Overseeing accounts and meeting filing deadlines is often regarded as an arduous task for many company directors and can take up valuable time which you could spend developing your business. While there is no legal requirement for limited companies to use an accountant, there are many benefits in doing so, such as completing your annual accounts, dedicated tax planning and tailored advice.
What can an accountant do for my limited company?
If you’ve ever found yourself overwhelmed or continually running out of time to complete administrative tasks, enlisting an accountant’s help will help free up some time and assist you with the following tasks.
Setting up your limited company
One of the benefits of using an accountant from when you first start contracting is that they will often offer free company formation as part of the service and register your business with Companies House. This relieves you of a substantial portion of the workload in the early days when everything is new, and you are finding your feet. They can also advise you of your new tax liability and provide guidance and assistance regarding registering for Corporation Tax, VAT and payroll if you are an employer.
As a limited company director, you have specific filing duties which you must be mindful of, and each year you are required to file your annual accounts with Companies House and HMRC. Failure to do so can result in fines, and in some cases, your company may be struck off the register and face legal action. Collating all the information and filing the necessary paperwork can be an extremely time-consuming task, and not to mention daunting if you’ve never completed your annual accounts before. An accountant will take care of most of the administration for you, completing and filing all the required documentation correctly to HMRC and Companies House.
At the end of each financial year, your company is required to submit a tax return to declare your taxable profit. Even if your taxable profit is below the threshold to pay tax, you must submit a tax return. Your accountant can prepare your tax return for you and calculate how much Corporation Tax you need to pay, as well as remind you when you need to pay it.
VAT is notoriously confusing, and enlisting an accountant’s help will take away the stress of completing a quarterly VAT return. Your accountant will help you choose the right payment scheme for your company and help you to understand your company’s VAT obligations.
For smaller businesses, outsourcing payroll to an accountant or using an accountancy software will save you from hours of HMRC paperwork and tax calculations. Utilising an accountant or accountancy software to run your payroll will ensure your company is compliant with all HRMC legislation and regulations. It means you don’t have to train yourself or someone else to understand the payroll specifics.
How to choose an accountant?
One of the most important things to consider is whether or not the accountant is compliant and will process your company accounts per UK tax law and HMRC legislation and provide you with honest and legal tax advice. The easiest way to ensure the accountant you are considering using will deliver all of this is to look for the FCSA accreditation. Using an FCSA accredited contractor accountant will give you complete peace of mind that their processes have passed the FCSA’s strict Code of Compliance and adhere to the industry standards.
How much does an accountant cost?
An accountant’s fee will vary between firms and will largely depend on the amount of work they will be doing for your company. If your company’s affairs are relatively straightforward, you can expect to outsource your accountancy from anywhere between £80 – £200 per month. Please be aware that the more additional services you require, the more you can expect to pay.
If you are willing to take on some of the administrative tasks yourselves, you may be better suited to an online accountant, such as Bluebird Accountancy. As you are taking on some of the administrative duties you can expect to pay less than a traditional accountant, but don’t worry, you will still benefit from an accountant’s expertise.
Bluebird Accountancy provides contractors with a modern-day accountancy service
Bluebird Accountancy was created with the needs of modern-day contractors and freelancers in mind. Our all-inclusive package (also our best-selling package) includes all the tools you need to manage your bookkeeping and accountancy needs, all whilst having the support of our expert team, who have been working alongside contractors and freelancers for many years. You will also be given access to your own FreeAgent business portal to view and manage your businesses finances in real-time.
We look forward to speaking with you!