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Choosing the right accountant who specializes in Xero can significantly impact the financial health and growth of your business. With Xero being a popular cloud-based accounting software, finding an accountant who is proficient in using it can streamline your financial processes and provide valuable insights.  Many accountants have jumped onto the Xero bandwagon over the last few years.  They may even be Xero-certified.  But this doesn’t mean that they are skilled in leveraging the technology to provide Real-Time Accounting. In this blog post, we’ll outline essential questions to ask when selecting a Xero accountant to ensure they meet your business needs and expectations.

  • How have you applied Xero into your own business?
    Inquiring about how the accountant has applied automation in their own business can reveal their proficiency in leveraging technology to streamline processes. They might discuss implementing automated bank feeds, invoice reminders, or reconciliation tools within Xero to increase efficiency and accuracy.
  • What processes have you set up for your own business that can speak to your ability to automate a process?
    The accountant could describe specific processes they’ve established for automating tasks within Xero, such as setting up recurring transactions, utilizing bank rules for categorization, and integrating third-party apps for additional functionalities like expense tracking or payroll management.
  • How many unreconciled bank statement lines do you have?
    This question addresses the accountant’s attention to detail and ability to maintain up-to-date financial records. Ideally, they should have a low number of unreconciled bank statement lines, indicating thorough and timely reconciliation processes.
  • When in the month do you finalize your management accounts?
    Understanding when the accountant typically finalizes management accounts provides insight into their timeliness in delivering financial reports. Prompt finalization, ideally early in the month following the reporting period, suggests efficiency and reliability.
  • What is your staff turnover?
    While this question may seem unrelated to accounting, it can shed light on the accountant’s management style and company culture. Low staff turnover rates typically indicate a positive work environment and effective leadership.
  • What sort of growth has your business seen over the last 3 years?
    Inquiring about the accountant’s business growth demonstrates their ability to manage and scale their practice. They might discuss factors contributing to growth, such as expanding service offerings, acquiring new clients, or improving client retention.
  • How did you navigate your business through Covid?
    This question delves into the accountant’s adaptability and resilience in the face of challenges. They could discuss how they pivoted their business model, provided additional support to clients during the pandemic, and adapted to remote work environments while maintaining service quality.
  • How did you look after your staff during Covid?
    Demonstrating care for staff well-being during challenging times reflects positively on the accountant’s leadership and values. They might describe measures taken to ensure employee safety, support remote work arrangements, and provide resources for mental health and wellness.

Selecting the right Xero accountant is a critical decision that can impact the financial success and growth of your business. By asking these key questions and evaluating the accountant’s expertise, experience, services, and communication approach, you can make an informed decision and choose a partner who can effectively support your quest for Real-Time Accounting and not just use a new tool to do things the old way.