Finding the right bookkeeper for your business is critical. While bookkeeping services may look the same, many distinctions can help you find the right fit for your needs. Taking some time to consider the factors can save you time and hassle in the future.


Businesses acquire reputations as they work with customers, for good or ill. You can check out the reviews on a bookkeeping service multiple places online, but talking to others who use their services may be more beneficial. You want to find a sole trader and small business bookkeeper others enjoy working with.

Bookkeeping Certifications

In the UK, bookkeepers should have at least a Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping, though many have Level 3 or Level 4 certifications as well. These exams may have been administered through a few organizations, but the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is the most common.

Professional Memberships for Bookkeepers in the UK

Professional memberships indicate that a bookkeeper is devoted to their profession. There are several different organizations a bookkeeper may be a member of.

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is a professional organization that also administers bookkeeper certifications. Professional members also receive career support, resources, networking, and more. Of note, the ICB is more broadly recognized, including by all the countries in the Commonwealth.

The International Association of Bookkeepers

The International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) is another organization that provides certifications in bookkeeping. Many of the credentials are similar to those offered by ICB, so you should consider the specializations more than the organization.

Local Chambers of Commerce

Bookkeepers in the UK may also be members of their local chambers of commerce. You can use this to judge an organization’s level of community engagement if that is important to you. You may find this matters less when looking for online bookkeeping services.

Accountancy Memberships

Not all bookkeepers operate solely in bookkeeping organizations. Some also work as part of accountancy services companies and may have memberships that reflect that difference. You may need to dig a little deeper than the organization’s website to find out more about who your bookkeeper is.

Availability of Sole Trader and Small Business Bookkeepers

One of the biggest factors in choosing a bookkeeping service is availability. If your potential sole trader or small business bookkeeper is fully booked, it could be months before you can set up bookkeeping services.

Bookkeeping Packages

Another factor is the bookkeeping service’s packages. Whether offered locally or online, bookkeeping services must fit your intended budget as well as meet your needs. You may need to book a few consultations to get the complete package details.

Partnerships with Other Financial Services

One point you may wish to consider is the ease of transitioning to other financial services. If you aim to expand your sole trader or small business, you may need full accountancy services in the future. Partnerships make that transition easier.

Experience Working with Sole Traders and Small Businesses

There are many types of bookkeeping companies, but you can look for options that work with sole traders and small businesses regularly. Some bookkeeping services even specialize in businesses like yours.

Location of the Bookkeeping Office

Depending on your preferences, you may want to look for a local bookkeeper to your business. While searching for options like “bookkeepers in Yorkshire” may help you find a selection, it’s best to visit if having a local bookkeeper is important.

Are You Looking for Practical Bookkeeping Services?

Sherlock Accounts is an experienced sole trader and small business online bookkeeping service based in Yorkshire. Sherlock Accounts is ready to work with you, featuring packages tailored for small businesses and the option to tailor features.

Contact us today for pricing.