In-House Accountant or Accounting Consultant: Which is Right for You

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Businesses of all sizes require expert financial management to succeed. Deciding whether to hire an in-house accountant or an accounting consultant can be challenging.

In 2020, the top 4 accounting firms had a combined revenue of $154 billion. This number alone shows the huge value these accounting consultants are providing to business owners.

In-house accountants and accounting consultants offer different approaches, levels of expertise, and costs. Let’s explore the differences between an in-house accountant and an accounting consultant, and why one is preferable over the other.

Defining In-House Accountant

To handle its financial records, a business or organization employs an in-house accountant on a fixed salary. The accountant’s goals match those of the firm, and he/she is in charge of managing its financial operations.

The typical responsibilities of an in-house accountant include the following:

  • Managing accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Keeping financial records
  • Creating financial statements
  • Analyzing financial data
  • Preparing tax returns
  • Payroll

Defining An Accounting Consultant

Accounting consultants refer to an external accountant or a team of professionals who offer accounting services to small and medium-sized businesses.

They are usually hired under a contract or a service agreement. These accountants are typically employed by specialized accounting firms that specialize in offering such services. For instance, a tax preparation specialist can be consulted for filing your company’s tax return.

Moreover, accounting consultant deals with a number of different businesses on daily basis, so he/she comes from a very diversified understanding of business.

In-House Accountant vs. Accounting Consultant

Both an In house accountant and an accounting consultant can manage accounts for your business. They help run a company in accordance with the law requirements. A business cannot run without an accountant. They help you be aware of the company’s financial health, which in turn helps you make informed decisions about the company’s future.

However, they both have their pros and cons when it comes to the job. Following are some key differences between the two:

In House AccountantAccounting Consultant
They work in the company permanently They are hired on a temporary basis
Need additional training to meet business goalsConsultant holds years of experience to meet business goals
Less trustworthy to execute the taskMore trustworthy while executing a task
Paid fixed salariesThey are paid depending on the contract
They are not experts in everythingThey can assist in multiple areas of business
Less insightfulMore insightful

Why An Accounting Consultant is Better

Most businesses hire an accounting consultant these days to do their job for them in no time. In 2021, it was observed that hiring accounting consultants led to a 2.2% increase in the company’s revenue.

This is why more and more businesses are hiring accounting firms in lieu of an in-house accountant, because business owners see tremendous value in hiring them

An accounting consultant is better than an In house consultant in the following ways:

In-House Accountant or Accounting Consultant: Which is Right for You

It’s More Cost-Effective

One of the biggest advantages of hiring an accounting consultant is cost-effectiveness. When you hire an in-house accountant, you have to pay a fixed salary, benefits, and other overhead costs, and managing a new hire dips into your own operating costs.

However, with a consultant, you only pay for the services you need, when you need them, and you don’t have to worry about overhead costs.

Moreover, accounting consultants are experts in the field, and are typically more reliable when calculating estimates of your business expenditure and conducting tax filings. They also carry greater expertise for the dollar, since they’ve worked with more businesses and entity structures than in-house accountants typically have. They know what they’re doing and are better aware of where the tax deductions can be implied.

Furthermore, a business owner is not obliged to pay medical and other benefit allowances to a consultant. However, you are to obliged to pay benefit allowances to your in-house accountant depending upon the employee category.

You Get a Team of Professionals Instead of One

Most accounting consultants carry a team of professionals with ranging expertise from bookkeeping to payroll to industry-specific knowledge like real estate and construction or transportation. One of the core benefits of hiring an accounting consultant is the expertise of a dedicated team. That simply doesn’t compare to having one person in-house.

You Get Help in Multiple Areas of Business

An accounting consultant has a wealth of knowledge and experience in accounting, tax laws, and financial management.

They have worked with a variety of businesses in different industries, which gives them a unique perspective and valuable insights that an in-house accountant may not have.

For instance, if you have hired an accounting consultant to audit your financials, and suddenly you discovered that your accounting books are not regulatory compliant, the accounting consultant can also take care of that issue.

In addition to auditing your financials, you can ask your consultant to make your financial books regulatory compliant since he/she comes from a very diversified background of expertise.

Less Time, Better Output

As the consultants have years of expertise in the field, they can produce higher quality results in less time than an in-house accountant.

In-house accountants may require job training for the initial work, but accounting consultants are specialists in the field. They have a vast amount of knowledge about the most up-to-date accounting laws and are aware of all the ways things can be done.

