Posted: 29. October 2019 by: Rupert Tennant

6 Types of Accountants

Every business owner or a potential one knows how important accountants are for their company. However, it’s important to have in mind that there are many different kinds of accounting out there and therefore, different kinds of accountants as well.

Sometimes this may be too expensive for a small business, but the experience that can come from having an expert accountant on your side can pay for itself in the long run. It’s also important to keep in mind that you don’t need all of these accountants all the time.


The certified public accountant isn’t really a particular type of accountant, but instead, it’s a title that means that the accountant is recognized by the industry as an expert in their field. The expertise is in accounting records, taxes and financial standing. The involvement of these accountants is usually deeper than the taxes itself.

That means that a CPA will be more than just an accountant; they will serve as a financial advisor and have a more active role in shaping your business. It also requires them to have a BA degree and obtain a certification.

Forensic accountant

Forensic accountants are the investigators in their field of work. Their job is to analyze the financial and accounting records in order to notice problems with your records and your tax practice. Over a longer period of time, they also notice patterns in your finance and offer advice about it.

This isn’t an expert that’s best suited to the young and small company since you need to develop a financial and accounting practice before they can pick it apart and notice the long term problems and tendency with it. They will pay for themselves in the long run, but it will take time until they get there.


The audit is the process in which HMRC goes through your tax records and figures out, are your tax returns and tax payments in accordance with your real financial state. That can be an ordinary process that HMRC does from time to time, or it can be a reaction in a problem that has come up with your finance and HMRC practices overall.

An auditor is the person that does that job. It can be done by the government agency, meaning HMRC, but you could also hire one yourself to help you prepare you for the process.

Cost accountant

A company needs to be mindful of their financial processes in order to cut costs and make their investments more efficient. A cost accountant is a person that will focus on the cost side of things. Their part of the job is to go through the supply side of your business and find patterns in it.

For the most part, they are also economists or have a BA in finance. There are CPA accreditations for these accountants as well, and they too are better suited to larger businesses that have kind of lost their way in terms of the corporate structure.

Project accountant

Project accountant is the accountant that’s hired to work on the project by project basis. These projects could be of different length and different importance, but what makes them an individual unit is that they have a clear start and a clear finish. It’s the option that many small companies use.

They usually get hired when a small company comes to the issue that they can’t deal with using their own staff, but that needs to be taken care of on a clear deadline. It’s a more expensive way to handle finances in the long run.

Staff accountant

The most important investment you have as a business owner is your staff, and that’s how you should treat it. The staff comes with many expenses that go beyond their salaries. Some of these are about accounting and paying the taxes on their salaries. This is an accounting problem to take care of.

This isn’t something that every business does and a lot of the times it’s handled by the general accountant. If you have a lot of employees and if you have complicated arrangements with some of them you should have the accountant dedicated to staff alone.


There are different types of accountants a business should choose carefully as to which one they hire. For some companies, a general-purpose accountant will do just fine, but that’s not the case for all of them, and sometimes expensive expert could save you more than they cost.

A business needs to choose an accountant based on their long term needs and problems. This is sometimes much harder than it seems, and it may lead you to hire more staff than you need or not hiring all the staff that you need right away. All of these problems should be taken seriously if you want to grow the company.