Small business accounting services: what you need to know
Many SME accountants offer specialist and dedicated accountancy services for SMEs, but what should you look for in a professional accounting service?
Why do i need an SME accountant?
You might consider running your own accounts and doing your own bookkeeping, but by outsourcing these critical tasks you can do more than just save time and money.
However, these two aspects of accounting are important.
Keeping books and managing your accounts will become more complex and demanding as your business grows. You will likely find that the time you would like to spend on your core business activities needs to be spent on pressing financial issues.
This time comes at a cost, and calculating that you’ll save money by not outsourcing can be a false economy, when you factor in the value of your own time.
And if you are faced with complex accounting problems, it will take you much longer to solve them than a seasoned accounting professional.
How can SME accountants benefit my business?
You should expect more from your accountant than just filing your annual accounts or self-assessment statement.
If that’s all you get from a small business accounting firm, then you’re really underutilizing them.
Accountants have years of professional experience. They are intimately familiar with the tax system and understand the intricacies of managing a business’s finances, including the challenges that start-ups face.
First of all, there is the tax advice you get from an accountant. This can include detailed knowledge of tax laws, including the various liabilities and allowances. And it’s important to your business that you are fully aware of the tax exemptions and relief measures that can save you money and reduce your financial burden.
An accountant will also have a detailed forensic approach to all aspects of your finances. This allows them to discover vulnerabilities or identify weak points.
It’s much better to be able to deal with these things sooner rather than later, as these issues are likely to get worse and more serious, or critical, if you don’t deal with them as soon as possible.
A good accountant can also act as a mentor for your business, providing you with sound strategic advice that goes far beyond filing returns for HMRC.
In this sense, an accountant becomes an obvious asset to your business, helping it to grow while keeping its financial foundations strong and healthy.
What to look for in an SME accounting firm?
A good accountant is a trustworthy person. When choosing a small business accountant, you need to go beyond paper qualifications and think about how you can develop a close working relationship with them.
Indeed, trust is an essential aspect of accounting services.
Personality matters. It is the basis of any strong relationship. You must have a good personal relationship with your accountant.
In this current age of social distancing, it may seem more difficult to achieve, but it’s about finding the right communication channels and having the confidence that your accountant will be personally reachable when you need them.
There are different qualities to look for in your accountant.
- Experience and Credibility – How much knowledge will your accountant bring to support your business, and what testimonials can they show to support it?
- Business Understanding and Awareness – Does your accountant understand your business model, how it fits into the market and the issues you are facing?
- Communication – will the person looking after your interests be the person you can speak to directly, without going from pillar to post?
- Enthusiasm – you want professional accounting support that does more than just go through the motions.
- Initiative – the best kind of small business accountant will be proactive rather than just reactive, finding ways to help your business grow and prosper.
- Innovation – yes, you want a lot of experience, but you also want someone who embraces change by keeping abreast of the latest developments, such as accounting software.
What questions to ask SME accountants?
Based on the qualities listed, it is important that you ask the right questions of your future accountant:
- What experience do you have?
- How can you keep up to date?
- Who will take care of my accounts?
- What is your range of services?
And of course :
However, don’t base your decision on price alone. Remember, this is someone with whom you want to develop a good working relationship based on mutual respect and trust.
Your accountant might end up being one of the most important people you deal with in your professional life.
Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that you find the right fit.
Accountants offer different packages and you need to choose the option that works best for you. But you should use them as a ready resource and a strategic asset for your business.
Choosing the right SME accounting firm?
Providing SME accounting services to businesses across the UK, Venn Accounts As an SME accounting firm, the focus is on start-ups and small businesses. They work with clients to build the strong relationships that underpin professional accounting services.
For more information on their SME accounting services, please call Venn Accounts on 020 8088 2590.