It’s a question we get asked a lot.
And there’s no doubt about it, accountants have a really valuable role to play. They provide something technology isn’t able to replicate: peace of mind.
Having a human to talk to, someone who understands how you’re feeling and has experience that’s built over many years can give you the confidence to make big decisions for your business.
But let’s break it down and look at each of the areas an accountant can help you with and whether it makes sense for you to work with one.
The UK tax system can be complex. It is said that the UK has the longest tax code (a mere 17,000 pages long!).
Chances are you started your own business because you’re particularly passionate about something, or particularly skilled in a specific area. Not because you wanted to learn the UK tax system. But running your own business often requires you to become the ‘finance person’ on top of everything else.
Having an accountant means you can hand over the burden of admin and legal obligations of your business, allowing you to focus on doing what you do best, and spending your time on growing your business and making money.
Besides saving time getting to know the UK tax system, hiring an accountant to manage your finances and deal with your taxes could mean you actually save money by making sure you pay the right amount of tax. Because they know the intricacies of the system inside out they can make sure you’re not missing out on key tax savings. They’ll also make sure you avoid any nasty fines by missing key deadlines!
The role an accountant plays is evolving. They are not just there to provide the financial reports. Take Covid-19 for example, accountants have been the main support channel for all types of businesses when it comes to understanding what support they can obtain from the Government and how they should adapt their businesses to survive.
An accountant will also advise you on what entity you should set up as: Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited company. These routes all have their advantages but an accountant will be able to tailor their advice to you, giving you the best option.
Do you feel comfortable handling your finances? Can you understand your accounts and bookkeeping? If you feel uncomfortable with any of these questions then you should consider hiring an accountant.
Finding a friendly and proactive accountant can be crucial in giving you confidence in your financial affairs. A great accountant will be able to help when it comes to keeping your business on the right side of the law. They’ll also be able to explain each aspect of your accounts and obligations to give you the understanding you require so you can see how your business is performing financially.
Have you ever had the pleasure of dealing with HMRC? It can be tricky sometimes. Accountants are able to act as your agents and deal with HMRC on your behalf. This is a big step in relieving the stress, and most importantly time, that you could be spending growing your business.
This is exactly why we built the Coconut Accountant Portal last year; to allow our customers to work better with their accountants. And to remove much of the laborious bookkeeping admin for the accountant so they can focus on the more valuable work; providing support and proactive business guidance.
Having an accountant is valuable beyond just compliance and tax planning, it’s about having someone by your side with the experience to help you make the big decisions and build a better business.
If you are considering hiring an accountant, maybe we help. We can connect you to our network of accountant partners so you can get all of your accounting done through Coconut as one simple service.You can check out our packages and pricing here, or alternatively if you are looking for some more advice and would just like to talk about the different options available, feel free to give us a call on 020 3318 7583.
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Elaine Clark is the founder of Cheapaccounting.co.uk and all-round self-employed and small business accounting specialist. She gives her top tips on how to keep your accounting costs low.