Money Matters

Six ways an accountant can help your small business

Hiring a good accountant can add real value to your business. Not only will they help you manage your accounts, they will also help you to make better business decisions, help your company grow, legally minimise your tax bill, and, of course, save you lots of time on admin.

Here’s some of the perks a professional accountant can bring:

1Grow your business

Chartered accountant Georgi Rollings, Sage Business Expert and owner manager at Starfish Accounting says a good accountant will be able to offer guidance on taking your business to the next level and the best way to do it, from structuring the business properly to making sure you avoid pitfalls such as overtrading. Some accountants will provide consultations for free, while others will require a retainer fee for regular contact.

2 Minimise your tax bill

Few people can say they’re genuinely on top of taxation rules and regulations, but that’s just what your accountant is there for. An accountant will go through your business with a fine-tooth comb and check to see that you’re making full use of any tax allowances and reliefs you can claim.

3Help you to raise finance

Accountants aren’t there simply to manage your money. They can also steer you in the right direction for additional finance without putting your business at risk, looking at options such as taking out a loan, increasing an overdraft or issuing share capital. They can also help you sell shares in your business, crowdfund or find ‘angel investment’.

4Cater for your needs

Before hiring an accountant, take time to consider what your business needs. If you’re a small start-up that needs a lot of handholding, don’t opt for a firm that specialises in accountancy for multi-nationals. Make a list of all the things you’d expect your accountant to help you with, and then shop around for the firm/individual that best suits your company’s needs. An experienced accountant, for example, can advise a small business on issues such as adequate working capital, good stock control and invoicing.

5Register you for VAT

If your annual turnover is getting close to or is above £85,000, you’ll need to become VAT registered. If you make all, or nearly all, of your sales to VAT-registered businesses, you may benefit from being VAT registered even if you are under the threshold, as you can then reclaim VAT on any business expenses you incur. An accountant can deal with VAT registration for you – leaving you with less admin to worry about!

6Help you manage change

Whether you’re employing more people, bringing on board a business partner, want to become a limited company, or set up a childcare voucher scheme, your accountant can help. They have a breadth of knowledge on a number of topics – not just balancing the books. So keep in touch with your accountant if your business circumstances change, and they will be able to offer you a wealth of professional support and guidance.

To find an accountant in England or Wales, go to Find a Chartered Accountant.