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selfsufficientish



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 5:54 pm    Post subject: accountants  Reply with quote    

Looks like I might have to get myself an accountant. There seems to be loads of choice here in Bristol and I don't know anything about what I should be looking for. Is it important that they belong to a regualting body? SOme seem to offer 'free' initial meetings, surley that should be free anyway?

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41968
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What do you need one for? (Roughly, obviously I'm not asking you to post your financial details.)

selfsufficientish



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am becoming self employed so will need one to sort out my tax.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41968
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't think it's that complicated to do yourself. With a bit of luck someone with more experience will be along in a minute.

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't think you actually need to have any formal training or qualifications to start up as an accountant. If possible, go with a recommendation from someone you trust. Shop around on price and be clear what services they are offering for their charges.

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh - try and go with someone who has an idea about your area of business too. This can be useful if you have special requirements - e.g. sub-contracter, wanting to grow your business, or in a particular sector services or retail etc.

If you have a particular software you want to use, check that with them. Some happily work with anything, others will want you to complete their own spreadsheets that might be OK or might be designed more for their convenience than for yours.

I made a checklist of this kind of stuff and rang a lot and asked them my questions. I did a sample of big and small and then met about three likely ones in person. In a nice way, treat them like you are conducting an interview. As with solicitors, you need to be firm to be sure of what you are getting and for how much.

No-one charged me at all for this initial time. If there had been any mention of that I'd've been off.

Good luck!

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Unless your tax affairs are horribly complicated (or your starting up a limited company) you probably don't need one. There are two figures Mr Taxman is interested in. What you spent on things that you're allowed to take off before you get taxed, and what's left (on which you calculate tax owed at a percentage) Oh - and you have to keep all your receipts. Tradition demands that they are kept in a shoebox in no particular order, but I put mine in a envelope every month, and start new one on the first - it makes it easier to find stuff.

Just keep a record of everything that you spend (excel is very good for this - I do a tabbed page for every month also) and make sure you include EVERYTHING that you spend/make on 'the business' and where it came from. A percentage of your heat and light if you work from home, your 'uniform', petrol, materials etc etc. Ring up Mr Taxman and tell him you are self employed, and they will always be happy to advise you on whther something is allowable or not, and what you need to do. They may even be able to send you out some useful bumf.

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
Ring up Mr Taxman and tell him you are self employed, and they will always be happy to advise you on whther something is allowable or not, and what you need to do. They may even be able to send you out some useful bumf.


We've found them suprisingly helpful, and they send out useful CDs and paper stuff too.

I should've said that we are a limited company, hence probably have different needs

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We got ours by contacting Business Link, and having an hour free consoltation with an advisor, to discuss our finances, decided we liked the man and he has been our accountant ever since.

MarkS



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2626

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

how complicated are you intending your business to be?

you can go a long way on common sense, the IR website a couple of books and a copy of sage or similar.

I did accounts for my limited company for nearly 10 years. paye, vat, companies house, corporation tax and personal tax. It isnt *that* difficult.

There are a few web sites that are good for reading. Im told the FSB is very good (not that I ever joined).

What sort of things are you intending to do?

selfsufficientish



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

good information people, thanks for that.

Can't really say exactly what I am going to do yet I am afraid.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44269
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

selfsufficientish wrote:
Can't really say exactly what I am going to do yet I am afraid.


Good luck, whatever it is

selfsufficientish



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 06 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cheers Tahir, I hate having to be sectrative (not my choice) will let you know in January. It should benefit downsizer too.

Marionb



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 5258
Location: Mid-Wales
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 06 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dont the accounts have to be "certified " by an accountant or something??

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 06 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Only for a limited company, not for an individual trading as a sole trader, when your 'company' is not really seperate from you, as far as the Taxman is concerned.

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