An accounting firm for your business is no less essential than your business partner. You need to be very careful while choosing an accounting firm; it needs to be a good fit to your business.
Accounting firms and companies offer a wide range of accounting and secretarial services such as filing taxes, payroll handling, bookkeeping, and GST filing. As a general rule, it is crucial to hire a firm that is both reliable and efficient in managing your business’s financial operations.
But how can you choose the right accounting firm for your needs? As per the 2017 report of the Singapore Accountancy Commission, there are 700 accounting companies in Singapore and the numbers are increasing day by day. So, what sets one firm apart from another? This article will answer all your questions and will help you pick the best accounting firm. We have listed below some significant factors that can help you compare accounting firms to pick the most suitable one for your business as below :
1. License, Certifications, and Qualifications
Check the license, certifications, and qualifications of your potential accounting firm beforehand. Looking into these will make it clear if the firm possesses all the legally required business accreditations. The firm should be complying with government standards to offer accounting and financial services to small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Choosing a licensed accounting firm is important as it shows that the firm abides by the laws and regulations set for businesses by the government. According to the Accountants Act, all the public accountancy firms must be registered with ACRA; however, private accountancy firms do not need to register with ACRA.
When it comes to certifications and qualifications, some of the common qualifications include: The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). If your potential firm does not hold one of these, you should still ensure that the firm has standard credentials.
2. Professionalism and Experience
The accounting firm’s employees should have adequate knowledge and expertise as per the Singapore Companies Act; this ensures the highest degree of professionalism and in-depth knowledge of accounting regulations and the business’s legal requirements.
Most of the accounting firms in Singapore come with relevant and topnotch certifications. At this point, what differentiates one firm from another is experience. Hence, you need to look into the professionalism and experience of the firm in services that your business requires. This will help you choose the right accounting firm as per your business’s requirements.
3. The Services They Offer
It is also crucial to look into the services an accounting firm offers and holds expertise in. Some common services include book keeping, taxation services, payroll, secretarial services, advisory and etc.
Verifying the services they offer will enable you to know if your potential accounting firm is competitive enough to handle your accounting operations and meet your business needs.
Moreover, it is good to know about all the services that an accounting firm provides because you might need to go for a different service sometimes, say secretarial services, hence you would prefer to look for economical one stop solution firm that can assist you to meet the business and statutory compliance.
4. Size of the Firm
It is essential to consider the size of the accounting firm. Having a team work on your accounting and financial operations will increase your business’s value. Not only will a team add flexibility, but they will also offer your better expertise.
There are different kinds of accounting firms operating in Singapore; some are public, some are private, while others are multinational accounting corporations. Choosing one of these depends on the magnitude of your business.
Moreover, it is a common practice of big firms in Singapore to outsource their roles to smaller firms. As you will be getting the same level of expertise in the end, spending hundreds of dollars on accounting needs every month does no good. You can make it quite affordable by choosing a smaller but competitive firm to fulfill your requirements.
The fee is the most crucial factor in choosing the right accounting firm for your business in Singapore. The monthly cost of accounting operations can be as large as thousands of dollars; hence, if you own a new business incorporation and are operating on a small to medium scale, it might be difficult for you to make this decision.
The fee structure of each firm varies and depends on different factors. Some firms offer service packages that include various accounting services that SMEs need. Look into the fee structure of your potential accounting firms, compare them, and choose the one that suits your accounting requirements the best.
Location also matters a lot. With the increasing pace of business world, the accounting sector in Singapore is not largely behind. As there are several accounting firms that are operating on a local and global scale, you need to choose the one that offers your business the most physical proximity.
If you are running an SME, opting for local and affordable accounting firms is the best idea as they are now highly capable and experienced.
On the other hand, if you own a large business that operates on a regional or global level, a multinational accounting firm with less geographical proximity might work better for you. In case of big volumes of work, you might need to go for an internal as well as an external accounting firm.
Every business need accounting service to successfully handle their accounting and financial operations. It ensures compliance with business regulations and protects you from legal penalties.
The ones mentioned above are a handful of major decision factors you need to take into consideration when choosing an accounting firm for your business.
We are confident that this article will help you make an informed decision.