If you run a business or are otherwise self-employed, then an accountant can be extremely useful and perhaps essential. Your accountant may perform a wide range of functions, from handling your bookkeeping, payroll and tax returns to providing the general financial information you need to make key decisions.
Do you need an accountant?
Unless your business is very small, its accounting requirements are likely to become too much for you to handle by yourself. A good accountant can take this burden away, letting you focus on what you do best: running your business.
Furthermore, a good accountant can actively help your business to thrive by providing expertise in the following areas:
- Helping you pay the right amount of tax
- Improving tax efficiency
- Financial compliance
- Creating / developing your business plan
- Sourcing funding for growth
- Growth management
- Extracting value from your business
- Exit planning
Your accountant can also provide invaluable support by offering general business advice, acting as a sounding board for your own ideas and stress-testing your plans.
Finding your accountant on Unbiased
There are two ways to find an accountant on Unbiased.
The first way is to use our Connect tool. Just give as much detail as you can about what you need, and our system will match you with the nearest suitable accountant.
The second way is to search and browse. Enter your postcode to see a list of accountants in order of distance from you. You can then refine your search (e.g. to find accounts with specialist expertise).
Your first meeting
Be sure to meet your accountant in person before engaging their services. You will be working closely together, so a personal connection is important.
This is also a good time to talk about their qualifications and experience. It is not a legal requirement for an accountant to hold any qualifications, but you should ensure that yours is qualified through one of the recognised UK bodies, e.g. ICAEW, ICAS, CIMA or ACCA. Also find out if they are a chartered accountant – chartered status is an internationally recognised level of professional standing.
Most accountants will display their certificates in their offices. You can also double-check by contacting the relevant organisation.
You should also discuss your accountant’s fees. An accountant’s job is to save you money overall (while protecting you from certain risks), so ask them to explain the ways in which their services will deliver value.