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My tax code is incorrect ‚- how do I change it?
If your tax code is incorrect, you can use HMRC's check your Income Tax service to notify them. If you're not able to use the online service, you may get in touch with HMRC through other contact methods.
How to find an accountant
If you have a company, or are starting one, then you will need an accountant.
Though you could do all your accounts yourself, in practice few business owners have the time.
An accountant also checks that you are doing everything correctly, and is a useful reference for both HMRC and financial institutions should you ever need to apply for a loan.
The trouble is that finding the accountant who is right for you is never easy.
You do not want to pay more than you have to, but are low-cost, self-service, internet-based accountancy packages really the best fit for your business needs?
In this article we shall break down that option and its alternatives for you, as we answer the key questions that are occupying your mind right now:
- Do I need an accountant?
- What should I look for in an accountant?
- How do I find the best accountant for me?
The purpose of this article is to give you the context and background you need to ask the right questions-especially when you may not yet know what those questions are.
5 Common Small Business Accounting Mistakes & How to Fix Them
A broad swath of small business owners are tackling the myriad tasks required to pay bills, invoice customers, cut checks to employees and contend with past-due accounts, among other accounting tasks.
While that might work for very small businesses, it often opens the door for firms to make accounting mistakes that undermine their growth and siphon precious time and mental focus from other important areas of their business.
Here are five accounting mistakes that can derail growth for small businesses and how to avoid them.
How do accountants charge contractors?
Like with all service offerings, you can find contractor accountants at pretty much every price point. Some accountants will charge by the hour, some by piece of work or like ourselves, will offer a fixed monthly fee covering everything you will need in one clear package.
5 invoice template tools to help you invoice when self employed
An invoicing problem is a good problem to have.
It means that you have too many clients or too much work to properly charge for it. The good news is that it's an easy problem to fix.
I know how important this is because I've been there as a small business owner - and I searched for a long time to solve this problem and make it painless.
Besides hiring a personal assistant or part-time accountant (which is impractical for most smaller-time, one-person-show contractors), there's the option of using invoicing software that makes the process easy.
Below, I break down the difference between five popular invoicing tools to help you get started on making a decision.
Your decision will ultimately depend on what your business really looks like.
These are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Do you only have a handful of regular clients?
- How do your clients prefer to pay you in a certain way?
- Are late payments a recurring problem for you?
- Do you send out invoices, or does somebody else?
- Do you already have accounting software in place, or are subscribed to an accounting package that includes the use of an accounting software?
- What other applications and tools do you use for your business?
What can accountants help contractors with?
The goals for accountant's is to help businesses with tax and compliance duties whilst providing strategic advice to save money and time, allowing the business to focus on it's core activities.
Everyone knows that accountants will complete tax returns and accounts but the very best accountants will go one step further in ensuring the very best for the business.
How do I plan cashflow?
Here are a few strategies to better cash flow management:
Be rigorous about updating your cash flow: It can be helpful to update your cash flow whenever there is new information-such as when you've made a payment, or when a client informs you that a payment is coming in late. You'll need to have a system for managing your cash flow, whether that's a spreadsheet or cash flow management tool.
Carry out an in-depth analysis on a regular basis: Carve out a block of time each quarter to carry out an in-depth review of your cash flow. You'll want to assess your overall financial position, and look ahead at your cash flow projection for the next quarter.
Implement milestone payments for extended projects: If you're working on an extended project, consider structuring your payments by milestones-rather than receiving a single payment at the end of the project.
When Should I Hire a Small Business Accountant?
If you're a self-employed person or small business owner, you might have already asked yourself the question, "Do I really need an accountant?"
When people ask that, they usually mean, "Can I justify the cost of an accountant?"
It seems simple: Hiring an accountant might seem like something you could do without, and if you handle the accounting yourself, you save money.
But that isn't the best way to think about it. The reality is that there are hidden costs associated with DIY accounting, and you don't want to come up short. So instead, ask yourself, "Will hiring an accountant add value to my business?"
The answer is yes.
Below, we'll cover the key cases when you should hire an accountant:
Small Business Accounting Guide
- When and why you may want to register a Limited Company
- Advantages and disadvantages of a Limited company
- Limited company alternatives
- When to register for VAT
- Advantages and disadvantages of VAT
- How to take money out of your company
- Dividend tax rates
- Limited company expenses & corporation tax
- Annual accounts and deadlines
- Confirmation statements and deadlines
- Self Assessment tax returns
How to make and send an invoice for your clients
You've delivered your work, and it's time to receive your payment.
Before that, you'll need to make an invoice. It's an important document: not only does it help you obtain money you're owed, it also serves as evidence of a transaction in the event that you need to seek legal action to handle non-paying clients.
If this is new to you, you might be wondering: How do I create an invoice, and what must I include? Are there best practices or tips I need to know?
We'll answer all of these questions below:
What are National Insurance numbers?
The National Insurance number is a number used in the administration of the National Insurance or social security system. It is unique to each individual, and helps ensure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name.
Beginner's Guide to Bookkeeping for Small Business
Starting a new business?
Bookkeeping requirements are unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind. At this stage there are more pressing things for you to think about.
However, once your business is taking shape, you will need to start thinking about keeping up-to-date and accurate accounting details of your income and expenses. But what kind of records do you need to keep?
More than just a legal requirement, basic bookkeeping is an essential part of your ability to manage your business effectively.
Every year, your business accounts will need to be completed. If your business is operating as a limited company, you will need to submit your company accounts to Companies House. If you are self-employed, your business accounts will be used to calculate your Self Assessment tax liability.
Your bookkeeping records will form the basis of these statutory financial statements. They should include information relating to your sales, your expenses, salaries of you and any employees, along with other bank transactions.
It might sound complicated, but take it one step at a time and it's actually quite manageable.
If you're really struggling to stay on top of it all, there are plenty of small business accountants and professional bookkeepers who will be happy to help. So, even if you're terrified of numbers, rest assured that there's a solution out there for you.
Are there any penalties for delivering Company Accounts late?
The following penalties for private limited companies will be imposed if you fail to file your accounts with Companies House on time:
- Up to 1 month late: £150
- 1 - 3 months late: £375
- 3 - 6 months late: £750
- More than 6 months late: £1,500
How do I find an accountant?
In today's times, you can find an accountant pretty much anywhere you go whether that's walking down the high street or browsing the internet. Take a look at our guide on choosing an accountant to get some tips on what to look out for when choosing an accountant.
Contractor Accounting Services
We pride ourselves on providing an unparalleled level of support that will make you feel valued, eliminate your admin and ensure you're being as tax efficient as possible.
VAT registration & filing
We'll registered your company for VAT, and ensure VAT is always filed well ahead of the deadline. We will ask you to confirm that you're happy for us to automatically file your VAT without having to approve it which will ensure that we can get this filed as soon as possible.
We'll also help you get setup with a Direct Debit for HMRC so that you can make your VATpayments automatically without having to manually do this every quarter. This saves you time and the stress of ensuring you've paid on time, and importantly will make sure you don't have to pay a penalty for a missed deadline.
We aim to complete your annual accounts well ahead of schedule to ensure you have complete financial records.
You should never have to guess how much corporation tax is due. We'll make sure you know how much is due and when it's due.
We'll make sure to keep your Companies House account up to date and ensure your confirmation statement is filed on time.
We include a Self Assessment with our operate and grow packages and this is also available as an additional £99+VAT one-off charge.
From your salary, dividends, pension, investments and company expenses, we'll help you optimise your tax.