I get asked this question regularly. Should I employ a bookkeeper or an accountant? There isn’t, however, one simple answer (isn’t that always the way?!).
I am a bookkeeper, so I am likely to say, you don’t need an accountant, I will do just fine!
The truth is that there is no legal requirement to have your accounts prepared by an accountant unless your Limited Company is large enough to require an audit. This equates to a turnover of more than £6.5m, more than 50 employees and a balance sheet turnover of more than £3.26m. So how many businesses actually fall into that category? I know most of my clients certainly don’t and most “small” business absolutely will not! BUT would you feel confident employing a bookkeeper or do you need the “safety net” of an accountant?
The Pros of hiring an accountant:
– An accountant is qualified to a high level and knows exactly how Tax and VAT works for any type of business.
– An accountant is easy to find, there are plenty of accountancy firms out there!
– An accountant is usually supported by a larger firm
– An accountant must be regulated by the FCA and ICO
The Cons of hiring an accountant:
– An accountant is expensive (usually at least twice the price of TLC Virtual Assistant and similar bookkeepers).
– An accountant doesn’t generally look at the whole business and offer ideas for cost savings and/or benefits for the business, possible growth areas etc.
– An accountant has a lot of clients like you and might not have the time to advise your business like TLC Virtual Assistant could.
The Pros of hiring a bookkeeper:
– a bookkeeper is generally regulated by ICO and Anti Money Laundering regulations (there are exceptions, so I would ensure you find one that is regulated).
– TLC Virtual Assistant could help in other areas of the business.
– a bookkeeper is half the price!
– a bookkeeper can file your tax return as long as they are an HMRC agent.
The Cons of hiring a bookkeeper:
– a bookkeeper might not have the answer to every question at their finger tips, but have the resources to find out.
– a bookkeeper doesn’t have to hold any qualification, a lot of bookkeepers are qualified by experience.
Small businesses would probably benefit from using a bookkeeper – it’s cost effective and bookkeeping for small businesses is generally relatively straight forward. It takes the pressure away from you as the business owner without the large price tag!
So with the above said who would you/do you hire? An accountant or a bookkeeper? I’d be interested to hear people’s views and for this blog to generate discussion……….