This a question that comes up quite frequently with new business owners and with more money going out than in, trying to keep control of the costs is often the biggest priority and you can see why so many people ask it.
According to the government and HMRC you don’t have to have an accountant and this might seem like good advice until you realise how much money the treasury actually makes through penalties from small business owners who have made mistakes with their taxes.
So why do most businesses have an accountant when they are told by the authorities they don’t need one?
Time – Small business owners are often the marketing department, operations team, customer service and buying department all rolled into one person, this means administrational tasks like tax returns prevent them from finding new customers and growing their businesses.
- Expertise – No matter how much research they do it will be difficult for them to identify every single opportunity or risk relating to their businesses tax affairs, there’s some things that are obvious to accountants because of their experience, training and their understanding of HMRC.
A second opinion – Accountants can be the ideal “fresh pair of eyes” to have a look at how a business is performing, they have worked with many businesses and will have a good idea of what normal looks like and will be able to highlight what the key issues are.
Support – HMRC doesn’t get it right every time and a good accountant will fight a client’s corner in the event of an enquiry or penalty being issued, it can often take HMRC 5 months just to read a letter so it’s important that it has all the relevant information first time.
While doing their taxes doesn’t always seem like the most important thing in the world to an entrepreneur who is fighting to make their business work in their first year, time flies and deadlines can quickly catch up on them, an accountant will help to manage these deadlines.
If you add to this the need for payroll and VAT returns depending on the businesses activities and advice about accountancy software then accountants will often have a part to play all year round providing advice and support.
Not every interaction between an accountant and their client is planned and some of the best value can be added through general discussions about a business, good accountants will also work hard to keep the information flowing and use it to suggest improvements and provide support.
If you are interest in finding out more about how we’ve helped our clients then please get in touch and arrange a free initial meeting.