Small Business Guidance – Why you need an Accountant

As small business owners we often have to become a marketer, accountant, IT specialist plus so much more diverting the focus away from doing what we love to do. Accountancy is an important part of your virtual team, working along side your marketing and HR functions. With this in mind we are delighted to share some financial wisdom from Rosie Forsyth, Wilkins and Co Accountants – here is what she had to say:

For any small business an accountant can free up your time, allow you to concentrate on running your business and help you sleep! Yes, we prepare your accounts and file your returns, but the real value of an accountant is the peace of mind that you gain from having someone there to keep you on track.

Running a small business is tough going.

Many small business owners start out doing everything themselves, as money is tight, and you want to be on top of everything.  But as your business grows, and you have more and more demands on your time, being able to outsource the elements of the business that may not thrill you, or may not match your skill set, is a key component of ongoing success and more importantly – your sanity!

There are a number of reasons to work with a accountant, including:

1. Save you time.

Setting up a good accounting system will save you hours and hours of time.  At Wilkins & Co, we work mainly with Xero and Receiptbank to set up a streamlined accounting system that works for you.  You can totally outsource this – or you can do parts of it yourself,  and let us check in once a month or so and er…. tidy up any loose ends!  Small businesses can be put off by a monthly subscription for cloud based packages, but at around £20-£30 per month, they are such a worthwhile investment in the time savings they bring.  Time not spent doing your accounts = time spent working on chargeable work, or more free time to enjoy!

In the not too distant future, digital accounting is going to be necessary for submissions to HMRC, so getting this in order now will save you time and stress when it becomes a requirement.

2. Provide you with accurate financial information.

Doing your accounts once a year, on a wet Sunday afternoon the day before they are due to be filed, is not giving your business any useful data at all!  It may tell you what your profit was 9 months ago but nothing up to date and relevant! 

Packages such as Xero will give you up to date management information on which you can make business decisions.  You can see how your increased marketing activity has led to increased sales, or that your spend in a particular area is creeping up and needs keeping an eye on.  These are all real time decisions that will affect the profitability of your business.

3. Save you money.

Tax is complicated, especially when numbers are not your thing.  Even HMRC’s guide to expenses is over 100 pages long, and everyone’s mate down the pub has an opinion, so it’s no surprise that small business owners worry about their taxes.

An accountant will go through your accounts and make sure that you are claiming all the allowances and exemptions that you are entitled to and that you are operating as tax-efficiently as possible. 

We will help with calculations such as claiming for working from home, using personally technology for work, and as your business grows, VAT registration.

Of course, we will make sure the many filing deadlines that a business faces are met, and ensure you know what is due – and when!

4. Help you grow.

We can make sure that you have the right business structure in place.  If you started life as a sole trader, there may come a time where this is not the best structure for you and we can help with the transition to becoming a limited company.  We can advise on the tax and pension implications of taking on your first member of staff and paying yourself efficiently.

5. Be on the end of a phone!

Running a business can be lonely and often you just need to talk an idea through, or make sure you haven’t lost the plot completely!  We often talk through ideas or issues with clients, either to advise on the likely financial/ tax implications or just to act as a sounding board and a fresh pair of eyes.

So if you think now is the time to consider getting some help and taking on accountant, we’d be delighted to talk to you.  We would discuss your individual needs and determine a package that is tailored to your requirements. 

In future we are delighted to be working alongside Rosie on a couple of projects, if you wish to find out more please do get in touch.

Sophie Comas

A highly successful self-motivated and results driven, senior marketing professional. My passion lies within developing and delivering marketing solutions which make a difference in today's complex digital market place. A marketeer with a strong academic background and broad ranging level of experience working with small businesses and in the travel and hospitality sector, across the Thames Valley, I love a challenge!

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