The primary responsibility of an Accountant is to provide an accurate and up-to-date record of the financial transactions of an Individual or Organisation. they need to be aware of all of the necessary compliance guidelines during these transactions.
An Accountant can choose where they may be employed. Some work directly for a large Organisation full-time, while others may prefer to serve the needs of a private Individual. The most popular form of this type of Accountant is one who helps people correctly file their Tax Returns each year.
An Accountant can also specialise in other fields such as Investment Options, Fund Management, Retirement Packages or Estate Planning. Thus, a robust amount of experience is necessary to perform this role efficiently.
It is important to note that a Chartered Accountant will generally have gone through more training than a normal Accountant. A Chartered Accountant needs to have successfully completed an academic postgraduate program and upon graduation have worked under a mentor program for a period of three years or more. A Chartered Accountant will focus on providing accurate records of all financial transactions for an Individual or Organisation, where they are more likely to be found employed in a some form of commercial capacity. Such examples can include larger corporations, non-profit organisations, industrial sector and commerce.
Another significant difference is that while an Accountant may have their own practice for many years, a Chartered Accountant is considered more of an Accountant for hire. They can often provide fee-based services for organisations in the public sector. Their private sector responsibilities may include overall financial supervision or the role of a wealth manager for an Individual or Organisation. Due to the fact that their expertise tends to involve business functions, Chartered Accountants are in quite high demand.
When looking for an Accountant or Chartered Accountant, make sure to check that they have qualifications issued by one of the recognised Accounting bodies in the UK, such as: ICAEW, ICAS, ACCA or CIMA.
Its common to hear people say that they can't afford an Accountant, especially during the Start-Up phase of a Business, and that they merely fill out forms to keep the HMRC happy.
In reality an Accountant has far more Applications than that, and once you find the right one, they will save you time, money and the stress of worrying about your Taxes.
Your time is best spent focusing on your Business, not HMRC forms. Whether you have a Business or you are a Contractor, then you will undoubtedly be able to complete the forms yourself. But will you be completing them correctly? Will you be getting them in on time?
Missing a deadline for important documents, such as your 'Company Accounts' to HMRC, can result in expensive fines. If you incorrectly complete a document, then it will most likely be sent back to you to do again. However, it can be sent back to you in the hands of a Tax Inspector who wants to pore over every single piece of paper.
An Accountant will complete the appropriate forms for you and return them to the appropriate authority in order and on time. Leaving you free to focus on your Business.
If time is not a problem and you are confident that you can complete the relevant documents, how could you possibly benefit from the services of an Accountant?
Completing the documents correctly and completing the forms as cost effectively as possible do not go hand-in-hand. An Accountant will make sure you take advantage of every legal way to minimise your Tax bill. Accountants make sure that you take full advantage of the ever-changing Tax laws to make sure you pay as little Tax as possible.
In addition to completing paperwork and minimising the amount of Tax you pay, your Accountant can also be a great source of advice to help you grow your Business. In order for your Business to be successful it is important that you make the correct Financial decisions early on. A few wrong moves in the beginning can put you out of business before you get a chance to start.
An Accountant can act as a trusted Business Adviser. He or she knows your business almost as well as you do and probably knows the Financial side of it even better. A neutral perspective from someone that knows your Business, but does not have any emotional attachment to it is priceless.
An Accountants advice and input can be more valuable than filling in forms and dealing with the HMRC. Some may charge more for this service, but most will include it as part of their standard package.
If you are not sure which Accountant, Financial Adviser or Business Lender is right for you, send us a message explaining what you are looking for, and we will then select an appropriate professional to send your request.