Whether running a small business or a large one, outsourcing your finances makes considerable sense. An external accountant will allow you to focus on your business’s core operations without distraction. Plus, a dedicated accountant will have a far firmer grasp of your accounts than you do, which will lead to fewer mistakes and lowered costs overall in the long term.

But precisely what qualities should you be looking for in an accountant? Let’s take a look at a few of the more important criteria.


You’ll want an accountant who’s accessible. That typically means picking someone that you’re physically near to. But the world has gotten smaller in the digital age, which might mean that you can cast a wider net in search of a person with more specialised competencies (or who charges less). Ideally, however, you’ll want an accountant in the same time zone as you.


To minimise the risk, you should search explicitly for an accountant with a strong reputation. Look for accountancy firms established for a long time and do a little due diligence on the internet. If your accountant lets you down, it might be worth taking legal action. A professional negligence claim can help restore you to the state you were in before the problem arose – but it can’t give you back the time you’ve lost.


Certain firms have particular needs, which specific sort of accountants can satisfy. Settling for a one-size-fits-all solution might cost you, especially if yours is a niche business. For example, if you’re a property developer, it makes sense to go for someone with experience in property development. There are four types of accountants: government, forensic, management, and tax. But there are also many more to consider. It’s best to know which one is appropriate to your needs before picking up the phone.


If you can get a recommendation from people you trust, you’ll feel much more comfortable giving money to an unfamiliar accountant. Like electricians, plumbers and builders, good accountants tend to be trusted by their customers and rely heavily on word-of-mouth to bring in new customers. Look for recommendations from businesses the same size as yours for accountants who provide the same services as those you’re looking for.

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Ed Smith – Ed took a keen understanding of business through his studies and early business ventures. He now looks to advise start-ups and is extremely keen to make sure every entrepreneur gets the advice which could make their business venture a success. He has been a guest author on various high authority business sites.