What does an accountant actually do?

If you run a small business and currently look after your accounts yourself, you may not think that you need an accountant. But accountants can help you with so much more than invoicing and vat returns.

Here are just a few of the tasks accounts do that could help you to organise your business and free up time that you could spend on growing your company and making more money.

Management accounts
Management accounts are financial statements that an accountant can produce for you and will include information such as profit and loss, balance sheet, ratio analysis, or one-off reports required for a specific purpose

Having this information to hand will provide you with an insight into your business performance and give you the ability to make informed business decisions.

Keeping records of financial transactions is vital to run a successful business and have up-to-date financial data to hand. This can be done on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.

But bookkeeping can be a very time-consuming process and many business owners find that they just don’t have time to keep on top of it.

Using an accountant to carry out your bookkeeping can help to take away some of the stress of running a business, and ensure that your records are accurate and up-to-date.

Year-end accounts
When your limited company’s accounting period ends you will be required to send certain documents to HMRC and Companies House.

An accountant can take your bookkeeping, check it for accuracy, make any tax efficiency adjustments and recommendations, and produce year-end reports ready for submission.

Having a payroll system in place is important in ensuring your employees are always paid on time.

An accountant can set up a system for you, as well as making sure you are up-to-date with national minimum wage requirements, statutory requirements such as sick pay and maternity pay, and statutory deadlines.

It can also help to have an accountant on board when you need to calculate what your payroll liabilities will be before you take on any new employees.

Auto-enrolment into pension schemes
If you take on a new employee you now have to ensure that they are put into a pension scheme and that you contribute towards this.

An accountant can ensure that your auto-enrolment compliance is met, and that employees are given a choice on whether they want to join the scheme or ‘opt-out’.

Company Taxation
It’s important to meet HMRC deadlines to avoid penalties. An accountant can calculate your company’s corporation tax, prepare your tax return, and ensure all deadlines are met.

Having an accountant do this for you means you will be kept up-to-date with statutory requirements and reporting framework regulations. You’ll also have an expert onboard to look for ways to increase your tax efficiency and make tax-saving recommendations.

Personal Taxation
If you don’t have time to complete your self-assessment tax return, or if you have personal investments such as shares or rental property, an accountant can complete your personal tax return and calculate your personal tax liabilities for you.

Cash-flow Forecasts
This document shows the cash going in and out of your business as well as your anticipated financial position at the end of a defined period.

You may need a cash-flow forecast for finance purposes or for internal budgeting. Having an expert complete this document for you will ensure the figures are as accurate as possible.

VAT returns
Compiling and submitting VAT returns can be time-consuming, and you may not be aware of what you can or cannot claim.

An accountant will be able to prepare and submit your VAT returns and ensure you are meeting all statutory requirements. They will also be able to undertake a VAT review to check you are registered for the most tax-efficient scheme

If you want to find out more about any of these accounting services, please get in touch with us here at Magpie Accountancy.