How to find an accountant and other professional services for your business

How to find an accountant and other professional services for your business

Finding professional services for your SME is difficult because there is such a large selection. Finding the correct professional services can be tricky. Here's how.

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Where to start?

Depending on the type of professional services you are looking for, the best place to start is to understand your specific requirements and what type of service provider will be able to fulfil them for you. For example, do you need a book keeper or do you also need an accountant? If you have an accountant, does that mean you need the company or can you simply hire a book keeper by the hour? Do you need a graphics specialist or User Interface Designer who can work as a contractor do you need a professional design firm to create graphics or will your existing digital marketing firm have the expertise?

These are important questions which will ensure that you think through your requirements. For example, with ShiftAI Payroll, the frequent check list items contain automatic calculations, P60s, P45s, ability to edit payroll, and accounting integrations. For example, when looking for a graphics designer or an accountancy firm or perhaps a solicitor to review over your office lease, finding the correct profile for your requirements starts with the checklist.

Search engines and directory listings

Companies such as Bark enable you to look for professional services providers based on specific search criteria. Although there are others such as Yell, these may not provide as specific results as you are looking for. For example, companies that want to find software applications for their business can go to places such as Capterra where you can find providers based on category.

Business chambers of commerce

If you are looking for local firms then a good place to start is the local chamber of commerce. Many towns and cities across the UK have their own chamber of commerce. For example, Kingston Chamber of Commerce has a directory listing of all companies in the area affiliated with the chamber. There are many of these kinds of organisations across the country and these may help you sort the local businesses to use to provide services for your company.

Professional organisations

Many professionals have membership of organisations as a signifier of competence and looking on the official websites may help you find the firms that offer the services that you are looking for. For example, the ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales), you will be able to find accountants that have earned the status to be included in this directory. If you are looking for a doctor, then a quick search on the General Medical Council website will be able to generate a list of doctors in your area or those in a particular specialty. If you are looking for an architect, then RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) will help you in your search. The same goes for professions such as mortgage brokers to lawyers and financial advisors.

The key is here is to do a little filtering of your search based off of the professional qualifications of the professionals who are providing the service to you.

Find out where the professionals gather online

Many forums exist where professionals 'hang out'. This can range from places such as Accountingweb for accountancies to Dribbble (that is the correct spelling, 3 B's) where the graphic design community hangs out.

Contractor websites

Websites such as Fiverr and PeoplePerHour now advertise services that in the old days required a larger business. The contractor community often has a wealth of skills and there is a range of services available from graphic design, web programming, legal, accounting, digital marketing, etc. The key is to do your due diligence on the contractor and set up a protocol before you are able to work together on a service that your company needs.

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