Do I need an accountant?

Okay, so in many domestic situations you may be able to turn your hand to a number of things – like painting/decorating, carpentry, putting up shelves, a spot of plumbing. But when it comes to running your own business, you may well ask “Do I need an accountant?” especially if you are fairly competent with the requirements for submitting your accounts. Even with the advanced accounting software available online…

However, there is a reason why professionals are still around. Accountants, similar to solicitors and skilled tradesmen, are always in demand. So, in all fairness – do you actually need an accountant? The answer is, more than likely “Yes”.

While it is true that clients can save themselves money by doing some of the accountancy functions themselves, they (unless they are a qualified accountant) will always inevitably require some professional financial advice when running a business, whether that is as a sole trader or a limited company.

Need an Accountant for Tax Purposes?

The UK has one of the most complex tax systems in the world and it would be a remarkable individual who could keep on top of all the tax obligations and available opt outs that are imposed each year let alone running their own skilled business. This is one of the most pressing reasons why it is always prudent to consult with an accountant over your tax affairs; they are very easy to get wrong, and getting your tax affairs wrong can be stressful, costly and, potentially, legally problematic.

Consulting an accountant will not just ensure that your business affairs are compliant with tax laws; a good accountant will also advise you on how to legally structure your business affairs to minimise your tax burden and will also monitor the appropriate tax systems for any change that could either disadvantage your business or provide it with an opportunity.

Also, while many accountancy functions can now be undertaken directly by an accountant’s client, it is always good to have a second (professional) pair of eyes to ensure that your books are indeed in order. You may no longer want or need to pay your accountant to do your bookkeeping for you, but you will want them to check that you have been doing it correctly by yourself or to guide you in the right direction.

A good accountant also acts as a good platform for professional aspirations and intentions. An accountant can constructively interrogate your business plan for you, to ensure that the figures and the financial forecasts within it add up and make sense. If you also want to monitor your monthly cash flow and project forecasted earnings, an accountant can help with that.

It is therefore wrong to view your accountant just as the person in the middle between you/your business and HMRC. Accountants can help you to deal and communicate with a wide range of bodies and organisations.

When choosing an accountant or accountancy firm, you may want to do so according to specialisation or sector. If you are intending to work within a particular industry or business-type, the chances are that there are accountants who specialise in dealing with businesses in that field.

Although any good accountant will be able to cover all the basics that you require to run a business, a specialist will be able to advise from an experienced and knowledgeable perspective, often making suggestions that your ‘average’ accountant would not make. Such an accountant will also be able to offer some professional comparisons on how other businesses in your field are constituted and how they are performing.

So, do you need an accountant?

However, the true value of an accountant is that they share some of the strains and stresses that are inevitably involved with running a business, especially small ones. There are already enough things to do in keeping a business going, and there never seems to be enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Hiring an accountant eases this burden considerably.

Legally, you are under no obligation to hire an accountant to manage your tax affairs. However, you are legally expected to submit a complete and accurate set of accounts to the taxman, and there is no better way of ensuring that you do this than by employing a professional accountant to do this for you.

Do I Need An Accountant? Learn How We Can Help With Your Business

To find out how we can help you for as much input as you want, click the button below.

(We may advise that you need more help but it’s your choice!)

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Rob Huntley

Media and Marketing at Maze Accountants
Rob joined the team at Maze in August 2016. His primary duties are to write and update content for the website and to manage the social media channels. Rob is married with two children, so doesn't have much spare time!
 
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