How to Find an Accountant Near You

Finding a decent accountant can be a bit stressful sometimes. You want professionals that you can trust to deal with your finances. Luckily, our vast knowledge of the industry and experience in finding clients for accountants has allowed us to put together the perfect guide for you.

So, if you want to know how to find the best accountant for you, you’ve come to the right place!

Google Search

A quick Google search can help you find almost any type of product or service near you. You can even use this general search term in the navigation bar. Simply type “accountant near me” and see what results appear. You can also choose from accounting offices, firms, software, and franchises like H&R Block or Liberty Tax Service.

As with any Google search, the top few results are all sponsored (paid advertisements). So, just because they come up at the top of the search results page doesn’t mean they’re the best choice or most reputable accountants. It simply means they paid the most for their spot on the SERPs. Scroll down a little further and you’ll see locally-owned businesses and accountants in your area. Here, you can see their Google rating and read reviews. 

Scroll past the “People also ask” section and you’ll find articles that list the top 10 results for accountants in your area. Some popular rating and review websites include Yelp and Thervo.

Compare the Accountant

If you’re looking for a comparison of the best accountants for your financial situation, then a quick and simple search on Compare the Accountant will do the trick. By filling out some information on your personal or business needs, you can see a list of all of the accountants that offer the right services for you, both in person and virtually. 

Using this comparison, you can send over your information at the click of a button to have the accountants of your choice contact you. Running a search on Compare the Accountant is totally free. So if you’re in need of accounting services you can search now!

Personal Recommendations

Over 80% of people trust online reviews and recommendations almost as much as they trust a referral from a friend. If you’re part of the other 20% or prefer a personal recommendation, ask your friends, family, and coworkers what accounting services they use. Some people have a trusted CPA they’ve used for years, while others use online companies or software. 

Ask questions about the cost of the service, how efficient the accountant is, and how quickly they received their tax refund (if applicable). All of these factors can help guide your decision when choosing a qualified and reliable accountant to handle your taxes.

Bark

If you’re in search of an accountant and Googled the phrase “accountants near me” then you might have heard of Bark before. They are a multi-industry lead generation service who provide clients for cleaners, web designers personal trainers, accountants and much more. This means that they have a wide range of accountants listed on their website happy to help with your finances. 

To find an accountant using Bark you’ll need to fill out a short questionnaire to explain the type of accounting services you require. Once this is done, you’ll provide them with your contact information to be sent on to a relevant list of accountants so that they may get in touch. It might seem quite obvious but only provide your contact information if you’re willing to be contacted. Accountants will be calling, emailing and texting so this can get quite annoying if you’re unsure.
To get around this, sites like Compare the Accountant only send your contact information onto 2 of the best-suited accountants. Meaning you won’t be harassed for the majority of the work day.

Expected Fees To Pay

Because of the nature of accounting work, and the uniqueness of each persons financial situation, their fees tend to vary from client to client. For this reason, it’s best to have a detailed chat with your desired accountant about the costs you can expect.

In order to give some ballpark figures you can refer to our accounting fees breakdown below:

Popular Accountants

If you’re still unsure of where to start in your search for a trustworthy accountant, let us help! Here are a few popular accountants that have gained a reputation for themselves as reliable and efficient accountants.

Helpbox

Helpbox offers small business accountancy services, advice, and guidance. When you hire Helpbox, you gain access to not only qualified tax experts but also tax specialists and a personal business advisor to help you make smart, informed financial decisions. While Helpbox is known for its business services, the company also offers personal tax help. 

Monthly packages cost £19.95/month + VAT fees and include free business advice, a personal account manager, and access to a legal advice helpline. Helpbox also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee 

Other services include bookkeeping, payroll, pension enrollment, VAT, annual accounts, and CIS. Helpbox clients include:

  • Self-employed/freelancers
  • Contractors
  • Tradespeople
  • Consultants
  • Small businesses
  • Sole traders
  • Partnerships
  • Limited company
  • Those just starting out

Helpbox has a 4.4-star rating on Google and 5-star reviews on other platforms like Bark.com. Here are some of the positive things satisfied customers have to say about this accountancy company.

“Knowledgeable, reliable, and timely advice, much as you would expect from a large firm but with personal, tailored friendly service you get from a small firm.” – Sandy Hayes-Davis

“Helpbox has been doing our accounts for the last 2 years and has been excellent in terms of communication and support.” – Badminton Academy 
“Always on hand to help and answer any and all questions I have had. Thanks to Rachel and the team I have learned a lot about the requirements to run a business in the UK and also had the stress-free feeling knowing my accounts are being well managed and I am staying compliant.” – Arun Thangavel

Taxevo

Taxevo online business accountants are the virtual solution to your financial needs. Unlike Helpbox, Taxevo only offers business accounting services, but does so at a reasonable price with unlimited help and access to accounting experts 24/7. 

Services include:

  • For limited companies
  • For sole traders
  • Buy to let accounting
  • Tax returns and advice
  • Financial services

In terms of pricing, Taxevo does offer special offers and savings each month. For example, in the month of May, Vantage offered 3 months at half price for qualifying applicants. 

