As a freelancer you often tend to do your accounts yourself and nothing can legally stop you from doing that. But what initially started on a simple spreadsheet could easily snowball into a complex task requiring more than basic accounting systems. And unless you are some kind of a financial whiz-kid or a tax enthusiast, you are most likely going to need professional advice.
Importantly, the big question to think about is: “what can you do with the extra time you have if you hire an accountant?’ Can it be used better to focus on the things you enjoy doing?
Since today is the 6th National Freelancer’s Day we’ve put together some great reasons why a majority of contractors and freelancers prefer to delegate their tax and accounting.
- An accountant can help you choose the right trading structure
- Have your bookkeeping set-up the right way - processing receipts, recording expenses and invoicing
- Produce year-end accounts, including P&L and balance sheet
- Help you choose an appropriate VAT accounting scheme
- Reduce your tax bill and complete your tax returns when they are due
- Help you discover potential problems and how to manage them
- Give you advice relevant to your situation
- Free up your time so you can focus on tasks central to your contracting/freelancing business
However finding an accountant is a difficult task mostly because of the countless options available in the market. In that respect, we’ve listed some things you should consider before you hire one:
- Check their qualifications and registration – ACCA, CIMA or ICAEW.
- Find out if they are financially sound
- Find out how they can add value to your business
- Ask if they offer guarantees like fixed fees in advance, average response time and agreed delivery dates
- Get references from reliable sources/their clients/social media
- Ask for testimonials
- Check what’s not included and find out what’s expected of you
- Ask what happens if you are not happy with their service or if they miss a deadline
So is an accountant worth your time and money?
If you are still trying to decide whether a professional accountant is worth your time, think this over: Every minute spent working on your accounts is another minute lost on your client’s project. And since the time spent working on taxes is not exactly billable, the real question is whether maintaining your accounts is really worth your time?
With this in mind what will you do new on the 6th Annual National Freelancers Day?
We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts with us through Twitter. And if you want more information on the National Freelancer Day programme of events please visit the website www.nationalfreelancersday.com or follow #NFD2014 on Twitter.