Do I Need an Accountant for My Small Business?

/ Finance, SME, Tax

Author: Henry Robinson

It goes without saying that starting up a small business, whether from scratch or transitioning from being self-employed, is a multifaceted and challenging process. There’s plenty of excitement to be had, and it’s satisfying going through the checklist and seeing your hard work pay off. However, looking over the books and making sure you’re keeping up to date with regulations, payments and taxes can be incredibly daunting.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first, yes you can manage your own finances and books as a small business. However, there are challenges to this. In this blog, we’re going to go over some of the reasons you may need an accountant to help you on your journey.


What can an accountant do for you? 

Firstly, on a practical level, having an accountant can help you free up your time so that you can focus on your business, especially as it grows.

Accountants can help you save money, and potentially a lot too, but this isn’t the only reason to get an accountant. Your accountant will cover the following essential areas:

  • Payroll
  • Compliance
  • Tax efficiency
  • Business planning
  • Financial Reporting

Accountants can also provide general advice and support with your business plans and ideas.


What should you look for in an accountant? 

Before we go over whether you should get an accountant, let’s go over what you should be looking for in an accountant to start with. Just knowing what you should be expecting from a productive and cohesive relationship with an accountant.


Location and distance 

These days most work is done remotely, especially accountancy work for clients. However, there is a benefit to being close enough that regular monthly face-to-face meetings can take place. These kinds of meetings are good for brainstorming business ideas and to discuss your finances more thoroughly, but it’s not just about being connected in a physical sense, but in a way that you can understand each other’s immediate geographical area, its challenges and benefits and how that affects your business. It also helps you build rapport.


Rapport and personality 

If you’ve found an accountant in a good location, then you will want to make sure they’re a good fit for your company. Part of this is whether you can build a personal connection and get along during a preliminary meeting. Then you can discuss qualifications and experience, for example, which recognised UK body are they qualified through?

Consider what kind of package the accountant will offer. Can they offer monthly services?, Do they charge by the hour?, do they offer a direct debit facility so you can spread your costs?


So, do you need an accountant? 

Working out if you need an accountant depends entirely upon your business needs, size and outlook for the future. We’ve discussed choosing the right candidate and this may have already given you an idea of whether you feel you’re ready to approach an accountant for your business or not.

However, there are other factors, such as the overall direction your business is heading, your overheads and challenges.


Your finances are more complex

As your business grows your finances can become more complex. We understand that it’s hard to give up control when you’ve spent a long time overseeing every aspect of your business, especially if you’ve started a small business after some time building revenue and finding your market. You can take control of your own finances, but the more complex it becomes the more time you have to spend doing it, and that means more hours, and hours add up.

Whether you’re a start-up, self-employed or a Limited company, an accountant can become your first port of call in many cases. An accountant not only takes away those extra hours will do so more efficiently because of their expertise, and can offer you advice on your future business plans. An accountant will offer you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on the business itself.


You need to understand your finances 

As mentioned, an accountant is a great source of advice and a voice of reason when it comes to your business plans. Accountants analyse, make financial plans and forecast, so they can provide you with valuable insights into your business’ health. In this way, an accountant isn’t just a reactionary figure in your business, but offers a foundation from which you can make plans. Reports can give you inspiration, confidence and determination – helping you to consider whether to invest and where to focus your growth. They can also be sobering, and let you know where you may need to pull back, hold or prepare for the worst.


Avoid financial mistakes 

There is the obvious here, and it’s related to the complexity of your small business’ growing finances and the forecasts and reports your accountant can give you, and that is making sure you stay within the law.

As your finances become more complex, so too your taxes and expenses. There are many avoidable mistakes which you could spend a lot of time researching and considering when doing your own books, where an accountant will be able to anticipate and prepare your finances for these problems far more efficiently.

Then there is the dreaded audit, something easily navigated with an accountant, who will be responsible for justifying your tax payments and expenses. You will never have to worry with a qualified accountant.


Every penny matters 

Lastly, your accountant will help you understand your own finances by telling you what you can and can’t claim on expenses, how your tax is calculated and advise you on expenditures and incomes. As you work with your AIMS accountant, you will become more knowledgeable in the way that you can move, spend and save money more efficiently. What you spend on an accountant could potentially be made back or at least partly subsidised by the money you save from preparedness, time saved, tax planning and efficient accounting. Money saved is money invested back into your business.


Get help with your choice of accountant 

If you’ve read this article and realised that you may need an accountant, or at least need to consider your options, then AIMS can help you with that. We have an extensive network of qualified accountants so we can help you find the right fit for your business. Contact us today and tell us about your business needs and we can help you take the next step on your business journey.


Looking For Help?

Contact AIMS Accountants for Business. We can offer advice and support for your business.

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