Welcome back to Write Away, the blog for small businesses, freelancers, and anyone with a desire to move from paid employment to becoming your own boss.
In my last post, I tackled the issue of appointing an accountant to help you in your small business, and how you might go about this, bearing in mind different businesses have different requirements from their accountant.
This time, I want to look at what you can expect to receive from your accountant, for the hard earned money you will be paying them.
First and foremost, you need to confident that you are complying with current legislation regarding VAT and Taxation and this is the kind of expertise you need from an accountant. This may be in the form of completing your company tax & VAT returns and submitting an annual return, but aside from these mundane requirements, there is so much more important information that an accountant can provide, that you may not have considered.
In business, information can be king, and sometimes it can be easy to carry on doing what you’ve always done, whereas the right information may lead you to ask questions, and the answers may lead to a change of course that results in better sales, more customers, higher profits, improved margins, in other words, any number of good things!
You should be considering information on your cash flow position, the state of your debtors (those who owe you money!), and information on the profitability of your customers and products (I’ll deal with these in more detail in a future article), also a detailed of sales by customer and region or by product will help you spot trends – both good and bad!
Without wishing to muddy the water too much, accountants also specialise, with some focussing very much on compliance and tax work (often referred to as Chartered Accountants), and others on provision of management information (often referred to as Management Accountants).
Once you have decided what you require, it is certainly worth checking out that the accountant you are speaking is able to demonstrate their expertise in the area, consider asking for client references and follow them up, as you need to be confident they are the right fit for you.
I hope you’ve found this post useful, and if it causes you to seek more information, or even just ask more questions of your accountant, then it will have been worthwhile!
Thanks for reading, until next time…..