I guess by the time you read this you will have seen a lot of the ubiquitous ‘predictions for next year’ bogs and social posts. I must admit, we toyed with the idea of writing one (in fact we may still do it) but rather than just make some wild predictions we decided to be a bit more focused. If 2020 has shown us anything it is that the unexpected can happen and this can have a very big impact on accounting practice. Covid changed everything. From annual things like your abridged accounts and your VAT registration and payments, through to daily questions about new issues such as the furlough scheme and working from home tax implications for your P87. So, heading into 2021, we think we can say that here is the most practical advice we can offer in relation to your accounts.
2021 could be tough because of Brexit changes and recovering from the pandemic, so take look at your accountants and ask yourself if they going to meet your needs.
- Are they staying ahead of the game?
- When the changes happened over the last year, did your accountant keep up with the new situation? We get a lot of new clients telling us that their previous accountant seemed to be unaware of the full circumstances. In fairness, it would be a big claim by any accountancy practice to say they fully grasped the implications of every change simply because there were so many, but did you feel they were making additional efforts to get ahead of the game?
- Are they proactive?
- Your job is to run your business in the best possible way. A good accountant should be protecting you as much as possible by offering you their advice pro-actively rather than waiting for you to have an issue. As a minimum you should be getting updates on the situation, newsletters, correspondence about the impact of changes and so on as well as face to face planning sessions if need it.
- Do they understand the actual implications of new regulations and rules?
- Knowing a change happened is one thing, putting that change in context is another. A good accountancy service should really be able to practically apply new regulations to your business and advise on your options.
- How transparent are they on additional costs?
- Accountants are professionals who charge for their services. Everyone accepts that there will be a bill for the care of your accounts, but do you see exactly what is being charged and why? The situation last year did mean some extra work for your accountant, particularly in things like the furlough scheme, but were you charged fairly for that work?
Going into 2021 our top advice is to really watch your bottom line and that means considering your costs. Your accountancy care is one of them. Getting true value for the money you spend is no less important for your accountancy than it is for any other purchase. If you can say you are happy with all the above, then it looks like you are set to go for the big year ahead. If you can’t say you are totally happy then maybe it’s time to look at what your business needs in 2021.
Call us if you would like us to look at your situation. We offer a free initial consultation and we never take a client where we don’t think we are a good fit.