10 Things To Ask Your Accountant

This is a quick checklist of a few things that you, as a new business, should expect to ask your accountant (or potential accountant).

1. What will you do to help my business?

2. What guarantees do you offer?

3. Do you offer fixed prices?

4. How long will it take you to prepare a set of accounts?

5. Can I expect to have a tax planning meeting before my year end?

6. Will you recommend my business to others?

7. Can you show me some testimonials / case studies from existing customers?

8. How often can I expect to see / hear from you?

9. Can you refer other people who can help my business?

10. Can I expect to receive proactive advice?

Answers / explanations - what you should hear when you ask these questions.

1. 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. Again expect several, around services standards, turnaround time for work etc.

3. Yes.

4. 30 days (60 max)

5. Yes, as standard (and included in fee)

6. Yes, its our policy to do so.

7. Yes, they should have a selection. (The fact that they ask for them will also tell you something about the type of firm they are ie forward thinking, proactive)

8. 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. Yes, they should have a network of reliable professionals who can help you.

10. Yes, should be matter of course, see 1.

Copyright Julia McDaid 2003 www.startupright.co.uk

Julia McDaid is a business coach and author, specialising in helping business start ups. For more information on these issues or on coaching for new business owners, see www.startupright.co.uk">http://www.startupright.co.uk or enrol on Julia's unique Start Up 101 ecourse, where you can go into each question in a lot more depth. Julia also publishes a free ezine 'Secrets of the Successful Entrepreneur' - to sign up just send an email to ezine@startupright.co.uk


President says if anybody was linked to operation ‘it would be him’ as US curbs 21 Saudi officials’ visas and mulls more sanctions

Donald Trump has said for the first time that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman could have been involved in the operation to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi noting that “the prince is running things over there” in Riyadh.

The comments, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, appeared to mark a shift in the president’s view of Khashoggi’s murder on 2 October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He has hitherto appeared to take Saudi royal denials of involvement at face value. But on a day the state department announced it would sanction Saudi officials implicated in the writer’s death, the president appeared to give the benefit of the doubt to King Salman but not necessarily to his powerful son.

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One of the fans, who was in the Italian capital for his team’s Champions League game against AS Roma, had his foot amputated in the incident at Repubblica station on Tuesday evening in what one witness described as “a scene from apocalypse”.

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Man placed under house arrest after attack at Bellingshausen station on King George island

A researcher at Russia’s Antarctic station has allegedly stabbed and injured a colleague, possibly after an emotional breakdown, the Interfax news agency has reported.

The incident allegedly occurred on 9 October in the canteen of Bellingshausen station on King George Island, the agency said on Tuesday. It said the suspect voluntarily surrendered to the station manager without resistance.

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“One of [Spencer’s] favorite statements to me is, ‘The only language women understand is violence,’” Spencer’s wife Nina Koupriianova alleged in divorce filings. She claimed he called her “genetically defective” and a “parasite”, and that he verbally abused her in front of their young daughter.

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Forests in the region of Raub in Malaysia are being burned and cleared to make way for durian plantations

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Forests in the region of Raub in Malaysia, which has become a popular destination for Chinese and Singapore tourists on “durian tours”, are being burned and cleared to make way for plantations to grow the Musang King variety of the spiky but stinky fruit.

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Atlanta is known as a city where they would knock down a historic building to put up a parking lot. We look at what’s gone and what might be next

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Atlanta was the first US city to build public housing – and the first to knock it all down. Now, with rampant property speculation in black working-class areas, longtime residents are being priced out – and advocates say the racial dynamics are unsettling

Ahmad Cheers remembers the day a few years back when he knew his neighborhood was in the throes of change. He noticed a group of bikers, mostly white, riding though the northern tip of Pittsburgh, Atlanta, well after dark.

In some other parts of the city that may not have been remarkable, but here it took him aback.

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Photography by Ben Rollins

It’s more than four hours before kickoff at Mercedes-Benz stadium in downtown Atlanta on an unseasonably balmy October morning. The sprawling parking area known as the Gulch is bursting with activity, the sort of raucous, well-lubricated tailgate scene more commonly associated with America’s two most popular sports: the NFL and college football.

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Apartment platform accused of becoming marketing site for big hotels and holiday rental agents

One Airbnb “host” manages a portfolio of 204 apartments in Barcelona worth €37,721 (£33,369) a day in rental income during the high season, a data organisation established to look into Spain’s tourist apartment industry has found.

