I’m self-employed: do I need an accountant?

Oct 25, 2022 | Business, Personal tax

When you begin your journey as a self-employed freelancer or contractor, there are loads of things you need to know and understand. It can be hard to know where to start.

Hiring an accountant might seem like overkill at this early stage, but in our experience, now is more than likely the perfect time to bring an accountant into your affairs.

Let’s understand the reasons and scenarios behind needing an accountant as someone who’s self-employed.


Sole trader vs limited company

You are not obligated to talk to an accountant as a sole trader. If you keep your activities fairly by the book, on top of your invoicing, and avoid any hiccups, you’re likely to think hiring an accountant is unnecessary.

As a contractor, you’re likely to be faced with far more legislation. Many contractors choose an accountant to deal with the more complex areas of their legislation because of how complicated it can be. It’s not mandatory to do so, but it suits a purpose.


So why hire an accountant?

The number one reason? Tax. Whether it’s VAT, income tax, IR35, or corporation tax, adhering to these various schemes can be extremely time-consuming and draining on your resources.

Plus, staying up to date with legislation is a full-time job in its own right. You simply don’t have the hours to spare to deal with reforms and new pieces of info that will constantly change how you view Tax.

An accountant will give you peace of mind, expertise, and constant support, so you don’t have to worry about learning accounting – it’s someone else’s responsibility. You just have to sign things off.


Save time

There is nothing as valuable as saving time in business. With an accountant taking care of your finances, you’ll have all the time you would have spent doing your finances back and available to spend on your business. It will make your life easier and your business run better.


Financial planning

An accountant will offer dependable counsel and direction from both a personal and business standpoint, whether you wish to expand your company, make investments, purchase a home, or begin setting money down for retirement.

They can provide you with money-saving tips, connect you with mortgage professionals, and assist you with other facets of wealth management.


So who do I hire?

It’s a very competitive field, with many accountants offering a similar blend of services, making a decision hard to come to. How do you make the best choice for your business?

Make sure the firm you hire are chartered accountants. If they’re registered, this minimises the chances of a mistake on your tax return. Mistakes can obviously happen to whoever you hire, but with someone who has been through the formal process.

Specialising in certain fields is another key area to look for. We have specialities with Limited Companies, Charities and not-for-profit companies, for example (and a few more), so you know you’re going to get the best support around if that’s you.

Make sure the firm you’re going to pick offers:

  • the right services for your business
  • the right size contract
  • the right level of communication.

If they aren’t a right fit, working with them is not worth your time. Even if they are the closest firm to you.

In our view, an accountant is always worth it – you’ll get a lot of benefit for a small business cost and give yourself so much more precious time to focus on your making your solo business grow.

To talk to us about your finances, and see if we’re the right fit for you, get in touch.

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