On a regular basis, monthly fees are as follows:

  • Sole Trader – From £25 (£15 for May)
  • Limited Company – £40 per month 
  • If you’re not sure about what you need, you can book in a free consultation

The Taxevo website also offers a build your package cost calculator to determine your monthly fees. Simply click on the “Pricing” tab choose your package, Limited Company or Self Employed. Then, select the services you’re looking for! Once you enter this information, the website will generate the best monthly package for your needs and budget. 

The website also offers an advice column and guides on its blog.

As of this writing, Taxevo has a score of 3.7 stars on Trustpilot and a rating of “great”. Here are a few positive and negative reviews from both Trustpilot and Google to give you a better idea of what real customers and clients have to say about this company’s accounting services.

Prompt and on time, my time with taxevo accountancy has been fantastic, everything has been filed and completed with plenty of time to spare” – Harvey Jones

“This firm has dealt with my accounts in a very efficient and timely manner. The servive has been great and no question is too small and this is great value for money” – Colin

“Great service and faultless advice from Marc. I would definitely recommend Taxevo.” – Sarah
“Extremely helpful and informative, highly recommend!” – Niamh

Crunch

Crunch is an online accounting service that combines user-friendly software with experienced and knowledgeable financial experts. When you sign up with Crunch, you’ll gain access to smart software and expert advice and support. Crunch offers several pricing and package options, all of which are billed monthly with no contracts. Users can also upgrade their subscriptions at any time. 

The average registration takes 7 minutes to complete online. Start by choosing a plan that suits your needs and budget.

Free

Crunch offers free services that include invoicing, expenses, banking, tax, and customer service support. It’s important to note, though, that even these “free services” will cost you money. Support services start at  £24+VAT. Taxes will cost you a one-off fee of  £85+ VAT. 

Sole Trader

Crunch offers a monthly package for sole traders starting at £24+VAT. This software and service combo means Crunch does all the paperwork for you, trains you to perform some functions on your own, assists with HMRC matters, and helps your business venture become tax-efficient. Crunch is also VAT and MTD (Making Tax Digital) compliant. This package also comes with the option to add bookkeeping services for £32.50+VAT per hour.

Limited Company

For £41.50+VAT you’ll receive accounting software and 24/7 customer service from an accounting professional. This plan gives you access to all of the accounting professionals and services including bookkeepers and mortgage brokers. You can also log into the platform’s live video services and enjoy the benefits of seamless integrations with other programs and software. Crunch TwinTrack ensures that you remain IR35 compliant when switching companies. 

E-Commerce Accounting

Crunch also offers accounting services for e-commerce businesses starting at £159.50+VAT. This price has no hidden fees and doesn’t require a long-term contract. It includes accounting software, a dedicated accountant, instant connections to your bank accounts, bookkeeping support, support for multiple types of currency, and smart e-commerce linking. 

Self-Assessment 

If you’re an individual simply looking to file your own tax return online, Crunch also offers self-assessment services for a one-off fee of just £85+VAT. All of your paperwork will be examined and reviewed by a professional accountant before being filed with the HMRC. Express services are available to process your return in as few as 3 days. 

Add-Ons

Crunch also has other add-ons and services that you can add to any of the above plans or services. These include

  • Payroll
  • Bookkeeping
  • Ask an account customer support (only available with the Crunch free plan)
  • CIS
  • Crypto taxes
  • Mortgage assistance
  • Pension auto-enrolment 

With so many services available and types of clientele, Crunch has acquired its fair share of both positive and negative reviews online. As of this writing, Crunch has a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot and 4.2 stars according to Google reviews. Here’s a brief look at both the pros and cons of this online service.

The Crunch team and their software are super helpful for my small business as a freelancer.” – Nina Franck

“Excellent customer support – even for complex situations.” – Paul Jennings

“Crunch always resolves my queries quickly and with no fuss. I 100% recommend it.” – Jan“Crunch has disappointed me several times in the past. But now they went too far. They just filled out a confirmation statement for my business writing my name in a completely wrong manner.” – Felipe Lopes

When You Should Hire an Accountant

People hire accountants for myriad reasons, but for most, it comes down to a lack of knowledge, expertise, and experience with filing taxes, bookkeeping, and remaining compliant. Whether you’re running a small business, you’re a freelance worker, or an e-commerce vendor, properly managing your money is a key part of your success. Without in-depth knowledge of how tax filings work, you could be overlooking important factors and deductions that mean the difference between getting a return or owing money. 

The ideal scenario would be to hire a qualified accountant before you launch your business or try tackling your taxes on your own. Sole traders, limited companies, and e-commerce businesses can all benefit from hiring an accountant as part of their initial investment and team-building process. 

If you’ve attempted to handle your taxes, books, and other financials on your own but are quickly losing track of exactly who owes you money and how much, it may be time to find and hire someone with experience to help you get back on track. Not only can accountants help manage your tax obligations, but they are experts at identifying and capitalizing on potential savings and helping you grow your business.

