Whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company, there is no legal obligation to hire an accountant. Some businesses find the financial commitment of hiring an accountant to be more than their budget currently allows for, particularly if it’s a small start-up in its infancy.
Larger businesses with more wiggle room in the budget might still choose not to hire an accountant. Instead, they’ll recruit an in-house accounts or finance team to take care of everything internally. With this addition to the company workforce, there’s no need to outsource the work to an external practice unless you need specific advice.
Whilst it’s not a legal requirement, and it’s entirely up to you and the needs of your business, almost every business will benefit from an accountant.
In this article we look at the reasons why, highlighting some of the most commonly reported benefits of having an accountant up your sleeve (metaphorically speaking):
- Significant timesaving
- Helping you run your business as tax-efficiently as possible
- Making better business decisions
- More clarity and (therefore) confidence
- Saving you money in the long run
- General peace of mind
An accountant can save you valuable time
The most obvious advantage of hiring an accountant for your business is the hours and hours’ worth of valuable time they can save you. From starting out and setting up your company correctly, to its ongoing management.
The bookkeeping and finance tasks which you find onerous and time-consuming are bread and butter to someone who does these things all day long. Once you are all set up, having an accountant frees up your precious time, allowing you to invest more energy elsewhere.
Plus, handing the responsibility over to someone who knows what to expect from the figures reduces the risk of human error and omission on your part. So you’ll save time rectifying unnecessary mistakes, too!
They’ll help you understand what you need to do in order to manage your business efficiently, without spending hours researching on your own. That just leaves you to concentrate on more pressing matters – like growing your empire!
It can save you significant money in the long run
Although hiring an accountant might seem expensive initially, doing so will likely save you money in the long run. It can be turn out to be a useful investment, particularly if you find an affordable accountant.
Accounting professionals have the financial skills and industry knowledge to help you capitalise on any cost-saving opportunities. As well as working with you to limit business expenses, they’ll make sure you claim back any tax relief on what you do spend – steering you towards a positive cash flow situation.
Help ensuring your business is running tax efficiently
It’s an accountant’s job to stay on top of all the latest regulations and legislation. As a result, a tax accountant will reduce your tax bill and help you claim tax relief. They will also protect you from HMRC penalties by helping you meet necessary deadlines and requirements.
A good financial advisor will also be proactive in making sure any allowances, expenses and government schemes work in your favour. They’ll even be able to guide you on the best way to pay yourself from the business whilst protecting the company, as well as your pocket.
Boost your own clarity and confidence
When you hire an accountant for your business, you’re basically paying to access their knowledge and experience. Absorb it to your own advantage!
Working with your accountant will help you understand more about running your business, the industry, and its systems. We’re not suggesting you upskill with a view to one day firing your accountant. But getting a feel for their thought processes and logic, as well as learning what resources they use (such as your bookkeeping) will give you confidence in your own decisions.
Well informed decisions lead to more stable cash flow, healthier finances and more realistic forecasting. When you have a clearer vision for moving your business into the future, it becomes more attainable. It’s the domino effect in action.
Providing you with peace of mind
With all of the benefits covered in this article considered, the main overarching advantage that comes of hiring an accountant is nurturing your own peace of mind. Running a business is stressful.
When you know your business and its finances are in the capable hands of a qualified professional or a reputable team, you can relax (a bit).
So how do I choose an accountant to help me?
The best place to start is by doing plenty of research. It will help you get a feel for what services you’re likely to need, and whether you need someone local or an online accountancy service.
- Make sure they’ve got all the relevant qualifications and certifications. Chartered Accountants are the cream of the crop, but don’t overlook experience! A good practise will have a mix.
- It’s not essential, but you might consider looking for an accountant with experience within your particular industry or sector.
- Ask around your network. If you trust someone’s judgement and they make a recommendation, it’s worth investigating at least!
- Read plenty of online reviews – they’re often more candid than the customer testimonials or case studies you’ll find on an accountant’s website.
- If you prefer in-person meetings, look for a local firm or an accountant close to home.
- As a limited company you’ll need to submit company tax returns for the business, and Self Assessment for your own income. Find an accountant who will bundle them – it’s cheaper!
Read our guide to finding the right accountant for your business, or ask a tax question for free!