Any company looking to outsource its task can hire a freelance accountant. Freelancing jobs to an accountant reduces the costs and stress of owners. You don’t have to pay the employee benefits or train them from time to time. Freelancer accountants London and parts of the UK keep themselves updated with the latest trends, use modern technologies, and know about the government rules and regulations.
A freelancer accountant performs similar duties as an accounting firm or in-house accountants, but from their own office. They can help you with:
● Recording income and spending of a business and maintaining the balance sheet
● Invoicing clients and collecting late payments. Paying company dues in time.
● Planning tax and managing issues related to tax return filing
● Creating financial strategies and helping in making financial decisions.
● Ensuring business activities comply with the government rules and regulations.
● Making business reports to keep track of its performance.
As the opportunities for freelancers are increasing, several new accountants have come into the profession. Finding the right accountant becomes challenging. Here are a few tips to help you overcome such situations.
Write a creative job brief.
It is essential to market a well-written brief about your requirements to attract freelance accountants. Briefing about your needs and criteria ensures you get better accountants who know your company and help you with financial services.
The outline of the content must be about the scope of work, mode of communication, use of technologies, project duration, accounting background, etc.
Make a shortlist of deserving candidates.
● Look for referrals.
You can find a freelance accountant applying for your job post. However, other sources of finding an experienced freelancer are asking a friend, colleagues, or family.
● Shortlist candidates
Check the abilities of each candidate from their online business profile, if any. Freelancers need to have a significant online presence to attract clients.
Assess their professionalism to understand their capability of handling your finances. Ensure that their specialisation meets your business requirements.
Check their experience to understand if they have previously worked with similar industries.
Go through the clients’ reviews on their page or other client review platforms to understand their professional skills and quality of work.
● Prepare for an interview.
Accountants must have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum entry-level qualification.
The minimum qualification without a previous degree in the UK is AAT ( Association of Accounting Technicians). It is a four-level diploma course. Accountants may acquire a professional degree from ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). These individuals can provide a range of services, including auditing, taxation, and financial advising.
Freelance accountants may start as sole traders, but later they can start up a limited company for business growth. Check whether they are registered as self-employed under HMRC and have a unique tax reference.
As these individuals hold confidential business information, they must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which enforces information rights.
According to the legal standards of the UK, accountants must be registered and supervised by a recognised authority like AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), AIA, CIMA, etc.
You must consider the experience of these individuals as it matters a lot in developing cost-effective and correct strategies. An experienced candidate knows your industry and can find solutions quickly. That is not easy for a newcomer who is a layman about your business operations.
Area of specialisation
Freelancers have different areas of expertise, and you need to understand them. For example, a forensic accountant and a management accountant may have duties similar but have specialisations in different fields. A forensic accountant can help you deal with legal issues, and a management accountant helps in cash flow management, expense management, etc.
Therefore, know what kind of experts you need for the business and find one that suits your requirements.
Educational qualification is not sufficient for hiring an accountant. Ask what technical skills they have. Are they efficient in working with modern technologies and support financial automation or prefer manual calculations? What kind of soft skills does he have? How good is his communication skills, problem-solving techniques, time management, etc.?
When hiring a freelancer, you must be looking for cost-effective solutions. Know how much they charge you for the services. Some may charge you per hour, weekly or monthly. Also, the charges depend on the qualities of the accountants. Compare the costs of the selected candidates.
● Hire a freelancer
Once you are done with all these works, research the selected candidate. Double-check the person to avoid data breaching and embezzlement or fraud. Finally, select the right candidate for your business.
Accounting is a painful task for individuals and businesses. Therefore, you need to hire an accountant as early as possible to stay away from financial litigation. If you have a higher budget, you can contact an accounting firm or hire in-house accountants, else hire a freelance accountant for your business financial activities.