Accountants probably have a bit of an unfair reputation. The fact that they’re not always the most popular professionals is probably down to a misunderstanding of what their role is and what they can do for a business. In this guide, we aim to help explain what accountants do and why you need one for your small business.
What is an accountant? What do accountants do?
Starting with the very basics, let’s consider what the job of an accountant actually entails. An accountant is a trained professional who can prepare, check and analyse the financial affairs of a business. They can check that a company is operating within the law and any relevant guidelines – and can advise on any schemes or benefits that a company may be missing out on as well as offering advice on the best way to overcome financial difficulties.
Why do I need an accountant?
When considering what an accountant does, it’s important to look beyond the function of this role – and consider the knock-on effect of the work outlined above.
Small businesses might be tempted into thinking that they don’t need an accountant, can’t afford one or that they’re just involved in filling in forms to keep the taxman happy. But, by doing all of the above well, a good accountant can:
- Save you time – You need to dedicate every minute you can to the important work of developing your products and services to improve your profits. Having someone who can help to check that you’ve filled in your forms correctly, help you to meet key deadlines and offer financial advice will help you to concentrate your efforts on what you do best.
- Save you money – Filling in forms incorrectly or failing to understand new legislation could result in a fine, something that would put an unwelcome dent in your profits. Not only that, but accountants will help you to minimise your tax bill by taking advantage of any legal benefits that are open to your business.
- Help you to grow – An accountant can act as a valuable 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. By assisting you to make sound judgments, they can help you to grow your business. Accountants can also help you to identify and fix problems before they become a more serious drain on your finances.
- Remove worry – Lots of businesses find their finances daunting. After all, there’s a good chance that you might never have come across all of the paperwork and terminology of business accounts before. The complexity of the task in hand – and the importance of deadlines – can cause many people to worry about this. An accountant can ease this burden and offer necessary reassurance.
How do I hire an accountant?
When you consider all of the benefits that come from what an accountant does, the question is less about whether you can afford one and more about whether you can afford not to use an accountant.
So, where can you find an accountant that you can trust? Use our directory of Business Accountants to find someone near you and start feeling the benefit of having an accountant.