Posted in Startup

How to choose an accountant and what they do.

Accountants can be scary.  It’s like they have magical knowledge as they seem to know everything that the HMRC knows – which can be a mystery to some!

Depending on how you have set your company up depends whether you need an accountant and what for.  My advice?  Speak to an accountant for free, yes for free or buy them a coffee and they can advise you what you can and can’t do.

As we decided (after the free advice from an accountant) to set up as a limited company it meant we would need someone to complete our year end accounts for us.  As I am a bookkeeper by trade I can do the spreadsheet stuff (yes you can buy software but a spreadsheet does it – most of the time – just as well) so at the end oft he year I just pass everything over and the accountants complete the final bits.

To decide this we spoke to 2 accounting firms.  Now, there is still a way of working that people still feel that when dealing with people completing a service for you that you ask for help and have to take on that company or person.  This is not true – I am telling you this even though I am a person / company providing a service, you can and should speak to 2 of more service providers to give quotes and meet the people doing the work to see how you get on.

Both accountants quoted the same money however, being a service provider and a buyer in my former life, I went with the one I liked.  Not that I didn’t like the other one but you need to get along with people you are going to work with and since this is something you can choose you can choose someone who you feel is best suited to your business.

I cannot stress how important this is not to always go with the cheapest option.  There is a saying buy cheap, buy twice.  You need to make sure you are paying for good quality and service.  I honestly go on gut feel and quotes, you can ask for testimonials, see any feedback on Facebook pages or ask for recommendations from other friends or colleagues.

If you work for yourself you would expect everyone to have the same work ethos and call you when they say, do the work when they say and charge what they agree.  This is not always the case.  I have new clients which came to me because they couldn’t get hold of their current service provider – crazy!!

I would recommend talking to an accountant as soon as possible when you start your business as they can help with the numbers and legal stuff with HMRC – they will even help with the letters from HMRC which I am convinced are written in a special language that you need a special qualification for!! It honestly keeps any worries about the HMRC or how to organise your books and what you can and can’t claim for at bay and they can be costly worries!! Remember, you can call and ask to pop in to see them for free for a quote and for them to go through what the charges and service would be and what you need – no upselling involved.

My accountant is Paul Garrard at Walter Wright whom I met at Expert Circles. (networking event I wrote about in a previous blog) We met for a chat as I’ve suggested above where Paul told me how much I would pay a year, what services they can provide if I’m unable to so a choice of doing myself or not and then I went away to decide.

So that’s the numbers and HMRC worry off my list, I have diarised the dates of when I need to do things and send things to Paul plus, I have contact details of his team who specialise in things like PAYE and can help if I get stuck – again, this help is free for me as a client!! I promise accountants are not as scary as you think – or stereotypical as Paul is not boring!!

If you have your own business and the books, invoicing, payment chasing is getting a bit too much or you avoid it……get in touch as I can help and have experience in all these services.calculator-1044172_640




Owner of Starfish Organisers Ltd, an organiser for your home, work or when life changes.

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