Your First Meeting


TTR Barnes knows that the prospect of that first meeting with accountant providers can be pretty scary if you don’t know what to expect. 

Fear not!  For we have put together a full guide on what happens and how you can prepare.   Use the guide to understand what type of information you will need to provide, what questions you will be asked and also which questions you should be asking us (remember, we are the ones working for you!) Your first meeting with your accountant should always be free of charge.

We think your mind will be set at rest after reading this but, if you need to know anything else, please just contact us, we promise there isn’t a question we haven’t heard before.



  • LOCATION: The meeting should take place wherever you are most comfortable, either at the accountants’ office or your business premises – your accountant should ask your preference. The meeting will last around 60 mins.
  • WE ASK QUESTIONS: Your accountant will ask a ton of questions. It’s hard to not feel like you’re under scrutiny but this is really not the case. The more questions the accountant asks, the more they understand about your business and the ways that they can help. There are no right or wrong answers and we are here to help you and you’re business so don’t be worried about saying something incorrect.
  • YOU ASK QUESTIONS: Remember that this is your chance to ask us questions too! You need to check that we are the right accountant for you. You should be asking about our experience of clients similar to you, why you should select us over other providers, how we will keep in contact with you and any other questions you might have.
  • WE EXPLAIN SERVICES: We will explain how we can help you and your business. If your business is not too complex we will explain our recommended services and costs straight away to you. There is no pressure to decide then and there, we will follow this up with an email for you after the meeting.
  • WE EXPLAIN COSTS: We will be very clear about any costs and will break these down by service.  We even publish a special Price Guide for Start-Ups to take the worry about costs away. Your accountant should be transparent about costs and there should be no hidden fees.
  • BREATHE: Remember this one, it’s important.



  • YOUR RECORDS: If you can bring your records with you to the first meeting this would be very useful. Your accountant can then review these and advise on how they can help to ensure they are in a format suitable for your annual returns. Please don’t worry about what these look like! We have seen shoeboxes of receipts, Excel spreadsheets, bank statements and everything in between!
  • YOUR ID: We are required to keep copies of ID on file for clients as part of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. We will need you to bring two forms of ID; one form of photo ID e.g. passport of photo card driving licence, and one proof of address such as a utility bill (no more than 3 months old). For more info please see the full details of Money Laundering Regs
  • YOUR TAX CODE/P60/P45/NI NUMBER: If you have recently become self-employed, it is helpful to have these details for your tax returns.
  • YOUR HMRC GATEWAY LOGIN/UTR NUMBER: If we are submitting VAT or tax returns for you, or if you require us to check what has previously been set up, then it is useful to have this information. If you have no idea what these are don’t worry!



  • SUMMARY OF MEETING: You will receive a summary of everything discussed, including all proposed services and costs, within 1-2 days of meeting.
  • ENGAGEMENT OF SERVICES: If you decide that we are the right accountants for you then we will send you the following documents within 2 weeks:
  • A HMRC Authorisation form. Once you have signed this document then you give us permission to liaise with HMRC on your behalf so that you don’t have to. Find our more about HMRC Authorisation
  • An Engagement Letter. This sets out the terms of business and service levels that you will be receiving, as well as responsibilities on the side of both the client and the accountant. All good accountants should provide one of these and it is actually a requirement for Chartered Accountants.
  • INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TEAM: You will also be sent a briefing on what happens next and an introduction to your team at TTR Barnes, who will be eager to get started helping your business!



We have staff specialised in helping start-ups get off the ground.   If you want to know more or would like to speak to one of the team for an informal chat, please just drop them a line, we would love to help.


OUR STARTUP TEAM  Startup Specialist, 0191 567 0304, Bio  Startup Specialist, 0191 567 0304, Bio Startup Specialist, 0191 567 0304, Bio




 Running your own business for the first time can be pretty daunting – there’s so much to deal with that you didn’t realise and you’re always worried about making a mistake. TTR Barnes made me feel so comfortable during my first meeting and I understood so much more by the end of it!”

Jodine Milne-Reader, CX MARKETING

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Chartered Accountants in Sunderland, offering expertise on everything from Tax and Business Planning,
to Accounts and VAT.