You’re reading this blog on the website of an accountant, so you’re probably expecting our answer to the question ‘do you really need an account?’ to be a resounding and (slightly defensive) ‘yes – of course you do!’
But, while you won’t be surprised to learn that we do see the value in our trade and could happily reel off lots of ways that working with us could benefit you and your business, our honest answer to your question is a bit more nuanced than that.
Because it really depends – on your personal circumstances, the size of your business, what your growth ambitions look like, and, most importantly of all, what you value most.
Who definitely needs an accountant?
Let’s get this one out of the way. If you’re time-poor, big-picture-not-details focused, and/or openly terrible with numbers, then the reality is that you probably do need an accountant.
Even with the best software and will in the world, if you don’t have the time or skill to pay attention to the fiddly things, it’s just not worth making a mistake. Do you really want to risk damaging your bottom–line, or getting into hot water with HMRC if you do something wrong? We thought not.
Chances are, if that sounds like you, you already know you need an accountant anyway. This might be a good time to stop reading this blog and get in touch to see what we can take off your hands.
Who might not need an accountant?
If you’re happy to spend time poring over receipts or keeping an eye on reporting deadlines, and get a little kick from watching the numbers all add up (no judgement, we do too), you might be able to get away without an accountant.
Whether you’d want to get away without one, though, when it’s your business or your future financial stability at stake, is a different question entirely – and it all depends on your attitude towards risk and planning.
With developments in cloud software making accounting more accessible than ever, and the wealth of knowledge that Google provides available at your fingertips, there are lots of tasks that an accountant would’ve traditionally done for you that you can either do yourself or automate.
By investing in and integrating your systems with the right tech, you can save yourself lots of time (and possibly money) and make some pretty successful strides towards being your own accountant. Lots of accountants even automate these things themselves these days, too.
But, there’s a reason most of us are embracing this technology, rather than viewing it as a threat to our jobs – and that’s because it doesn’t replace what we can do entirely.
What can an accountant do for me that I can’t work out myself?
For all the Googling, deadline-setting, form-filling, tech-embracing and automation you can do for yourself, there’s one thing you won’t get the benefit of if you don’t have an accountant: our years of experience working with businesses just like yours.
Day to day, you might not think you need the benefit of this experience, but it can be absolutely critical when something doesn’t add up, doesn’t look right, or simply goes plain wrong.
Whether it’s missed or incomplete tax returns, confusion over VAT, concern that your corporate structure isn’t quite right, or a stubborn cashflow problem that won’t seem to resolve itself, an accountant’s expertise and advice can be a gamechanger. Whatever the problem is, we’ve probably seen it before – which means we can find a solution quickly, and know what works and what doesn’t.
And that’s before we even look at things like management accounts – where we’ll work out exactly what’s going on and give you a big picture overview – or advisory, where we’ll put the numbers into a broader business context and help you map out your next steps to success.
That’s where the value comes in, and what makes our answer to the question ‘do I really need an accountant?’ one that needs to be considered with a bit of a holistic hat on.
Because, while having an accountant isn’t an absolute must-have for your business to succeed, it’s almost certain that having a sharp-eyed expert as a steady pair of hands to trust with your most important decisions will be of at least some help, reassurance, and use to you and your financial future.
If you’d like to chat about how we can support you – or whether you really need our services or not – get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat.