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Benefits of having an Accountant for your Business

Quite often I hear people say that they can't afford an accountant or that they think an accountant is just there to fill out forms to keep the tax man happy.

An accountant is much more than that, and finding the right accountant will not only save you time and money she (excuse my sexism!) will also help you grow your business.

Let's cover the time and money angles first:

Saving you Time

Your time is best spent doing what you're good at. If you have a very simple business then you can probably complete most of the forms yourself. But will you be completing them correctly? Will you be getting them in on time?

If you miss a deadline for important documents, such as submitting company accounts to HMRC, then you can face quite heavy fines.

If you incorrectly complete a document then the best case scenario is that it'll be sent back to you to do again. The worst case scenario is that it's sent back to you in the hands of a tax inspector who wants to pore over every single piece of paper.

An accountant will complete the appropriate forms for you and return them to the appropriate authority in order and on time. Leaving you free to focus on earning more money.

Saving you money

So lets assume time isn't an issue and you're 100% confident you know how to complete all of those forms correctly. Perhaps you even have a computer program to do it for you. How else can you benefit from using the services of an accountant?

Completing the forms correctly is one thing. Doing them in the way that's going to save you the most money is another. A good accountant will make sure you take advantage of every legal way to minimise your tax bill.

Recently there was a lot of fuss in the media about private equity venture capitalists (ie: very rich people) paying less tax (in percentage terms) than the cleaners that worked in their office buildings. Regardless of the moral rights and wrongs - this was because their accountants made sure they took advantage of every possible allowance and benefit.

A good accountant will make sure that you and your company take full advantage of the ever-changing tax laws to make sure you pay as little tax as possible.

That's time and money covered. They are after all they two main commodities we could do with more of when starting and growing a business. Personally I think the above two benefits on their own justify the cost. There is however a third benefit that far outweighs the above

Growing Your Business

As well as doing the paperwork and minimising your tax bill - your accountant can also be a great source of advice to help you grow your business.In order for your business to be a success it's important that you take the correct financial and managerial decisions early on. A few wrong moves in the early days can put you out of business - I can testify to that myself from past experience.

An accountant can act as a sounding board. He or she knows your business almost as well as you do and probably knows the financial side of it even better. Objective input from someone that knows your business but doesn't have the emotional attachment to it that you do is priceless.

An accountants advice and input can be as valuable, if not more so, than the number crunching and form filling. Some charge additional for this service, some include it as part of their standard package.

It's not a matter of whether you can afford an accountant - can you really afford not to have an accountant?

Duane Jackson
Managing Director
KashFlow Software Ltd
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