1. What will you do to help my business?
They should list a number of things, possibly even answering some of the other questions. A good response would include, introducing you to other professionals, potential customers and networking groups; referring your business to other customers of theirs; proactive advice and support - recognising that you might not know the right question to ask, so they shouldn't wait until you ask to offer advice where relevant.
2. What guarantees do you offer?
Again expect several guarantees regarding services, standards, turnaround time for work, etc.
3. Do you offer fixed pricing?
Some firms offer fixed pricing for certain services or service bundles.
4. How long will it take you to prepare a set of accounts?
Expect something like 30 days (60 max).
5. Can I expect to have a tax planning meeting before my year end?
This should be standard and included in the fee.
6. Will you recommend my business to others?
Some companies make it their policy to do so.
7. Can you show me some testimonials / case studies from existing customers?
The firm should have a selection of testimonials. The fact that they ask for them will also tell you something about the type of firm they are; ie forward thinking and proactive.
8. How often can I expect to see / hear from you?
This should be more than once a year. You should at least expect newsletters, occasional invitations or recommendations even if you don't have any work done during the year.
9. Can you refer other people who can help my business?
Most companies have a network of reliable professionals who can help you.
10. Can I expect to receive proactive advice?
This should be an absolute yes.
By Julia McDaid
Photography by © Adam Ciesielski
Julia is an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and author. Her blog Finding Wealth and Freedom was set up to help and inspire everyone to find the place they want to go in their life. Whatever this means for you, wealth, choices, leaving a corporate job, setting up in business, creating or investing in whatever form suits you. When you sign up to the blog to get news and updates you will automatically get a free copy of the ebook "Secrets of the Successful Entrepreneur" see http://www.findingwealthandfreedom.com