The changing face of accountancy
Like many businesses accountancy continues to evolve to both improve and keep up-to-date with how businesses function. But it’s not only new technology that is driving changes in accountancy.
Accountancy firms are expanding beyond the traditional tax, bookkeeping and payroll services, extending their offering to include additional services where there are obvious synergies such as pensions, business planning, wealth management and probate services that focus on helping people achieve their personal and business goals.
Understanding how your accountants can help you, your business and also your employees will allow you to take advantage of these services and may be able to save you money, keep you legally compliant and plan for your retirement.
Some of the areas where accountancy has evolved and continues to do so include:
There are several highly effective accountancy software packages on the market including Sage, Xero and QuickBooks that make managing your books a lot simpler and more efficient. Using accounting software can help you to save time and money whilst providing you with a valuable insight into your business. However, setting up accountancy software can often be a daunting task and needs to be done correctly to meet the needs of each business. We can help set up and advise on the migration and ongoing use of such software offering training and a sounding board to make sure you are using the software appropriately. Find out more about how we can help
Mobile devices have significantly improved the usefulness and adoption of accountancy software with the key accountancy software having their own apps that make it easy to track expenses, upload receipts and even track mileage and time whilst on the go. These useful functions continue to evolve, with the added benefit of being able to invoice and take payments on the go which is great for cashflow and staying on top of admin.
Automation continues to improve efficiency and reduce errors caused by manual input. The drive of Ecommerce business and ability to sync websites and bank accounts with accountancy software has been a crucial step in improving this area whilst the ability to set up automatic invoicing for routine jobs has helped free up time to work on the business.
Making tax digital
Making Tax Digital (MTD) represents a significant change in the way taxpayers record their financial information and submit tax returns. The focus on MTD is currently VAT, which was implemented from April 2019. Self-employed businesses and landlords with annual business or property income above £10,000 will need to follow the rules for MTD for Income Tax from their next accounting period starting on or after 6 April 2023. Although MTD has been paused for individuals until at least 2023, HMRC has introduced the Personal Tax Account and Simple Assessment. Read more on making tax digital
Employers must enrol employees into a pension scheme and make contributions towards their pension where eligible for automatic enrolment. Therefore accountants are often the first port of call for small businesses looking for help in setting this up, especially with it being a crucial part of the PAYE / wages services provided.
Beyond auto enrolment, pension planning is key for securing a comfortable retirement. By assisting with how much your business can afford to contribute to a pension or how much you need to designate to building a solid future is an area well suited to an accountants skillset and a natural service extension. Find out more about our pension services
Personal finances and wealth management
Many accountants go beyond financial planning and provide the advice and appropriate vehicles to help grow your wealth and safeguard your financial future with additional services such as personal tax advice, Inheritance tax advice, probate, trusts and even philanthropy on offer.
Strategic consultancy and business planning
Getting under the skin of how a business is functioning financially is crucial to its success. When it comes to understanding the numbers a good strategic accountant can really help make a difference. From writing a business plan, creating business KPIs and developing a forecasting model specific to your goals, a good accountant can really help your business, especially when they work closely with you.
Selling, merging, closing and buying a business
The end goal of many businesses is to get to a point of sale, but along the way there are often opportunities and challenges that arrive which pose questions for businesses and individuals. Taking a strategic approach to selling a business and getting all the ducks in a row well in advance of sale can not only make the business more profitable and appealing but increase its value and speed up the sale process.