Updated: May 29
If you run our own business, especially a small firm, it goes without saying that the relationship you have with your accountant is a vitally important one.
That goes for all the usual reasons, of course: You need them to carry out a thorough assessment of your firm’s financial state of health. They will help advise you on the correct company structure, such as whether you should be a limited liability company. And, of course, they will help keep your tax bill as low as possible.
All that may seem pretty basic, but there are a number of other things that can set different accountants apart - and the most important of these is service.
When slowly slowly means stressful stressful
Many readers with experience of dealing with accountants will nod knowingly at this; sadly, some will have experienced serious let-downs with service standards. Among the most common failings is a lack of timely help when you need it.
This is one of the worst things that can happen: You get a sudden shock tax bill, face a sudden major financial challenge or some other urgent challenge and you really do need to get hold of your accountant fast. Yet when you pick up the phone, nobody answers. The email marked URGENT doesn’t get an answer.
Perhaps even worse is when your accountant may be fully aware of the urgency of a matter, but they still miss the deadline. The worst is when it comes to filing company accounts, something that can leave you facing a legal penalty.
Few situations can be more stressful for a manager than the helplessness of needing swift help and not getting it. Apart from leaving you tearing your hair out, it can spell big trouble for your business.
Our service guarantees
At Richard & Co, we know this can be a huge worry about accountants; after all, plenty of our customers have told us so based on their past experience.
That’s why we make it one of our service guarantees to ensure there is either someone available to answer your phone call immediately, or return any answerphone message left or email sent during working hours within one hour. If you leave a message via answerphone or email outside working hours we will get back to you within an hour of the start of the next working day. Checking the messages is always the first job of the day!
Another service guarantee is that we will agree deadlines with you and then make absolutely sure we hit them.
A firm you can rely on
We do this because we know quick service can be as important as any other aspect of what we do. Of course, you want accuracy, you want competence and you want to make the right decisions based on solid advice. But above all, what you need most is for your accountant to be there for you when you need them most.
Running a business can often be stressful. It will come with many challenges and while many of these are only to be expected, there will always be that sudden shock that comes out of the blue. Knowing that the support you need will be there when this happens is vital both for your peace of mind and the health of your business.
We will never forget that - and that’s why we will always go the extra mile to help as soon as possible.