Personal finance is personal. But, that doesn’t mean you should do everything on your own. Paying for quality services and advice from qualified professionals can help you save and even make more money in the long run. The value of advice is far greater than most people realise.
Lots of people may suggest that accountants and wealth managers are unnecessary. But, one thing you should never do is underestimate the value of a good adviser.
Knowing this, I’ve teamed up with Robin from By the Book Accounting and Tax. He’s offering you a free consultation to assess your accounting needs and explain anything that may be confusing you. Robin is really knowledgeable and has helped over 200 businesses and individuals to date – so I would really recommend taking advantage of this offer!
In this post I will explain how an accountant can benefit you and what you need to do to claim your FREE accountancy and tax consultation. Spoiler alert: It’s really simple!
This post will cover:
- Setting up a company
- What you should look for in an accountant
- What fees should I expect?
- How can I claim my free consultation?
It’s important to note this post does not constitute financial advice. If you are unsure of anything please consult a qualified professional.
Tax is a really important way an accountant can help you. UK tax law is incredibly complex. It was first written in the 1600s and rather than starting again, they’ve simply kept adding to it and editing bits where required.
Despite this, the authorities take no prisoners when it comes to non-compliance. The media discourse and public opinion surrounding tax avoidance and evasion, is such that HMRC are continually looking for ways to ensure everyone is paying their fair share.
If you’ve started earning a bit of money from a small business, blog, or even selling things on Depop or eBay, you may be required to pay extra tax. Currently, the first £1,000 you earn on top of your usual salary is tax free. Note, this is income NOT profits.
But it’s not all bad news. There are plenty of elements of tax planning that can reduce your liabilities that you may not have considered. From ISAs, to Rent a Room and even pensions, an accountant can run through all your options with you and help you decide which are right for you. This can save you substantial sums, adding to the value of advice.
Setting up a company
Have you got a side hustle that’s taking off? Have you always wanted to set up on your own? Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as creating a website or social media profile and seeing the money start rolling in.
Businesses, and sole traders, have reporting requirements, licensing responsibilities and tax liabilities. These can be complicated and most of us, understandably, wouldn’t know where to begin.
An accountant can explain the differences between different structures and which is best for your needs, as well as making sure you have set everything up correctly. This is so important as it will help you avoid any unexpected penalties, which can be costly and, in certain cases, even led to criminal prosecutions.
Did you know you can claim certain business costs as expenses if you are running your own business? This means you can get some of the tax back, reducing your overall costs. This can range from WiFi costs, materials and even company cars in some circumstances.
An accountant can help you explain what you can claim and how to do this properly and legitimately.
However, not everything is covered. In January, HMRC published details of some of the strangest and most ridiculous expenses claims they had received in recent years.
These included: a music subscription so I can listen to music while I work; pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’; and a caravan rental for the Easter weekend. A good accountant shouldn’t even let you consider putting these on the form as it won’t achieve anything except giving the people considering your claim a good laugh!
What to look for in an accountant?
The answer to this will be different for everyone. Essentially, being fully qualified is the only main requirement. Your needs will differ to everyone else’s and not every accountant will be right for you or be able to serve your needs.
To get the full value of advice, the most important thing is trust. The term ‘trusted adviser’ means just that. You may trust someone that doesn’t suit your friends or family and that’s fine.
Money and accounts are personal, so you need to feel comfortable discussing these with whichever accountant you choose to use. It also helps if you can talk about your wider goals and future plans, as this will help the adviser structure your affairs accordingly. Although, this is a more sophisticated service than a lot of people need when they are just starting out.
What fees should I expect?
Like any useful and important service, it does come at a cost. But, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Accountants should be transparent with their fees and explain exactly what you need so you don’t feel like you’re being taken advantage of or charged too much.
This is where trust is really important. You need to be able to trust your adviser to say if they are no longer the right fit for you or if you don’t need any future services. Equally, you should feel comfortable asking for an explanation of what you’re paying for and what services you expect in return. If you have a good relationship with your adviser, this shouldn’t be a problem.
How can I claim my free consultation?
Finally, the part you’ve all been waiting for. Luckily, this is the easy part.
If you’ve been persuaded that the value of advice is worth it, or even if you’re just curious – all you need to do is sign up to my email list below. Then follow the instructions that will be sent straight to your inbox.
If you’re already signed up to my mailing list, the details of how to claim will be in your inbox shortly.
For full disclosure, if your initial FREE consultation goes well and you choose to continue using Robin’s services, I will receive a small referral fee.
If you have a consultation, please do let me know. I’d love to hear how you get on and your thoughts more generally on using advisers and the value of advice.