Starting life as a freelancer or a new business is scary, not just because you need to dedicate every second of every day to make it work, but because you are also responsible for your accounting. Unless you are particularly lucky in your opening year or so, you likely won’t require someone to look over your accounts and ensure your taxes are in order as revenue will be modest.
At some point, however, success will grow and so will the time it takes to file your accounts, whether you are a sole freelancer or a business owner. This can be incredibly time consuming and, if you aren’t exactly a maths whizz, difficult. This is why business owners call on the help of accountancy firms to look after their books.
Isn’t it Cost-Effective to Handle my Accounts?
This all depends on your confidence and proficiency in handling your accounts. If you are a freelancer and the time you spend taking care of your accounts takes you away from projects, you could be losing more money than you would be saving in hiring an accountant.
The aspect to consider is whether you are confident enough in filing your accounts correctly. If so, then it may be worth you keeping tabs yourself, however, you should know that even the slightest mistake in your taxes can be detrimental. Fines can be heavy and the repercussions severe – not to mention the higher interest rates you will likely be faced.
A good accountant won’t only file your taxes but will also help you to save money whilst doing so. This doesn’t mean taking advantage of legal loopholes, but recognising where freelancers and/or companies can claim back on expenses and sharpen up on their budgeting. Without an accountant running the rule over your finances, you are likely spending out more money than you really should be.
How to Find an Accountant That’s Right for You
Without being an accountant, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should be looking for in one. The most important aspect is to trust because you are trusting them to file accounts on behalf of you and/or your company. Essentially, your livelihood is in your hands.
Secondly, you should look for a firm with a good reputation. Accountancy firms generally rely a lot on word of mouth, with referrals sending new clients their way. This is again where trust comes into play because if a potential client has the word of a confidant vouching for them, they are more likely to form a partnership. This can be said for many businesses and transactions.
You also need to consider exactly what you need an accountant for. Some specialise purely in bookkeeping while others, such as Samuels LLP, offer other services such as forensic accounting and fraud investigations. Depending on where you are in your business, this could have a bearing on the type of accountancy firm you wish to employ to look over your books and other areas.
Having an accountant look after your finances will help to future proof your operations, whether you are a sole trader or heading up a business. A good accountant will provide additional support and advice, providing an insight into the best practices with your money. Ultimately, it is in their interest to ensure that your business remains operational and profitable.
In the early stages, you may not feel as though future-proofing your business is necessary, but as the years go on and you may consider expanding your venture, you will be happy you took the necessary steps.
It is never too early to hand your finances over to an accountant, but it may end up being too late. If you feel confident managing your books right now, then go ahead and keep on doing so, but it may just be worth your time paying someone else to do it for you.