Our Review of the Top Accounting Firms for Startups

Written by Amanda Bower    |    Published: October 30, 2023

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A startup discussing their accounting program.

Your startup has killer offerings, a rockstar team, and innovative new ideas. Now, you want to make sure your accounting practices are solid, your finances are always in order, and your business can grow. For that, your organization needs to partner with one of the top accounting firms for startups.

They aren’t the same as any old accounting firm. They understand that, as a startup, you move fast and work in a dynamic landscape. They get how tough the competition can be and how crucial it is that your finances are in good hands. Maybe most importantly, they know all the nitty gritty financial details that might keep you up at night, from regulations to payroll.

They get it, and they’ve got you covered. 

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about working with accounting firms for startups, why your business can (almost definitely) benefit from doing so, and finally, our list of the top firms to choose from.

Do We Really Need to Work With an Accounting Firm for Startups?

When you’re a decision-maker in a fast-growing startup, deciding what to outsource or tackle in-house can be challenging. Do you really need it if you’ve made it this far without outside accounting help?

Before jumping to conclusions, let’s take a closer look at some reasons your startup should work with an accounting firm.

You Want to Take the Weight off Your Own People

When your team has their hands tied with your most basic accounting needs (like benefits, payroll, and taxes), they have less capacity to handle high-caliber tasks. While these “regular” tasks are ultra-important, they can also be time-consuming, monotonous, and understimulating for talented team members like yours. But for professional startup accounting firms, this stuff is their bread and butter, and they’ll happily tackle it.

You Want to Make Sure Your I’s Are Dotted and T’s Are Crossed

Startup accounting is incredibly nuanced. From dealing with investors and financial reporting to ensuring your industry-specific tax returns are maximized, a lot of little details need to be understood and dealt with. Startup accounting firms know the world your business operates in, inside and out, and they’ll make sure you don’t miss a financial beat.

You’re Interested in Fundraising and Want to Be Well-Prepared

75% of startups initially use personal savings to support their business, so if that’s you, you’re definitely not alone. But when you’re ready to seek outside investment, you’re likely going to want to have the support of a startup accounting firm.

Fundraising for startups is no small task; you will want to be as prepared as possible. This means having your financial reports ready, cash flow properly managed, and compliance and reporting covered. When you partner with an accounting firm for startups, you can rest easy knowing this is all taken care of.

You’re Anticipating Some Serious Growth

When a startup is smaller or newer (think dealing with seed funding and operating out of a home or tiny office), handling certain accounting tasks in-house might be manageable. But once you start to grow or prepare for it, financial tasks that were once quick and simple can suddenly become monumental and taxing. 

In short, if you’re growing or expecting to, you should also expect your accounting needs to do the same. And when that’s the case, you’ll want to have an all-star accounting team on your side.

The Benefits of Choosing the Right Firm

So you’re interested in working with one of the leading accounting firms for startups—does the specific firm you pick make a big difference? The truth of the matter is it certainly can. Choosing the perfect-fit startup accounting firm means finding financial professionals who aren’t just doing the bare minimum: they’re the people you really want to have on your financial side.

That said, here are the benefits of choosing the right accounting firm for your startup.

They Have a Deep Understanding of the Startup Ecosystem

Not every accounting professional will be well-versed in things like fundraising rounds, compliance, due diligence, and your niche tax deductions. But trust us, you want to find a financial professional experienced in these things (and more). The startup ecosystem is hyper-specific, and when you partner with a firm that gets it, your finances will be in better hands.

They Can Take Ownership of Crucial Tasks 

When you’re running a startup, some financial tasks can substantially impact your operations. Say, for example, financial forecasts, which give you an idea of what your organization’s financial future looks like. These forecasts are essential to understanding your business’s financial health today and how your decisions will impact it down the line.

Having financial experts on your side means having crucial financial information like this accessible when you need it most.

They Help You Manage Your Cash Flow

Cash flow is another mission-critical item for startups, and as it turns out, businesses today are dealing with more money than they have in the past. Research tells us entrepreneurs today are raising more money, with the median seed round increasing by 300% between 2010 and 2016 and the average Series A round increasing by 250% between 2010 and 2017. 

What this tells us (and what you likely already know) is that startups aren’t dealing with pocket change. There are many cash inflows and outflows, and they all need to be monitored and managed. 

You Can Add Services as You Need Them

When it comes to startups, accounting solutions should rarely be one-size-fits-all. That’s because businesses of this nature grow, change, and adapt, and similarly, so do their accounting needs. 

The good news is that accounting firms for startups offer bespoke services, which you can add on or modify as you see fit. 

Want to start with some essential tax services? Great. Want to then add on HR and payroll? Perfect. Growing fast, and decide you need the services of an outsourced CFO? Your accounting partner has your back. 

Our Review of the Top Accounting Firms for Startups

Now that you know why you should partner with one of the leading accounting firms for startups and know the benefits of picking the right one, here’s our complete list of the top firms out there today.

1. hiline

Allow us to introduce ourselves: hi there, we’re hiline 👋, and we might be the perfect match accounting firm for your startup.

We wanted to kick this list off by formally introducing ourselves. Because we know that while there might be a lot of accounting firms out there, none serve startups quite like we do. 

Startup accounting services are one of our primary offers, and our accountants are experts in leveraging your accounting to support your startup’s success. From recording your transactions to managing your bills, preparing financial records, and providing financial forecasts, our team knows how to care for your accounting needs so you can soar. 

Why do startups love working with us? We offer hands-on assistance, which can come in handy when cash flows are volatile and need constant attention. Our experts are also happy to adjust their models to fit your changing business needs, and we tailor our services to your exact business (none of that “cookie cutter” stuff). 

We can also help you navigate crucial decision-making processes, provide you with accurate and dynamic information, and help you easily keep track of your progress with specific strategies and goals (that can be monitored over time).

That’s also why we’re happy to introduce you to some of our competitors: we’re confident in what we offer and know your startup will love what we do. But more than anything, we want you to find the right firm for your organization. 

2. Pilot

Pilot offers various outsourced accounting services for startups, including bookkeeping, CFO, and tax services. 

3. Azran Financial

Azran Financial says its team of startup accounts provides accounting, audit, tax, due diligence, and other services to startups and early-stage venture companies. 

4. airCFO

airCFO says they provide “ongoing accounting and bookkeeping services for growth-focused, revenue-generating, and/or venture-backed startups.”

5. finairo

finairo says they offer “expert outsourced accounting services and fully-managed financial operations for startups and small businesses.”

Your Winning Startup Deserves a Perfect-Fit Accounting Firm

Your startup’s accounting and financial needs deserve to be in the best hands. You need a firm that understands your business and can provide customized solutions that work for you. With the right accounting firm, you can focus on growing your business and achieving your goals. 

And if you’re interested in partnering with startup accounting experts passionate about providing you with the most comprehensive and accurate services possible, then we should talk. 

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