Do I Need An Accountant? Signs That You Might Need One
Part of being self-employed or running your own business is knowing when you need help. Hiring a chartered accountant can save you from serious legal issues and other financial headaches, and they can ensure your company is running at its full potential. Their entire job is to keep your small business running smoothly from a monetary perspective. If you are a sole trader or if you are running a small business and have been asking yourself ‘Do I need an accountant?’ or ‘Is hiring an accountant for my small business a good idea?,’ this article can help you assess your needs.
- Accountants are important for maintaining tax compliance, improving cash flow, and helping a business build toward future growth.
- Accountants collect and track information related to financial transactions and company health.
- Hiring an accountant is a good idea if you do not understand your company tax return paperwork, you are facing an audit, or if you want help increasing profits and growing your company.
- When you hire an accountant, they will complete the time consuming financial work so you can focus elsewhere.
- It is important to find an accredited accountant who has experience in your field.
- New regulations regarding accounting software are being introduced for sole proprietors and landlords, and an accountant can ensure you meet every legal requirement and stay on track.
- In most cases, hiring an accountant is a smart business move.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is an Accountant?
- Signs That You May Need an Accountant
- Benefits of Hiring an Accountant
- Factors to Consider When Choosing an Accountant
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Accountant?
An accountant is a professional who performs accounting functions for small businesses, sole traders, and any limited company to help owners make critical financial decisions. They collect and track information about the company’s accounts and business finances, and they can perform duties like auditing finances, reconciling bank statements, analysing accounts, and giving reports to the business owner on the company’s performance. An accountant may complete the company tax return or assist you in filing corporation tax. They will also be able to provide general business advice that can help as your business grows.
Signs That You May Need an Accountant
Some common circumstances that require an accountant include:
- Finding out that you’re being audited
- Feeling like you are losing control over your own accounts as you grow your business
- Needing help with financial forms
- Needing assistance making sound financial business decisions
All small business owners have their own reasons for hiring accounting help. Some want assistance with business taxes, others want to increase cash flow, while others are interested in business planning help that goes beyond what their accounting software can do.
As a small business owner, if you are feeling stressed out about money or taxes, or if your finances are taking up too much of your time, hiring an accountant is a good idea. They will take that pressure off of your shoulders so you can relax, knowing your business is in good hands as you work.
Freshbooks, by collaborating with Mazuma, can help you find online accountants near you.
Benefits of Hiring an Accountant
One of the main advantages of having an accountant on staff is the amount of time it saves, as you will no longer have to take care of bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, and any other financially-related tasks yourself. This time can be better spent on creative work, planning, and strategizing. You can relax, knowing that you will meet your tax return deadlines, and that all incoming and outgoing transactions are well documented in case of an audit.
Having a professional with accounting expertise on staff will minimise financial risks, protect your earnings, and give you access to somebody who can provide sound advice for growing your business. Not only will an accountant ensure that you comply with tax laws, they will also know how to maximise your benefits by applying deductions and credits to help you save on your tax bill.
An accountant can ensure that you stay on track as the government’s incoming ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) plan is introduced. This plan mandates that sole traders, self-employed individuals, and landlords use digital software to report their income. Professional help will ensure you remain compliant.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Accountant
An accountant can be part of a firm of chartered accountants, or they can be self employed. The most important factors you will want to look for when you hire a professional accountant to do your small business accounting are the following:
- Credentials: A chartered accountant should have relevant professional qualifications or be a member of an accountancy or tax professional body
- A strong professional history, with no negative reviews or red flags
- Fees that are reasonable and within your budget
- They meet the HMRC standards
- A location that is nearby for meetings
- Accessibility if you have a question that needs answering
- Relevant expertise that will allow them to understand your company’s needs and provide advice from an outside perspective
Some key questions you may wish to ask during the selection process include:
- ‘What are your credentials?’
- ‘How much do you charge for your services?’
- ‘Do you provide services like payroll, auditing services, and investment advice?’ (Ask about any specific services you may need)
- ‘How long have you been in business?’
- ‘How do I contact you for questions?’
- ‘What are common issues in my industry?’
- ‘Why, in your opinion, do I need an accountant?’
- ‘In what ways are you proactive about saving your clients money?’
- ‘What accounting software do you use?’
- ‘What is the best way to divide accounting work between us?’ (If they charge by the hour, you may not want them to do simple data-entry work, for example)
- ‘Why will you be the best accountant for my small business?’
It may be a good idea to speak with several candidates before you hire your accountant, since each will have a unique set of skills and experience. Meeting them in-person or speaking through a video chat service will give you a good idea of their attitude toward their work and whether they are enthusiastic about the job. Using your intuition, while comparing their skill set and experience with the fees they are charging, you will be able to select the best accountant for your business.
Also, you can avoid all the hassle in choosing the right accountant by opting for Mazuma’s online accountant services.
Being your own boss or a sole trader means taking charge and making good decisions that will help your business thrive through tax season and beyond. Hiring someone to help with your business finances can truly benefit your business.
A good accountant is an invaluable resource for any small business. They can help take care of cash flow, improve tax efficiency, help with business planning for future growth, and other aspects of running a financially sound business.
If you hire an expert to take care of your business finances, you will find yourself under less stress and more free time to focus on other areas of your business.
FAQs on Whether You Need an Accountant
What are the consequences of not hiring an accountant for my business?
Some of the biggest issues you may face include costly bookkeeping errors, audits, or missing out on tax benefits and business opportunities. Without secure, professional documentation, you will also risk data loss and theft, along with other financial crimes.
How can an accountant help me save money and grow my business?
An accountant can find additional tax breaks that apply to your business and help you avoid penalties. They can help you better track expenses and minimise costs. And they can identify growth opportunities through data analysis while helping secure financing from banks and advising on investments.
Can an accountant help me with my tax returns?
Yes. Small business owners who use accountants will be able to not only meet all legal requirements, but also maximise their returns through smart deductions and tax breaks.
What kind of qualifications should I look for in an accountant?
Chartered accountants in the UK should have up-to-date qualifications like a degree or apprenticeship, or else they should be a member of an accountancy or tax professional body. Prior knowledge in your field is also a benefit.
Can an accountant help me with my business plan?
Yes. Whether you speak to an accountant about a new business idea or a small business you’ve had for years, an accountant can offer financial expertise to help you understand cash flow, financial statements, and strategy. They will also assist you in growing your new endeavour, ensuring you make smart business decisions.