Accountant Services

UK chartered accountants are trained in many different areas of the financial market to provide individuals, small businesses and large corporations with a whole range of services from bookkeeping and cash flow projections to account production and tax returns. Read on for general information about the main accountancy services on offer in the UK:

Account production

Whether you're a sole trader, small business or large company, you'll need to prepare annual accounts for inspection by the Inland Revenue and other agencies.

Keeping track of your spending, tax returns, profits, and other transactions can be a tough job but a business accountant can deal with all these aspects for you. Using your source books, receipts and records, a UK accountant can prepare your annual accounts for your tax returns. Having proper annual accounts is not only important to show government agencies, they can also prove invaluable in any business loan or mortgage applications as most financial institutions will want to see that you can manage your monetary affairs.

Bookkeeping

There are a number of reasons why it is essential to keep regular and accurate records of your income and expenses, and these include meeting Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise regulations, controlling your finances, and effective business management. Some sole traders and new businesses prefer to do their own bookkeeping but they often find it difficult to keep their accounts up-to-date, and that is why it is useful to let a chartered accountant do the hard work for you.

Using your records and receipts an accountant can provide an efficient, up-to-date bookkeeping service for individuals, small businesses and large firms. Among the records they will service for you are expenditures, receipts, accounts payable and receivable, and profit and loss. In some cases, accountants will even provide an online accountancy service where you can views your books and records at the accountants secure website after you've handed your paper copies to the accountant.

Cash flow projections

Cash flow problems are undoubtedly one of the main factors in business failure in the UK because without a steady stream flowing in and out a business' credit and growth can be adversely affected. To avoid these problems and encourage your business to grow it is vital that you manage and forecast your cash flow. Most UK chartered accountants offer a number of services that will help you to keep the money flowing smoothly through your business, these include:

  • Forecasting your cash flow by studying your customers' paying habits so you can predict when and how much they will spend. The amount forecasted will be within five percent of your receivables each month.
  • Tracking your expenses each month by comparing your projected expenses to your actual expenses. This will help you to anticipate the need for more cash and therefore react immediately.
  • Projecting your sales revenues monthly, quarterly and yearly so that you can spend accordingly.

As well as keeping your business running efficiently, cash flow projections are also important for securing a bank loan or investment from a third party. You will also be able to see at a glance the timing of expected payments in relation to suppliers, wages, capital expenditure, loan repayments, dividends, tax and interest.

Payroll

Whether you employ one or a large team of staff, a crucial part of your business will be payroll - calculating wages, National Insurance and income tax, and arrangement payment to your employees. Payroll accounts can be a very complicated and time consuming procedure but luckily a trained chartered accountant can help you as most general accountancy firms offer payroll services, which include weekly, fortnightly, monthly and annual payroll, BACS, cash and cheque payments, calculation of Tax, National Insurance, Statutory Sick Pay, etc, and complete end of year reports.

Tax returns

All companies have to pay Corporation Tax at the end of every trading year, and so a substantial amount of a firm's earnings from the year needs to be put aside for paying the tax bill when it comes. Deciding how much to save for tax and the process of paying it can be a complicated issue for someone not specifically trained in dealing with taxation, and that is why it is advisable to seek professional help from a tax accountant who can work out your payments correctly.

Although you only have to register for VAT if your company's turnover exceeds £60,000, you can voluntarily register if your turnover is below this threshold. If you hire a tax accountant to do this paperwork for you then they will be able to arrange recovery of the VAT that you have been charged on company expenses. Tax accountants can also help self-employed people to complete their self-assessment tax returns, as well as calculating how much tax you're likely to be charged.

Online accounting

In the modern fast-paced business world it is helpful to have your accounts constantly updated, securely recorded and easy to view 24 hours a day. Luckily accountants have now made this possible with online accounting - a safe and secure process that allows you to record and update all your business transactions throughout the year and view them 24 hours a day via a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer.

An online accounting account can work like an electronic catalogue of all your invoices, bills and expenses, while some accountants even manage your payroll, bookkeeping and tax returns online too. This will give you the flexibility to view all your accounts at a convenient time 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will also ensure they are always up to date.