The accountant is a vital team member of your business. Accountants are the people to call for your financial reporting, analysis and taxation as part of your company’s compliance requirements in Singapore. The ideal accountant should have the expertise and knowledge of diversified business industries, law and regulations which are important, invaluable and inevitable in business.
Partnering with the right accountant is in the best interest of your business. An experienced, skilled, and capable person to handle your company’s financial reporting, business analysis, and taxation will bring in immeasurable advantage to your organization. While engaging someone who doesn’t have a full grasp of the position and its importance can be disastrous to your company. Thus, the importance of engaging the right person to handle the job is high.
Here are five major considerations when choosing the right accountant for your business:
The Accountant’s Location
Are you looking to hire an internal accountant or looking to outsource your accounting needs? If you need an internal accountant, your candidate pool is limited to those near you. With cloud accounting, connectivity, and availability of safe and reliable accounting software, outsourcing your accounting needs is a viable option. If a virtual office is compatible with your needs, your accountant can be anywhere in the world, then the location wouldn’t matter. For best work arrangements, we recommend engaging an accountant who is cognizant of your local business taxation, regulations, and accounting laws. This is why accounting firms in Singapore are the best option for Singapore businesses.
The Accountant’s Expertise, Credentials and Specialization
Knowing the accountant’s level of expertise, skills, credentials, and prior experiences are vital to find a good fit. Do you need an experienced accountant who can bring in expertise, lead a team, and make decisions? Or are you looking for someone you can train to handle the bookkeeping? Are you looking to hire a team of accountants or just one person? Do you need an expert in taxation or one who is adept in cost accounting?
Which areas of the accounting process are you going to delegate and which are you going to keep in-house? As external accountants can be expensive and charge by hours, it is customary for small businesses to outsource the more complex tasks of reviewing the results produced by the bookkeeper, generating financial reports or working on bank reconciliation and taxation while keeping the laborious bookkeeping in. You can resolve this issue and work seamlessly with your accountant by using a user-friendly cloud accounting software, which is compliant with IRAS’s technical requirements, like Xero, QuickBooks, and Financio.
Most, if not all, accounting firms in Singapore use one or more accounting software to facilitate work, sharing and collaboration with their clients. They would have several names for you to choose an accounting software that will fit your business needs, budget and usage. Some software can be integrated with most of your business processes and financial aspects like banks, invoicing, inventory and collections. The most popular online accounting platforms include Xero, QuickBooks and Financio. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. To choose the best software, it is best to discuss with your accountant.
Check out this article Five Advantages of Million Accounting System
The cost of hiring an accountant should not exceed the savings you get from the services rendered. If the cost of outsourcing your accounting department to an accounting firm is less than what you are spending to maintain the said department, or if it frees you time to work on other tasks, then outsourcing is a good option for your business. The cheapest accountants are not always the best deal. Expertise, experience and industry knowledge come with a premium. Shop around outsourcing firms in Singapore for comparable rates, consider the inputs that come with the price, and compare the fees and the service scope.
Steps in Hiring an Accountant for your Business
The process of finding, choosing, and hiring an accountant for your business should not be rushed. Careful considerations of the five basic aspects of engaging an accountant mentioned above have to be observed. Sharing your company’s most sensitive data with the wrong person might have serious repercussions. Extra precaution must always be exercised in hiring the right person for any accounting position, regardless junior or senior. Here are the steps in finding and choosing the right accountant for your business and its considerations;
1. Evaluate your company’s needs
Assess the accounting and bookkeeping tasks you need to delegate > volume, complexity and types of data. Can you afford to outsource, or would you rather keep it internal? For small business needs, we recommend engaging an external accountant to provide all your accounting needs. An external accountant can perform all your accounting needs without the need to hire, train and provide workspace.
2. Profile the right accountant
Based on your company’s needs, create a profile of your accountant. This should include his / her experience, prior industry exposure, certifications, location, preferred software used, skills, and expertise.
3. Shortlist the best candidates
Start looking for your accountant. You can do this by posting a job ad, asking for referrals, or going online to search for accounting firms in Singapore. Compile a list of no more than ten possible candidates. Reach out and schedule a face-to-face interview or meeting.
4. Conduct interviews
The goal of the interview or initial meeting with the accountant candidate is to verify the initial information you have gathered about the accountant and his / her firm. Ask the more important details such as the software they are using, price ranges, service coverage and their work processes. Let them share with you as much as they would like.
5. Do background checks
After meeting them for the first time, you will have fewer candidates on your shortlist. Filter further by conducting background checks. Call company partners and affiliations to check out if their claims match. Check for their online profiles and social media presence. Cross out any candidate with any misrepresentations and false claims.
6. Conduct final interviews
You should have no more than three candidates now. Before you make the final selection, ask for a final interview. This time discuss with the candidates as many details of the job as you can and ask how they are going to go about it.
After the final interview, you should have a very good idea of who to pick. If all final interviewees are qualified and ideal for the position, go for the one whom you think can contribute the most to the company in terms of expertise, savings and teamwork.
We offer quality accounting services in Singapore. Connect with us to discuss more of your staffing needs and company compliance requirements in Singapore. We look forward to helping you identify your business needs and providing you with efficient and holistic solutions.