Should you hire an accountant for your start-up business?
Why an accountant could not only provide financial advice but also invaluable support to help grow your small business
Some start-ups and small businesses view accountants as a luxury, or think that they are there to simply fill out the necessary forms that keep the taxman happy. However, a good accountant will offer you much more than this. Your accountant should be one of your main allies – providing proactive advice and guidance to ensure your new venture survives and prospers.
Benefits of accountants for start-ups
Enlisting the help of an accountant brings a wealth of advantages, so here's a selection of what you and your business could gain:
- Time savings – Time spent handling your accounts only reduces the amount of time you have available to focus on growing your business. Having an accountant on board frees up your time so you can concentrate on doing what you do best – winning new customers and expanding your business.
- Staying informed – By staying one step ahead of the latest legislation, a switched-on accountant will be able to advise you on how to stay tax efficient while operating within the rules.
- Costs kept in check – An accountant will keep an eye on your overheads and outgoings during those vital and extremely challenging first few months of trading, when keeping a tight rein on expenditure is vital for your survival.
- Help to grow – Accountants are a great source of strategic advice in the ongoing growth and evolution of your business. Enlisting their help early on ensures you make smart decisions from the outset.
- Objective input – Your accountant will know your business inside out, but won't have the emotional attachment that you do – thus enabling them to offer objective, honest input.
Accountancy services for start-ups
Professional accountants offer a wealth of services that can benefit your start-up. Examples include:
- Business incorporation – From discussing your individual aims, finances and circumstances, an accountant can recommend the most profitable structure for your business, whether that's becoming a sole trader, limited company or entering into a partnership. Incorporation services are then handled by your accountant, who will review the registration application documents before submission to ensure they're correct.
- Company accounts – Current legislation requires every business to file end-of-year accounts with HMRC and Companies House, which must support the calculations included in your corporation tax bill. Enlisting the help of an accountant can ensure they're completed correctly and on time, thereby eliminating the risk of you being hit with a costly penalty.
- Management accounts – Interim management accounts help you to monitor your company's progress during the financial year – a useful process that can highlight any issues and areas that need to be addressed.
- Business taxes – Handing this service to an accountant ensures expert advice on what tax deductions and capital allowances you can claim. They can also advise on VAT registration and assist in the completion of both personal and corporation tax returns.
- Salary – If you begin paying yourself a salary, you're required to register for PAYE, from which your business must deduct tax and NIC that are paid each month to HMRC. An accountant can help you navigate this potential minefield.
- RTI – In a bid to improve the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, HMRC now requires businesses to supply payroll information on a monthly basis. This helps understand taxpayers in real time and eliminate the need for costly adjustments at the end of the year. With all UK businesses being enrolled from April-October 2013, your accountant can guide you through the RTI process for both yourself and your employees.
Fundamentally, a professional accountant is there to lighten your administrative burden and ensure your start-up complies with all the relevant rules around tax and accounting. However, as we've seen, a good accountant will go above and beyond that – saving you time, offering proactive advice, identifying and communicating business risks and opportunities, and helping you to become more profitable.
Why not get in touch with ClearSky today to see what our qualified, expert accountants can offer your business? Simply call 0800 325 3526 or visit www.clearskyaccounting.co.uk.