Accountants offer a range of services to help individuals and businesses make financial decisions. For individuals, an accountant can help them by giving them personal tax advice, advising them on pensions and helping them file their tax forms at the end of the year. For businesses, accountants can help them out by preparing end of year accounts, managing a payroll system and bookkeeping.
Main Types of Accountant
Tax Specialists. As their title suggests, these type of accountant specialise in tax, often making them invaluable to self-employed individuals or businesses. These accountants can help businesses and individuals reduce the amount of tax that you pay at the end of the year by highlighting various expenditure which can be classified as ‘expenses’ and thus non-taxable.
Start-up specialists. While starting up a business is an exciting experience, it can also be quite daunting. An accountant can help make the process easier by ensuring that you start up your business in the most tax efficient way and advise you when you are constructing your business plan. In addition, they can also help you with bookkeeping once your business is off the ground.
Business accountants. This type of accountant specialises in the business financial advice and can help inform your business decisions in a number of ways, from helping you find sources of through to what steps to take next to help your business grow.
Pros and Cons of Using an Accountant
There are a number of advantages associated with hiring an accountant’s service for both individuals and businesses. To begin with, one of the most attractive aspects of accounts is that they can highlight opportunities for saving money as they are likely to have a more thorough understanding of tax relief than you. Also, using an accountant can save you a lot of time, which is a major advantage for those who have a busy schedule.
However, there are some drawbacks to using an account. The most obvious drawback is that they can be expensive to hire. In addition, some tasks such as bookkeeping do not necessarily need the expertise of an accountant; they can be properly carried out by someone cheaper.
Tips for Finding the Best Accountant
- Compare quotes and services from at least 4 firms, this will ensure that you are not only getting the cheapest service but also the best service.
- Always make sure that you choose a firm that is well-established. If you have any concerns, be sure to enquire about their credentials. Anyone in the UK can call themselves an accountant, so make sure that your accountant has qualifications from a recognised body such as: ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA or ICAS.
- Getting an accountant can be expensive, so make sure that you shop around for the best deal and enquire about what different payment methods are available.
- If you are a business, try and find an accountant that specialises or has considerable experience in your sector.
- If possible, read up on customer reviews or speak to some other clients of an accountant. This can give you a greater insight into the quality of their service.