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All businesses have to prepare and maintain financial documents and reports – no one wants trouble with the law. But finding the right accountant for your business can be a real challenge, especially if you don’t know where to look.Fortunately, the digital age doesn’t require physical space for record-keeping.The easiest way to hire an accountant quickly is to search for qualified professionals on a large online freelance platform. That said, not all freelance websites are created equal. Some are budget-friendly and feature thousands of accountant profiles, while others are costly, hard to use, and not really worth your time and money.I picked the most popular freelance platforms and ran several tests over the past few months. After hiring several accountants to work on different projects, I decided to share the results by compiling this list of the best freelance websites for hiring accountants.
Short on Time? These Are the Best Freelance Websites to Hire an Accountant in 2023:
Fiverr – Affordable, but professional financial consultants; ideal for small businesses on a tight budget
Upwork – Highly-skilled accountants, advanced search filters, and long-term contracts.
Freelancer.com – Tons of freelance accountants to browse through, all vetted through on-platform tests
Let’s get started. You can use Fiverr’s advanced filter system to search for the ideal accountant. What makes this platform different is that instead of clients posting jobs and freelancers submitting proposals, freelancers post their offerings, which clients can then search through and purchase directly.
When I searched “accounting” I got 4,000+ hits. Narrowing it down to “financial consulting” produces closer to 1,000. Fiverr offers fewer freelancers than the competition, but at significantly cheaper rates.
You can sort choices by “recommended,” “best selling,” or the “newest” arrivals to the site. Profiles vary because they are built by the freelancer, but we were impressed by the option to add an “FAQ” section to answer the most common questions clients may have about your service offerings.
While more filters would be helpful, the options to choose a delivery time and to create your own price range are especially useful.
To learn more about Fiverr, read our expert review.
Upwork is one of the most well-known freelance platforms out there today. Because of its versatile approach to hiring, you can use Upwork to hire about any type of accountant. If you type “accountant” into the freelancer search field, you’ll immediately receive more than 29,000 results; and 4,000+ results with the “U.S. only” feature on. Overwhelming, I know.That’s why their advanced filtering system is a lifesaver.Just click on your preferences in categories such as language, job success score, hourly rate, location, and more. You can even indicate industry tests to find people with specific qualifications.I chose an hourly rate of $30-$60, a 90% job success rate, and a $1,000+ earnings, and was able to narrow my results down to a much more manageable 90 accountants within the U.S. At this point, you are able to click on profiles to see more details, such as client history, bios, education, reviews, and more. You are also able to save the candidates that stand out to you, message them directly, or invite them to apply to a job you’ve posted.For more information, read our expert review of Upwork.
The Freelancer.com directory has more than 6,000 accountants for hire. The filters are a bit limited, but they include location, hourly rates, skills, ratings, etc. The platform offers a number of qualification exams for freelancers to prove their abilities in different fields. This can be helpful for prospective clients to narrow down potential candidates, however, the platform currently only offers one exam for personal accounting.
Clicking a profile is the best way to make a final decision about the accountant you want to hire on Freelancer. I like that there’s a section for prospective hires to upload projects they’ve done for former clients. Client reviews are also easy to read on the expanded profile. Another option is to just look at “online users” if there is a position that you need to fill quickly and are looking to start the application process right away.
For more information, read our expert review of Freelancer.
Hiring a freelance accountant on PARO is a bit different than any of the other options on this list. For starters, they specialize in the finance sector. To begin the process, you take a quiz so the service knows how to best meet your needs. After indicating that I need an accountant, I selected my industry:
At this point, you provide information including your company size, name, and contact information and are told that someone will reach out to you. While I don’t particularly love this model of getting in touch, the questionnaire does make it feel like a more personalized way to find a freelance finance professional for your business.
According to PARO, only the top 2% of finance freelancers make it through their rigorous vetting process, which includes a skills assessment, interview, test project, and reference check. PARO claims it can match clients with the best financial analyst, CFO, CPA, or bookkeeper for the specific job at hand.
While you don’t get a good sense of the number of freelancers that are available on the PARO platform, the website states that you will be matched with an hourly expert who has experience in your company’s specific software (e.g. QuickBooks, Xero, ADP, etc.)
Wide range of accounting services
Accountant ratings and reviews
Budget hiring options available
5: Graphite: Best for Big Budgets
Graphite offers access to exceptional talent – for a price. This is another service that provides “highly vetted independent consultants to power your business,” including specialized accounting services. After stating that I was looking for help with Accounting (as opposed to Sales, Data Analytics, Strategy, etc.) you select which of the following services you require help with, ranging from tax support, to bookkeeping, payroll, or CPA support.
I chose “Payroll,” thinking specifically of small businesses. After describing my needs, I answered questions surrounding how long I anticipated utilizing the service, and was able to indicate my desired pay rate/budget.
After choosing all of your specifications, you sign up and post the job. Professional accountants then bid for it (they are only allowed ten bids per month, which could help keep the number of candidates at a manageable level), at which point you will be able to compare applicants, review their experience and prior ratings, and message them directly. Graphite takes a 25% cut of all payments.
Using this method allows you to ensure that you find a freelance finance professional who can proficiently fulfill your requirements. However, it should be noted that this service is pricier compared to others on the list, with a minimum pay rate of $50/hour. Therefore, it may not be a feasible choice for every company’s budget.
Wide range of accounting services
Accountant ratings and reviews
Budget hiring options available
The Right Accountant Might Be Just a Few Clicks Away
Hiring an accountant doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re short on time but still appreciate quality work, browse Fiverr’s huge selection of budget-friendly accounting gigs. If you have more time on your hands and are looking to hire long-term, Upwork’s advanced filters might just do the trick.In any case, do as much research as you can. Read the profiles, reach out to potential candidates, and ask the questions that are on your mind.When you do find the right person, remember that your financial information is delicate. Whoever you are hiring will be privy to very personal information. To protect yourself and your company from the damage that can come from information being shared with outside parties, make sure to have any freelancer you hire sign an NDA.
I’ve prepared a comparison table to help you quickly compare and contrast all featured platforms.
If you’re running a small business, you might not have thought of hiring an accountant yet. You should consider hiring an accountant if you need someone to help you keep your financial records up to date, file your taxes, and deal with other legal and compliance issues.
How Do I Hire a Good Accountant?
Stick to the best freelance platforms whose talent pool consistently performs well. Examples include Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer. Not all accountants specialize in the same areas, so make sure you use advanced filters to find the right fit. Once you’ve hired someone, keep their contact so you can easily reach them again when you need their help in the future.
Are Accountants Worth It?
If you’re currently employing one or two people and don’t have too many investments, you could save some money by preparing your own taxes. That said, if you’re seeing significant growth and you’re struggling to keep your financial records in shape, hiring an accountant is definitely more than worth it.
Esme Mazzeo is a journalist, essayist, and social media enthusiast from NY. She believes in the power the internet has to connect, inspire, and empower business owners. She also believes chocolate and peanut butter makes any day better.