You’re self-employed, a small business owner, the captain of your soul, the master of your own destiny – so do you need an accountant for your business journey? Or are they just a waste of money?

The answers to those questions vary by entrepreneur and business owner. Some people are very comfortable with maintaining their accounts and calculating their annual tax returns, as well as keeping up to date with any changing rules in the fun filled world of taxation. Others, however, the very thought of it fills them with a deep, dark feeling of dread.

False Economy

I’m saving myself money by doing my accounts myself – having an accountant costs a fortune and it’s not worth it…right?

Accountancy fees vary depending on the firm, and the intricacies of your tax affairs, but often saving the money in the accountancy fees can cost you elsewhere.

Accountants have a professional obligation to keep up to date with accounting and taxation rules, they have mandated hours on an annual basis that they must spend ensuring they’re knowledge is fresh. This is an accountant’s forte, it’s what they’re there for, so by not utilising an expert’s knowledge you could end up missing out on claiming something that could reduce your tax bill or claiming for something you shouldn’t, which could come back to bite you in the future.

Understand your accounts? More than comfortable with your tax calculations?

Great! You’re probably one of those people that doesn’t need an accountant.

Some people in that position, however, still choose to engage an accountant because, in the grand scheme of their busy business life they simple don’t have the time, or want, to do their accounts themselves.

You’re already juggling sales, marketing, the day to day and everything else your business entails, you don’t have the time to keep on top of your accounts. An accountant can simply take the pressure off by dealing with your accounts for you. Is your time better spent putting together your accounts, or looking after your customers or working to drive new business?

Other benefits

A good accountant can:

  • Identify costs that can be cut, revenue streams that aren’t working for you and spot trends that you can capitalise on
  • Provide regular bookkeeping to help you keep on top of your sales and profit figures throughout the year, rather than waiting until the year end accounts are done, at which point you can’t affect them
  • Provide information – knowledge is power; it can help to improve cash flow and promote business growth

In summary, a good accountant should pay for themselves in the advice and knowledge they can share with you and your business. Think about it, if you needed your house rewiring would you rather have a qualified electrician in to do it, or someone that can change a fuse in a plug?

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