No Management Hassle

An in-house accountant requires the managers to give the accounting team their time and then manage the team. Moreover, it requires the company to focus on the accounting team in order to produce the right efficiency. However, with a consultant, you don’t have to go through these hassles.

Accounting consultants have their own team, with each member being specialized in a particular area. In this way, they independently execute the task of managing your company’s finances. You only need to focus on the results they are producing!

What Can an Accounting Consultant Help With:

Accounting consultants have expertise in a wide range of areas with years of experience. However, we have gathered some of the areas where accounting consultants are extremely preferable over the in-house accountant.

Entity Formation/Planning

Entity formation or planning refers to the process of establishing a legal entity such as a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or sole proprietorship for a business or organization.

Business owners struggle to form the right entity for their business since each entity has its own tax benefits. Moreover, this opens up the company to a lot of regulations as well.

The right tax consultant can help you form an entity for the business that will aid you in tax planning and optimizing costs. However, an in-house accountant lacks expertise in forming these entities since he does not understand and deal with the businesses on regular basis.

Bookkeeping, Payroll, and Other Ongoing Tasks

Accounting consultants typically offer services for any and everything you come across in your day-to-day. This means that ongoing tasks like bookkeeping and payroll can be handled by your consultant. If you already have your books setup, many consultants will offer a bookkeeping cleanup service, no matter what platform you use (i.e. Turbotax, Xero, Wave)

Cost Optimization

A professional consultant can assist you in reducing expenses and optimizing business operations in various ways. By reviewing detailed cash flow reports, he/she can discover safe opportunities for business expansion.

With the help of an accounting consultant, a business owner can precisely understand where the funds are allocated, including expenses like rent, taxes, insurance, interest rates, and salaries.

For example, at Akifcpa, we have discovered many times that business owners don’t strategize their taxes, and end up paying thousands of dollars extra in taxes. Once we strategize their financials, it helped business owners significantly reduce their liabilities and increase profits.

Tax Compliance

If you’re a business owner, you may find yourself struggling with filing taxes accurately and efficiently. With their help, you can ensure that you’re paying the correct amount of taxes: not more, not less. Failing to do so can lead to problems with the IRS, so it’s important to get it right.

An experienced accountant can provide you with greater confidence and accuracy when it comes to calculating your expenses and allowances.

While an in-house accountant can also files taxes, he/she lacks expertise in dealing with the IRS. Moreover, a consultant has already dealt with hundreds of clients, so he/she holds better expertise while delivering the expectations to the business owners.

Audit Preparation

All businesses are required to undergo a statutory audit. In such cases, working with an accounting consultant that has a CPA can give your an extra advantage.

Since the IRS gives authority to a CPA to defend and sign your tax returns, it automatically gives an advantage to a CPA over a normal in-house employee,

This can help you avoid receiving notifications from the IRS about errors in your financial statements, which can ultimately save you time and money and prevent potential legal complications.

In addition to preparing for statutory audits, an accounting consultant can also help with internal audit procedures.


If you are still confused between hiring an accounting consultant or employing an in-house accountant, we’d recommend you read our reviews. We have 100 plus five-star reviews by business owners and individuals who have seen the benefits of taking our consultancy.

Let us know which accounting problem you are struggling with, we’d be happy to assist in building your business and reducing costs.

Contact us now, we are just a click away!

