Running your business

The value of an accountant


Do you need an accountant?

If you’re starting a business, one of your first considerations is likely to be where you can cut costs. Hiring an accountant is something you may consider a luxury, but if you lack experience when it comes to managing the books, employing someone should be regarded as an investment. An accountant can help you make the most of your money.  

Here's how an accountant could help

  1. 01

    Administering payroll

    Sorting out a payroll can be time consuming, especially if you are focussed on growing your business. it can also be complicated - taxation and pension schemes can be fiddly. Most accountants can help you set up payroll and teach you how to manage the system going forward.

  2. 02

    Adapting business plans

    Many accountants offer services that would have been the remit of business consultants or advisers, and can tell you where your plans are going wrong or right, and where you may need to make changes.

  3. 03

    Negotiating business deals

    Accountants can draft contracts and analyse associated paperwork so you avoid any snags.

  4. 04

    Helping with long-term vision

    Reaching business goals is rarely straightforward - your accountant can help you avoid pitfalls encountered by other businesses and also help with forecasting, financial planning and raising capital.

  5. 05

    Offering advice

    Accountants can help you keep up to date with legislative change, and how to react in an efficient and compliant way.

  6. 06

    Audit confirmation requests

    Accountants can help you with your audit confirmation requests submissions to the bank. 

Keen to do it yourself?

If you have the time and the know-how, you could sort out the financial nitty gritty yourself. But you need to be confident that you can do as good a job as an accountant.

If your vision is to launch an innovative product, it might well be worth focusing your energies on that, and getting someone else to handle the numbers and admin.

  1. 01

    Be organised and accurate

    The key to managing your accounts is to be organised and accurate. Leave no room for error - check and double check everything. Just one misplaced number in the wrong column could completely throw out your forecast and see you paying more/less tax than necessary.

  2. 02

    It's essential to prioritise

    From the outset, it’s essential that you prioritise. Setting up and then subsequently running a business in not a walk in the park; you’ll need to dedicate plenty of time to various tasks in order to get your operation off the ground.

  3. 03


    Remember that running a business takes time. It’s something that will require devotion and consistency, otherwise you could end up on a slippery financial slope. There’s a thin line between confidence and competence; if you aren’t absolutely certain in your own abilities when it comes to handling accounts and managing finance, then going it alone could be an expensive mistake, and could end your company before it’s even had a chance to get started.

Making Tax Digital (and simple) with FreeAgent

MTD for VAT requires all VAT-registered businesses to keep digital records and use MTD-compatible accounting software to submit VAT returns to HMRC electronically. FreeAgent is MTD-compatible and can help you with this. Better still, it’s free for eligible business customers as long as you retain your account. Optional add-ons may be chargeable.  

Support to get your business online

Once you’ve got your accountancy sorted, then a website can be a great way to advertise your business and what it can do. You can use it to sell your products or connect with your customers (but sadly not to do your accounts). We’ve got tips and ideas for setting up a website, and ways to make it work.

Set up your business

These are some of the most important aspects of setting up your new business, and whether you’re registering as a sole trader, limited company or partnership, you’ll need to know the rules.

Something else we can help you with?