When you’re paying for a service, you expect it to be worth your money. If the accountant you’re spending your hard-earned money on is subpar, then you’ll be the one who suffers.
Here are the six top mistakes we see other accountants making and why they could cost you.
Making mistakes in your books is a nightmare and can be costly when HMRC gets involved. Accountancy is about the finer details, so if your accountant constantly makes errors, it can reflect poorly on you.
If your accountant isn’t using automated programs, this will probably lead to further mistakes. Transferring data from one format to another is tedious work, so even professionals can make mistakes.
The team at Condies use the latest technology to ensure nothing slips through the gaps for our clients. Of course ,even though accountants are working on your behalf, it’s your duty to ensure you comply with HMRC.
2. Lack of communication
Even though handing your books to an accountant will give you back some time, you also need to be kept in the loop.
Some accountants will take on your workload and let the communication slip.
If you don’t have an open channel of communication with your accountant, how will you know if things are progressing well or poorly?
3. No involvement
Although accountants are there primarily to keep a record of your finances, any good one worth their salt will provide you with business advice based on the figures you provide.
If there are business opportunities you miss, then you should expect your accountant to flag them and put you on the right path.
Other accountants may not see it as their responsibility to guide you and your business, but as you’re paying for their service, you should expect precisely that.
So, if it’s important to you, make sure you look for an accountant who offers business advisory services.
4. Poor knowledge of accounting software
Not everyone out there is well-versed with the technological advances the accounting industry has made. Even with the larger initiatives such as Making Tax Digital (MTD), many people still aren’t fully aware of its implications or benefits.
By having an accountant who isn’t familiar with Xero or QuickBooks, then your books will fall behind. MTD is becoming a legal requirement over the next few years, so you need an accountant who rolls with the times and keeps themselves (and you) up to date with and ahead of any relevant changes.
Everyone has a deadline to meet, especially when you have self-assessment tax returns or VAT returns to file and pay for.
Falling behind will incur late-payment penalties and sometimes an investigation, and if your submissions are being filed last minute, there is more room for error.
If your accountant doesn’t prioritise your books, you’re better off finding a firm that will.
6. Not backing up your data
If your accountant’s computer suddenly crashes halfway through filing your tax return, it will be a disaster if they haven’t backed up your data online. If there is an unexpected fire in their office or their equipment is stolen, this will be a massive setback, not to mention a security risk.
This is why your financial data should have multiple backups, so if the worst does happen, you haven’t lost it all in one fell swoop. Online cloud accounting services store data behind firewalls and encrypt it, keeping everything safe.
You need to get the most out of your accountant, and if you’re not, then the team at Condies is happy to help.