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By Lynne Gowers on 3rd September 2015
Hiring an accountant to look after your business finances can be a savvy move. DIY finances aren’t for everyone, especially when your accounts start looking rather complicated. Whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re up and running but looking to expand, here are some ideas why you need an accountant helping your business develop.
The majority of people start businesses doing what they love, and what they’ve always dreamt of doing. For most people, this unbridled enthusiasm generally doesn’t extend to spending hours on financial records and paying taxes.
Accountants can help you focus your business efforts on the really important (money making) stuff, whilst they take care of the other important (tax paying) stuff. It’s a win-win; you don’t get to waste time crunching numbers, and you get to spend time making more money.
Tax deadlines, limits and amounts due have an annoying habit of changing on a semi-regular basis. Overlook one critical change, and you could end up massively underestimating your next tax bill.
Using an accountant guarantees that deadlines are met, and that you’ll be paying the correct proportion of tax at the right time (and to the right people). Understanding how the system works can be a bit of a minefield; an accountant will help you tread carefully.
Think hiring an accountant is expensive? Think again. A good accountant will be able to highlight any areas where you could be saving money (such as claiming for all of the expenses you’re entitled to), which means that not only could they drastically cut your tax bill, but they could even end up paying for themselves.
Alternatively why not check out our infographic on how much an accountant could save you.
It might be that being a sole trader isn’t very financially efficient any more, and that you’d be better off running as a Limited Company of operating through an Umbrella company.
Accountants aren’t there just to help with finances; their support can improve your whole business setup. If you’re just starting out, they can cast a beady eye over your projections and financial plans. As your business grows, they’ll be able to run you through the various options available and point you in the right direction if you decide to change the structure of your business.
Although you’ll still be legally responsible for their accuracy, you can handover full management of your accounts to your accountant. This means they’ll be able to do everything on your behalf, from completing your tax return, managing PAYE to filing your accounts with Companies House. You could even nominate them to manage your communication with HMRC. No more wasted hours listening to dreary hold music? Yes please.
At some point, most businesses will need an investment. Whether it comes in the form of a bank loan, business angels or investors, you’ll need a solid plan detailing your both your forecasts and your accounts to-date.
An accountant will be able to offer guidance and ensure you’ve thought of everything, and provide reassurance to those looking to invest that your figures are accurate and realistic.
Spreadsheets, invoices and tax returns aren’t for everyone. If the thought of just opening up your accounts gives you a spreadsheet-induced migraine, hiring an accountant would be a good shout – and some may even give you access to software so you get a hands on picture of your finances (here’s a guide to the different types of accountant you can use).
Not only will an accountant keep your accounts in order, you’ll also have the added assurance that you won’t be penalised for late payments. Plus, you’ll get to spend January feeling smug about having a hassle-free tax return; now, who said you can’t buy happiness?
Our guide to choosing the right accounting software walks you through the market leaders to help you choose the right platform for your business
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