Your accountant is much more than the professional who ploughs through your books at the end of the year, makes head and tail of the vast pile of receipts that you dump on their desk in a carrier bag and chases you to file your tax return on time. They are actually the closest you have to your own dedicated business adviser.
If you have been in business for a year or two, your accountant will have moved on from helping you set up and getting to grips with your basic filing requirements with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and, if your business is a company, Companies House. By now, your accountant will have a good understanding of your business, its profitability, its cash flow, its owner (ie you) and its all-round strengths and weaknesses.
That's why they will be well placed to help you as you grow and develop your business - particularly as you are likely to have an increasing number of pressures on your own time. You might find that you want to use them to run your payroll, for example, keep your accounts or file your VAT return. If you are thinking of making an acquisition, you might want them to carry out due diligence on the business that you are thinking of buying.
It makes sense to meet regularly with your accountant to review the services they already provide to you and see how they can help you grow your business further.