Common Professional Accountancy Services in the UK

As a business operator either as sole trader or limited company, you will probable require financial services which are best delivered by a firm of accountants. The services of independent accountants will differ in many aspects from what you’d expect from an accountant on your payroll. In this article, we’ll explore a few of the services for which you might retain an accountancy firm.

Book keeping services: This refers to the recording of your day to day trading transactions. Thus all your purchase invoices, receipts for expenses paid, sales invoices, credit notes received and issued, delivery charges and delivery notes, cash received from debtors and cash sales are entered into your accounting records, often referred to as your “books”. In this day and age, your “books” would usually be a software package, and the records would be entered using the fundamental double entry system and other accounting precepts.

A lot of small businesses and most medium to large businesses have employees who handle the book keeping internally, however, for the sole trader or small business , it can be convenient to have this function fulfilled by their accountants. This does have the effect of freeing up time for the business to focus on its core activities. Plus, it should result in excellent record keeping as the accountancy records are being kept by professionals.

Management accounts: These are usually extracted from the accountancy records that have been produced by the book keeping process. management accounts are generally required by the management of a business to provided a financial overview of the performance of the business over a fixed period of time. Monthly, quarterly and annual management accounts are fairly standard. Management would usually receive a Profit and Loss account, and a balance sheet statement together with profitability ratios and perhaps budget deviation reports if a budget had been setup during or before the accounting period being reviewed

Financial accounts: The financial accounts for companies must comply with all the relevant laws, in particular, companies act 2006 . A requirement of the Companies act is that the accounts should follow generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP).The company’s retained accountant would either prepare the GAAP accounts or advise the directors in preparation of the said accounts. Naturally, the nature of the service would depend on the contract for services signed by both parties. Note that whoever prepares the accounts, the responsibility for the accounts lies with the company’s directors. The financial accounts are viewed by the management, the shareholders, the bankers and creditors, potential investors, and other interested 3rd parties. The financial accounts will also be submitted to the relevant tax office and for companies, to companies house. In the United Kingdom , companies house is a government agency involved in the monitoring and control of incorporated businesses in the UK. Accounts submitted to companies house are available for public viewing. The accounts for sole traders and partnerships are not governed by companies act but would be used for tax returns .

Audit: For certain classes of company depending on their size and industry, an audit report is required each year that the company meets the audit criteria plus ancillary years as determined by the secretary of state. Essentially, an audit report requires the reporting accountant to express an opinion on whether the accounts of the company show “a true and fair view” of the affairs of the company . It would be well beyond the scope of this or any other short article to discuss in detail what can be one of the most contentious documents in the business world today.

Corporation tax, Personal tax, VAT: Corporation tax is payable on company taxes each year and handling these matters as an agent on behalf of the business is one of the most important services accountants offer.Personal taxes being taxes collected on the income of individuals can be managed on behalf of companies and individuals by firms of accountants. Value added tax (VAT) is usually managed by a business as part of its on going book keeping procedure. Where the external accountants are also the book keepers, they would generally deal with the management of VAT as an agent of the business.

Company secretarial; The operation of an incorporated business requires that a number of statutory matters are executed each year. These include general meetings , directors meetings , submission of company accounts, submissions of other documents such the annual return, appointments of directors , notification of registered trading address. For smaller businesses , accountants generally handle the company secretarial duties.

There are several other services a firm of accountants can offer, and these include management consultancy, corporate finance, general financial advice amongst others. In business , you will come to a point when you know there is a need for professional business advice, an accountant should be high on your list of persons to call.


Expert Advice and Timely Work – How Certified Tax and Accountancy Specialists Work

For those who operate businesses, whether small, medium or large ones, the process of preparing balance sheets, auditing requirements, and loads of tax forms is a tough one, especially if they don’t have time to do all this or if they lack the knowledge to complete the procedures. Getting help from a number of professional taxation and accounting-related consultancy experts will do a lot in helping business owners and corporations maximize their time and ensure that their financial resources are well-audited and in proper order. For instance, the services offered by independent accountants considerably differ in a lot of aspects, especially if you get these from an accountant on your payroll. The following paragraphs will give an overview of the wide array of services that professional taxation and accountancy consultants render.

The process of bookkeeping refers to the recording of businesses’ daily trading transactions. All pertinent data such as purchase receipts, expense invoices, sales invoices, credit notes received and issued, delivery charges and delivery notes, cash sales, cash received from debtors and others are entered into an official accounting record, which many call the accounting “books”. These days, most accounting books come in software form, with the records entered using the fundamental double entry system and other accounting rules, on the computer. Your accountancy consultant may provide your firm with the required accounting software, and provide the training as well for properly implementing an automated accounting system in your small business or large firm. The use of modern accounting software constitutes a more personal accounting and banking, as well as providing key decision makers and managers a more hands-on approach to their work.

Professional Tax Advice: Most people instantly think about “income tax” when someone talks about giving professional tax advice. Well, an income tax is only one of the many forms of taxation that are imposed by the central government to spend for social programs and other services. In the United Kingdom for example, a large segment of the income tax and capital gains taxes are both managed by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Department (HMRC). An income tax serves as the main source of income for the government. This form of taxation is based on the earned and unearned income of a business entity or individual employee. For this tax, there are a series of payment scales mandated by the government yearly as part of its budget process, and each person who has an income is liable for paying these, provided that their income is above the threshold. Taxation and accounting consultancy services help your firm to thresh out the details, fill the right forms, know the appropriate tax laws, and steer clear of any penalties.

Corporation taxes on the other hand, are payable annually and this are important tax payments that companies should not miss. This type of tax is levied on a limited company’s taxable income or profits. This type of tax however is not applicable for self-employed individuals, but only applies to limited companies, organizations as well as Members’ clubs, societies and associations. The value added tax (VAT) on the other hand, may be quite stressful to handle, especially when the deadlines arrive. According to tax experts, the VAT is one of the most complicated taxes that are levied on businesses, since failing to complete such returns on time would result in incurring applicable penalties and interest. An Accountancy and Taxation consultant will offer to help your firm keep up with the latest HMRC regulations, as well as offer complete advice on the tricky aspects of VAT such as the Flat Rate Scheme, VAT registration, Vat planning and administration, compulsory registration timing, the benefits and drawbacks of voluntary registration, VAT on imports and exports, as well as Customs and Excise VAT.