Why do I need an accountant?
Editors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on SME Accountancy, kindly written by a real expert in her field – Victoria Wainwright, Managing Director of Naylor Wintersgill.
Please consider contacting Victoria for any aspect of accountancy, tax advice, bookkeeping or cloud accounting- just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.
Whether you’re just starting out or are on the way to growing your business, you’ll be making many critical financial decisions that can affect the long term success and growth of your business.
From choosing the right legal structure and starting to trade to navigating more complex financial challenges, appointing the right accountant can help to eliminate a list of possible problems (and potentially costly errors) as you build a successful business.
We’ve put together seven reasons why finding the right accountant could be just what you need to help to grow your business:
1. They’ll help you stay compliant
Even if you are confident in your ability to deal with your business finances, preparing and submitting an annual set of accounts and associated tax returns could become rather complicated.
It’s difficult to stay up to speed with ever-changing rules and regulations so you can easily fall foul of your compliance responsibilities. With several deadlines to consider, you could also incur penalties and fines if you fall behind. Especially as you start to grow, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a professional who can relieve you of this burden and give you peace of mind that your business finances are looked after.
2. You can save time and money
As a business owner, you will focus your time and energy on dealing with many day-to-day aspects of running your business, which can inevitably leave tasks such as financial record keeping low on your agenda. Appointing an accountant to handle essential functions, such as compliance, financial reporting and correctly calculating how much tax you need to pay, can free up your time to focus on doing what you do best and ultimately save you money in the long run.
Many owner-managed businesses may choose to keep their own financial records. An accountant can help to establish and maintain essential procedures so that your books and records are kept up to date. Keeping good financial records could help to save you money in fees. It would also allow the accountant to focus on analysing your business’ performance to make it more profitable.
It’s a smart move to undertake regular bookkeeping as it means that you’ll have access to real-time information on your exact financial position. This is critical so that you can make informed financial decisions needed to develop your business.
3. They can make sure you’re working smarter, not harder
A good accountant will be on hand to identify the most suitable and cost-efficient online or desktop software package to match your business needs, both for now and for future growth.
For many SME’s, using the right online cloud accounting software package can allow you to work more efficiently and smarter within your business. Not only can this type of accounting system help you stay in control of your day to day business operations but it can future proof your internal procedures.
With many accountants now having certified software advisors in place, they can also provide you with the ongoing guidance, support and training you really need to get the most out of your chosen package. Not only can they get the software set up or migrate your existing data for you, but they can also make sure you’re maximising key product features such as automatic daily feeds of your bank transactions and online invoicing to help you get paid faster, improve your cash flow and have more time to manage and grow your business.
Once your accounting software is functioning smoothly and efficiently and you’re able to generate accurate information from it, this is where you will see the most value from your accountant. Using their knowledge and expertise, they can use the software to get a better view of your overall business performance, spot trends and recognise potential risks and problems in your business.
4. Why do I need an accountant? They’ll ensure you’re tax-efficient
Whether you’re an individual or a business owner, no one likes paying taxes. Unfortunately, this is one of life’s certainties, but would you know if you and your business were paying more tax than you need to?
One of the most cost-effective tools you can utilise is the expertise of a specialist, such as an accountant. Their role isn’t just limited to creating and submitting your accounts and tax returns. They can also help you keep more of your hard-earned cash. A proactive accountant will regularly review you and your company’s tax position to identify areas that are inefficient and help you to use Government approved tax reliefs and exemptions to your advantage. Their expertise can save you money that in turn can be reinvested back into your business to help it grow.
Some tax rule changes can benefit your business. A good accountant will work with you to undertake pre-year-end tax planning, allowing you to take any appropriate action in good time. This not only ensures your business is compliant with the latest legislation but is also operating as tax-efficiently as possible.
5. Support you in making business decisions
Launching and growing a business can be an incredible adventure but it can be challenging and lonely at times. Not just a “number cruncher”, your accountant can become your trusted business adviser.
Finding an accountant with the same passion and enthusiasm for your business as you have, and developing a collaborative working relationship with them, can be one of the most important business decisions you make. They can not only provide invaluable general support and advice to you and your business but can also become an independent sounding board for your ideas, decision making and future growth plans.
An experienced accountant will have seen other clients go through similar situations and will be aware of the issues surrounding your organisation in the current climate. They’ll also have strong relationships with a variety of financial institutions and other professional contacts such as banks and solicitors. This means that they can give you access to a wide variety of reputable industry experts and up to date knowledge across a diverse range of topics as well as alerting you to any opportunities for business growth.
Tapping into your accountant’s wealth of knowledge can help you to create and develop a successful profitable business and achieve sustainable growth for the future.
6. Improve your cash flow
Cash is king and your business health and growth is directly tied to your cash flow. Regardless of the size of the entity you are operating, maintaining a fluid movement of cash coming into your business can make the difference between your business success and failure.
An accountant can help you to better understand and manage your cash flow, working with you to make improvements and provide advice in areas such as invoicing, debt collection, stock, and capital expenditure. You can also ask them about establishing good routines for credit control and implementing cash management policies.
Their expertise can assist in the creation of financial projections and cash flow forecasts. These will make it easier for you to plan for the future, recognise any potential shortfalls and allow you to set goals and targets of where you want your business to be.
7. Help you access finance
Finance is something that can be required at any phase in your businesses development. Whether you need finance to start up or finance to expand, making sure that you get it right will contribute towards positive cash flows and ultimately a profitable business.
Your business’ financial statements and underlying records will provide the basis for many decisions made by outsiders such as banks, potential investors and trade creditors. An experienced firm of accountants can introduce you to a full range of potential finance opportunities. They will work with you to construct your application, creating the information required, including detailed management information and financial forecasts to access funding.
A business owner normally needs help with their accounting, bookkeeping and tax calculations but the smart business owner also listens to their accountant and shares their plans – benefiting from experience, knowledge and financial strategies that might provide additional benefits to the relationship – find expert accountancy support you can partner with.
Blunt advice from Yorkshire Powerhouse
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Management accounts provide a vital insight into the financial health of a business and allow you to understand your numbers and plan for the future