When exactly should I start using an accountant?
Whether you’re a start-up business or have been trading for some time, an accountant can provide vital financial insight and added value that will save you money. Accountancy services are also very flexible, fitting in with your needs at various stages of business rather than on a full-time or retainer basis.
Some people question whether it is cost-effective to pay for an accountant’s services, but a good accountant will save you more money than they cost. Their value lies not only in reducing your administrative burden – they are business advisers first and foremost, and can add value in numerous ways throughout the life of your organisation.
So is there a ‘best time’ to seek this type of professional assistance, and what exactly can they help you with?
Valuable input at any stage
Although some small business owners decide to forge ahead without professional financial advice, hiring an accountant at the start-up stage can save a considerable amount of time and money in the long-term.
They will ensure you make the right decisions based on the type of business you run, often using knowledge gained through practical experience of your industry sector. Here are just some of the instances when you’ll benefit greatly from hiring an accountant.
- Which business structure?
It can be difficult to know which would be the best business structure, for example whether you should be a sole trader or set up a limited company. Getting this important decision wrong at the beginning will have far-reaching consequences, and a potentially negative effect on profit levels and growth.
- Your business plan
An accountant will be able to assist with financial forecasting – often the most difficult part of any business plan. This will offer you the best chance of securing start-up funding because figures will be realistic, presented professionally, and accompanied by the detailed calculations that lenders need.
- Planning growth
Being able to rely on someone with professional expertise, and benefit from practical experience, is crucial when you’re planning the next stage of business. You don’t want it to grow too quickly, as this may prove unsustainable and cause damaging financial instability.
- Trouble with HMRC
It’s crucial to seek the assistance of an accountant if you’re experiencing problems involving HMRC. Whether you’ve fallen behind with your tax payments or are subject to an investigation, an accountant understands how HMRC operates and can offer valuable insight.
They will also act on your behalf in negotiations, and can be the differentiating factor that brings you extra time to pay any tax arrears.
- Exit strategy
A good accountant will ensure you have the most tax-efficient exit strategy when the time comes to retire, or close down your business. They can guide you through the pros and cons of each option.
Handpicked Accountants can put you in touch with a qualified and experienced accountant in your area. We only recommend accountants who we know and trust, and base recommendations on your individual needs.