If you are early stage then you need two things: an accountant and accounting software.
When it comes to finding an accountant, find someone who understands your area of business. Most firms will meet once or twice to get a feel for your needs. In my experience, good accountants will tell you outright if their firm is a good fit for your business.
Accountants can recommend great software packages as well. Most desktop software does not lend itself automation and integration.
We use Xero at Picatic; which handles a lot of our day to day stuff. It has also enabled us to have better reporting to our investors. It cut down a lot of the work we were doing manually before. They have a wide selection of partner integrations to do payroll, collect money on invoices, etc. Their biggest win in my opinion is their open API. You can automate nearly everything you would need to for accounting. This is a big win for many tech startups.
WaveApp is another alternative. They are "close" to releasing an API and provide many of the same services. Worth looking into as well.
Online accounting has one big win, you can access it anywhere in the world. Incredibly useful tool if you are pitching your company and an investor wants to know, "Who is your biggest client?"
Give me a call if you want to know more on how we are automating much of our financial aspects of our business.