You essentially have 3 approaches to completing your accounts
1. Completing your own accounts
Best for: When you first start and you want to keep things simple and keep costs down.
- Low cost
- You need to understand what you are submitting to your tax authority
- Greatest responsibility for you
2. Using a once yearly accountant
When you find yourself too busy to commit to completing your own accounts and you can look to hire an accountant to handle your end of year/period accounts.
Typically the accountant will take your information and prepare the accounts to be submitted to your tax authority. The most organised your information is the less time the accountant will take, and additional costs are kept to a minimum.
This sort of accountant service is unlikely to offer you tax saving advice or any forward planning advice.
In the UK expect to pay around £500 for the end of financial year submission.
Best for: When your business is growing or you have a limited company and you want to ensure the accounts are as complete as possible.
- Mid-cost solution
- Ensures your taxes are calculated and submitted properly
- No forward planning
- No business advise
3. Complete accounting service
If you are really busy, or run a limited company you might want to consider a complete accounting service. These services typically handle all aspects of your business accounts.
This might include
- Business accounts calculation and submission to tax authority
- Business sales tax (VAT, etc) management
- Business registration management
- Directory personal tax calculation and submission to tax authority
- Employee tax calculation
You should certainly be using accounts management software when working with an accountant in this way. You will probably do you day to day bookkeeping, and your accountant will be able to log in to the accounting system to manage your data.
Your should expect the accountant to make recommendations to maximise your tax savings. Also expect to receive future advice to ensure your business is efficient as possible. Some accounts offer basic business advice.
In the UK expect to pay £100+ per month.
Whilst this might seem expensive monthly payments are a good way of spreading your account costs across a year. Using a complete service like this should save you sufficient time and money that it effectively pays for itself, whilst ensuring as much of your accounts are handled by a professional.
Best for: When you have a limited company and are really busy, and want maximum tax savings.
- Least amount of input required from you
- Maximum tax savings
- Business advice
- Most expensive option