If you are seeking a legal representative, here is a list of the most important things you should do when choosing a lawyer. While money is a huge factor, not everything comes down to the cost. A lawyer represents many of the biggest hurdles you have to overcome in your lifetime. Therefore, it is vital that you choose one that is the right fit for you.
The most important things you should do when choosing a lawyer
Selecting the right lawyer will boil down to asking the right questions in your initial visit or telephone call. Presuming that each lawyer is the same is the equivalent of thinking that a steak restaurant is going to serve you up a plate of sushi. Each lawyer has their own specialty and area of expertise that you need to be made aware of. So what questions, should you put to them?
Do they practice in your field of expertise?
Depending on your legal requirements, you first need to see if they deal with similar situations such as yours. A lawyer to help buy your house will be different to criminal law, as an example. When you make contact, explain exactly why you need a lawyer. Then confirm if it is something that they or someone in their office can handle.
If they can’t help you, can they recommend someone else?
If they cannot assist you, is there anyone else they can recommend? Getting a referral from a professional in the industry may be worthwhile in your particular circumstances. Perhaps they know of someone who specializes in the necessary field or has been down this road before. The worst thing they will say is no, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Do they charge a flat rate or by the hour?
Most lawyers will charge one of two ways. The first will be at an hourly rate, dependent on their experience. The second, less common, method is via a flat rate; so no matter how long it takes for them to complete the task, the fee will be the same. Make sure you check whether there are any additional charges included such as couriers, filing fees, photocopies, etc.
Are they available to answer any questions you may have at a later date?
On your visit, you may be too nervous to remember all those questions circulating in your head. Confirm with them whether it is okay to send a follow-up email with any further questions which crop up. If they seem present and available to your demands, then they may just be a great fit for you. You need to make sure that your legal representative is responsive at all times to avoid any confusion.
Can you think about it a little before you hire them?
What you don’t need at this point is a lawyer pressing you to decide then and there on the spot. It is well within your right to shop around for another. Give yourself some time to make your decision. You will know when it feels right and you come across a lawyer who is in tune with your needs.
Looking for fast and easy tips for hiring a good accountant for your business or individual finances? There are many experts that you need in your life to ensure that things run smoothly. From your doctor to your dentist, each professional you hire is there to provide their expertise and solve your problems. In each case, it’s important that the staff you select are a good match for your personality and your requirements.
A good accountant is no different. They are worth their weight in gold, ultimately assisting you in maximising your income and minimising those taxes. So what are you waiting for? Here are our top tips to ensuring you hire the best accountant for your needs.
Fast and easy tips for hiring a good accountant
Knowing what you want is by far and away the best tip there is. What exactly are you hoping to get from your accountant? Do you need them to prepare your taxes or sort out your financials? Understanding your needs is the first step in sourcing a good accountant.
Ask the right questions
Not every accountant will be the ideal candidate for you. Therefore, prepare a list of questions to get to the bottom of exactly what they are offering to avoid any surprises. Do they provide monthly bookkeeping as well as business taxes? What exactly can you expect to pay for their services?
Get a referral from a personal contact
Like a good hairdresser, finding someone that ‘gets’ you can be a challenge. Ask around and see if there is an accountant that someone near and dear to you recommends. Find out what they like about them. Ask them what services they are given and at what price.
Double check their qualifications and experience
Don’t be swayed by the promise of a large check following your tax return submission. Always confirm their qualifications and experience thoroughly. If in doubt, ask them for a reference so you can verify they are as good as they say they are.
Understand what they need from you
Make sure you know what is expected of you up front. Can you do everything that is required from your perspective? Do you need to visit their office and supply them with physical paperwork, or will electronic copies sent through email be suitable? Does the way they operate meet your expectations?
Gauge their availability
Accountants may not be known for their customer service skills, but it is still an important and real aspect of their job. If you don’t hear from them for days, perhaps they are not the one for you. You need to know that you can get a hold of them when you need them the most.
Consider whether you need a specialised service
Not everyone has the same accounting requirements, and there are many situations which require a specialist’s touch. Ask them specifically whether they have the experience to help you. Do their regular services cover your requirements? Or do you need to pay over and above to get the assistance you need?
Undertaking the legwork before you hire is vital to a successful match. There is no shortcut when it comes to hiring a good accountant, so make sure you do your homework before you sign on the dotted line.
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