Most people will have heard horror stories whereby unethical accountants have skimmed profits off of the top of a businesses’ turnover, or misled an accounting agency into believing that tax returns were correct when the numbers may have been fiddled with. Unfortunately, there really is no way to identify these types of financial experts until the damage has been done – even with the vast array of legislation in place to protect innocent parties that fall victim to their activities.
The tell-tale signs of a dodgy accountant
In order to become qualified in this field, one must undergo a series of advanced training and testing. Once qualified, a bookkeeper will then be required to take further examination depending on the type of services that they wish to offer. For instance, an everyday practitioner may prefer to keep their services aimed at sole traders, so they may pursue a course of education whereby they won’t need to address the financial needs of a business.
Likewise, other specialists may opt to study business-accounting instead.
Once the qualifications have been obtained, the expert will be free to offer their services to individuals, businesses and large organisations alike. And that’s where the responsibility of finding a reputable accountant will fall down to the person hiring them. Thankfully, there are guidelines in place to help these individuals with their decision – and there are solutions available that can help with the vetting and checking of potential providers before they are hired.
What are these solutions?
The first can be undertaken for free and simply requires access to the internet. Some financial specialists attempt to offer their services without any formal qualifications, so discovering if their licenses have been issued can be very important. To do so, consider performing a quick search online for the provider and if they are registered with your countries accounting authority, then their details should show up.
Secondly, you could always turn to third party review websites to find out if your chosen bookkeeper is held in high-regard, or might leave a little something to be desired instead. This can be a good way to get to know about a particular provider, before you even consider hiring them. If their previous and current clients speak highly of them, then you may find yourself more inclined to consider taking their services on.
Finally, ensure that once you do hire your chosen financial expert, you maintain a copy of all transactional records that come in and out of your business. If you ever suspect any foul-play you’ll then be able to review your records or hire an expert to do so on your behalf.