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So…

The time has come.

Business is booming.

You’re making more money than ever.

But you want to make more.

And you don’t want to spend half your profits on operational costs anymore either.

But you also don’t want to start randomly deducting things from your tax return.

You want to keep your business 100% legal, duh.

You know that it’s time to hire an accountant - but where do you start?

How much should you be paying?

How can you find one local to you?

You’re brimming with questions, but you don’t want to hang about.

You know it’s essential that you hire one well, yesterday.

group of accountants
So many choices!

But wait!

Before you hunt out your yellow pages and call the first number you find, take a second to listen to this story.

(It’s not long, promise.)

Our top client, let’s call her Katie, was just like you once.

Her pockets were overflowing, and she was in desperate need of help.

About a month before she contacted us, she signed up with a random agency she found on Google.

They charged her a fair price and had a couple of okay reviews.

She decided to take a chance on them...

And boy was that a big mistake.

I won’t bore you with the details - but she ended up losing £7000.

Not fun.

Anyway…

She miraculously found us, and we managed to set her up with a high quality, low priced accountant.

Not only did her new accountant help her recoup that £7000 loss…

But he also helped cut her operational costs by 43% in the first 2.5 months of working with her.

Amazing results, right?!

saving money
Could you end up like Katie? (Hint: yes, yes you can.)

I’m hoping you haven’t made a mistake like Katie yet.

Not that it matters if you have - I’ll still help you.

I’ve put a lot of time into putting this piece together, to show you how to find the best accountants near you!

So, what are you waiting for?

Get reading!

Chapter 1

How Do I Find An Accountant Near Me?

Okay…

You know you want - no, need - an accountant.

But you have no clue where to look to find one.

Well have no fear, Amber is here!

There are actually 4 ‘research methods’ I recommend to find the perfect accountant.

Google Is Your Friend

‘Google your question’ sounds like such a blow-off, doesn’t it?

But it’s a fool-proof method that a lot of people surprisingly forget about.

Seriously though…

Just type ‘accountants in *insert your local area*’ and you’ll be met with hundreds of results.

google research
Which accountant is best for you?

The only issue is, the majority of search results will be ads.

Which is great in the sense that you obviously wanted to find these companies.

Buuuut…

It means that YOU have to put the effort into comparing & contrasting each company.

So unless you happen to stumble upon a great comparison site for accountants in your area, this isn’t the way to go if you want to ensure you receive the best of the best.

Search Your Local Directory

If you’re looking for a chartered accountant…

(And in most situations, I suggest you do.)

This is a sure-fire way to find the best ones in your area.

Your local directory is the only place that can provide you with absolute confidence that your accountant is trained and experienced.

They’re easy to find, just use your friend Google again!

Luckily, they’re simple to use as well.

Take ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), for example: all you have to do is load up their home page and type in your location.

See, it’s as easy as ABC.

The only downfall is that chartered accountants can be a little pricey.

So, if you’re only looking for help with a quick, simple project - these may not be the way to go.

Go Virtual

Okay, so you only need a brief, unspecialised task completed.

And you obviously begrudge paying thousands for a 4-hour project.

Well, a virtual accountant could be the way to go.

‘Cause as much as you want to meet your accountant, do you really need to?

You really don’t need a face-to-face meeting to ask someone to do a few quick sums for you, right?

No…

No, you don’t.

So, forget hiring locally - you can hire from all around the world on sites like Fiverr!

virtual assistant accountant
Could she be the best for your business?

So, while you have a well-earned sleep, Chad’s working on your finance report in sunny LA.

And he charges you a third of the price that any other accountant would.

Result!

The downside to this though is that literally anyone could call themselves an accountant.

Chad could be a high-school drop out who’s never attended a maths lesson in his life, for all you know.

If you’re going to head down the virtual route, ensure you do your research.

Keep An Ear On That Grapevine

If your friend/co-worker/uncle/dog has used an accountant before, ask if they’d recommend them.

If that person actually likes you - (hopefully they do) - they wouldn’t suggest anyone terrible.

Buuuut…

Take their review with a pinch of salt.

What works for them, may not work for you.

Plus, it’s unlikely they’ve completed a thorough analysis on all the local companies.

More than likely, they’ve been provided with a good, fair-priced service - which is what their review is based on.

Chapter 2

Should I Pick A Chartered Accountant?

Well, that all depends.

What do you actually need from your accountant?

If you’re looking for a general ‘money-person’ to complete a few non-sensitive, non-essential tasks, there’s really no point in splashing out on a fancy, chartered accountant.

Having the fancy title just means they’ve gone through years and years of training and work placements.

BUT - that doesn’t mean that a regular accountant can’t also be good.

As long as you do your research and aren’t doing your job hunt on places like Facebook, you shouldn’t have an issue.

If you’re still unsure of which type of accountant you need though, I’ve compiled a list of five reasons to hire a chartered one!

Your Finances Are...Difficult

Not everyone’s financial problems can be solved with a calculator.

Take Katie (our client from earlier), for example.

She had a serious debt problem and a complicated financial history.

