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recently self employed - should I get an accountant?

(11 Posts)
ScarletOHaHa Mon 13-Jun-11 10:22:02

Following redundancy I have became self employed in May and things have taken off surprisingly well.

Do I need an accountant?
What should I expect them to do?
How much should it cost?

Thanks in advance for your help

covkimbo Mon 13-Jun-11 10:47:52

Message deleted

mollymole Mon 13-Jun-11 10:56:26

will second covkimbo - most accountants will save you money and leave you to get on with running your business (please use someone qualified - so many people think that because 'our Mary is an accountant - she will help you "- when Mary works in an accounts department) - preparing accounts from incomplete records is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from working in an 'accounts office'
when I was practising I lost count of the number of 'accountants' who did not know what capital allowances were or even that they needed to submit a 64-8 (numbers may have changed now but you accountants will know what i mean)

ScarletOHaHa Mon 13-Jun-11 13:04:24

Thanks for your responses. Ok - I am working on short term contracts with an agreed invoice so records are easy to keep (for now). As I started in the new FY I need to file next year. I will look for ACCA and ask about specialism in self employment. I think I need help with annual tax form. How much should I expect to pay? I am in the central region.

covkimbo Mon 13-Jun-11 13:11:21

Message deleted

Saffra Mon 13-Jun-11 13:38:49

I would say 'yes' too. Having a good accountant will save you time and money. Plus gives you that peace of mind.

Having a small business myself, I am only too aware that although there's a lot you can DIY as information is so widely available, but it's not the best use of your time to do everything yourself.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 13-Jun-11 18:10:32

Quite a lot of information here
http://cgi3.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=talkinpeace
it was written for ebayers but applies to all self employed
and in answer to your question, yes - always get an accountant

ScarletOHaHa Mon 13-Jun-11 19:56:51

Ok then. I will follow advice and get an accountant. Thanks for your advice.

IShallWearMidnight Mon 13-Jun-11 20:13:55

ask around and get recommendations - qualified does not always mean they know what they are doing - DH is currently recovering £30k in overpaid tax for a new client who was badly advised by his (chartered) accountant. Was a bit tricky trying to explain to the client in front of said accountant exactly where they'd messed up wink.

We're in the SE and would be looking at around £300 for a straightforwardish tax return, maybe a bit more if you have a crumpled handful of petrol receipts and bank statements which we need to sort out. A bigger firm will be more than that, and probably isn't worth it; much less than that and you start to wonder why they are so cheap.

As advised already, you need to meet up with several people and see who you get on with - I've picked up clients who left their previous accountants because they made them feel stupid or tried to bamboozle them. If you don't gel, it's not going to work.

ScarletOHaHa Mon 13-Jun-11 20:52:12

It will be hard to get recommendations because I work from home and don't know anybody that needs an accountant. will go and see a few and see if we gel. Thanks Midnight

TalkinPeace2 Mon 13-Jun-11 21:11:00

Have a look at the bit on my ebay me page about choosing an accountant - it has worked for quite a few people.
The other mine of information is here :
www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=fe597ff8bcaa8fb17efa0412da4588db&f=55

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