In many small companies, business owners will try to keep their accounting function in-house. When budgets are tight and cash-flow is stretched, the decision to outsource any function is a big one.

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses only consider the cost of making this decision, rather than the benefits and potential cost savings it can bring. The real question business owners should consider is -what can I do with the extra time if I choose to outsource?

If you decide it’s time to outsource the accounting function so you can focus on growing your business, you’ll then need to consider the qualities and characteristics you’re going to need in a small business accountant. It’s essential they have the qualifications and experience to do the job in an accurate, efficient and cost effective way. Here’s our guide to the characteristics you should look for…


1.)  A pool of qualifications and accreditations

You should always check the accountancy firm you’re considering has the appropriate skills to do the job. In the accountancy field, that includes a comprehensive range of qualification and accreditations, including: ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians).


2.)  A comprehensive service

Modern small business accountants should be doing more than just filling in your tax returns. They should be providing a complete service to your small business that includes providing insights into all kinds of business-critical areas. That includes everything from cash-flow advice, the creation of management accounting reports, help sourcing finance and more. This should complement an accounting service that:

  • Helps you stay on top of your bookkeeping and admin;
  • Protects you and keeps you compliant;
  • Provides access to the services, networks and advice that can help your business grow.


3.)  Flexibility

Modern small business accountants should be flexible enough to use a wide range of accounting software – whatever you need to keep your small business in check.


4.)  Reputation

Speaking to other small business owners can help you find a reputable firm. You should ask for testimonials from businesses of a similar size and in a similar sector to your own. You should also check whether they are financially sound, as you would not want to work with small business accountants who cannot keep their own finances in check.


5.)  An agreement that works for you

Before agreeing to work with an outsourced accountancy firm, take a closer look at the service level agreement to see what level of flexibility it provides. You should also check the terms and conditions if you want to end the agreement. Most importantly, with so many options available, make sure you shop around to find a deal that not only meets the specific needs of your small business, but is also being offered at a competitive price.


How can we help?

At KPMG, we offer a range of small business accounting services aimed specifically at businesses like yours. As a Big Four firm, we have the expertise to deliver a comprehensive service that includes one-to-one advice from KPMG experts as and when you may need it.


To find out how KPMG Small Business Accounting could help free up your time so you can concentrate on business success, request a callback for a quote today.

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