By Jonathan London on 23rd September 2015

The benefits of using an accountant

Benefits of using an accountant

When embarking a career in freelancing, one of the key benefits can be the simplification of what were once complex workloads.

Working for a large company can often be an organisational nightmare, and plenty of former office workers will remember times when it felt like half their day was taken up by form-filling, training and other bureaucracy. The prospect of starting afresh, with only a handful of clients and a slimmed-down workflow of your own design, can therefore be extremely appealing.

However, many self-employed people will find that this simplicity is hard to maintain, particularly as they grow more successful. At first, it may be entirely possible to run your operation on a shoestring budget, managing your income and outlay using little more than a basic spreadsheet, but this will not be viable as your earnings rise, your client relationships get more complex and your tax liabilities increase.

All of this goes double if you choose to build on your early success by creating your own start-up company, a move that will add extra layers of procedure on top of your accountancy processes. Some people will still find it possible to manage all of this alone; many others will start to feel the need to seek help.

Hiring an accountant might feel like an extra complication, but in fact it can be a step towards making your life a lot easier, allowing you to take full advantage of the expertise they can provide and shift your own focus to the core strategic elements of your business.

What can an accountant do for you?
By hiring a professional accountant, freelancers and microbusinesses will be able to delegate a number of time-consuming but essential administrative tasks to someone specifically trained for that purpose. These may include:

  • auditing your bookkeeping processes – most people without an accountancy background have their own systems and shorthand for keeping on top of their money, but the additional expertise a trained professional can provide can help you to make sure all of your paperwork is in order, ensure all of your calculations take the necessary tax laws, rules and regulations and deadlines into consideration, and avoid any easily spottable and avoidable errors that could skew your projections.
  • keeping track of and reducing your tax liabilities – taxation can be a complex issue, as the amount of money you owe will vary greatly depending on your income, the size of your business, the number of people you employ and the geographical reach of your services. As such, it can be a real boon to have someone to explain how and when to submit the necessary payments and documentation, as this can help you avoid potentially damaging fines and penalties; moreover, they can also assist you on the most tax-efficient way of running your business, ensuring the amount you owe is minimised.
  • offering advice on growing your business – the best accountants will not only advise you on how to manage your current business activities, but can also give you guidance on how to pursue further growth. By working with an accountant who understands the ins and outs of your company specifically and can offer tailored advice accordingly, you stand a better chance of finding the growth opportunities that your less knowledgeable rivals might miss.

What are the benefits of using an accountant?
Finding an accountancy solution that works for your needs and those of your organisation can be something that provides you with a genuine competitive advantage. By getting this right, freelancers and start-up companies can expect:

  • to save time – managing your own finances is not only difficult, but it can also be extremely time-consuming, especially when trying to manage multiple projects concurrently. While it does cost money to hire an accountant, this should be balanced against the fact that taking hours or days out of your schedule to handle bookkeeping can potentially be costlier and less efficient than the alternative. By delegating this task, you can rest assured that it’s being done the right way, while focusing on the parts of your business that would most benefit from your personal touch.
  • to save money – accountants don’t just help you keep track of your outgoings; they can play a key role in reducing them, helping you to find areas where your business is financially inefficient and coming up with solutions to minimise them. In doing so, you might quickly find that your chosen accountancy solution pays for itself in no time at all.
  • to grow and succeed – unless you’re an accountant yourself, dealing with bureaucracy and financial details isn’t why most people go into freelancing and self-employment, but it is a function that plays an important role in your ultimate success. Getting expert help on this front can therefore set you on the path to a better, more prosperous future for you and your business.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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