One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner is choosing an accountant to help you with your business. You need to find one that matches your needs, you feel comfortable with, can trust and whose fee levels are fair.
You may feel that you can keep your own financial records, and calculate your own tax liability. Wouldn't it be better however to concentrate on doing what you do best in your business? Elizabeth Tapley of TaxAssist Accountants explains why most people turn to the expertise of an accountant.
Good question. My first thought was "I wish I knew the answer" and my second was "I wonder how many times I will be shot" by fellow professionals for the definition I am about to volunteer!
Firstly, ask yourself, why do I need an accountant?
Accounting is such a broad subject it can feel like a minefield you need to cross to take control of your business.
How many of you would drive a car whilst only looking in the rear view mirror? I'm guessing none. So why do some business owners do the equivalent in their businesses?
"Life doesn't give us what we need. Life gives us what we deserve." Jim Rohn
When you are new to self-employment, you have a million and one things to do and normally bookkeeping isn't at the top of the list. Most new business owners are spending hours and hours of their time growing their new start-up and have little time to spare to keep up to date with all of the receipts and invoices.
Limited Company, Partnership, Sole Trader? Which is best for you?
Maintaining your business cashflow – 3 simple ways in which you can do this
Download our free cashflow forecast template together with the instructions required to help you create and update an accurate guide to your business finances.
You're starting a business. You're scared but really excited. You finally get to be your own boss and focus on what you're good at and be free from office politics, the bureaucracy of filling in endless forms or being sent in all directions. Often the scary bit is dealing with the finances. You've never had to do that part before and it's doing your head in. Well, here's a suggestion. Get your head in the cloud.
The rather glib answer is "Anything that relates to your business". Whilst this is generally true, there are some expenses which, although genuine business expenses, are specifically excluded from tax relief, such as:
In these challenging economic times, it is even more critical for SMEs to keep a tight rein on the finances and to plan accurately for the future. Employing a part time FD will make a real difference to your business
Completed a job and invoiced your client but haven't been paid? Sadly for many small businesses, this is a common occurrence.
The sturdy oak posts were at least 10 feet long. They had been hewn from mature oak trees that had all been felled in the Spring of 2049 BC.
Having your own business can be fantastic: lots of creative ideas, a new found energy and positivity, an opportunity to make some great business decisions with some financial reward!
The Government is continuing to promote research and development (R&D) with a range of tax incentives. R&D capital expenditure is liable to an automatic 100% deduction under capital allowances so it is worth considering the possible benefits to your business.
The main submission dates which must be adhered for individuals and Limited Companies
HMRC have a penalty regime for Tax Returns which results in a taxpayer facing penalties if they are submitted after the deadline.
How to make use of your annual tax-free allowances.
The HMRC can come knocking on your door about any of the following government taxes: personal income tax and corporation tax, capital taxes (such as capital gains tax and inheritance tax), value added tax (VAT), excise duties and stamp duty land tax, environmental taxes such as Air Passenger Duty and the climate change levy, National Insurance contributions, child benefit and some other forms of state support including the Child Trust Fund, payments of Tax Credits and so on.
Operating your business as a limited company instead of a sole trader or partnership can have a number of benefits, not least of these being a range of opportunities to save tax.
I am regularly asked the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. The simple answer is about 18 months at Her Majesty's pleasure, as an ex-Vantis tax director recently found out.
I hear a number of contradictory messages when it comes to tax.
The first results of the 'Test and Learn' phase of the Business Records Check (BRC) that HMRC recently commenced have started to come through.
The reasons for using an accountant rather than doing your own accounts.
How to calculate your VAT payment. An explanation for new small business start ups.
Special VAT accounting schemes have been available for several years but are still underused. Designed to make compliance easier, there are several schemes available. Here we look at one particularly suitable for small businesses, the Flat-rate VAT scheme (FRS).