Getting the best out of your accountant
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Getting the best out of your accountant

Ness Kent
Ness Kent
Head of Marketing at Coconut
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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…)

1. Keeping you on top of the changing tax system

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.

2. Giving you peace of mind

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.

3. Setting you up for growth

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.

But here's the thing…

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.

The TLDR? Use a tool to minimise low-value accounting admin

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.

The Coconut Accountant Portal

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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Coconut is the trading name of Coconut Platform Ltd, company number 09904418. Coconut is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Account Information Service Provider under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (reference 931194).

Coconut provides some customers with a business current account, but is not a bank. The Coconut current account is an e-money account provided by Prepay Solutions (PPS), a trading name of Prepay Technologies Ltd, which is an electronic money institution authorised by the FCA under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (reference 900010) for the issuing of electronic money.

PPS holds all funds in a safeguarded account in accordance with the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 which protects customers against Coconut or PPS’s insolvency. The Coconut Mastercard is also issued by PPS pursuant to a licence by Mastercard International.
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