Whether you are planning to set up a new business or expanding it, you will need a professional accountant to advise you regarding the risks and rewards associated with it and what you can do to ensure a successful start. Unfortunately, some people overlook the need of hiring a professional accountant to save little at this stage but end up paying extra later. If you are good business man or an entrepreneur, it does not mean that you will be equally good in everything related to your business. Luckily there are professionals who know their work very well and can save your investment by providing you services which you are not capable of performing on your own.
An accountant does not only crunch numbers but also provide you the vital information when you are just starting up and know the least about the laws and regulations governing your business. They will tell you the most suitable set up for your new business. For example, they will advise if you need to set up a company or running your business as a sole trader will be more beneficial. What applies to one business or person may not apply to other as everyone can have different circumstances so needs a unique advice. They will also advise you regarding the accounting software suitable for your business and the records you need to maintain for year end accounts. A business or company which starts with a better planning and consultation will have more chances of success and is expected to save more money as compare to the others who get the things done in rush because they do not plan.
Similarly, if you have an established business an accountant will ensure that you are filling your tax returns timely and paying the correct amount of taxes. There are different kind of reliefs available to businesses which you may not be aware of and the accountant will make sure you do not over pay the taxes by claiming the reliefs. Moreover, they will advise you regarding the tax efficient ways to withdraw money from your personal service companies.
You need to find an accounting firm which has vast experience in dealing with the clients from the same the sector as your business. By doing so you will ensure that they understand the nature of problems and issues associated with this industry and they can provide you a solution which they are confident about.
You must make sure the firm has relevant certifications and qualifications required and they are reputed members of an accountancy body.
Before you sign a contract with a firm you must satisfy yourself because it is going to be a long-term relationship. Make sure you have one to one meetings with at least 2 to three firms before you decide who is going to be your accountant as it is a hassle to change your accounts every year. Do the cost benefit analysis as some firms are very costly and provide limited services, however some of them provide you a range of services with a nominal extra charge.
You must obtain clear advice regarding the fee and how often it will change. Also, you should be aware of the basis which will be used to decide your accountancy fee. Some firms charge you a fixed fee while others charge you a fee based on your turnover. The more suitable fee structure will be a single package which should cover all the services provided during the year like payroll, preparation of VAT returns, year-end accounts, corporation tax returns and director’s personal tax return and their submissions to respective authorities.
Once you have made your decision and ready to sign the contract, you will receive a letter of engagement from your accountant. Make sure you read it thoroughly and understand your responsibilities and the responsibilities of your accountants as per contract. Your accountant should contact you on regular basis and should request the information as soon as it is due. Moreover, you should communicate any change of circumstances to the accountant as early as possible, so they can update your records accordingly.
Try to improve your relationship with your accountant and seek their advice regarding the growth of your business and how you can minimize certain costs of the business. Find out from them what you should do and what you shouldn’t for better future of your business. Make sure you seek their advice regarding the changing regulations and their impact on your business.
Some of the common mistakes the startups make are that they leave everything to the last minute which creates problems for the accountants as they get less time to finish their work, and they charge extra. Make sure you are following up your accountant on regular basis and responding to their requests promptly.