Do I really need an accountant?

Your business is pretty small, so you can dodge having to deal with an accountant, right? Not necessarily...

It’s easy to think that a small business can do without an accountant. Why pay someone else to handle accounting if it can be done by the person who knows the business best? (That’s you, by the way.)

While it’s possible for people without much knowledge of accounting to manage basic business stuff like filing annual returns, payroll, and checking income and expenditure, a trained accountant can offer a lot more.

Spend now to save time later

If you decide to take on all the financial admin yourself, the time you spend on it is time you can’t spend on other things.

While the DIY approach might feel like a cost saver, it can actually cost the business more by tying up your time. If you’re spending hours on payroll, instead of being out there winning new business, you’re wasting money when you could be making it.

You’ve got your skills and your niche sorted, but you’re not a financial expert. This leaves you open to making mistakes which could cause problems later. Underpaying taxes, for example, leaves the business open to fines, and tax authorities don’t consider ignorance a very good reason for non-compliance.

The perks of a professional

As well as dealing with all those everyday financial processes, an accountant can be handy for expert, ad hoc advice.

Forward planning, and making sound financial projections, often needs the experienced eye and brain of an accountant. They can provide advice if you’re taking on a new supplier, increasing staffing or opening a new business premises.

If you’re trying to raise funds for your business, a good accountant should be able to help you find and apply for grant schemes. They should also be in a position to advise on tax reliefs, and what your business is entitled to.

In other words, they should be able to identify where you can save money and how you can expand. When your business grows, so does your accountant, so they should be proactive.

Much more than spreadsheets

An accountant can support a business in ways that go far beyond cash flows. The real value of hiring a professional accountant shows further down the line, and in your day-to-day activity, when you can see how much time you’re saving.

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