Choose and work with an accountant

How an accountant can help your business

If you run a business, you're legally required to:

  • Keep certain records, including PAYE (Pay As You Earn) records if you have employees, and VAT records if you're VAT registered. This will involve regular bookkeeping work.
  • Submit an annual tax return to HM Revenue & Customs. This will involve the preparation of financial statements.
  • Appoint an auditor to carry out an annual audit of your accounts, unless the company is exempt - see the page do you qualify for an audit exemption? in our guide on accounting and audit exemptions for small companies.

If you're a limited company, you also have to file accounts with the Registrar of Companies - see our guide on filing accounts with Companies House: dates and checklist.

You could decide to do some of this work yourself - but many businesses prefer to employ an accountant for at least some of it. For example, you might not have the time or necessary skills available in-house to do all the accounting work yourself. There is also a legal requirement to employ a qualified accountant for certain tasks.

In addition to basic accounting functions, many accountants also offer other services, such as start-up business and management systems advice.

Subjects covered in this guide

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