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What services do accountants provide to small businesses?

In this article, we look at the services most accountancy firms can offer to small businesses – with particular reference to limited companies.

Limited Company Accountant Services

Unsurprisingly, the services provided will vary according to the package you sign up to, and some items may be charged for separately.

Before you sign up to a new accountancy provider, make sure they provide you with a breakdown of their responsibilities to you, and the costs of any ‘extras’ which may be charged on top of the monthly accountancy fee. Also be aware of your responsibilities to your accountant (see later in the article).

You can also contact the accountants on our small business accountants directory for more information.

Initial services

  • Initial meeting / advise you on the best business structure to use.
  • Incorporate your company with Companies House (if a limited company).
  • Register you personally for self assessment (if you’re a sole trader, or member of a partnership).
  • Open a business bank account.
  • Register your business for VAT (if applicable).
  • Register your company for Corporation Tax (for limited companies).
  • Register your business for PAYE.
  • Set up the payroll for all employees.

Ongoing accounting monthly or yearly tasks

  • Submit quarterly VAT returns.
  • Run the monthly payroll (and comply with new Real Time Information (RTI) regulations).
  • Provide monthly payslips for all employees.
  • Prepare annual company accounts.
  • Complete annual Corporation Tax Return (CT600).
  • Provide paperwork for dividend declarations and board meetings.
  • Monthly book-keeping.
  • Submit your company Annual Return (AR01) to Companies House.
  • Submit any company information changes to Companies House.
  • Provide references for mortgages, or rental agreements.
  • Deal with any correspondence from Companies House and HMRC.

Additional services

  • Completing your self assessment return. All self-employed people and company directors must complete one, and a partnership must submit a separate return in addition to those of its members.
  • Providing a registered office address for the limited company if required.
  • Providing access to IR35 contract reviews (if you are a personal service company, such as an IT contractor).
  • Providing access to business insurance providers (PI insurance, tax investigation, business liability).
  • IFA services (advice on financial services products, such as mortgages, pensions, and life insurance).

What about your responsibilities?

  • Your accountant can only fulfil their obligations to you if you provide any information they require in a timely and accurate manner.
  • You will need to provide details of all invoices raised, expenses claimed and any other income or expenditure.
  • You must forward all correspondence from Companies House or HMRC, and copies of your bank statements.
  • Many of these tasks may easily be completed via the web, depending on how ‘online’ your accountant is!
  • As a business owner and/or company director, you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their annual accounts, and must make sure you meet all your statutory deadlines, otherwise you may be liable to penalties.

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