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When you first start out in business, it can be tempting to go it alone. You’re self-employed, independent and ready to make your fortune. But, setting off without a steady hand on the rudder can soon see your company dreams dashed upon the rocks. Most of the time, small business success boils down to the little things, such as immaculate bookkeeping and a strong grasp of legal implications.
Selling yourself short in the beginning will only result in further shortcomings later down the line. A small business bookkeeping service can help you stay on top of all your financial needs, but how do you know when the time is right to call in a small business accountant? Here are five telltale signs to look out for.
1. You’ve Made Bookkeeping Errors in the Past
Bookkeeping is a fundamental part of business life. If you aren’t keeping your books up to date on a near-weekly basis, you will be more prone to registering errors in your files. Poor and inconsistent bookkeeping are two of the most common accounting errors and must be stamped out early.
If you have made several mistakes in your books, it could be time to pass the job over to a trained professional. A small business bookkeeping service will take the time to ensure every number is crunched perfectly, so you can spend more time focusing on the actual mechanics of your business.
2. It Takes You Too Long to Complete Your Taxes
Bookkeeping and taxation services share many links. In order to avoid speculation of tax evasion, all facets of your income, revenue and expenses need to be recorded accurately. Without an effective small business bookkeeping service, you may be toiling over various forms and paperwork for longer than necessary.
While taxes are unavoidable, they shouldn’t be taking weeks of your time to negotiate. An accomplished small business accountant will be able to complete and send tax returns for you within a number of days. Of course, it helps if your accountant has time to review your books and rectify any issues first. Placing your worries in the hands of a consummate professional can give you the freedom to put your earnings to good use.
3. You Think You Might Be Overlooking Key Tax Deductions
As we said, tax is unavoidable. With newly formed companies expected to calculate and pay corporation tax on top of the usual income, PAYE and VAT, things can soon get complicated. Collectively, small businesses lost out on over a quarter of a billion pounds last year in unclaimed expenses. While the majority of these expenses are below £10, they soon add up, with a couple of hundred of pounds going a long way towards strengthening your profit margins in the first year.
Knowing which tax deductions you are eligible for and which expenses you can claim as business costs will ensure that you gain back every penny you deserve. With constantly updated regulations and thresholds, it can be hard to keep track of what you are owed. A small business bookkeeping service is designed for this very purpose and will help you work out where you can make savings.
4. You’re Spending Too Much Time Filing Records
Record filing is another bookkeeping task that small business owners love to hate. Although vital for tax and registration purposes, wasting time on pen and paper can become tedious, especially if your head is elsewhere. Not only do you need be keeping accurate files, you also need to be able to use them to forecast future ventures. While you may have a savvy, entrepreneurial mind, looking for patterns in cashflow and takings sheets may not be the kind of activities you had in mind when you first started out.
Luckily, an accountant is well at home amongst all these figures. A small business bookkeeping service will take over the record filing duties and help you make wiser choices on the investment of your capital. They can also help set up online accountancy software, so invoices, bank statements and tax documents can all be viewed from one platform.
5. You’re Struggling to Balance Your Chequebook
Sometimes in business, you’ll end up using most of your earnings to stay afloat. If you’re constantly battling against your overdraft or reeling from the heavy interest payments on small business loans, it might be time to seek professional help. Small business accountants have plenty of tricks up their sleeve to help you dig yourself out of even the tightest financial rut.
Whether it’s readdressing how you purchase stock, finding alternative means of funding, or outlining methods for reducing your expenditure, an accountant will always be on hand to offer advice. Using a small business bookkeeping service, you can ensure your money is only used in the right areas, so you can finally start finding your feet.
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About the Author
Chris Weston is the director of Aston Black, a small business accountants in Milton Keynes. Chris has over 25 years of experience in accounting and taxation, working with his small team of staff to provide quality advice for companies and freelancers up and down the country. To see more of Chris’ portfolio, connect with him on LinkedIn.