Do I have to have an accountant?
According to HMRC you are expected to seek professional assistance on any aspects of your tax affairs that you don’t understand, this doesn’t mean that you have to have an accountant but it does mean that you can’t use ignorance of the rules as a defence for not paying tax.
If I don’t have to have an accountant then why pay someone to do it for me?
There are several reasons the most obvious is convenience as we can do the work which means that you can focus on growing your business. Another reason is that we know the ins and outs of reducing a tax bill, which means that many of our clients save much more in tax than the fees they pay us.
Do accountants need to be qualified?
Unfortunately unlike many legal and medical professionals in this country who are required to be part of a regulatory body, anyone can sell their services as an accountant. There are Chartered institutions that regulate their members in order to maintain ethical and professional standards, these include: CIMA, ICAEW, CIOT & ACCA.
Northants Accounting are members of CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), it is a tough qualification that involves sitting 3-4 years’ worth of exams and then a case study based on practical experience.
How difficult is it to switch accountants?
It is relatively easy to switch, as your previous accountant, providing they are professionally qualified will be required to hand over your records to your new accountant. This means that after you have signed a contract there will be very little for you to do apart from hand over a couple of authorisation codes when HMRC send them to you by post.
Why would I want to switch accountants?
One of the main reasons our new clients quote for leaving their previous accountant is a frustration with their old accountant’s lack of customer service and availability. Another reason is that their previous accountant wasn’t being proactive enough when it came to tax planning and they lost out on thousands of pounds in tax overpayments.