Looking for some help to get your company’s finances in order?
Choosing the perfect accounting firm in Singapore can be a tricky decision for your business.
After all, you are giving away the handling of your entire company’s financials on to the hands of somebody outside of your company. And there is no shortage of DIY accounting nightmares from the business world. How hard can it be?
It can be easy to overlook simple things that affect the long-term of your business. Examples of mistakes are registering wrong business entity, making a tax calculation error, or grossly over-projecting your business growth.
As business owners, your time is precious, and you will prioritise other business decisions over bookkeeping.
You may find it increasingly chaotic to keep up with the bookkeeping constantly. These mistakes can add up to cost you. It could be unnecessary profit cuts due to miscalculations, strained relationships with suppliers due to unpaid invoices or the anxiety from continually being pressured by the authorities.
Here are the top 4 things that you should consider before hiring an accounting firm in Singapore!
When it comes to hiring an accounting firm in Singapore, practical and proven expertise in the industry is more valuable for SMEs than prestigious clientele and high-class branding. Hiring firms with experience in servicing similar businesses to yours are essential. It is a substantial benefit as it automatically translates into easier communication, realistic expectations and reasonable fees.
Bookkeeping firms can save plenty of time and hassle if they have dealt with a company like yours before. For example, they can make more accurate valuations of your equipment, receivables and potential sales projections.
Newer bookkeeping firms can take additional time and communication if this is the first time they are dealing with a business like yours. This can be especially valuable advice for business owners with little time to spare. But this is also dependent on how long it’s taking you to find the right firm.
Even if they do not possess past experience with businesses in your industry, they should demonstrate the following traits:
- Able to quickly research for the best financial practices that apply to your specific industry
- Understands the nature of your company enough to appropriately track its financial progress
- Possess sufficient knowledge of competitors to compare with
- Savvy enough to track trends and major differences in the financial world to apply it in a timely manner for your business
- Chooses the right software that is best suited for your business type
Ease of Communication
Things don’t just stop after the handover from your business to the firm. A major decision has been made, and you now have one less thing to worry about. However, it doesn’t just end there. If the firm you hire isn’t efficient in communicating, it may end up taking more of your time too.
- The Firm
Make it a point to see how important communication is to a firm. Do they brush it off with a once a year meeting or do they take a proper look at your financials and give you recommended periods to meet on.
- Frequency of Meets
Sometimes you might be a minor client and not get as much time on default. But you can request for additional meets to communicate potential tax hurdles and discuss solutions. You should be meeting your bookkeeper every quarter or so.
Sometimes hiring a bookkeeper abroad can help you make significant cost savings. Hence, you may find yourself being in contact with somebody who does not speak your language. Some businesses hire a translator. Other times it is more convenient to check beforehand if the person you are going to be dealing with can speak your language.
- Method of Communication
This is often seen as a trivial matter but can majorly affect your business if not kept in order. Simple things like being clear on what the regular mode of communication will be can help clear up plenty of questions when the date of the meetings draw closer. Do you prefer Skype or just email? Some businesses prefer to meet in person. Consider what is important to you and make the necessary arrangements.
Credibility is something that many people choose to prioritise when hiring an accounting firm in Singapore.
It’s essentially exposing the inner workings of your business to a company that you have never met before. The very nature of hiring a bookkeeping firm is the acknowledgement that your business needs help and you are seeking outside aid to fix this.
Being in somewhat of a vulnerable position, you should expect a whole new level of integrity when dealing with a bookkeeping firm.
There will be a lot of confidential documents from the business your firm will have to deal with. You should ensure the firm is well qualified and acknowledges the sensitivity of the job. You should thoroughly question their tax philosophies and security-related procedures. Their philosophy might be a little more aggressive than what you are comfortable with or vice versa. For security, insist on real examples from past experiences with clients of how they dealt with especially sensitive documents.
Another prerequisite is their attention to details. An accounting firm is expected to be meticulous with the accuracy of their dealings. From the timing of their reports to the accuracy of their calculations, everything should be meeting a strict enough standard that you feel safe.
Above & Beyond
Since you are an SME, the firm you are going to hire should have a unique selling point. The firm’s you hire should currently have some form of over-delivering just by being in business for the thousands of potential clients in Singapore.
This shows that they value your business and will go to far lengths to provide value for you. Big accounting firms are more interested in keeping the hearts of their more prominent clients. Hence, the firms you are dealing with should by default be going the extra mile for you in the interest of maintaining your business.
Consider switching if you don’t see any additional effort by the firm even after hiring them for a bit. You could go the extra mile by requesting to speak with their current clients. This cuts through all the fluff and gives you a clear, no BS perspective on the actual performance of the firm. Proactive is what you should be looking for.
Are they trying to help you build a better financial strategy? Do they regularly contact you for strategic consults? Are they ready to grow with you at a rapid pace?
You could ask them for the exit plans that they have strategised for previous clients and their experience with it. Discuss their strategy of recommended resource allocation principles as client’s businesses grow more complex. Go through their procedures when dealing with the SEC. These are all specific aspects that can aid you in choosing the right firm.
Times have changed, and the existence of new regulations and technologies has vastly altered the financial landscape. Instead of viewing an auditing service as merely a requirement. Discover how you can uncover immense value for the same amount you are going to pay a firm by seeking to deal with firms that are client-centric and focus on delivering value rather than getting the job done.
Investing in the right accounting firm in Singapore can have a very positive effect on your cash-flow. Gaining exposure to quick financing options with high payout rates can be highly beneficial.
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