Most small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) choose to hire an accountant when they set up shop, as in doing so they can rely upon them to ensure everything is set up correctly with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from the moment they start trading.
Regardless of whether you’ve been working with an accountant from day one, or you’re considering hiring one now after several months of trying to get by without, there are a number of things you can do to ensure the quality of your accounts before handing them over to a qualified accountant, including:
Keeping a Record of Everything
When it comes to your tax liabilities as a small business owner, nothing is more important than keeping a record of absolutely everything you spend money on, and everything you’re paid for.
Recording your business transactions is important for two key reasons: you could receive a penalty and a (potentially) severe fine if it’s discovered that you’ve been holding back on your records, and the greater number of purchases you make, the greater tax deductions you’ll be able to make on qualifying purchases.
It’s not your accountant’s job to make sure you’re recording everything you spend your money on (after all, if you don’t record it, they’ll have no way of knowing). Your accountant can only work with the records you give them, therefore it’s essential that they’re kept up to date.
Always Meeting Tax Deadlines
When it comes to your tax deadlines your accountant will keep you informed of these on a consistent basis, ensuring you have enough time to hand over the necessary documents and information so they can prepare your tax returns, and anything else that is required of you, in a timely manner.
In many circumstances your accountant will encourage you to enable direct debits for your most frequent payments in order to ensure you can’t miss a deadline with them. If you’re a medium-sized business that’s turning over upwards of £81,000 a year it’s essential that you keep quarterly VAT returns; this being something your accountant will inform you of ahead of time.
Knowing What’s Legally Required of You
Knowing what’s legally required of you as a small business owner is essential to making sure you stay within the law in everything that you do.
Though it’s in your best interest to continually research what (and when) is required of you, your accountant will be able to provide you with a lot of assistance in this area, ensuring that you know about all the financial and legal issues that you may face (such as the issues surrounding extracting profits from your company and paying salaries to your employees) so you’re not caught out by a legal requirement that you were simply (and honestly) unaware of.
For More Accounting Tips for Small Businesses
To speak with a professional to discuss record keeping, tax deadlines, or your legal requirements as a small business owner, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.