What To Consider When Hiring an Accountant For Your Food Growing Business

Starting a new farm can be an exciting and rewarding venture, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the most important decisions you'll need to make as a new farm owner is hiring an accountant to help you manage your finances. 

An accountant can provide you with valuable advice on tax planning, financial management, and other aspects of running a successful farm. In this blog post, we'll discuss what you should consider when hiring an accountant in the UK.

Qualifications and experience

When it comes to hiring an accountant, qualifications and experience are crucial. Look for an accountant who is a member of a recognised professional body such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). You should also look for an accountant with experience working with small businesses and farms, as they'll have a better understanding of the unique financial challenges you'll face.


Accountants charge fees for their services, and it's important to understand how much you'll be paying before you sign any contracts. Some accountants charge a fixed fee for their services, while others charge an hourly rate. Make sure you understand what's included in the fee, and whether there are any additional charges for extra services such as tax planning or bookkeeping.

Also find out when you will pay, is this a one-off charge or a subscription. Sometimes paying monthly can be a real benefit to cash flow for market garden operations.

Availability and communication

It's important to choose an accountant who is easily accessible and responsive to your needs. Look for an accountant who is willing to meet with you regularly to discuss your finances and answer any questions you may have. You should also consider how you'll communicate with your accountant – will you meet in person or online meetings, communicate by email, or use online accounting software?


Farms & Market Gardens have unique financial needs, so it's important to choose an accountant with expertise in similar accounting. Look for an accountant who has experience working with farms and understands the specific tax and financial issues that affect the industry. This can include knowledge of agricultural subsidies, grants, tax reliefs and knowledge of small businesses with seasonal expenses and cashflow.


Technology is changing the way accountants work, and it's important to choose an accountant who is up-to-date with the latest accounting software and technologies. Look for an accountant who uses cloud-based accounting software, which allows you to access your financial information from anywhere, at any time. This can make it easier to manage your finances and stay on top of your cash flow.

Some accountants will have special rates for accounting software and may even be able to include receipt software. If you can stretch to receipt processing apps with your accountant this can really speed operations up for you; you simply take a photo of the receipt or invoice and the app pulls the information into your accounting software for you. Saving a lot of time and admin during the busy season.

In conclusion, hiring an accountant is an important decision for any new farm or food growing business owner. When choosing an accountant, consider their qualifications and experience, fees, availability and communication, specialisms, and use of technology. By taking the time to find the right accountant for your farm, you can ensure that you have the financial support you need to succeed.

Setting up a food growing business