Overseeing accounts and tax is rarely the favourite task of company directors. It can be onerous, frustrating, and rob you of valuable time that could be spent developing your business. The services of an accountant are a lifeline for around 61% of businesses in the UK, but does your limited company need to have one?
While there is no legal requirement for limited companies to use an accountant there are many benefits in doing so, such as completing your annual accounts and company tax return. They can also take care of tax registration for new companies.
If you are not sure you need an accountant for your small business, please read on to find out how Smooth Accounting can take hours of number crunching and form filling off of your hands, and let you get back to running the business you love.
What can an accountant do for my limited company?
If you’ve ever wished for more hours in the day, hiring a professional to take care of your company accounts is like letting a genie out of a bottle. Even better, there is scope for more than just three wishes, with many services on hand to make your life easier.
Setting up a new company
Your accountant can register your business with Companies House if you wish, relieving the workload in the early days of your new business. They can also advise you on your new tax liability and liaise with the fine folk at HMRC to register you for VAT, Corporation Tax, and payroll if you are an employer.
In large companies, payroll tends to be managed in-house, but for smaller businesses, it is helpful to outsource it to your accountant. Alternatively, you could wave goodbye to hours of your life each month spent drowning in income tax calculations and HMRC paperwork. Fortunately, there are payroll specialists who enjoy that kind of thing (each to their own).
They will take care of the nitty-gritty and make sure your company complies with necessary regulations and legislation, leaving you to concentrate on more exciting things. It’s also worth bearing in mind that outsourcing can save you money on expensive payroll software and training.
VAT – if these three letters fill you with dread, you are not alone. VAT is notoriously confusing and the regulations are forever changing. Your accountant will help you navigate your company’s VAT obligations and choose the right payment scheme so that you don’t pay over the odds. They can also make light work of your quarterly VAT returns and ensure that you are not faced with any unexpected fines.
Bookkeeping is another time-consuming, dull, yet essential task for limited companies. Logging every receipt and invoice can feel like a drudge, but come year end (or if HMRC come knocking), nobody wants to be hunting for missing paperwork. Fortunately, accountants are meticulous beings and can handle your bookkeeping with the utmost efficiency, further freeing up your time and headspace.
As a limited company, you have a responsibility to file your annual accounts with HMRC and Companies House each year. Failure to do so will result in hefty fines and in some cases, companies may find themselves struck off the register and even face legal action.
Your accountant will not let this happen. They will collate and produce the necessary paperwork and make sure it’s submitted on the dot (if not before). Depending on the size of your business, this will include a balance sheet, profit/loss account, a report from the company director (that’s you), and any other salient notes.
Along with submitting your annual accounts, your limited company will receive a notice from HMRC to submit a tax return at each financial year end. The purpose of this is to declare your taxable profit, although you must still submit it even if you made a loss, or are below the threshold to pay tax.
Amongst the information required is a profit/loss account, but, to make things a bit more fun, a different version to the one included in your annual accounts. It should show your adjusted profits, ie. gross profit less expenses and investments. The paperwork can be daunting, but your accountant can prepare it for you and calculate how much Corporation Tax you owe. They can also provide timely reminders as to when the payment is due.
Pros of hiring an accountant
If you are still weighing up the pros and cons of hiring an accountant for your limited company, it is worth calculating the hours you will save spreadsheet surfing and fiddling around with paperwork, as well as the monetary cost.
Also, factor in the peace of mind you will gain, knowing that your finances are in professional hands and that you will not come a cropper to a dizzying array of rules, regulations and legislations.
Finally, offset the costs you will save in potential tax efficiencies, avoiding fines, buying accounting software, and training. That genie really doesn’t have anything on a reliable accountant (except perhaps for the outfit).
Why choose Smooth Accounting as my limited company accountant?
You and your business deserve every chance to succeed, and by finding the right accountant you can be confident about your finances and devote more time to making your business prosper.
Smooth Accounting has won multiple awards and has vast experience in accounting for small businesses. The team is an approachable and professional bunch and as such, you can expect great customer service. We understand that not everyone is as excited about accounting as we are, so we cut through the jargon and aim to take away the headache of fulfilling your financial responsibilities. Not only will we look after your company accounts like they were our own, we will be proactive in finding compliant and efficient ways to save you money.
You may be surprised at just how cost-effective professional accounting can be. Contact us for a free consultation and find out how Smooth Accounting can help your limited company.