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Do I need an Accountant?

I’m currently in the process of starting my own business. Naturally I’m trying to keep costs as low as possible and as it will only be a small operation, I’m wondering if I need an accountant or would it be possible to manage this end of things myself?

When starting out in business, it’s only natural that you’re eager to keep your overheads to a minimum. However, trying to make savings by not hiring an accountant may turn out to be an expensive mistake. Getting a new business up and running can be an overwhelming experience and a good accountant will lighten the load and guide you through the process. Your accountant can help you with the key tasks involved at the start-up stage, such as deciding on a suitable structure for your business, registering for relevant taxes and opening a business bank account.

They can act as a business advisor, reviewing your business plan and drawing attention to any areas that may need tweaking. They will then work with you to ensure you’re on the right road to achieving your business goals. They should also be able to help you with networking and put you in touch with some valuable contacts that will be able to assist you in the early days of your business.

As your business progresses, your accountant can do more than just bookkeeping and annual returns. They’ll be able to offer tax planning advice to ensure your business is operating with maximum efficiency and work with you to develop realistic strategies for business growth, as well as helping you improve your cash flow and cut costs where possible. Securing finance is tough for any business at present, but your accountant can help you determine the most suitable source of finance for your business and then assist you with preparing a solid credit application.

To get the most from your accountant, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with them. Instead of communicating only at year end, touch base at intervals throughout the year, especially if there are any significant issues or changes in your business. Most importantly, if you’re unsure about anything you discuss with your accountant, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even if you’re not preparing the accounts yourself, you still need to have a good understanding of the figures behind your business.

To keep things running smoothly, make sure you keep thorough records of all your business transactions and send them to your accountant in an organised manner. Missing information will slow down the production of your accounts and cost you money. Your accountant can advise you as to the best way to record transactions and perhaps suggest appropriate accounting software to make things easier.

A good accountant can save you time, money and allow you to concentrate on running your business. It can be tempting to cut costs by going down the DIY route, but this may prove to be a false economy. One mistake on a tax return could cost you far more in the long run than your accountant’s fee would have. Don’t wait for problems to arise in your business, engage an effective accountant from the start.