If you run any business, you’re legally required to:
• Keep certain records, for example PAYE (Pay As You Earn) records if you have employees and VAT records if you’re VAT registered which involves regular bookkeeping work.
• Submit an annual tax return to HM Revenue & Customs which involves the preparation of financial statements.
• Appoint an auditor to carry out an annual audit of your accounts, unless the company is exempt.
• If a limited company you also have to file accounts with the Registrar of Companies.
Weigh up factors such as time, cost and know-how and ask yourself:
• What does my business have the skills to do in-house?
• What would be more efficiently and effectively outsourced to an accountant?
• What must, by law, be done by a qualified person?
Below are a few considerations when deciding on the right accountant for your business and some important questions you should ask:
• Ask about qualifications. Qualified accountants undertake intense training, which is regularly updated as they are part of a professional body which regulates them you are reassured that they obtain the right skills and experience to be your accountant.
• Find out how many partners there are in the practice and how long they have been operating
• Investigate whether they are experienced in dealing with your businesses sector and ones of a similar size and at a similar stage of growth to yours. Asking fellow businesses, friends or family for recommendations is a great place to start.
• Ask accountants to recommend a good software package. Make sure it is one that suits you and your company, and that it is not too complex. A good accountant will offer you training in this and help explain any graphs or tables that the software may generate for you.
• Find out who will look after your business on a day-to-day basis
• Ask about their estimated response times
• Will their services be proactive – for example whether they will remind you when you need to submit accounts, or send you updates on changes in tax law.
• Find out if they offer any additional services – eg inheritance planning or advice on information systems
• Ask whether the practice offers any specialist services that you might need to access in the future
• Investigate their charges and what they cover – find out if a fixed fee can be arranged for the first 12 months
Overall, shop around and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Finding the right partner is a major factor in ensuring your company’s future success.
To obtain further help with tax, accountancy or company law, contact us here at Total Tax Limited. We will work closely alongside you, whether on a one-off project or an ongoing basis. Web: www.totaltaxlimited.co.uk Tel: 01425 656 440