The 10 biggest hosts in the Spanish city manage 996 apartments between them, while a further 666 manage five or more, and 3,633 host between two and four, the report by DataHippo found. Altogether the rent for licensed holiday apartments let via Airbnb and other platforms comes to €1.5m a day.

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Nation embraces internet trend that involves posing face down after apparently tripping over while stepping out of a luxury car or plane

In a video posted online at the weekend, a young woman appears to have fallen out of the driver’s seat of a white car. Her sunglasses are askew and one of her red-soled heels has come off. Tubes of expensive lipstick, a purse, and a shopping bag lie strewn around her. A street cleaner passing by stops and asks: “Hey Miss, you still want this stuff or do you want me to clean it up?”

The woman in the video, posted from Xi’an in central China, was participating in China’s latest internet trend, the xuanfu tiaozhan, or “flaunt your wealth challenge.”

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Essex police have passed man’s details to Spanish authorities who are investigating

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The woman, Delsie Gayle, 77, said she had been left stunned and depressed after a man shouted at her to move seats as they boarded a plane last Friday.

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Study suggests biopesticides should be trialled to control the march of armyworm that’s destroying crops across the continent

Experts have identified safer, effective pesticides they believe can control a plague of caterpillars that is devastating crops across Africa.

Many farmers are attempting to control armyworm – a pest that feasts on maize, rice and sugarcane – through the use of highly hazardous pesticides. But researchers warn such chemicals risk severe harm to health and to the environment, and that farmers should be offered sustainable alternatives.

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  • Pilot uninjured in incident near Los Angeles
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A pilot escaped injury after his vintage single-engine plane crashed and burst into flames on a southern California freeway Tuesday, authorities said.

The North American AT-6 was painted with second-world-war-era German air force markings, said Chris Rushing, president of Condor Squadron. The plane belonged to the group, which performs mock dogfights for air shows and flies in formation over parades, memorial services and events commemorating veterans, Rushing said.

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Cessna went into spiral during filming of a music video and Jon James McMurray failed to open parachute in time

A Canadian rapper has died while filming a stunt that involved rapping while walking on the wing of a plane.

The British Columbia’s coroner’s service said 34-year-old Jon James McMurray had been with a team making videos of plane stunts and parachuting on Saturday.

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Naval base considered a potential strategic asset as Australia tries to contain China’s influence in Pacific

Defence officials have been deployed on a “scoping visit” to Manus Island as Australia and Papua New Guinea work on plans to develop a joint naval base.

Department of Defence officers were sent to survey the Lombrum base between 28 August and 30 August, after the PNG prime minister, Peter O’Neill, expressed interest in working with Australia to redevelop the site as a joint facility.

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Australia’s first female prime minister has described what sort of story she wanted her portrait to tell. All the day’s events, live

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Gabrielle Chan has looked into what rural and regional communities actually want:

Prominent rural advocates have become increasingly vocal over a potential return of Barnaby Joyce to the National party leadership as the prospect of a concerted independent push in rural areas gains momentum after the Wentworth byelection.

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For those keeping count of the unnecessary branding road Scott Morrison is forcing us all down, ‘fair go/fair dinkum’ was used 10 times in the press conference he held this morning with Angus Taylor.

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Shopkeepers and vendors fear a hefty fine from inspectors who are tasked with keeping the Indian city free of plastic bags

At 10am on a muggy October morning, Crawford Market, one of Mumbai’s oldest, is stirring into life.

In a first floor office inside the complex, the feared “blue squad” has assembled, forming a semi-circle around their boss, Anand Shinde, who is pumping them up. At 10.30am, the phalanx, dressed in blue uniforms, hurries down the wooden staircase and hits the streets around the market. Their target: shopkeepers and street vendors using plastic bags.

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Peace prize winner Tawakkol Karman, a friend of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, says his death will bring change in the region as long as the crown prince is held to account

The death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi must now galvanise greater scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen, where a coalition led by the kingdom is fighting Houthi rebels, said Yemeni Nobel laureate and human rights advocate Tawakkol Karman.

“Jamal Khashoggi’s death cannot go unpunished. His blood should lead to the prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime, who are the same perpetrators of the crime against millions of people in Yemen – that is the Saudi kingdom,” said Karman, journalist and a leader of the Arab Spring in Yemen in 2011.

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Born with a rare condition that affects limb development, Wendabo was disowned by her father and shunned by neighbours. Now the 12-year-old is at school and thriving, thanks to local support

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Bouda, who works with disabled people, was intrigued by the little family and stayed behind to talk to Wendabo, aged eight at the time, and her mother Pascaline. It is unusual for disabled children in Burkina Faso to be so visible; normally, Bouda’s team have to go door to door to find children who are kept hidden away.

