If your image of an accountant is someone who does little but shake their head over a teetering pile of receipts and then scribble incomprehensible figures in columns that seem to march on forever in a giant notebook, then sorry, but you’re behind the times.
Even worse, you could be ignoring professionals who could turn your financial health around, given the chance. A good accountant will go well beyond bookkeeping.
Deal With the Scary HMRC
Both by phone, letter, email and web submission, your accountant can be the person who explains, replies, makes queries and provides evidence whenever you need to deal with HMRC.
Submit Timely and Faultless Tax Returns
Hopefully, this will mean HMRC won’t need to get in touch in the first place! You will also be spared the stress of worrying about completing your tax returns correctly – and on time! – and understanding the jargon.
Advise You on Tax Liability and Expenses
Many people are unaware of some of the items for which they can claim back the expense against tax. Car hire, utility bills, broadband, printer paper – you name it, someone somewhere had failed to claim for it (and lost money by doing so). A good accountant will ensure you claim every penny you can, allowing you to keep as much of your hard-earned income as possible
Advise You on your VAT Status (and Submit your VAT Return)
Although there are rules that govern compulsory registration for VAT – rules which, of course, your accountant can fully explain – you can also register for VAT voluntarily. Depending on the nature of your business, suppliers and clients, sometimes it can be in your best financial interests to voluntarily register for VAT and a good accountant will be able to tell you if this is the case for you.
Help Create a Sound Business Plan
A business plan is nothing without realistic predictions of expenses and income. An accountant can help you collate and present figures, as well as advising you on exactly what you need to include.
Give Financial Advice Based On The Whole Picture
Given the chance to do so, a good accountant will look at your personal and business finances side by side, checking whether there are any ways to save or make extra money for you. This can include advice on which type of company status would be the most beneficial, how to handle partnerships and where to apply for loans and grants.
Advise You on the Legalities
Company status, licences, certificates, registrations, public liability insurance – the legal do’s and don’ts you have to take on board can seem overwhelming when you’re planning or starting a business. A good account can help.
Handle Your Employees’ Pensions and Payroll
Even the most dedicated and friendly employee can get a little twitchy if they discover their tax has been calculated wrongly, they haven’t received a benefit or expense payment or their wages haven’t arrived in the bank – particularly if that error causes them financial difficulty or an unauthorised overdraft fee. Accountants can handle your payroll for you, leaving you to concentrate on your business.
They Can Save You Time, Money and Stress
By supplying all the services and advice above (as well as good old-fashioned bookkeeping!), a good accountant can save you immeasurable time and stress and measurable money. They are the experts in financial matters, meaning they can handle them more completely, quickly and efficiently than you can. Hiring a good accountant really does mean a weight off your shoulders – and more money in the bank!