The A to Z of hiring a small-business accountant



Choosing when to hire an accountant can be hard enough and choosing the right small business accountant in London is even more daunting with so many to choose from. However, this decision is one that can save you time, money, and perhaps most importantly, be the decision that sees your business grow. Here we look at some of the key questions you’ll need to consider when looking for a business accountant to help you make an informed choice.

When Should I Hire a Business Accountant?

No matter what stage your company is at, there are always good arguments for hiring an accountant if you can afford it, whether that’s for basic help with finances or for advice on your company’s legal structure. However, this doesn’t always need to be full-time and the accountants you choose should suit your needs and requirements. For example, if you’re getting your business off the ground it’s important to get support from startup accountants who have suitable expertise to help you write a business plan that will help your business grow.

It’s also important to consider hiring an accountant once you’re up and running, even if you think as a small business owner you can’t afford to hire a business accountant. However, if you break down how long it takes you to do your taxes and your hourly wage, you’ll soon see the savings small business accountant can make you whilst dropping time-consuming tasks from your repertoire as at the very least they are likely to require less per hour than you demand.

Which Business Accountant Should I Hire?

With the constant need to find savings, hiring the right small business accountant is always tough and can be even more important than employing a new member of staff. This means you need to be sure the firm you do choose offer tailored expertise for your business needs and that they will add value to your company not just in terms of savings but also in terms of their knowledge and business acumen.

Make sure they are regulated by an official body, that they have indemnity insurance (to ensure you are covered for any losses from bad advice) and seek a second opinion from others in your sector about the small business accountant you are interested in before signing on the dotted line. It’s also a good idea to check their qualifications and who’ll be dealing with your account as you don’t want your business needs being passed down to a junior member in the office. With these considerations in mind, you’ll have the right questions on hand when meeting prospective accountants in London.

How much do Business Accountant Cost?

This is a vital question to get out in the open before you make any decision whether you’re hiring startup accountants or employing small business accountant long-term. Without knowing the cost you can’t weigh up whether the money they could save you outweighs the cost of employing them. You’ll also want to find out how they expect to be paid as depending on the account themselves and what you are employing them for they may expect to be paid hourly, monthly or even annually.

When you are making your cost-benefit analysis you should make sure to factor in the fact that good accountants will offer much more than just taking care of your business’s annual accounts and tax compliance. For example, good startup accountants will have the knowledge to help you find suitable grants and make use of tax relief schemes. If you are trying to grow an established business, a good accountant will have suggestions on raising the necessary capital and uncover potential government funding pots.

Are Things Working Out?

As the first question in this list intimated, it’s important to constantly evaluate how things are going with your accountant and whether they continue to offer the appropriate skill set and expertise for your needs. It’s a good idea to maintain regular contact and a good accountant will offer monthly updates on your business and its finances. Sometimes what they have to say might be challenging, but this is better than a passive accountant who just tells you what you want to hear.

Even if the accountant you have has been right for your needs in the early stages you should still ask this question regularly as your business needs will change over time. If your growth trajectory takes you to new places you need to know that your accountants have advised companies in a similar position to yours and at the same life-stage.


Hiring the right accountant for your needs takes doing the right homework and constantly re-assessing your business needs, but with these few tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best accountant to help your business flourish.