If you are an owner-operator of a small to medium-sized business, a question you may have pondered is, “why should I hire an accountant?” Is hiring an accountant worth it, and what should you look for in a potential accountant? IN Accountancy is here to answer all your questions with eight illuminating ways an accountant can add value to your business.
What does an accountant do?
Operating within the professional services industry, accountants carry out many duties. The various roles and responsibilities of an accountant include preparing tax returns, reviewing financial documents, conducting audits, analysing accounts, forecasting, and evaluating operations to highlight potential efficiencies and savings, to name but a few. But that is only half the story. A great accountant also adds value in so many other ways.
Suppose you have ever asked yourself any of the following questions:
- Do I need an accountant?
- Should I hire an accountant for my small business?
- Do I need an accountant as a sole trader?
- Do I need an accountant for a limited company?
If you have, the answer in the vast majority of cases will nearly always be a resounding “yes” – your business can benefit from hiring an accountant.
How an accountant can add value
Many definitions of what an accountant does are relatively narrow and process-driven. Some accountants may well stick to the bare minimum, but the very best will add untold value to your business. The following are just eight of the many benefits of hiring an accountant:
1. Spotting opportunities & threats
When you hire an accountant, they may promise you the earth, but you have to chase them for even the most basic information. That is the perfect recipe for frustration, and you deserve better. A great accountant will be proactive, going the extra mile to understand the numbers that matter most to your business and proactively spotting new opportunities (as well as potential threats) to support the growth of your business.
2. Saving you money
Good accountants should effectively pay for themselves. As a small or medium-sized business, making your tax burden as low as possible is essential to allow your company to flourish. A great accountant shouldn’t just take your money; they should save it! The best accountants go out of their way to highlight the best strategies for reducing your tax liabilities whilst always keeping you firmly on the right side of the law and the tax man.
3. Providing help and advice
Your accountant isn’t just there to crunch the numbers. They can also offer a helpful listening ear whenever you need it, drawing on all their industry experience to provide expert advice about various financial matters. From setting up a limited company to help with your accountancy software, a high-calibre accountant will always be happy to help. So much so that you might even start thinking of your accountant as an extension of your team.
4. Allowing you to meet tax deadlines
The shifting tides of taxation rules and regulations mean that even the most organised business owners can accidentally fall foul of missing critical deadlines through no fault of their own. A great accountant will keep you on top of important filing dates and help you avoid costly penalties. With the right blend of diligence, good communications and steadfast systems, your accountant will ensure your business never misses a tax deadline.
5. Advising on business structure
Businesses constantly evolve, which means that the business structure that worked when you first set up may not be fit for purpose as your company grows. For example, if you begin operating as a sole trader, you may find that as your staffing and size of contracts increase, you take on more risk and liabilities. In this case, your accountant can advise you on the benefits of pivoting toward a limited company and will make incorporation a simple business.
6. Saving you time
Filing a tax return takes time. In fact, many financial processes take time when accounting isn’t your day job. Your accountant can take away the burden of completing critical financial tasks, such as completing your self-assessment. Knowing how much your time is worth, think of the time and money a qualified accountant can save you – not to mention the grey hairs! All of which will give you more time to focus on what you do best.
7. Reducing risk
Two heads are almost always better than one when making crucial business decisions. Therefore, having the counsel of an experienced accountant who you can consult regarding important financial considerations can be priceless. A great accountant will offer honest advice that protects your best interests. They may even be able to act on your behalf in certain crucial circumstances, like dealing with HMRC or investors.
8. Leveraging technologies
An excellent accountant should always bring solutions to the table. Nowadays, there are so many time and cost-saving accountancy software solutions to make managing your finances easier. Your accountant can help you to leverage these technologies for maximum gain. They will help you to install and integrate appropriate digital accounting software – such as Xero, Quickbooks, Sage or FreeAgent – to make your accounting as efficient as possible.
As you can see, a great accountant does far more than simply prepare your tax returns (as valuable as that is!). We have outlined eight benefits of hiring an accountant, but when you hire an accountant, you are sure to enjoy many more advantages over and above what we have illustrated in this comprehensive guide to hiring an accountant.
When you hire an accountant, they often become an extension of your team, offering valuable insights, advice, strategies and cloud-based technologies that streamline your operations, saving you valuable time, money and peace of mind. A good accountant should always be one step ahead of you, not vice versa! Any accountant can do the bare minimum, but the best ones care deeply about the success of their clients and go to great lengths to help them succeed.
IN Accountancy is well-qualified to summarise the qualities of a proactive accountancy firm because that is precisely what we are. But don’t just take our word for it. Here is what one satisfied client had to say about our services: “IN Accountancy is a proactive accountancy firm that sees beyond the accounts and adds value in their proactive approach, and friendly service. They help with the business, networking and collaboration. They are far more than just the numbers and that’s refreshing.” We can provide all this and more for your business too.
If you are looking for an accountant to hire, look no further than IN Accountancy. For more information about how we can add value to your business, please get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team. Contact us today at 0161 456 9666 or email email@example.com.