Small VS. Big Accounting Firms – The Pros And Cons

Choosing an accountant isn’t always easy. With so many to options to explore – big firms; small firms; one-man bands – it can be hard to decide which is best for you and your business. That is, unless you know what you’re looking for.

As you begin your search for the right accounting firm, it helps to be armed with the pros and cons of every option. Using the facts, you can choose an accountant that will be of most benefit to you – whether that’s a big, household name or a smaller independent firm.

Big accounting firms: the best bits

Whether it’s one of the ‘big four’ or a larger local firm, the biggest accountants do come with their advantages. As established, trusted names in accounting, they come with years of experience and an impressive portfolio of clients to boot. And with a huge number of employees on their payroll at locations across the UK and abroad, they’ll be able to provide an expert for most if not all potential challenges.

A word of caution: big firms come with their fair share of cons

But of course, it’s not all good news. Big accounting firms are not for everyone; especially if you’re after a personalised service from your accountant. With a huge hierarchy, staff members have very specific roles – meaning there is a reduced sense of ownership for your account. In fact, you’ll be one in a sea of many clients all with the same ‘out-of-the-box’ package.

Don’t disregard small firms

No matter what type of business you run, don’t disregard how a small accounting firm could be of benefit. With fewer staff, they can be more agile in their approach – resulting in a personalised service tailored exactly to your needs. The owners are typically more ‘hands on’, meaning that everyone from the receptionist to the senior staff will know who you are. With one or two points of contact, your accountant will get to know you and your business inside and out – so they can be proactive with advice. They don’t just do a job, they could make a tangible difference to your bottom line.

But remember; there are limitations

While small firms can provide a first-rate service, you will need to check up-front that they have the expertise you need. If you work in a niche industry, then you will require an accountant with the knowledge to match. This is where small accounting firms can be more limited – but with a little research, you may be able to find the best of both worlds.