To use an accountant or do it myself? To use an accountant or do it myself? - Page 2
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  1. #11

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Quote Originally Posted by BolshieBastard View Post
    It never ever ceases to amaze me that people, especially first time contractors, want to save money on what is one of the most important aspects concerning the running of their company.

    A good accountant is worth paying for. Remember, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

    DIY accounts? No way and I've been contracting 15 years.
    But that said, I have always had an accountant and what they do is very simple and probably not worth the money. And every year I have to sign a form saying I have checked their work and if there is a mistake its my fault not theirs.

    Sally made a great point, that after the first year you can see what figures went were and it makes a lot more sense.

  2. #12

    Should post faster

    Danielsjdaccountancy's Avatar
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    A good accountant will earn their fees back for you.

    Simple advice like joining the flat rate, introducing a spouse into the business, pension contributions, expenses you can reclaim, etc, etc all of these will help save you thousands in tax and make that accountancy fee you paid seem like peanuts. Yes you can do it yourself, but why waste the time, effort and worry when you could be putting that energy into a second, third, fourth contract.

    The other advice I tell my clients is we're as expensive as you make us. We're on the end of the phone/email every day, can meet face to face in any major city so ensure you get your monies worth!

    HTH

  3. #13

    More time posting than coding


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    An accountant is there to save you money and give you advice on things like the FRS VAT, what expenses you can reclaim be pro active and a whole lot more etc.

    This is what the good accoutants will do.

    I think having a accountant for the first year or two is vital as there will simply be lots of things you will not know and this is where we are here to help.

    After the first year or two and you think you have gained enough knowledge then why not try it alone.

    But why waste all that time and energy on doing accounts when it could be spent doing other things like getting more contracts or spending time with family etc.

    What good accountants charge should feel like nothing compared to what we should save you in tax.

    Also having that regular unlimited contact with you accountant is priceless

  4. #14

    More time posting than coding


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    Quote Originally Posted by jonftwtaylor View Post

    At this point though I'm starting to worry if I need an accountant or if I can do it myself. I really want to fully understand it all myself so learning about accounting and doing it myself seems enticing, also the Mrs has shown a strong interest in learning about it in order to help me out.
    Hi there

    I qualified as an accountant 15 years ago, but since then I've worked in roles that have taken me away from the technical stuff & tax legislation in particular changes regularly so I use a firm of accountants to do my company tax return, manage my payroll (+ returns) and produce and file my annual accounts. They're on the end of the phone for any questions, email me monthly with any regulation etc updates and advise me of how I can pay the minimum (legal) amount of tax.

    Understandably I am more than capable of keeping high quality monthly accounts and making sure all of the paperwork is in order (dividend vouchers etc) so they keep their fee pretty low.

    Without any accounting experience whatsoever I would recommend that you get an accountant for the first year and see how you get on.

  5. #15

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    Here's another thought!

    From an IR35 perspective, you need to act like a real business.

    ...and real businesses use an accountant ;-)

  6. #16

    Fingers like lightning

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    I'm always up for considering the DIY approach. I own a property that I rent out and I felt that I could do a better job than a letting agent, and that has proved to be the case. I did everything myself, the contract, the advertising, the vetting, the tax returns, everything.

    But doing my own accounts for my LtdCo? Not in a million years. Far too much stuff to remember IMO, and frankly I'd rather concentrate on doing what I'm good at rather than wasting time getting flustered trying to work out the accounts.

  7. #17

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    BolshieBastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by escapeUK View Post
    But that said, I have always had an accountant and what they do is very simple and probably not worth the money. And every year I have to sign a form saying I have checked their work and if there is a mistake its my fault not theirs.

    Sally made a great point, that after the first year you can see what figures went were and it makes a lot more sense.
    But it isnt just about what figures to put down or what forms to send off. Its about keeping up to date with the latest tax scams introduced by hMRC, its about making sure you havent taken two dividends in the same month then wondering how to minimise the tax (as one poster did very recently) etc, etc.

    Yeah, if you are just about the bottom line then fine, DIY it. But personally, I find it very tedious seeing these boards get rammed with questions that should be directed to the poster's accountant. And if they havent got one, that suggests to me they should.

    Each to their own though. Im very comfortable with my tax arrangements (BN66 excepting, of course).
    I couldn't give two fornicators! Yes, really!

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonftwtaylor View Post
    Hi Folks,

    I started my own company a year ago but i've only just taken on a contract which I start next week.

    I have sent the forms into HMRC to declare the company active (i had declared it dormant) and i've sent in the forms to register for flat rate VAT.

    At this point though I'm starting to worry if I need an accountant or if I can do it myself. I really want to fully understand it all myself so learning about accounting and doing it myself seems enticing, also the Mrs has shown a strong interest in learning about it in order to help me out.

    Due to this i'm considering using Freeagent and doing it all myself, especially since my contract is fairly low paying compared to others so paying £100 a month for an accountant would seem rediculous.

    The problem is I have questions about things and I'm starting to think an accountant might be a wise choice as there is a lot of conflicting information online.

    So my question is, do I need an accountant or will I be ok going it alone? If you think I should get an accountant do you know of any that work with Freeagent that you'd recommend?

    Somebody might ask what my "questions" would be to an accountant so i'll outline the kind of stuff i'm worrying about.

    1. I don't know how to structure it so that I pay the least tax possible, I think if I pay myself minimum wage and the rest in dividends it would work out fine, but i've heard that paying more in salary can reduce tax due to CT relief?

    2. I've paid thousands in server hosting fees over the last year and a half while the company has been dormant, and I bought a server, all out of my own money. Can I claim all these costs back now? Even though the company was inactive and I assume the payments would be in a previous year?

    3. I have also bought equipment that I only use for work (such as a macbook pro), can I simply sell this to the company in order to get money out of it tax free in the beginning?

    Thanks for your time reading this.

    Based on the questions you are asking def get accountant involved.

  9. #19

    Nervous Newbie


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    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    Based on the overwhelming response i've decided to get an accountant. I do have questions to ask and that is where I consider the real value of an accountant to be, not just the ability to file forms for me which i was naively considering before. I think its this point that most people aren't thinking about when they consider doing it themselves.

    I've done what I can to keep my contract outside of IR35 and i've had it looked over by QDOS who are also doing my insurance.

    Now the question simply comes down to who to pick. I'm actually being swayed by InTouch based on their presence on these forums!

  10. #20

    Should post faster

    Danielsjdaccountancy's Avatar
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    Pick an accountant close to you, that way it is easier for you to meet up face to face and drop forms in.

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