Choosing an accountant

Choosing an accountant is a big step, so find out what you need to know about selecting one in this informative guide.

Choosing an accountant is arguably one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to safeguarding your company finances.

A good accountant can ensure your books are balanced, that your business is operating tax efficiently, and that all legal filing deadlines are met. Working with an ill-equipped accountant however, or one who is not the right fit for your business, can have costly implications.

Why do you need an accountant?

There are many benefits to having an accountant, especially if you select one that specialises in small business.

One of the key pros to hiring an accountant is the ability to have your taxes professionally handled. Accountants will be able to ensure your business is operating in the most efficient way, making the most of allowances and lowering your tax liability where possible. They can also help with things like forward planning, advising on how to balance your books and improve turnover as you grow your business.

It is incredibly important to select an accountant you can trust, as you are ultimately placing a great deal of faith in them when handing over your accounts. Even if they make a mistake, you will be liable for this error and the consequences, so make sure you do your due diligence when selecting the right candidate. Of course, hiring a professional is also an added cost, something of which you should be mindful when choosing an accountant.

What should you expect to pay?

Accounting fees vary hugely depending on a number of things, such as the services provided.

For example, you may wish to enlist an accountant to help with filing annual accounts while managing the rest year-round yourself, or you could hire an accountant on monthly retainer to take care of all your bookkeeping. Similarly, accounting firms can charge higher rates than self-employed individuals, and larger companies with higher turnover will need more in the way of support which will in turn result in higher expenditure. Sites like FreeIndex can help you see quotes and rates from various accountants near you, and of course, tax relief is available on accountancy fees.

Alternatives to an accountant

There are some alternatives to hiring an accountant; for example, you can manage the books yourself if you feel confident in doing so, or have had training. There are also online software providers available across a range of platforms and at various price points to help you find what you need.

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