Trying to find an accountant is a just like looking for a car mechanic – you can find one in most areas, each one gives you different pricing, different stories and you just can’t be sure if you can trust them.  You can pick the one most conveniently located, but how do you know you are getting the right advice at the right price?

Here are some ways to find an accountant and avoid the sharks –

1 Ask a friend

A friend or colleague may use an accountant who they trust so a recommendation is always a great place to start.  Make sure you ask your potential accountant whether they have specific knowledge of the industry you work in or in the field you need advice for.  Although the accountant may mean well, what works for your friend may not be best fit or price for you.

2 Google

Another obvious start in your search to find an accountant is to look on google.  All accountants have their own websites and you can learn a lot about a business, get in touch,  speak to accountants and obtain quotes.  Shopping around this way is a great way to get some initial advice but quotes can vary so make sure they include everything you need. Be wary of a price that seems too good to be true and make sure you take the time to check their qualifications, references and reviews so you know you will receive the best possible advice.

3 Online Marketplaces

The entrepreneurial spirit has never been stronger and there are many websites where accountants can market themselves online as freelancers or self employed.  Typically you will find some great prices that the traditional firm can’t beat, however if you are motivated by more than just the lowest price, make sure you are 100% confident that you are receiving the best quality advice and can build a long term relationship with your accountant. Take the time to speak with the accountant to make sure they are based in the UK, with a good working knowledge of UK accounting and tax rules. Building a relationship with your accountant is really important, if you ever suddenly need to pick up the phone you know your trusted advisor will be there for you.