Hiring a college graduate for $15 from a freelance site just wouldn’t cut it.

She needed someone trained and experienced in situations like hers to help.

someone looking stressed
It's gonna be ok.

If you’re in a similar situation to Katie, or require a task equally as difficult, a chartered accountant would be beneficial for you.

Otherwise, your finances could be fudged even more!

You’ve Got A Secret

Okay, maybe not a secret.

But if any of your financial information is confidential - (employee wages, customer invoices etc) - you must invest in a chartered accountant.

I don’t want to make you uneasy…

But not everyone can be trusted.

There are people out there who do try to scam naive business owners.

By selling confidential information to their rivals, for example.

If you hire someone, just because you saw someone tweet something nice about them, it doesn’t mean they’re legitimate.

I could make a new profile right now and tell people I’ve been spotted shopping with Beyonce if I liked.

It doesn’t mean it’s true.

But you know who you can trust?

Chartered accountants!

If they say they hung out with Beyonce, they mean it.

(Plus, let’s face it, considering the price of some of them - they probably have.)

You shouldn’t hand over ANY sensitive information to anyone who can’t prove they’ve received their credentials and are registered in your local directory.

(Or their local directory if you’re hiring from out of town.)

You don't want to lose any of your hard-earned money on a rip-off, do you?

money falling
Before the fake-accountant takes it!

You Need Advice

No…

Not advice on what to wear tonight or whether you should tell them you miss them.

I’m talking about financial advice.

To put it simply, unless an accountant is chartered, they shouldn’t be giving you any financial advice.

They’re simply not qualified to do so.

By all means, they may give it - and they may even be right occasionally.

But do you really want to take that chance?

It would be like going to court and getting someone who’s seen Legally Blonde 30 times - aka me - to represent you.

If I were you, I’d want my advice to come from a trained professional.

You’re Not Like Every Other Company

It’s extremely rare for two companies finances to be alike.

So a generalised service will be unhelpful in most situations.

If you’ve just started a small Etsy shop, you’re hardly going to use the same financial advice as Richard Branson.

(You could do with using the same tax man though.)

Both you and Mr Branson need an accountant specialised in your area of business and financial situation.

An unchartered accountant can rarely offer this.

Honestly, I wouldn’t even bother trying to find one that does.

It’s much less hassle to hire a chartered accountant, one that you already know will be specialised in what you do.

‘Accounting For Dummies’ Is Your Favourite Book

If you know absolutely nothing about accounting, you should avoid unchartered accountants at all costs.

They could use your lack of knowledge against you.

Best case scenario - they use it to get away with doing substandard work.

Worst case scenario - they use it to scam you out of as much money as possible.

‘No Brian, that £1000 went towards a fine you had to pay, not my bank account.’

A chartered accountant wouldn’t scam you, they’d want to help educate you.

They’ve spent years training for this job after all…

Do you really think they’d risk losing their well-earned credentials for a slice of your paycheck?

(They wouldn’t.)

Amber Williams, Author

Amber Williams
Accountant expert

Did You Know?

Forget 3-month internships...

Chartered accountant work placements actually last around 5 years.

They usually complete them around school/work too - you can’t say they aren’t dedicated.

Chapter 3

What Can My New Accountant Do?

Well…

That depends on whether you hired a chartered one or not.

They perform a lot of similar tasks - but a chartered one can do just a little bit more.

To make it easier to understand, I created this handy chart for you!

Accountant Chartered accountant

Financial Planning

Budget Meetings

Ensuring You’re Legal

Balancing The Books

Prepare Financial Documents

Preparing Tax Returns

Data Management

Auditing

Taxation

Financial Investigation

Management Accounting

Investment Planning

Assurance Services

Cost Accountancy

Share Valuation

It’s absolutely fine if you know nothing about accounting.

But, from my experience, everyone knows a little bit.

For example, I bet I don’t have to tell you what debt is.

(I hope you don’t know what it is through personal experience though.) Don’t worry though…

If you need a refresher, I’ve got you covered.

Let me explain what some of the more ‘advanced’ things are.

Auditing

Well…

This is a way to prove you’re honest.

Getting your financial records audited means you’re getting them examined for any inaccuracies.

(Purposeful or not.)

You’ll also be proving your accounts are up to standard as well as follow the laws and regulations of your country.

It sounds scary, but as long as you’re truthful, haven’t fluffed any numbers or done any dodgy dealing, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Taxation

This is simply the process of paying tax.

Simple in theory, hard to actually do.

It’s incredibly easy to break a tax law and not even realise it. (Not until someone comes after you with a pitchfork anyway.)

someone doing accounting
Paying incorrect tax? That's a nightmare...

Take our newest client, Tom.

Just this year he had to pay a £900 fine because he got the date of his tax return deadline wrong.

Don’t be like Tom.

Hiring your brother to take care of your finances just because he got an A in maths isn’t a good idea.

Get an actual accountant to keep an eye on these dates.

Investment Planning

You don’t want to spend all of your money without knowing if it’s going to pay off, right?

Well…

Then you need an investment plan.

