What Do Accountants Do?
If you’ve started up a business or have a tax return to prepare, you’ll probably be wondering ‘What do accountants do?’ and ‘Do I need an accountant? It used to be essential to find an accountant, but less so these days because so much can be done yourself online. So what’s the point of paying those expensive traditional accountants fees, or even our low-cost cloud accountants fees?
What do accountants do for tax? Well to start with it’s our job to get your tax returns correct. How confident are you that you can avoid errors? HMRC can penalise for mistakes on tax returns of up to 100% of the tax underpaid, if the mistake is found to be wreckless or dishonest. Then there’s all the time and hassle you’ll save. Despite all the best intentions, so many people leave it until the last minute, then have to urgently find the money to pay HMRC. If only they had just asked an accountant to do it 10 months ago!
Do I need an accountant to do my tax? So maybe you’re not convinced you need help getting your tax correct. But quite often accountants save you a lot of tax. Sometimes a lot more than the fees they charge, especially if you’ve never used one before. Whether it’s claiming all the expenses you’re entitled to, setting you up to trade as a limited company rather than a sole trader, or even future tax planning such as saving your kids up to 40% tax on your wealth when you die, there are many ways of saving you tax.
What do accountants do for accounts? Preparing your own accounts is possible with the right software, especially if you’re a sole trader. However, it’s not advisable. Accounts, and the amounts your tax liabilities are based on, must comply with generally accepted accounting principles. Of which there are many and they keep changing! Only qualified and experienced accountants can reliably get your accounts right. If your accounts are wrong, your tax is probably wrong and you should refer to the fines and penalties mentioned above.
Also, company accounts disclosures can run into dozens of pages. Without specialist software, you’re likely to be producing company accounts that don’t comply with company law, or accounts that show too much. Abbreviated accounts can be submitted to Companies House by small companies, but do you know what you can leave out? You’ll probably need advice.
Do I need an accountant to do my accounts? So perhaps you’re a whizz with figures and software and still want to prepare your own accounts. How well will your own document be received if you need them to support say a mortgage application or to secure a big trade deal? Accountants usually provide a certified report within the accounts which gives anyone looking at the accounts some assurance that an accountant has prepared the accounts.
Apart from that, what do accountants do? All sorts!
From the usual and expected: doing your bookkeeping, helping you do your bookkeeping (online at the same time), preparing and submitting VAT returns, preparing management accounts, and running your payroll.
To the less usual: mortgage certificates, budgets & forecasts, business plans, some basic and related legal advice, technology tips, and most importantly advice on running your business and increasing your wealth.
Do I need an accountant to do all of that? Some of these things are required or requested to be signed or provided by accountants such as mortgage certificates and business plans.
The list could go on and on, but when you appoint an accountant, you should get much more than just accounts and tax. You should get a business partner who is there for general support at anytime through the years.
HOW WE CAN HELP?
We can be your business partner. We give free initial advice, then general advice throughout the year all included in our fixed fees.