When you go it alone, suddenly you wear all the hats. Sales team, marketing team, finance team. It can be a lot!
Turning to an accountant is one way self-employed people ease the burden of accounting and tax. We know from talking to our customers that around 65% either have an accountant or are thinking about it.
We also know that not everyone will want an accountant, and that’s fine too, but we wanted to explore some of the things they can really help with. (And how to make sure it’s high-value work, not low-value admin…)
From IR35 to the flat-rate VAT scheme, the rules get shaken up from time to time. Some changes benefit your business. Some don’t. Either way, you need to be in the know. Can you really stay on top of all the changes by yourself? Accountants have to understand the system inside out, and it’s literally their job to stop you from putting a foot wrong in the eyes of the tax gods.
We love tech, but sometimes there’s no substitute for getting expertise from a real person. Self-employed people who do their own bookkeeping often still rely on an accountant for the trickier aspects of running a business. Not only do accountants provide bespoke guidance so you comply with HMRC and Companies House, they support your thought processes behind the scenes (remember, they see a lot of businesses like yours!) so you can focus on your success.
As you continue to build your business, you’ll find that a professional relationship with an accountant is one you lean on more and more. For example, if you ever choose to make the switch from sole trader to limited company. Or if you cross the VAT threshold and need to make a few adjustments.
Basically, accountants can add a huge amount of value as strategic advisers to help you with your business decisions.
Accountants are often unable to do all of that to their (and your) fullest potential.
Why? Because there’s always a chunk of autopilot grunt-work to knock off the list when you’re self-employed. Categorising transactions. Matching up receipts with expenses. Matching payments to invoices. The list goes on…
In this age of tech, nobody should have to waste time trawling through shoeboxes or copy-pasting photos of receipts into an email chain.
And yet: accountants often end up bogged down doing those tasks for their clients. All of which distracts them from being able to advise you about the bigger picture.
Even worse, you’ve already faced a ton of hassle beforehand, hunting out all the documents and statements to send them. We’d bet that’s also an unwelcome distraction from what you do best.
We’ve kept all of these challenges in mind as we were creating Coconut, and that’s what led us to build the Coconut Accountant Portal.
Our Accountant Portal makes it easy for you to share your business records with your accountant in real-time (just head to “share with your accountant” in the Coconut app menu), meaning fewer resources get wasted on tasks that can be sped up or automated with the right tech.
Even if you don’t have an accountant, Coconut is here to help. With expenses, invoicing and tax all in one, Coconut gives you the power of a finance team in your pocket. Use our app to connect your current accounts and credit cards and you’ll get a complete view of your business across every account, whenever you need it.
Coconut gives you the power of a finance team in your pocket.
With expenses, invoicing and tax all in one, it’s the ultimate accounting and tax tool for self-employed people.
Get going with the Coconut app now.
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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.