A chartered accountant is basically a financial psychic.

(Okay, maybe not a psychic - but they do have a lot of industry knowledge and experience.)

They can use their foresight to help you develop a plan and distribute it to the rest of your team.

They’ll even put in maximum effort to ensure that your plan goes, well, to plan.

Assurance Services

It sounds obvious, but this just means they assure you when you make decisions.

No, they’re not wiping your tears and telling you everything’s going to be okay when you accidentally put pineapple on pizza for the work party.

But they will give you a nod if they think you’re making a good business decision or that your financial documents are up to scratch.

To put it simply, they’re giving you, your investors and your lenders the go-ahead that everything’s a-okay with your business.

accounting presentation
Time to be successful!

Cost Accountancy

This is where your CA’s psychic abilities will kick back in.

(Yep, move over Mystic Meg.)

Whatever you need, they’ll know the cost of it.

Yep, seriously.

If you want to implement a new business strategy, they’ll know exactly how much that will cost you.

And what you can save or earn as a result of this.

If you’ve ever wanted to appear on The Price Is Right, take your chartered accountant with you.

Amber Williams, Author

Amber Williams
Accountant expert

Did You Know?

Literally anyone can call themselves an accountant.

Me, your mum, your neighbour's dog...

It’s not illegal to do so - which is why you need to be super thorough with your research.

Chapter 4

What Should I Expect To Pay One?

Honestly…

It depends on who you hire and where you hire them from.

Like I said earlier, there are 4 main ways people source their accountants.

And each one carries a different price.

The simplest way for me to compare price differences for you, is to put my hometown into each search and pick the top result.

(Obviously, you’d need to do this yourself for accurate prices in your area.)

But hopefully, this will give you a little bit more of an idea of what you’ll end up paying.

Research Method Company Starting Price

Google Search

Crunch

||$||38.27||$||

Local Directory

ACT London

Contact For Quote

VA Websites

Fiverr

||$||5.24||$||

Recommendations

Nordens

Contact For Quote

Did you notice anything interesting about the table?

Yep, both the recommendation I was sent and the result from my local directory were chartered accountants.

And neither have their price available on their sites.

It’s not because they’re too expensive and trying to hide their price.

It’s because a good accountant knows that every business is different, and plans should be customizable.

The non-chartered accountants want their prices front and centre.

More often than not, they’re providing customers with a generalised package…

So, the only thing they do have to brag about is their price.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pay for a high-quality, custom service that suits me.

Not for the bog-standard service everyone and their mums are getting.

BUT…

If you have a set budget and are unsure whether the cash you have could cover the services you need…

Or you just don’t have the time to cover price comparison yourself…

We could assess your needs and compare them against the large database of accountants we work with.

All in your price range of course. We’d get back to you in a heartbeat with up to 4 quotes.

That's right - four of the best accountants that we think would work well with you!

Amber Williams, Author

Amber Williams
Accountant expert

Did You Know?

82% of businesses actually fail due to terrible cash flow management.

That’s...almost all of them.

But luckily for you, if you hire an accountant, you’re much less likely to fall into this group.

Chapter 5

FAQs

We get hundreds of questions thrown at us every day regarding accountants - from the trivial to the bizarre.

(No Jason, I don’t think your dog’s dry-cleaned outfit is an appropriate expense to deduct from your tax return for your food delivery business!)

Anyway…

Here are some of the most common (non-weird) questions that we get asked!

Do I Need An Accountant?

In most cases, yes.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a high-earner, or you’ve only made £10 so far - an accountant could help you!

In fact, you don’t even need to have a business yet to reap the benefits of one.

If you’re thinking about starting your own company, an accountant could help you with all the business plans and proposals you need to get set up!

Honestly, I can’t think of a reason not to hire an accountant.

I’m Self-Employed - Does That Mean I Can’t Hire An Accountant?

Not at all!

You can actually hire accountants who specialise in self-employment.

You might even be able to score some cheaper deals as it’s very unlikely you’ll need as much financial help as a large company.

However, I do recommend doing your own bookkeeping.

It’s an added expense you really don’t need if you’re only making a few transactions each month.

How Do I Work Well With An Accountant?

Stay organised.

It’s really that simple.

If you’re one of those people that keeps your receipts in a shoebox under your bed and your invoices inside your microwave - yes, we actually had someone do that - working with you would be hell.

It’ll take you 10 minutes tops to organise all your financial documents at the end of the week.

Or better yet, organise them as you go.

My Tax Costs Too Much. Can An Accountant Stop Me Paying It?

We get asked this a lot.

And sorry, but our accountants aren’t like those dodgy ones you see on TV.

They’re not gonna start hiding your money in off-shore accounts, for example.

But they CAN assess your financial records and find legitimate deductibles.

You’re welcome.

Conclusion

Well…

There we have it.

That wasn’t complicated at all, was it?

So, what are you waiting for?

Let us help you find the best accountants near you!

ready to accountant
And we can help you find 'em!

We can get you the help you need in less than 10 minutes. Result!

Get a quote from us today to compare up to 4 of the top suppliers.