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Choosing a Business Accountant With Your Goals in Mind

Jul 30, 2008
One thing most business owners don't enjoy is keeping up with the accounts. And that's why it can often be easier and quicker to hire the services of an accountant. However, for most, it isn't as straight-forward as that. You have to consider what tasks you will continue to do on your own, and the results you expect your accountant to deliver.

Doing Your Own Accounts

If you intend to go it alone with your accounting, it is worthwhile knowing that you will likely require the services of an accountant at one point in the future. For example, some limited companies are required to have their accounts audited. Although you may think that you will spend more money through using the services of an accountant, you may find that you end up spending more on tax; getting less attractive financing options; and that you sacrifice time on filling in returns that should be spent growing your business.

Sector Experience

It's great to work with an accounting firm that has experience with clients in your sector. The firm will then not only be able to take care of your paperwork but also give you advice on the future direction of your business. Ask your potential accountant for examples of clients similar to you that they've worked with. If they can't, then ask them why they think they're right for the job.

An Accounting Firm or an Accountant?

If you work with a larger accounting firm then it is likely that you will have access to experience in more areas. Larger firms have experience in dealing with business consultancy, taxation, mergers & acquisitions, auditing and other complimentary services. However, their prices will definitely be higher. They have more expenses and, as a services firm, they don't get much economies of scale.

An individual accountant, on the other hand, will form a closer bond with you and your business. They might not have direct access to all of the experience on hand, but you are more likely to be able to get their services for a cheaper price. An individual accountant might not be able to perform certain legal requirements for your business. It is best to ask them about this, and how they get around it, before using their services. For many small business owners, though, this will not be a problem.


It's always best to get references from other business owners before choosing an accounting company or accountant. Find out about the experiences other have had, whether they completed work on time, whether they offered tips for their business, and whether they found their service to be satisfactory.


Agree prices before you have any work carried out. Some accountants charge a fixed annual fee whilst others charge per hours worked. Evaluate your business and work out which is the most cost effective route for you.


If your business grows as expected, chances are that you will be spending a lot of time with your accountant. Make sure that you find one that you trust and can get on with as a person. The right accountant can not only help you with your books but also act as a friend and advisor through good and bad times.
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Naz Daud - CityLocal Internet Business & Franchise

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