Hiring an accountant for your small business

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By Rosana Beechum

Many entrepreneurs assume that only big companies need the services of an accountant or accounting firm. Accountants can help you in other ways such as helping you keep an eye on costs during the start-up stage, or helping you see the bigger picture as your business grows. A good relationship with an accountant has such a huge payoff, that every business should consider hiring one. But what should you look for when hiring an accountant? Keep reading to find out!


Nowadays, accountants do a lot more than take care of your books and ensure you are tax compliant. In many cases, they also become your financial advisor since they will have an intimate understanding of your business and its finances. When hiring Accountants in Bury St Edmunds or elsewhere, it is important to ensure that they offer other services beyond tax and auditing services.

Some of the additional services you should look for include payroll, digital accounting software, banking and finance, bookkeeping, estate planning, design and implementation of a financial information system, analysing financial statements, management and a lot more.

The accountant or accounting firm you choose should also offer business advisory and planning services. These services often come in handy when you are looking for financing for your business. They can help you restructure your finances to find the finances to finance potential loans. Accounting firms such as Azets offer all these services under the same room. Under their business advisory and planning portfolio, you can find financial planning, business improvement, corporate finance as well as restructuring and insolvency services.


The accountant’s personality and style should be compatible with your business. When evaluating compatibility, it is important to ask questions that are highly specific to your business. For example, you could ask how they would handle a situation where your automobile expenses need to be audited.

The answers they give should be satisfactory for your specific situation. Also, listen to accountants who take a different approach from other accountants. Given a little leeway, they may come up with creative answers and solutions that other accountants might not.


High accounting fees are a major reason why a lot of small business owners opt out of hiring an accountant or accounting firm. Most accounting firms charge hourly fees. However, some allow you to pay monthly retainers depending on the length of the arrangement you get into.

To get started, make a list of all the services you will need, prioritising those most important for your business. Next, talk to different accountants and accounting firms to find out how much they would charge for those services and how long they would take to complete if they charge hourly fees.

Once you have this information, get an estimate of your yearly accounting fees depending on the services you need. Remember to not base your decision on cost alone because expensive accountants are usually more experienced and can complete the tasks you set forth faster.

After you have narrowed down the list of potential accountants, ask for referrals. If you can, ask for referrals from clients and businesses in the same industry as you.

Once everything is done, ensure that you sign an engagement letter. This details everything the accountant will do, how much they will charge and what you can expect after their work is done. This is a great way to make sure everyone understands the other’s role and there are no misunderstandings as to what is expected of everyone.

A good accountant will help your business in so many ways, some of which you may not have thought of before. It is therefore a good idea to take your time before settling on an accountant, as you are likely to require their services for a very long time.


Rosana Beechum is a business and marketing undergraduate from Nottingham Trent University from the UK, who is attempting to share her knowledge through writing articles for small business owners.

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