Online Accountant vs Accountant in Dublin


When reviewing the top queries visitors have entered into Google prior to finding their way onto, some include “accountant dublin”, “accountants dublin” & “dublin accountants”. I was surprised because I would have imagined people would prefer to have an accountant who is working remotely or online given the lower cost and the standardisation of services. 

In this article we will discuss the advantages of using an online accountant versus an accountant based in Dublin working from an office. By online I’m referring to an accountant working remotely from home or in an office in a location which has a cost significantly lower than Dublin. I’m also assuming you are based in Dublin and the reason why you want an accountant based in Dublin is to have more face-to-face meetings. I’m using Dublin as an example because in general it has a higher cost base and most people coming on this website are looking for an accountant in Dublin.


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Advantages of Accountants in Dublin


Stronger relationship

By meeting your accountant face to face you can establish a stronger relationship and seek better advice. Research by Harvard Business Review suggests requests in person are 34 times more effective than by email.  The research suggests face-to-face meetings are more effective due to the prevalence of impersonal means of communication. 

For example, if you ask your accountant by email what funding is available for your company, you may just be directed to a particular website. However, in a face-to-face meeting your accountant may go through specific funding schemes which relate directly to your business.

Better communication

Being able to meet face-to-face can make it easier to articulate complex ideas. When you communicate something, non-verbal cues are very important to help you understand if the person you’re talking to is fully understanding what you’re saying. Peter F. Drucker said: “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”


If you run a large complex business you are mostly likely going to need advice from more than just one accountant. Accountancy has various disciplines which people specialise in. Being able to speak to accountants from various backgrounds at the same time in person can allow synergies to be identified across multiple areas of your business by accountants coming from various backgrounds.

Disadvantages of Accountants in Dublin

Time to travel to meet

It’s unlikely you will be based near your accountant. In order to have face-to-face meetings you will need to spend time travelling to the location to discuss. This time could be better spent on other activities.

Higher cost

In general, Dublin accountants based in an office will have a higher cost base than accountants based elsewhere in the country. Office fees and rates are higher and those costs will need to be passed on to you. If you are only using standardised services which can be performed from any location it makes no sense to pay a higher fee for the same services.

When should you use an online accountant?

Using only standardised services

The main factor when deciding whether to use an accountant based in Dublin or an online accountant should be the type of services you need. If you are only using standardised services such as payroll, VAT and annual returns then you should consider switching to an online accountant. These services are not location dependent and are not complex in nature requiring face-to-face meetings. 

Limited time / No face-to-face meetings

If your time is very limited and you don’t plan on having a large number of face-to-face meetings you should consider using an online accountant. 

Looking for specific experience

By using an online accountant you have a much greater selection of accountants with various experience. If finding an accountant with greater relevant experience is more important to you than having face-to-face meetings then using an online accountant maybe a better option. 

Cost is an issue for you

If you are a start-up and cost is a significant issue for you, you should consider using an online accountant. An accountant working remotely from their home would be the ideal person to work with you to grow your business. As they don’t have to pay rent for an office as well as rates they can pass these savings on to you in the form of lower fees for their services.

Require little advice

If you are mostly hiring an accountant for tasks which are of an administrative nature ie VAT returns, payroll and annual returns then working with an online accountant may be better for you. These tasks require little to no face-to-face meetings to be completed. 

When should you use a Dublin accountant?

Large or complex business

An accountant working remotely is ideal for a start-up or a small business. But for a larger more complex business having an accountant practice is more effective. Having a practice with multiple people coming from various backgrounds and disciplines can help you manage your business more effectively. 

Frequency of meetings

If you will be seeking advice frequently it would be better to work with a Dublin accountant or an accountant close to where your business is based. Being able to have meetings face-to-face will promote better communication. 

Even if you are having infrequent meetings but the advice you’re receiving is important to the success of your business it would make more sense to be able to have these meetings face-to-face. For example, if you’re trying to raise funding it will be essential to have a detailed business plan. It makes no sense to try to save a few hundred euro which could cost you thousands of euro in lost funding.

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