season comes every year, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re an independent business owner or freelancer, using accountants north wales can help you make sure you’re reporting your income correctly and not missing any tax deductions that can save you money. Before you hand over all of your financial information to the accountant of your choice, here are some questions to ask them during the interview process to help ensure you find someone who works well with your business or personal situation.

1) How Long Has Your Firm Been in Business?

As with any company, your accountant should have a track record of success. You want an accountant who has been in business for several years and has grown his or her practice while keeping customers happy and maintaining strong reviews. If your accounting firm is brand new, find out if any senior partners were part of another successful company and joined together. If not, what was their experience? What did they do before opening their own firm? The best accountants will be honest about how long they’ve been in business; conversely, be wary of firms that won’t disclose such basic information. (Get more tips on how to choose an accountant.)

2) Do You Offer Free Quotes?

Before you hire a company, ask for a free quote on how much it will cost. That way, you’ll have an idea of how much it will set you back before you commit. It’s also useful for checking that your proposed accountant understands what you want from them and what type of advice they can offer—for example, if your concern is more about saving tax than cutting costs, look for a firm with accountants who specialize in tax rather than those who focus more on general business advice. Many services provide free quotes—it’s a good way to check they’re suitable without making any financial commitment.

3) Does My Business Qualify For Any Tax Credits?

The first thing you want to find out is whether or not you’ll be paying a setup fee. After all, what good is an accountant if you have to pay a ton of money just for their service? If there’s a setup fee, just make sure that you have some idea as to how much it will cost and what exactly you’re paying for. Some accountants charge a fee simply because they need information from your business—not because they actually do anything with your tax forms. In most cases, however, hiring an accountant will save you money in taxes and fees down the road so don’t be afraid of any upfront costs. Just make sure that they’re really worth it before signing on!

4) Do I Pay When I Sign Up?

While most accountants operate on a retainer or flat-fee basis, some will still charge you based on how many hours they spend working on your books. If you choose an accountant who takes commissions, ask them how they get paid and whether there’s any potential conflict of interest with respect to their incentive structure. Also, if they charge by the hour, ask them how many hours per month is typical for a business like yours. Don’t forget that some accountants work a standard 40-hour week while others may only check in every few weeks or months. Either way, find out what services are included in that fee and which ones aren’t.

5) How Do You Return My Phone Calls/Emails?

Getting good service is part of getting a quality product. If you’re not being called back promptly, it’s a sign that your accountant doesn’t have time for you. Good accountants often get in high demand and need to work hard to juggle multiple clients with unique needs. There are plenty of quality accountants out there so if one isn’t replying, give them a chance but go find another accountant if their responsiveness is really lacking. It is possible that they just don’t have enough time in their schedule for you, or perhaps they just aren’t interested in taking on new business—it happens.

6) What Is Your Cancellation Policy?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your relationship with an accountant can’t last. Maybe you’re dissatisfied with their work or maybe you just move on from one job to another and must break ties with your accountant. Either way, you should always ask what a company’s cancellation policy is before beginning a relationship with an accountant. If a company doesn’t have a set policy in place it could mean that they don’t take cancellations very seriously, which could make working together unpleasant or even dangerous if sensitive financial data is not secured properly. You never want to find yourself trapped into working with someone against your will!

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