How to Choose an Accounting Firm in Singapore?

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A business needs a helping hand to guide it both strategically and financially. 

Each accounting year brings a host of changes that can leave you perplexed about your next move. 

Hiring an able accounting firm helps your business in more ways than one. They keep your taxation issues at bay and also ensure a smooth flow of your financial activities. 

Even though it entails businesses with a host of other benefits, most small businesses choose to work their way out themselves rather than hiring an accountant. They only hire one when things get out of hand.

It may not be an excellent strategy if you are a medium or large-sized enterprise. Even for those owning small businesses, if you are wondering what to do with your financial records, it is better to hire an accounting firm to help you escape the uncertainty. 

Once you decide you need an accounting firm in Singapore, the next step is to figure out how to choose the one that suits your business best. This article explores both the aspects of hiring an accounting firm for your business needs.  

Why do you need an accounting firm?

You are passionate about your business. That’s great, but that won’t help you scale and improve. You will need the help of a trustworthy team that can relieve you of the accounting burden so that you can concentrate on other pressing matters.

An accounting firm does much more than tax filing. It opens up new avenues for your business, improves your key ratios, and brings clarity to the overall process. 

Here are the reasons why you need an accounting firm for your business – 

1. Statutory compliance

Statutory compliance is one of the most vital aspects of your business. In Singapore, you will find a plethora of laws that require abiding. You need an accounting firm’s help to ensure that you have all your financial and other compliances in check. 

2. Helps in performance evaluation

As your business grows, it can be challenging to keep track of your finances. Hiring an accounting firm would help you understand your business’ financial position better. They would utilize the available data to generate critical insights that can help you scale your business better or fix potential issues timely. 

3. Aids in budget management and future planning

Unless you are a finance person, you are likely not efficient in handling your business’ budgetary requirements. A budget plays a vital role in keeping everything in check and ensuring a smooth flow for your business. Hiring an accounting firm would help you create a budget based on your historical data and future projections.

4. Reduction in workload 

Running a business encompasses a myriad of tasks. These are relatively easier to handle when the entity has not scaled up. Once you grow, these can start taking a toll on you. Having an accounting firm enables you to offload some critical responsibilities and ensure that you pay more attention to your core competencies. 

5. Achieve cost-efficiency

Helping you create a budget and managing your cash flow also brings about an improvement in your overall cost efficiency. With better insight into your business operations, you can decide the cost aspects you can curtail and not hamper your business. Plus, you can also figure out contracts that are too expensive and look for negotiations or alternatives.  

Things to remember while choosing an accounting firm in Singapore

A business has a plethora of financial aspects to think of – you have annual statements, accounts receivables and payables, payroll, sales figures, cash flow, taxes, and much more.

There are so many items to consider and you would have to keep them all in control. 

When you start, you find it tempting to manage it all, and that is understandable. Giving up control can be painful, but you should gleefully do it for your business’s growth. 

For most businesses, accounting is the part they would delegate for several reasons. But choosing an able accounting partner can be a task, and you would need to consider several things.

So, here is a list of things you need to remember while choosing an accounting firm in Singapore – 

1. Certifications

An accounting firm in Singapore can hold a plethora of certifications in Singapore to prove its hold over the subject. Most of them opt for ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), but ISCA (Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants) and others are popular too. 

So it is imperative to look for appropriate certifications to ensure credibility while choosing an accounting firm in Singapore. 

2. Size of the firm

There is no dearth of accounting firms in Singapore. You can choose from a myriad of options beginning from private practitioners to conglomerates. You may find it tempting to choose the top-most accounting firm, but it may not be cost efficient. 

Therefore, it is vital for you to understand your size and find a firm capable of handling your requirements without charging a bomb.  

3. Business expertise

It is great that the firm you are about to choose has all the relevant certifications, but experience should be another consideration before signing the contract. To establish that they can handle your business, you must look into their past and understand the kind of clients that they have had. It would give them a better chance of meeting your requirements. 

4. Location of the firm

Even though this point is fast losing relevance, the location of the firm is worth considering. Depending on your needs, you can look for local, domestic, or international partners for your accounting needs. It would also drive other factors like cost, time, and more.

5. Fees

Hiring an accounting firm would entail a considerable cost for your business. Especially in Singapore, you are likely to find entities with varying cost structures – some follow a per-project basis, others hourly, and some offer add-ons. You will have to consider all the pricing aspects to ensure that it remains well within your budget constraints.   

6. Past record

While choosing an accounting firm in Singapore, it is imperative to select one capable of delivering on your expectations. And for that to materialize, you will have to chart your expectations and clearly understand what you expect from the one you choose. 

It would be best if you are vocal about your expectations and how you want those things to move. A precise conversation would establish the base for both the parties and also allow them to deliver on your needs, both in terms of value and ROI.  

7. Ability to keep information secure and confidential

With the world going online, safety and security have become the buzzwords. Even otherwise, it is necessary that you choose a partner that ensures optimum data security and confidentiality. 

You must also mention it clearly in your clauses. 

Look for probable loopholes and check all the security measures in place before selecting an appropriate accounting firm in Singapore. 

8. Software used by the firm

The world of accounting software in Singapore includes a slew of options such as Quickbooks, Xero, Sage 50, and more. Some of these are flexible, whereas others cater to specific business sizes. 

While choosing an accounting firm for your company, you must look into the type of software used by them. It would determine the efficiency and ease of understanding of the output they deliver.  

10. Taxation knowledge

Accounts and taxation go hand in hand. So it is another crucial consideration while you look for an appropriate partner to cater to your accounting needs. It should have proven business experience and hold over tax filing and returns. 

Tax planning takes a lot of time. Having an able partner ensures that you have it in control and abide by all the tax-related government regulations in the most appropriate manner.  

Final words

Choosing an accounting firm comes with a plethora of factors to be kept in mind. If you miss out on choosing the right partner, it may end up draining your cash or ruining your overall business standing. 

So it is imperative that you take time, conduct interviews, look for referrals, and gauge your options well. Look for relevant experience, goals, size of the firm, software they use, and the kind of results they can deliver. 

Outsourcing your accounts to a reputed firm lets you make the most of your resources. 

Reach out to InTime Accounting for all your accounting needs in Singapore.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. While we endeavour to provide information that is as up-to-date as possible, Intime Accounting makes no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the content on the blog for any purpose. Readers are encouraged to obtain formal, independent advice before making any decisions.

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