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Annie Phillips
Annie Phillips
12:35 10 Oct 21
Turn around time was amazing on the project I needed done. When you don’t understand all the different forms... communication is key and you will get that here. They are there to explain what and why you need more
Meru Kapadia
Meru Kapadia
23:33 01 Oct 21
I usually don't write reviews much as everyone has different experiences, but definitely wanted to share the positive... experience I have had here and why I would recommend them to all my family, friends and co-workers.I got a referral for here from a friend, so thought of giving them a try over my old CPA firm. I have been going here for a couple years now and have to say they are top notch. They are always responsive and willing to work with me even when I am delayed. I generally like to ask a lot of questions and not once did I feel like they were annoyed by it and would very thoroughly and positively answer all my concerns with detail explanations. Even during the pandemic, they worked with me 100% virtual and it was seamless. Overall, I am very happy with this firm and will continue with them for the foreseeable more
Kevan Shah
Kevan Shah
21:45 01 Oct 21
I’ve been going to them for 3 years now for multiple of my businesses. I changed to them after I had problems with my... previous CPA firm and I’m so glad I did! Best decision I ever made for my businesses. They have saved me thousands of dollars over the years as well as deal with my immensely complicated tax filling issues. No matter when I call, they always help answer all my questions (and trust me I have a lot) and put my mind at ease on all my concerns. I feel as if I am family the way they take care of me. The quality of their work has not changed; very consistent and professional. It is an understatement when I say I highly recommend more
Maunil Shah
Maunil Shah
16:19 01 Oct 21
AKIF CPA is the best place for your tax needs! Saim has been easily available for my all my questions and concerns. ... Couldn’t ask for a better firm that provides excellent service and a familiarity with their clients. I always recommend family and friends to AKIF CPA!!read more
Shah Hussain
Shah Hussain
03:58 01 Oct 21
Hello AKIF CPA,I wanted to share my experience with you, your team and whomever may be reading this message. My most... humble thanks to you and your team for a being such great part of my success.You have done a fabulous job for us this year, and since you took over our books (during our most devastating times) you have literally taken weight off of our shoulders.Thanks for bringing everything up to date and also providing us with numbers or as you call it consultations, ahead of time so we could seal the holes.Great work!!!Shah more
Sumit Dalwadi
Sumit Dalwadi
04:57 30 Sep 21
The professionals at Akif have been absolutely amazing! Quick to answer all the questions I had and always available... to offer their more
Calvin R
Calvin R
20:21 29 Sep 21
I recommend these guys! I will be going back next year. They made everything simple and we understood what was... happening. There we issues with our taxes due to our previous accountant and these guys fixed everything. They answered our questions and service was always with a more
Ammoria Daniels
Ammoria Daniels
02:11 16 Sep 21
We contacted Akif with an urgent matter regarding corporate taxes. Akif immediately understood what was needed and... within days had everything ready to sign. The level of service we received was amazing and unmatched. Waqar expertise in trucking industry made our situation seamless. His communication was outstanding; I heard from him daily and could have been completed sooner if I was as fast as he was 😃 Highly recommended!read more
Joe Paneitz
Joe Paneitz
18:30 18 Aug 21
What an absolute pleasure to work with this CPA firm. My business is already seeing such a positive impact and growth.... I cannot believe I didn't connect with them sooner. This firm is helping in so many ways! 5 stars is an understatement! Thank you so much for your help AKIF CPAread more
Helptest ARCpoint Labs
Helptest ARCpoint Labs
15:02 18 Aug 21
The firm is quick, responsive, and has the latest technological software. Thus far, I have been with them for 3+ years... and will continue to work with them even after relocating. They make it easy even when I'm miles away. Would highly recommend more
Luz Tipaz
Luz Tipaz
16:06 13 Jul 21
Saim and his team are the best CPAs in town. I have been their client for years. All started when I needed help with... company structure with multiple companies and then accounting and Taxes. I have been very happy ever since. Thank you AKIF more
Maria perez
Maria perez
18:31 08 Jun 21
Me and my husband have been getting all of our personal Taxes, business Taxes, monthly bookkeeping, accounting and... payroll done with AKIF CPA. Recently, we had more stuff come up and had detailed analysis done on capital gains, single family rentals (SFR) and business disposition. You will only know how great this CPA company is until you have worked with them and given them a chance. Words can’t describe our experience. AKIF CPA gets the job done every time - very reliable, professional and more
Afnaan Amin
Afnaan Amin
22:14 02 Jun 21
Very good experience, we had unique situation in regards to cross border income as Canadians currently residing in the... US. Income on both sides of the border through completely different channels. Everything was very easy and completed timely, I also had lots of random questions and Mohammad provided top notch service along the way and even after we finished our taxes!! Highly more
Ryan Paton
Ryan Paton
10:56 08 May 21
I moved to the USA from Canada late 2018 as part of a promotion/relocation for work. For my 2019 returns, I used an... accounting firm recommended by the local Canadian social club in my city, which was a terrible experience. They were slow to respond to inquiries and would follow up in piecemeal requests which dragged out my return process over several months, often asking for information I had already provided.For the price I paid, I vowed to find better service. I found Mohammad online and decided to reach out. Mohammad was extremely responsive, took care of my US and Canadian returns as well as my wife's business returns in a timely manner. Overall, it was a very positive experience and I would recommend him to another in my more
Tuan Vo
Tuan Vo
01:59 20 Apr 21
I relocated to Texas from Alberta, Canada and needed a CPA to help me with my cross-border taxes as I was not happy... with the CPA that I used previously. During my interviewing process to find another CPA, I had good feedback from Mohammad as he was able to answer my questions regarding my unique tax situation with expertise, and importantly to me, in a timely manner. I decided to use his services for the current tax year and I have nothing but compliments for the work Mohammad provided. If you are in need of a professional cross-border CPA, I highly recommend reaching out to Mohammad more
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