How To Find the Right Tax Accountant
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Have you been asking: How to find the right tax accountant? Find out if you ned an accountant for your small business and read our tips for choosing an accountant. Wakefield Chartered Accountants offer accountant services throughout Wakefield and West Yorkshire. We discuss all you need to know about finding the right tax accountant.
Do I need an accountant for my small business?
Small businesses usually don't stay small for very long. And while you may be able to manage your accounts early on, as your business grows, they can quickly become too much to deal with alone. This can be a serious problem if you don't have any experience in managing accounts. Without experience, it'll likely take you longer to file your financial information.
This draws valuable time away from what you should be focusing on - your business. Inexperience also means you're more likely to make mistakes, which could land you significant fines from HMRC. As a general rule, if you find yourself spending over four hours a week on your accounts, it's advisable you seek professional assistance. This also goes for your growth plans. If you're planning on expanding your business, a professional accountant can prove invaluable.
Tips for Choosing an Accountant
Once you decide to hire a professional accountant, you need to work out which one best suits your needs. This is a crucial step in the process, and it's best to take your time with it. Several factors determine whether an accountant is the best fit for your business.
Naturally, it's always better to have an experienced accountant managing your finances. After all, they're one of the most important elements of your company. But choosing the right one can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some of the key factors to consider when hiring a professional accountant:
Having your accountant nearby used to be a crucial consideration. But that was back when everything was done on paper. Today, most accountants work online, using cloud technology to manage their client's finances. So, location isn't as much of an issue today.
Using cloud technology, you and your accountant can view the same information in real time wherever you are. So, choosing a location is down to what suits your business best.
In reality, you could pretty much choose an accountant anywhere in the world. Some people aren't comfortable handling their finances online through emails and video calls. In this case, you might want to choose an accountant nearby to go through things in person.
However, you don't need to worry about operating long-distance. Modern accounting software is incredibly secure. Being able to choose an accountant anywhere in the world is a great benefit. You aren't limited to services in a particular geographical area.
Meaning you're free to find an accountant that understands your particular needs. Wherever your chosen accountant is based, you should always choose those with expertise in your area. Whether that's the particular type of business your run or the sector you operate in. Ultimately, make sure your accountant is an expert in the relevant tax laws that apply to your work.
You'll want to ensure your chosen accountant has the skills and expertise you need. For example, you might need them to file your tax returns and financial documentation. So, you'll want to make sure they have the relevant expertise to perform these duties properly.
Also, if you use cloud-based technology or accounting software, you'll want to choose an experienced accountant. If your accountant isn't tech-savvy regarding your computer systems, you might find yourself in trouble down the line. If you can find an accountant who has worked with similar businesses to yours, that's also a bonus.
They'll understand your unique needs and have the solutions to match. In fact, if your accountant has businesses larger than yours in its client list, this is a great sign they will be able to help you going into the future.
Regulated By A Professional Body
Choosing an accountant that is regulated by a professional body is always best. Government-approved services are also ideal, depending on what country you work in. These approval and regulatory bodies include:
- Certified Public Accountants
- Members of the Association of International Accountants
- Members of the Institute of Financial Accountants
- Chartered Accountants
Chartered Accountants are the most highly skilled professionals in their sector in the UK. They will have completed studies beyond their normal degrees to further their expertise.
Not only this, but they will have years of workplace experience and have professional competence programmes under their belts.
With a qualified and experienced accountant by your side, you can start adding value to your business straight away. While your business may be small now, if you're planning on growth (as every business should) you'll want an expert accountant to help.
There are specialists who aren't Chartered Accountants that can still help with your business. From bookkeeping to filing your taxes, other accounting professionals can be valuable to your company. However, if you undergo regular auditing or want to seek a large loan, a Chartered Accountant is the professional you need.
Use Social Networks
Using those around you that you trust is another great way to find the right people. Ask friends or family members with businesses which accounting services they use. They can offer personal insights into these services to help you determine if they're right for you.
It can also be useful to know why your friends and family wouldn't recommend a certain accountant. Knowing what to avoid can be just as valuable when searching for the right help. This way, when you come to interview potential accountants, you'll know exactly what you're looking for.
However, selecting an accountant for your business is a personal choice. What's right for your friends may not be right for you. Again, check that the accountant you are looking into has the right skills for your business. For example, an accountant that mainly works with sole traders might not be the right fit for your company of 10+ employees.
Ask Business Advisors
Small businesses are a vital part of any country's economy. This means that governments around the world actively encourage good business practices for their citizens.
Part of this is providing reliable information about local accounting services in particular areas.
Business advisors and local chambers of commerce can offer advice on which local accounting services would best suit your needs.
This information can be truly helpful and can guarantee the success of your business. Not to mention that they usually do not charge for their advice.
These information hubs also offer you the opportunity to network with other small businesses in your local area. If you talk to enough people, you may find one or two accounting services recommended more than once. This is another great way to find the ideal services for your business finances.
What Is a Tax Accountant?
A tax accountant is a qualified professional who helps individuals and businesses with their tax obligations. From income tax to capital gains, these experts ensure your tax information is accurate and filed appropriately. Tax accountants can also offer expert advice to their clients.
Most businesses don't use the opportunities open to them to reduce their tax bills. With an experienced tax accountant by your side, you won't miss a trick. They remain up-to-date with the latest legislation to put their clients in the best financial position.
What Does a Tax Accountant Do?
The main duty of a tax accountant is to ensure their clients' taxes are organised and filed correctly. Businesses can run into serious trouble with HMRC if there are irregularities in their taxation.
But with a qualified tax accountant managing your books, this won't happen. They can remove the stress most businesses suffer through their taxes. They do this in three main ways:
Manage Payroll and Bookkeeping
Your tax accountant can take these distracting duties away from you, so you are free to run your business. They can calculate your payroll and appropriate taxes, including sales taxes, to ensure your company is above board.
This can prove invaluable for growing businesses.
Provide Expert Tax Guidance
Taxes are usually a headache. Especially if you have to gather the data and file them yourself while running your small business. And if you add staying on top of the latest tax legislation changes, you can easily see why people struggle with them.
Your accountant can handle all of these annoying duties for you. They can also offer professional advice in terms of business decisions and how they will affect your tax bills. This advice can give you the confidence to take your business forward without worrying about HRMC.
Help You File Your Taxes
The main duty of your tax accountant is to ensure your taxes are filed at the right time. Missing your deadlines can come with serious penalties. So, it's well worth having someone there to ensure you don't.