Ways an Accountant Can Save You Time and Money

Posted by Ananya Nair on April 16th, 2022

It is fairly obvious that an accountant can prepare a business\'s annual accounts and file the appropriate tax returns but they can offer far more for a business, particularly when you are first starting out. They will be able to give advice on a variety of business issues as well as tax planning guidance. So it is important to select an accountant who has experience in dealing with the same type of business as yours. And, especially, to ensure that the accountant you use is a qualified member of one of the professional accounting associations. You can identify a fully qualified accountantby their chartered or certified status.

Large accounting firms can offer accountants with a range of experience and the certainty that you can always speak to an accountant (although not necessarily the same one each time) so no worrying what to do while your accountant is away on holiday or dealing with another clinet. But there are also advantages to using an smaller firm which is more likely to respond quickly to your business needs and be more flexible in their approach and charging scales.

Whatever type of accountancy firm you select always request references, or, better still, get a personal recommendation, and check that the firm has professional indemnity insurance.

Before you formally engage the accountant discuss what level of service you require and what your budget is. If you are at all concerned about unexpected bills (and who isn\'t) then look for a fixed-fee accountancy arrangement. That way you know exactly how much you will be paying at the outset. Ideally ensure that you will always deal with the same person so that they can develop an understanding of you business and your particular needs.

As with many professionals, an accountants level of understanding of their own subject is so deep that they can fail to realise that ordinary mortals do not understand some aspects of accountancy at all, let alone in any depth, so ask plenty of questions until you have a clear idea of what they are saying. This is particularly important if you are opting for additional services and guidance. You need to understand what is on offer and what you need and remember that a chartered accounting firms can offer guidance on setting up a business, preparation of financial forecasts, help with loan applications, audits, investment advice, ways of minimising your tax liability and advice concerning HMRC investigations.

An accountant can also help you with record keeping, essential if your business was ever to be the subject of an HMRC investigation, but equally important to save time and money checking invoices, for instance. And because accountants deal with many businesses they can also be a surprisingly good source of recommendations of other businesses that you might need to deal with or even investors.

But if you really want to keep you accountants bills down then do as much as you can yourself by handling the simple book-keeping tasks and maybe investing in simple accounting software, many of which can be used online. Your accountant\'s time can then be better used dealing with the areas that you cannot do yourself. If your business is successful there may come a time when you can hand everything over and concentrate on growing the business.

Above all, remember that an experienced chartered accountant can give guidance in a number of areas so it is always worth asking if you need help. Preparing a business plan, costing new projects, seeking additional investment, valuing a business for sale and acting as a tax advisor are just a few aspects where they could offer help.

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Ananya Nair

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Ananya Nair
Joined: April 12th, 2018
Articles Posted: 60

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