Technology & Innovation

Why your small business needs an accountant in a digital world

From supporting you with your taxes to becoming a trusted adviser, discover how accountants can help you navigate a digital world.

Creating and running your own business is a dream many of us have.

It can be the ultimate test of strength and courage. It can be your chance to shine, to play the game your way, to create your own future.

But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.

Knowing when to get help is vital. And there’s one kind of expert on the high streets of virtually every town in the UK, and often online too. If you’re starting a business, they’re your best friend.

We’re talking about accountants.

Superheroes of the business world

It’s not just about tax and getting things right at the end of the financial year.

Coronavirus has shown accountants to be superheroes of the business world. As restrictions and tight trading conditions started to bite, they stepped in to help with everything from dealing with emergency loan applications to furlough grant payments.

In fact, research by Sage reveals that just over half (53%) of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have become more reliant on their accountants because of the pandemic.

This means accountants are the number one ‘go-to service’ when small businesses are first starting out.

Who else has played a central role within hundreds of different kinds of business?

Who better to advise you on the best way to run your business than someone who’s seen hundreds of businesses like yours succeed—and sometimes fail?

Having a good accountant on your side is like having a business success cheat sheet.

Digital empowerment

All of this comes at a time when do-it-yourself digital accounting tools mean small business owners are empowered to get their numbers right.

Billing, invoicing, banking, running payroll and staying tax compliant—these skills are now easily accessible than ever online and via apps.

Somebody else has sweated the details so you’re freed up to spend more time doing what you love.

As an industry, accountants are evolving beyond these core competencies too by providing the human touch new business owners crave. They want to be the partners to a nation of entrepreneurs.

And the stats back it up.

When considering how best to grow, 44% of small businesses said they’d consult with an accountant.

They’re going digital too, hooking into your systems via the cloud to monitor and plan your finances.

They can watch out for problems, and spot opportunities early. Add in their vast business experience, and you can see why ignoring your accountant could result in big problems further down the line

You just need to know that it’s no longer just about the tax.

Accountants can support you with Making Tax Digital

Changes on the horizon mean businesses are likely to rely more on accountants when it comes to getting tax right.

From April 2026, the rules of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax become law.

For many businesses, this means providing at least quarterly updates to HMRC, plus an end of period statement following the end of the financial year.

HMRC’s own guidelines say businesses should get the help of an accountant if they’re worried about MTD compliance – a point supported by Sage’s research.

Almost all (92%) accountants said they expected an increase in demand as the new system comes into force, with nearly three-quarters (72%) saying that they were already receiving MTD-related enquiries.

Businesses and accountants can’t help but have a stronger relationship in future.

Why you need an accountant in a digital world

Read our new guide, Why you need an accountant in a digital world, to learn more about how small businesses and accountants are a match made in heaven.

Check out Sage’s expert research and how it shows a bright future for a professional relationship that can make all the difference for those starting out in business.

Read the guide and learn the steps for success that help to combine the best use of technology with the support of an accountant to propel your business plans to a new level.

Editor’s note: This article was first published in November 2021 and has been updated for relevance.

Why you need an accountant in a digital world

From helping you navigate the complicated world of tax to managing your finances and using digital tools to take care of your bookkeeping, discover why an accountant can be a valuable partner to your business.

Download your free guide