Qualifications to Look for in a Reliable Accountant

Not all accounting professionals or accounting businesses offer the same services or have the same qualifications, but there are a few certifications to look for in a reputable and reliable accountant.

ACCA

The ACCA represents the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Founded in 1904, the ACCA offers Chartered Certified Accountant qualifications and currently has nearly 241,000 current members and over 541,000 future members worldwide.

Being an ACCA is slightly different than being a CPA (certified personal accountant). ACCA is recognized worldwide. A CPA is part of a group known as Certified Management Accountants that work as regulators of a business. Work experience requirements for these two certifications also vary with CPAs requiring 3 years of experience and the ACCA only requiring between 1 and 2 years of work experience.

CIMA

CIMA stands for Certified Investment Management Analyst®. CIMA is an elite international technical portfolio construction program for financial advisors, analysts, investment consultants, and wealth management professionals. An accountant with a CIMA is highly experienced and sought after, considering how difficult it is to obtain this qualification. 

On average, it takes between 3 and 6 years to achieve this. The passing rate of students striving for a CIMA is between 60% and 65%. Students must pass 12 different exams at 3 different levels, including 9 objective tests and 3 case study exams. CIMA is recognized in over 180 countries around the world.

CIPFA

CIPFA stands for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and is designed for accountants that work in the public sector and accounting firms. Globally recognized, accountants with a CIPFA certification are recognized as professionals with sound public financial management skills and good governance. The association works with partner governments, accountancy bodies, donors, and the public sector to help advance and support better public finances and services. 

To qualify for CIPFA, applicants must meet certain academic requirements including three GCSEs, grades A-C, and two A-levels, grades A-C. Subjects must include math and English. Equivalents are accepted, including those from Northern and Southern Ireland and Scotland. Depending on prior work experience, most students spend three and a half years getting their CIPFA qualification.

ICAS

ICAS stands for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and is classified as the world’s first professional body of Chartered Accountants, making it one of the oldest and most well-recognized organizations in the financial world. The ICAS is recognized as an educator, regulator, influencer, and thought leader, as well as a reliable voice of the professional business community. 

The qualification itself requires a minimum of 450 days of practice experience plus a mix of study time. Through this, accountants and financial analysts gain first-hand experience in accounting and finance, plus business skills including communication, presentation, ethics, and management.

FAQs

Choosing an accountant or accounting service is no easy task. You may be tempted to cut corners and save money by tackling your taxes, bookkeeping, and other finances alone. Before you do, read these frequently asked questions about the accounting process to ensure you make a smart financial decision for your future.

What are the benefits of hiring an accountant? 

There are numerous benefits to hiring an accountant from financial stability and compliance to peace of mind. If you’re on the fence about hiring an accountant, chances are, you could probably benefit greatly from the professional know-how and expertise of a financial expert. Here are a few more benefits to help you make your final decision.

  • Save time, money, and stress
  • Avoid costly errors and mistakes
  • Maximize your tax benefits
  • Comply with current tax laws
  • Let you focus on running your business
  • Help solidify your business plan and the direction of your business
  • Minimize risk
  • Offer a correct valuation of your property and assets
  • Solidify marketing and sales strategies
  • Receive expert advice, guidance, referrals, and recommendations
  • Secure financial records and other sensitive data and information 

Investing in an accountant now is a minimal expense compared to the headaches, financial worries, and legal trouble you could encounter if you file your taxes incorrectly. 

How do I know if I need an accountant? 

If you have little to no experience with financial planning, analysis, bookkeeping, payroll, or filing taxes, it’s probably in your best interest to hire an accountant. Your finances are not something to mess with. People rely on professional experience for any number of jobs from car mechanics to hair stylists, so why wouldn’t you invest in an accounting professional to handle your finances? Other signs you might benefit from hiring an accounting include

  • Managing your finances is taking up too much of your time
  • You’re confused by the government laws, rules, and regulations
  • You’re concerned about meeting your tax filing deadline
  • You or your business are being audited
  • Your business is booming and growing out of your control

Can a business accountant do my personal taxes? 

Most accountants are qualified in doing both business and personal taxes. While the same accountant can meet both your business and personal needs, some professionals have more experience in one field than the other. For example, not all personal accountants have handled small business taxes before and business accountants may be more well-versed in business transactions than minor personal finances. Find an accountant with the most experience in the types of services you need, whether they’re personal or for your business.

What questions should I ask my accountant? 

Before you hire an accountant,there are some important questions to ask them. Similar to hiring any other professional, you want an accountant with experience and expertise in your sector and the type of financial advice you need. Consider asking these questions before committing to a contract or monthly subscription.

  • What qualifications or certifications do you have? 
  • How many years of experience do you have as a business accountant?
  • Do you offer both business and personal accounting services?
  • How much do your services cost?
  • Are you available to answer questions?
  • What types of services do you offer?
  • Do I have to sign a contract?

Don’t be afraid to shop around for different accounting professionals. When it comes to handling your finances, you shouldn’t settle for just anyone. Make sure you hire an accountant that has your best interest in mind, plenty of experience handling your type of business, and excellent communication skills so you’re well-informed and up-to-date during every step of the process.

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