How do I know if I need an accountant?

By Crunch.

Okay, cards on the table: we’re accountants. Now before you roll your eyes and prepare yourself for a 500-word sales pitch, we’re the first to admit that an accountant might not be right for every business.

Of course, we’d love it you came away from this article and decided you wanted to join Crunch, but our priority is to make sure that small business owners such as yourself are making the best decisions for their business.

So, how do you know if you need an accountant? Let’s explore.

Are you keeping on top of your taxes?

The importance of this question can’t really be overstated - if you’re not sure what your tax obligations are, or when your payments are due, you’re in for a world of pain courtesy of HMRC.

Depending on your company’s turnover and profits, if you’re a small business owner or freelancer running a limited company (in which you’ll be acting as a director and a shareholder), you’ll be required to pay Corporation Tax, Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT if you are registered, and (if you have premises) business rates.

You’ll need to file Annual Accounts, a Company Tax Return, numerous regular filings related to running payroll, not to mention quarterly VAT returns using Making Tax Digital (MTD) compatible software if you’re VAT registered. We’ve got a detailed article explaining your director’s responsibilities.

Even if you choose the sole trader route, you may still need to be VAT registered, even though the rest of your filing may be simpler.

Then there’s the personal tax you’ll need to pay through your annual Self Assessment, which must be filed with HMRC by the 31st January each year. If any of these taxes are coming as a surprise to you, then you’re definitely in need of an accountant.

An accountant can help manage those tax obligations for you, remind you of upcoming deadlines, and help you gather the information you need to prove, calculate, and pay your taxes.

Are you claiming all of your expenses?

The tired trope of bunging a load of receipts in a shoebox and dropping them on your desk to try and make sense of them ahead of the Self Assessment deadline in January each year is, thankfully, on the way out. Claiming your expenses is a lot easier than that these days, but the trick is knowing what you can and can’t claim.

For example, did you know you can claim a work uniform as an expense? What about a train ticket, or your new laptop? So long as you can prove that these purchases were made “wholly and exclusively” for business use, you should be able to claim them. There are some differences between what you can claim as a sole trader or as a limited company, though, so if you’re unsure what qualifies and what doesn’t, an accountant can help.

With most modern accountants (like us!), you’ll even be able to record an expense just by taking a picture of your receipt, which then automatically uploads to your account ready to be reconciled. Neat, huh?

Are you doing more paperwork than actual work

You didn’t go self-employed for the love of doing your own taxes: you went self-employed for the love of your trade. If your accounts are starting to take up more time than your actual job, or if it’s got you scrambling for the paracetamol, it’s definitely time to think about finding an accountant.

A good accountant isn’t there to add to your burdens - they’re there to ease them. They know the world of small business financing, tax, and HMRC’s red tape better than anyone, after all.

Of course, the stress of looking for an accountant may look a little off-putting, but that’s where we come in.

Who are Crunch?

We’re an online accounting service, and we specialise in supporting freelancers, contractors, and practically anyone who’s self-employed.

The self-employed life isn’t your standard nine-to-five, but not everyone seems to appreciate that. That’s why we tailor our services to work around you, all to make your life as easy as possible. We combine bespoke, online accounting software with actual human beings, so that you’re always able to access your accounts and seek the expert support and guidance you need.

There are no hidden costs or long-term contracts with Crunch, either. No matter which limited company or sole trader package you’re on, your expert team of client managers and accountants are here to help whenever you need them. Remember, no question is too silly or too obvious!

We even have our own self-employed community, known as Crunch Chorus! Membership of Crunch Chorus is completely free, and you’ll receive access to a range of helpful and insightful business guides, templates, and other handy tools. You can also join our Crunch Chorus Facebook group and interact with hundreds of self-employed people just like you!

If you’d like to know more, book a callback with our friendly advisors and find out how we can help you and your business today!


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