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Questions raised about workplace culture as organisation awaits outcome of further investigation into death of Gaëtan Mootoo

An Amnesty International researcher who killed himself in his Paris office repeatedly asked for help, but his requests “fell on deaf ears”, according to documents from a French investigation seen by the Guardian.

The conclusions of an Amnesty France inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Gaëtan Mootoo raise questions over the duty of care towards staff at the human rights organisation. A separate investigation by the French state linked Mootoo’s death to his work, the Guardian understands.

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As president presents vision of lawless nation, fellow Republicans follow his lead by fueling anxiety over race

Donald Trump is returning to the inflammatory playbook that helped lift him to victory nearly two years ago, waging a campaign of fear and racial division in an effort to save his party’s majorities in Congress.

With two weeks left before the midterm elections, Trump is amplifying a dark vision of what the country could look like if Democrats gain control in Congress. At campaign rallies, on Twitter and in his public commentary, he has issued urgent – if groundless – warnings about terrorists at the border, a socialist takeover and rampant crime.

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Turkish leader appears to tread carefully when it comes to revealing evidence but clearly wants answers

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had billed his speech in the Turkish parliament as the moment that the “naked truth” would come out over the death of Jamal Khashoggi. Instead, the circumstances remain partially clothed.

Turkey’s president offered little in the way of new detail on the investigation into the death of the Washington Post journalist and Saudi regime critic, and excerpts from a much-discussed audio of the moment of the killing remained under wraps on Tuesday.

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The president has made several false and misleading claims about the Central American migrants travelling to the US border

Donald Trump is not hiding his ambition to conflate the caravan of around 7,000 migrants heading towards the US border with other issues in order to drum up support for Republicans in the forthcoming midterm elections.

In his bid to make the caravan an election issue, Trump has made a number of false and misleading claims about the migrants that are travelling in it.

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Turkish president on losing end of regional power struggle with Bin Salman now finds himself in the ascendant

Erdoğan rejects Saudi account of Jamal Khashoggi’s death

At about noon on Tuesday two regional leaders are due to make landmark addresses. In Riyadh, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, will open an investment showpiece declaring the kingdom open for business. In Ankara, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is expected to make a speech that may well shut down the beleaguered kingdom.

Such are the stakes when Erdoğan takes to a podium to discuss the death of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi that the region may not be the same when he’s finished.

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Donald Trump has criticised the apparent Saudi plot to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it one of the ‘worst in the history of cover-ups’. Trump told reporters he expected a full report on Khashoggi’s death soon. Saudi Arabia has claimed Khashoggi’s death was accidental, while Turkish officials say a 15-man hit squad was used to kill the journalist

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Russian football fans were hurt after an escalator broke at a Rome metro station on Tuesday. Twenty people have been injured, one seriously, with the majority of them being CSKA Moscow fans. In the footage the escalator seems to speed up suddenly, hurting people towards the bottom of the stairs

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The $20bn (£15bn) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau sea bridge, the world’s longest, has been officially opened. Critics say the 34 mile (55km) construction, connecting Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland, is an attempt to integrate Hong Kong into China as fears grow that the city’s cherished freedoms are being eroded

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CNN has released CCTV footage of a man wearing what appear to be the clothes of the murdered Saudi journalist. The US broadcaster cited a Turkish official as saying the man was Mustafa al-Madani, who was a member of a 15-man Saudi team sent to target Khashoggi

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On election night on 12 June Ismaele La Vardera secured just 2.7% of the vote in his campaign to become mayor of Palermo, in Sicily. But there was a twist in the tale: he had taken a hidden camera with him on the campaign trail, and recorded his experience.

The footage has been made into a documentary called Italian Politics for Dummies. Scheduled for release at the end of November, the film shines a light on the workings of Italy’s populist parties, as well as alleged mafia interference.

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Carriages are strewn at angles across and away from the track, some on their side, in this aerial footage of the scene after an express train was derailed in Taiwan.  Eighteen people died and more than 170 were injured when the Puyuma service, carrying at least 366 passengers from a Taipei suburb toward Taitung, was derailed

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A man on a Ryanair plane has been filmed calling a woman sitting in the same row an 'ugly black bastard', and shouting 'don’t talk to me in a foreign language' when she spoke to him in English with a Jamaican accent. The airline, criticised for not removing the abusive passenger, has referred the incident to Essex police

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