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Guide to choosing the right accountant

Wednesday November 2014

Most businesses will use an accountant at some stage. Whether it’s at the very start when they are putting a business plan together and forming the company, or when the tax returns need completing or the payroll needs setting up, accountants can help at any stage in a business.

Here is our guide to help you choose the right accountant:

Are they qualified?

Check they have the relevant qualifications, i.e. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales


Achieving a degree and the necessary qualifications is essential, but experience cannot be taught. You should choose an accounting firm that has plenty of experience of working with businesses who are a similar capacity to your own.


Many people choose an accountant that has been recommended by another business, but if you haven’t been recommended anyone you should ask the accountants you are considering who they currently work with and if they have any testimonials they could show you.

Knowledge of your industry

Whilst all fully qualified accountants will have the knowledge to enable them to complete the required tasks, those who have worked in your industry sector before will be more aware of any useful things that are available, such as grants. This could prove invaluable to your business.


First of all you will need to consider how often you will want to see your accountant, if it’s once or twice a month you may want to choose someone local to your business. Also, when choosing a local accountant it may be easier to check their reputation with other businesses in the area.


Most accountants will offer a free initial consultation, which is a great opportunity to see how you will get on. You need to find an accountant you get on with and can trust, as a good working relationship is essential between a business and their accountant.


Don’t be tempted to choose an accountant just because they are the cheapest. Compare the rates and the services you will receive to ensure you will be getting value for money.

Written quote

Ask the accounting firm to send you written confirmation of the services the accountant will provide you with, the cost of these services and when they will need to be paid. Ask what additional charges there could be. Good accountants don’t cost, they save you money.

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