Getting an accountant - what type do you have?


Evening all. Just a quick one - what type of accountant do you have?

In my previous roles, we’ve always had a small in-house Finance team, and then use an external accountancy firm and auditor. So that’s all I know, but, seeing it’s just me, is not necessarily what I need (clearly I don’t need an auditor!!).

My brother has recently started a small business and uses Crunch. I think there’s also the likes of Quick Books and no doubt many more. From memory, the former was about £70 a month.

Does anyone instead use a local accountancy firm and find that has more benefits? Or do people generally find online accountancy offerings fit the bill?

Thanks so much.


I use an accountant who does purely online filings for me - she’s not the very cheapest, but I like her asking relevant questions and being aware of everything I might need to know when doing my tax return.

As much as I probably could do a purely digital tax return and have Kashflow feed the numbers to HMRC, I prefer there being a human double check. I’m not a numbers person, I wouldn’t necessarily spot if something was really off.

For a newbie, I’d say it’s important to understand how your own billing and accounts work, but if it’s not your thing outsource it as soon as you can. Saves a lot of grief!


Thanks - I want to be all over it, so not hand over in entirety, but I need some kind of package etc to feed numbers in, produce invoices, etc. Plus someone qualified for me to put questions to when needed. Like you, I like talking to a human and building a rapport with someone, not just a random or even a PC. Do you do your billing yourself in a software package or manually, or does your accountant do that for you? Thanks



I’m not sure if this would help at all but I offer basic finance admin as part of my VA services. It can be a cheaper way of getting your accounts sorted. I am actually fully AAT qualified but have not done accountancy as far as VAT returns (I’m planning to develop this in the future) however I do have the knowledge and understanding of that is required so can get your finances in order to then pass on to an accountant for the HMRC files, I don’t charge as much as an accountant would.

I’d be happy to discuss this further offline if you would be interested?

(I hope this is ok to write this here?!)

Kind regards


Fine to post Holly! Helping one another out is the basis of SVA.

Just as a side note: Are you MLR registered? There’s been a lot of back n forth about this, but HMRC are trying to clarify the position so that everyone gets the same advice if they phone up - have a wee read here:


I found that me preparing and sending the invoices saved a lot of hassle long term as I tend to know what went on with specific jobs and when clients do their payment runs etc.

The rest of the bookkeeping/accounts stuff is done by the accountant. I have no patience for it, but a lot of it gets done automatically by the accounts software so it’s not a major headache.



Registration is on today’s to do list after reading some posts on here! Glad I looked here now!


Thank you both for your response. I was trying to understand the options available to manage this part of the role, and it helped give me some.

I actually spoke to my husband about this tonight, who is a qualified accountant. Not sure why I didn’t do so sooner :roll_eyes: Maybe as he no longer works in that exact field. Anyway, he’s going to manage this part for me, at least in terms of making sure I have a database to file all the information in, all the correct information is kept, and the best way to record everything. The thinking will be to move to an accountancy software package in due course, but to wait until it makes financial sense for me to do so, i.e. not month one of me setting up when I have zero clients :grin:

Thank you both again


I love that it just didn’t click that he’s the man to talk too! :joy:

It definitely helps to have a useful husband… Loads of VAs have techie husbands or ones who happily roll their sleeves up and help with VA stuff. I’m massively jealous!! (Mine is “admin-challenged”)


Hi holly

I am doing the aat level 2 next week, can I ask if you use all of the modules as a va? I can’t decide wether to do the bookkeeping level 2 or the above :thinking: as I’m sure you know already the bookeeping is a shorter course.

Any info would be appreciated thank you



Hi Mandy,

It depends what you want to do with it really. If you want to add bookkeeping to your VA services then I would recommend the bookkeeping level. If you want to have more of an all round accounting knowledge and skill set then go for the full AAT. I haven’t done the bookkeeping level but will probably look at doing it in the near future.


Hi holly

Thank you for your reply. I assumed the aat level 2 included the bookkeeping, I’ll check with the college

Thank you