The role of an accountant
Every business, big or small, needs to hire an accountant to protect the financial integrity of the organisation.
With Google at our fingertips, it’s easy to think that we have access to all the information we need in order to run a successful business. However, accountants train for years to become fully conversant on all taxation and accounting legislation, and more importantly how to impact a business.
By hiring a professional who has trained with an accountancy body such as ICAEW, ICAS, ACA, ACCA, CIMA or CIPFA, you’re not only investing in expert advice but also the peace of mind of knowing that everything is being dealt with in the correct way.
The right accountant can take care of your annual accounts and tax compliance. By helping you keep organised with expenses and revenues, providing accurate financial statements and budgets, an accountant can also suggest ways you can save money and take advantages on tax reliefs. It goes without saying, that any extra cash is a huge benefit for any business, allowing you to invest and save.
The importance of an accountant for businesses
Hiring the right accountant can be a valuable asset to your business, no matter how small, and can provide many benefits at various stages of growth.
Running a business is tough, and the day-to-day activities alone are enough without the added extra of managing your company accounts. Business owners are known for having the ability to shapeshift into any role their business requires - such as an accountant.
But why should SME's put unnecessary stress upon themselves?
When business owners decide not to hire an accountant they are usually motivated by the savings they think they will achieve. But the fact of the matter is, a good accountant can be one of the most worthwhile investments made in the business, and in the end can actually end up saving the company money. As a business owner, it's important to remember that an accountant is an investment, not an overhead.
A GOOD accountant...
In summary, they can do more than balance the books. Here is a brief checklist of everything that a good quality accountant can do for your business:
- Meets deadlines (e.g. the HMRC self assessment deadline)
- Ensures employees are paid correctly and in-line with their contracts
- Reduce your workload
- Set up your business
- Save tax
- Pay the correct amount of tax
- Improving cashflow
- Bookkeeping and financial reporting
- Real-time advice
- Helps your business to succeed and grow
Leaving this in the hands of a good accountant allows you to focus on what's important...YOUR business.
An accountant is often a guardian angel for a business – an adviser, cash flow expert and strategic consultant all rolled into one.
Signs of a BAD accountant...
There are over 380,000 accountants registered with accountancy bodies in the UK alone. With that in mind, how can you be sure that the accountant you choose, or the one you have, are trustworthy and have your best interests in mind? It's easy to be blindsided by a bad accountant when you've already hired them. Here are some signs of a bad accountant you should be aware of:
- They miss deadlines
- Frequently make careless mistakes
- They don't communicate well
- Condones bad practice (e.g. tax evasion)
- Changes their hourly rates or takes longer than expected to complete tasks (to charge you more)
- They share information about other clients - accountants should not break client confidentiality
- They don't understand your business or industry
- Blames HMRC for their own errors
- They don't explain things in a way you can understand
- They 'wing it' and lie about their qualifications and experience
Now you understand the importance of having an accountant in your corner, and the signs of a bad one, you're fully equipped to search for and choose the right accountant. If you're looking to find a GOOD accountant, use our site to find an accountant tailored to your business requirements.