Accountants and bookkeepers are the backbone of many UK businesses. They help business owners to truly understand their finances in a changing legislative landscape so that they can thrive, not just survive.
They’re increasingly called upon to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for small business clients, carrying out their bookkeeping and credit control, budgets and cashflow forecasting, annual accounts, payroll and auto-enrolment, corporation tax and self-assessment tax returns.
However, accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero can automate many of these tasks, and they’re already gearing up for the next stage in Making Tax Digital (MTD).
So why would you still need an accountant or a bookkeeper?
The answer is that there’s still many excellent reasons why you would want to use them. Our clients often explain to us why they’re happy to use our services. Here are some of the most common reasons they give:
They don’t want to do it themselves.
Many people don’t want to do their own bookkeeping, tax returns, year-end accounts and/or payroll. There are many reasons why this could be. For example, some clients simply dislike the paperwork, while other clients feel nervous or out of their depth.
It’s easy to make mistakes.
There are plenty of small mistakes you could make if you’re inexperienced in financial matters, and they’re easy to overlook. It’s far better to have a professional cast an experienced eye over things as they’re almost certainly going to avoid these errors.
This also means that because you risk unwanted attention from HMRC by making these mistakes, it’s easy to be overly cautious and miss out when it comes to claiming for expenses and suchlike.
Tax is complex and hard to understand.
Handling your own tax can be quite daunting. The ever-changing legislation in this area makes an already-complicated subject even more difficult for business owners to understand, leaving them stressed and worried.
With MTD for Income Tax on the horizon, SMEs and micro-businesses face even greater reporting responsibilities. It’s far easier for accounting professionals to keep on top of these changes and ensure businesses stay compliant.
It’s too time-consuming.
Managing your business’ finances is probably eating up more time than you realise. Hiring a professional to manage your finances can save you plenty of time and effort that you could be applying elsewhere in your business.
It’s clear that while Xero, QuickBooks and other accounting software might allow you to handle your own invoicing, accounts, payroll and so on, there are still several excellent reasons why a bookkeeper or accountant might be the right move to make.
If you want to keep your business’ finances running smoothly and efficiently, free up more time, or give yourself confidence that you’re fully compliant with financial legislation, then you should absolutely get in touch with a professional to see what they can do for you.