The number one advisers to SMEs are accountants. They are essential to the running of small and medium-sized businesses.
But if accountants are so essential, how much should an SME pay for their services?
There is an important distinction to make here:
Accountancy can be costly, if you choose to do it yourself.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), SMEs in the UK spend the equivalent of three working weeks each year sorting out their tax reporting.
Filing their returns adds up in working hours, costing them around £5,000 a year on tax compliance.
That’s one expense of accountancy, but there are others.
As businesses develop and grow, often their accounting becomes more complex, and the tax system more confusing.
Many business owners find issues such as tax exemptions confusing, and other aspects of tax, like VAT, corporation tax and PAYE, extremely time-consuming.
The time these SMEs spend on tax is the time they’re not spending on their business. Lost time can be costly, when you add it up.
Plus, there is the risk of making errors in accounts and tax returns, or submitting them late and incurring penalties.
Accountancy is a dedicated, specialist skill, and while many business owners have plenty of drive, ambition and strategic know-how, they may not have the insight or experience to get the best out of their accounting.
Using a specialist small business accountancy can help SMEs get on top of their money and free up their resources to focus on their core business concerns.
This is not just about doing tax returns and annual accounts though. What an accountant can offer is valuable business support and advice, combined with experience, knowledge and insight.
Not only do you get someone who will take the burden of financial paperwork off your shoulders, but they’ll also be able to help your finances work that much more smoothly.
Another significant benefit from hiring a professional accountant is the use of cloud-based accountancy software.
This maximises the efficiency of your financial management, while keeping your records up to date, accessible and very secure.
It’s also highly scalable and adaptable, ensuring that your accountancy support grows and develops alongside your business.
Outsourcing is the successful business owner’s hidden weapon. It’s about knowing when to bring in the right kind of trusted, outside help to make the running of your business as efficient and effective as possible.
And the cost of all this?
A good SME accountant knows that one size doesn’t fit all. It’s about ensuring that what you get fits your immediate needs, but can also help support your future plans.
Talk to Venn Accounts about our different packages for SMEs. From traditional accounting services like annual accounts and corporation tax to more consultancy-based services such as management accounting or helping businesses claim R&D tax credits or EIS/SEIS tax relief.
We’ll be very clear about what we can do for you, and how we will support your particular business requirements.