What are the Different Types of Accounting Services?

Accounting services help keep your business’s numbers in order, and ensure your finances are looked after by experts, saving you time, money, and resource.

We explore the different kinds of accounting services so you can decide which service is best suited to your business. With several services available, we’ve broken each one down to make them easy for you to understand.

If you want to get started with finding the right firm for your accounting needs, you can use our free quote-finding tool. Just give us a few brief details about your business, and we’ll match you up with trusted companies, who’ll be in touch with tailored, no-obligation quotes and information.

Types of accounting services explained

We break down the different types of accounting services available to help you confidently decide which services you need. These services are:

  1. Bookkeeping
  2. Chartered accounting
  3. Tax accounting
  4. Forensic accounting
  5. Account auditing
  6. Payable accounts
  7. Payroll
  8. Bank reconciliation
  9. Accounts receivable

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1. Bookkeeping

With a bookkeeping service, your business’s financial transactions are recorded and tracked. Bookkeepers turn these into financial reports, so you can accurately and easily monitor your business’s finances.

Every business needs bookkeeping services. Small to medium-sized businesses tend to outsource this service, whereas larger enterprises usually keep this in-house, as they have the budget and resource to hire for this role.

2. Chartered accounting

Chartered accountants are specialist accountants who deal with responsibilities such as auditing, business strategy, and taxation. Compared to regular accountants, chartered accountants have completed in-depth training and passed tough examinations.

Chartered accountants offer expert advice, and can help you navigate the more complex financial decisions your business needs to make. If you don’t have a strong grasp of a business’s various accountancy needs, a chartered accountant can carry out the more confusing tasks for you.

3. Tax accounting

Tax accounting deals with the taxes your business needs to pay. Tax accountants will work out how much tax you need to pay, as well as any deductions.

Paying the right amount of tax is crucial to staying compliant, and getting this wrong can mean having to pay a penalty. Outsourcing your tax accounting doesn’t just mean you can be certain your taxes are above board, but you also have access to expert advice.

4. Forensic accounting

Forensic accounting is a mix of accounting and investigative skills used to find financial crimes. If there are missing funds on a financial report, for example, a forensic accountant would be called on to investigate.

You can hire a forensic accountant if you believe there has been suspicious financial activity or a forensic accountant may be hired to investigate your books if it is believed a financial crime may have occurred.

Using a forensic accountant is one of the best ways to deal with a possible financial crime, as they’re well-trained in investigating these types of crimes, and have the necessary knowledge and expertise.

5. Account auditing

This service allows auditors to ensure your accounts are valid and accurate. Auditors will also be able to gather detailed financial information about your business.

You’ll need this service if you want to provide credibility to your business’s financial position. This is usually relevant when communicating with future or current shareholders, as it means you can give them confidence that your actual numbers match what’s been reported.

6. Payable accounts

Most businesses owe money to suppliers and other businesses. This is known as a ‘short-term debt’, and is treated as a liability. A payable accounts service manages these financial transactions, and ensures the accounts you owe are paid correctly and on time.

This service is relevant if your business deals with lots of different suppliers, and you want to maintain good relations and keep your accounts in good standing.

7. Payroll

You’ll use payroll services to pay your employees on time and accurately, ensure deductions are made, and calculate tax. Payroll services also maintain each employee’s data, ensuring they’re on the correct tax code, and calculating payroll each month. Payroll calculations can change each month, especially if you have contractors.

Businesses of any size can outsource payroll services. You can outsource all, or only certain parts, of the payroll process if you want to maintain some control. How much you outsource depends on your existing team’s expertise, time, and budget.

8. Bank reconciliation

This is the process of matching up your business’s bank statements with your books. It’s a way to ensure your bookkeeping is accurate, and if there are any discrepancies, these can be noted and dealt with straightaway. This service helps protect your business from fraud and cut down on expenses.

9. Accounts receivable

If your business is owed money, an accounts receivable service can record financial transactions, follow up with collecting the money owed, and process invoices faster.

For businesses that sell services or goods, this service is key to ensuring accurate financial records.

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What are the different types of accounting?

There are generally four different types of accounting. These are:

1. Public accounting

Public accounting refers to businesses that provide accounting services. This type of accounting is generally the most comprehensive, with public accounting businesses tending to specialise in various accounting areas. Your business will most likely use this type of accounting.

2. Government accounting

This is accounting service is carried out for government institutions. These services record and manage all government financial transactions.

3. Internal auditing

Internal auditing is the process of examining the financial practices and health of an organisation or company. Internal auditing locates any financial mismanagement or bad practices.

4. Management accounting

This is where management use accounting information to make critical and informed decisions. Accounting data can help provide clarity and clear numbers on a number of business decisions, including day-to-day operations.

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Why outsource your accounting?

One of the main benefits of outsourcing your accounting is having more time and resource to focus on the exciting parts of your business. Accounting tends to consist of a lot of time-consuming and, dare we say, boring tasks. Outsourcing means you get to focus your precious time and effort on the parts of your business that need your expertise.

Outsourcing will also save you a lot of money, as it means you don’t need to pay for in-house staff to do your business’s accounting. Although it seems an expense to outsource, this cost tends to be much lower than the cost of keeping it in-house, as you’ll have to consider salaries, sickness, and training.

Another benefit is that you can rely on your accounting service provider’s expertise to help you make more financially-savvy decisions. Outsourcing is also flexible, as you can make use of additional services as and when your business needs them. You don’t need to waste money on services you don’t need, but as your business grows and evolves, you’ll likely need different services, which you can then opt for.

Need a quote?

If you’re ready to explore the world of accounting services, you can use our free comparison tool to help you make the best decision for your business. Our tool will match you up with the right accounting firms for your business, all you need to do is give us a few brief details about your company. You’ll then be contacted by trusted firms with no-obligation quotes.


How much does accounting outsourcing cost?
Small businesses will most likely pay around £500 per year for accounting services, although this price can change based on your business’s needs.

Basic accounting services cost around £25 to £90 per hour, whereas specialist services, such as tax planning, can cost around £120 to £150 per hour.

What should I look for in an accounting services company?
With tons of accounting services available, you’ll want to opt for a company that can cater to your business’s needs. If you don’t know exactly what those are yet, the information above should help make it clearer for you.

You should also look for a company that’s trusted and reliable, and also suits your budget. Some providers will offer bespoke pricing, basing this on the size of your business and needs.

Written by:
Zara Chechi
Zara is a Payments Expert, specialising in writing about Point of Sale systems. With a Law Degree from City University of London, she has used her legally-honed research and analytical skills to develop expertise in the Business Services world. Featured in FinTech Magazine, she quickly became an expert in payroll, POS systems, and merchant accounts.
Reviewed by:
Heleana Neil, Business Services editor
Heleana Neil specialises in Business Services, managing the strategy and production of content for SMBs, helping businesses with the challenges and opportunities they face today. Covering everything from payroll to payment processing, Heleana uses her expertise to help business owners make better, informed decisions and grow their companies.