Limited Company - Is it possible without an Accountant?(12 Posts)
I met with an Accountant recently and it just sounded so complicated that I don't feel confident enough to do it without having an Accountant on board. We can't afford to shell out £££ on accountancy fees at this stage in the business and are considering setting up on a partnership basis and moving to Limited Company when we are bringing in revenue.
Is this sensible? Has anyone started a limited company without the support of an Accountant?
Hi there celticclan...I have set up loads of companies over the years for both myself and my business partner and we also provide services to other start-ups who want to do this.
Is it sensible? It truly depends upon how much confidence you have in your ability to comply with all the various requirements of HMRC, or how willing you are to learn.
An accountant is always going to use their own language (like lawyers do) and this can make it seem more confusing and complicated than it actually is. There are only a handful of extra reporting requirements when you go down the Ltd company route but the benefits can be significant.
The most important thing to remember if you choose not to have an accountant is HMRC is your friend! They are very helpful, are more likely than an accountant to give you up to date advice and there is a ton of free information out there to help you along the way.
perfectly achievable, but a good accountant can save you money. Also what are you valuing your time at?
We would definitely want to engage an Accountant within the not too distant future as in the long term it makes financial sense to do so. In the first 18 months we aren't going to be making much money as most of our time will be spent on marketing and research. I don't want to be in a position where we make £1,500 and then have to spend £1,000 on an Accountant.
This is why we were thinking of using the partnership model for the first 2 years as its easier. Part of me is thinking just go down the limited company route straight off and do our own accounts initially. However I have visions of me sat at my desk
drowning in non-existent accounts instead of working on the business!
The deadlines for the various filing dates are 9 and 12 months following year end when it comes to a Ltd company.
As long as you know how to keep accurate records for the duration of your start up period, you could technically have engaged an accountant prior to the deadlines arising, looking at your timeline.
Do you anticipate having a large volume of invoices and receipts? Will you be dealing with EU and non EU transactions? There's no need for you to be drowning in accounts if you set up a straightforward system for recording all your transactions and keep on top of it by setting a certain amount of time to do it each week.
If you will be VAT registered or have payroll for staff, these require reporting throughout the year...
To be frank Celticclan, it all boils down to how confident you feel about keeping on top of your responsibilities over that initial eighteen months; only you really know the answer to that. Good luck.
Actually there is another option, register the company
Yourself and use freeagentcentral to keep track
Of the accounts which is only £15 a month.
Or an online accounting tool such as XERO Accounting - we pay £25 a month. I got a bookkeeper to help me set it up, she was about £35 an hour. She always comes and helps me do the end of year hmrc accounts.
VAT is easy.
Payroll - again you can do it online. Perfect Payroll £15 per month.
Thanks for advice everyone.
I'm confident that I can keep on top of things as I'm actually quite organised. My concern is that I'm not exactly sure what I have to do and I'm worried I will miss something important because I didn't know I had to do it!
Initially there is hardly likely to be any money coming in or out as I'm going to spend my time networking and working for nothing. I said this to the Accountant but he didn't advise me to do it myself until I'm making enough money. He gave me the impression that I would want an Accountant even if I'm not making any money. I guess he would say that!
Ideally I would like to set up the limited company from day one, do my own accounts and when I have a few clients on my books and have invoiced approx £3k I would then like to engage an Accountant. I don't mind paying an Accountant £1k per annum if I'm in profit but I don't want to be making a loss because I'm paying an Accountant to manage my empty books!
There are loads of great services and tools out there and when you have registered your company, you can have email and sms alerts for most of the important dates and there is always snail mail too (no need to miss a deadline).
Also, with all the networking, you're going to come across plenty of accountants and book-keepers...don't be afraid to ask questions. Fundamentally, people do want to see others succeed in business, and most will be happy to help.
<marks place as I will need to know this stuff soon>
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