Choosing The Right Accountant For Your Needs

If you run a small business or simply have a number of jobs, properties, and finances to keep up with, sooner or later, you are likely to find that the financial end of things is not a task you want to deal with any longer. This is the point where most people start looking for an accountant to handle the numbers while they get back to doing what they do best, such as running the business or other endeavors. However, people who have decided they need an accountant are often disappointed to find out that the work of finding a good one has just begun. It’s not easy to find an accountant who fits in well with what you do and understands and appreciates your goals. However, it can be done with some know how. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you choose the right accountant for your needs.

Determine Whether You Need an Outside or an Inside Accountant

Perhaps the first thing you’ll need to do once you’ve decided you’d be better off with an accountant is decide whether you need an outside or an inside accountant. An outside accountant may either be someone you hire from outside your business on a contract, case by case basis, or a firm that you hire to do the same work. An inside accountant, on the other hand, is someone that you’ll hire to work directly with you as part of your small business or entrepreneurial efforts. Which you choose is up to you, but you’re better off making a decision instead of trying to deal with both. The pros of each kind of accountant will be discussed below.

The Pros of an Outside Accountant

An outside accountant will usually work with you to manage things such as the preparation of your tax returns each year and the preparation of financial statements as they are needed by your business. You might have an outside accountant work with you to prepare your income statements on a quarterly or annual level, or you might want one to aid you with your balance sheets and statements of cash. Alternatively, you might simply want to get in touch with an outside accountant every now and then to use him or her as a sounding board when you’ve got a tricky financial situation. It’s really up to you.

The Pros of an Inside Accountant

An inside accountant offers the advantage of being with you whenever you need him or her, no matter if it’s a holiday or a regular working day or a busy part of the accounting season, such as during tax time. Although inside accountants are typically more expensive on a month to month basis than outside accountants since they are paid salaries, they might end up being cheaper if you require their services on a frequent basis, as outside accountants will usually charge by the hour, which can run costs up more quickly than you’d think. Inside accountants are generally better for larger businesses, while small businesses can sometimes get by with outside or contracted accountants.


Chloe has only recently completed her studies and taken a job with one of the major taxation companies in Australia. Her fellow chartered accountants already hold her in high esteem and recognise the quality of her work. She has a bright future in accounting.  

Featured image courtesy of seattleaccountantservice.

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