Can you afford to not have an accountant?

I often hear people saying I can’t afford an accountant or people looking for the cheapest accountant possible. Accountancy is seen as a cost rather than a value added service.

So with the authorisation of my client I just wanted to share a little case study.

A client set up a limited company to run his business. He visited a high street accountant for an initial free consultation. He left uninspired and not quite sure what they were offering to do for him.

He is an intelligent person, so after seeing online bookkeeping software adverts on television and with a bookkeeping course under his belt; he decided to tackle his bookkeeping, accounts and tax return head on.

Or so he thought! Happy that he was doing everything right he was shocked to receive communication from HMRC. Penalty notices arrived and he paid them. Into his second year of trading he realised that something was wrong.

So he phoned me and I undertook quite a bit of extra work to sort out the records I was presented with online. There is only so much you can do to help in a situation like this, so I made sure he paid no more tax than he needed to which in turn reduced interest payments. The sad fact is that if I had been called at the beginning my fees would have been less than the tax that was due and the tax could have been mitigated.

I went one step further after ensuring the client was now up to date with all his filing requirements and I appealed his penalty notices which resulted in a refund to a very happy client.

Sometimes it pays to have the right accountant working with you.