Small businesses consider the cost of hiring a chartered accountant too high. To avoid high costs, they hire accountants who aren’t qualified. Many business owners fail to consider the costs of hiring an unqualified accountant.
Does it make a difference if your accountant is chartered? When we talk about Chartered, we mean Chartered with any of the professional bodies. The four main professional bodies are Chartered Management Accountants, Chartered Accountants, Chartered Certified Accountants and Chartered Institute of Tax. Those accountants with these qualifications come with the letters CIMA, CIOT and more, after their names.
After all, as long as they’re taking care of your accounts, does it really matter?
Yes, it does. Here’s how:
Consequences of Hiring an Unregulated Accountant
Your business can’t operate for a long time without an accountant. And hiring an accountant who isn’t qualified can lead to poor accounting practices. Anyone can “become” an accountant even if they aren’t chartered or qualified with another professional body. This is true even if they have no professional training or qualifications to back it up. Hiring an unregulated accountant could cost you big time from financial errors in records and dodgy financial and legal advice. You’re at greater risk of missed deadlines, indiscrete practice and mistakes in reporting – all of which can result in extra hassle for you and unnecessary mounting fines. Poor accounting practices can lead to delayed reporting and analysis as it can become difficult to source records and documents. It is a nightmare to settle statutory obligations. Your company is more prone to incidents of criminal activities due to unethical accounting practices. Not to forget the damaged reputation all of this causes to your business.
Poor accounting practices are the risk you bring into your business by hiring an incredible accountant. In comparison, it may seem that hiring a chartered accountant can be a big expense to your company. But, it comes with loads of benefits to your business.
The role of chartered accountants is important in any business setup. Your business deals may only be effective with other companies with the help of an accountant. A chartered accountant helps in providing a strong base for businesses to scale. To summarise, a chartered accountant will set up proper accounting reports of your business that are used in the future for the preparation of financial statements and other business activities, for example, for investing purposes or for getting debt.
5 Reasons To Hire a Chartered Accountant:
1. Regulated by Professional Bodies
Work with a chartered accountant, and you’ll benefit from a professionally qualified individual that is bound by a code of ethics and professional standards. Not only will they have certain policies and procedures in place, including professional indemnity insurance and complaints and disciplinary procedures, but they will also undergo monitoring of compliance and quality reviews of their professional practice. Chartered accountants are also required to comply with professional regulatory standards to ensure that their knowledge and skills are up-to-date. The benefit to you is the reassurance that your finances are being managed efficiently and are in safe hands. You will be reassured that you are provided with accurate and informed financial information about your business. Chartered accountants are also skilled in providing businesses with financial and legal advice to help them make informed decisions.
2. A Chartered Accountant can do more than just file returns
You may opt to use your accountant for more than just filling your tax return and keeping your records updated. A Certified Chartered accountant can help manage your risks and take your business to another level. Some organisations give their financial and management accountants the responsibility of handling their entire business operations. The result is the efficient financial and stable growth of the company.
3. The Wealth of Knowledge, Relevant Skills and Experience
To qualify as chartered, your accountant will have had to carry out work for a breadth of different clients across a range of industries. Building acute business awareness and strong personal judgment, they’ll most probably have gained experience working with businesses that are high-performing to those under financial pressures. Choose a chartered accountant that specializes in your particular field or industry, and you’ll benefit from specific expertise that matches your scale and type of business.
Business owner who manages their accounts by themselves will understand how frustrating the audits by the government can be. A chartered accountant, due to his/her knowledge, experience and skills, can be a huge relief at such times by providing you assistance in audit and legal matters. You can look up to them for advice on bookkeeping or any legal matters as well.
We all know time is money when it comes to business. A chartered accountant will reduce the time it takes for auditing. You can be relieved that your company’s financial records are being maintained regularly, and the time it takes to audit will lessen. You can utilise the time and energy to rather focus on achieving your business goals.
4. Stay Updated About Taxes
The most common role associated with an accountant is to file taxes. Tax rules may change without you even being aware of it. It can be hard to keep track of all the changes in tax legislation. Having a chartered accountant makes sure that your company is complying with the tax regulations to file income tax returns on a timely basis.
5. Quality Guaranteed
An accountant will manage your personal and business finances; hence integrity matters here. It is essential that you have a credible, trustworthy professional assigned to this work. Chartered accountants are bound by a code of ethics to uphold a set of professional principles, endeavouring to always put their client’s interests above their own. When a chartered accountant gets hired by your company, he becomes committed to maintaining professional standards and ensuring that your company’s interests are always given the utmost importance.
Chippendale and Clark feel proud to state that we have an extremely low HMRC investigation rate. To date, we have had zero VAT inspections and one corporation tax inspection in the last 6 years. One of the reasons for this is our commitment, strong work ethics, and procedures that enable us to deliver all returns within the prescribed deadlines and with a quality seal of approval. Even if you do have an inspection, Chippendale and Clark will protect you with no additional fees to pay.
Who are we?
At Chippendale and Clark, we are a highly-qualified CIMA licensed and experienced team of professionals. We provide accountancy services so that you can focus on achieving your business objectives.
Can your business survive and scale without having a qualified chartered accountant? Maybe. However, the knowledge, skills, experience and expert insights that a chartered accountant can offer you is unmatched. It can elevate your business to another level.
Poor accountancy behaviour can also raise flags and unwanted attention from HMRC. You might just find that you have become the victim of unlawful practice. False accounting fraud (when accounts are manipulated, destroyed or defaced to present accounts that don’t reflect their true value) is a criminal offence – and, at worst, can result in imprisonment for those responsible. What’s more, not understanding accounting practices and standards isn’t an acceptable defence for fraudulent reporting, so you may be more accountable than you realise.
If you’re concerned about the way your accounts are managed or would like some friendly, no-obligation advice, get in touch with us here at Chippendale and Clark, we’d be happy to help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a chartered accountant?
A: A chartered accountant is a professional with accreditation of chartered status. A chartered accountant has the relevant skills, knowledge, and experience in the industry. They are members of a professional body such as CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) or ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants). They stick to a strict ethical and professional code of conduct.
Q: At what point should I hire an accountant?
A: You should hire an accountant in the following situations:
- Launch of a product/service
- When you have plans to grow your business.
- To develop a financial plan
- To analyse financial and management reports
- To solve complex tax issues, especially audits and compliance matters
- When you want to utilise your time and energy to focus on your business rather than maintaining financial records
Q: What accounting services are offered by Chippendale and Clark?
A: Chippendale and Clark have qualified CIMA licensed experienced accountants in its team to provide you with the following services:
- Producing and managing annual accounts
- Creating insightful management accounts
- VAT returns
- Tax advice
- Financial advice
- Software training
Q: What is the difference between a chartered accountant and an accountant?
A: A chartered accountant is a certified chartered accountant. He is qualified and has the relevant skills and experience to perform accounting services. He is also a member of a professional body. For example, CIMA, ACCA, ACA, CIOT. The chartered accountant will have their qualifications listed after their names, for example, John Smith CIMA. An accountant can be anyone who performs bookkeeping services. How credible or good he is at managing financial records is uncertain.
Q: How much does a chartered accountant cost?
A: The cost of a chartered accountant varies and is dependent on various factors such as:
- The size of your business. This is determined by your business’s annual turnover.
- Number of employees working in your company
- The services you need from the chartered accountant
- The complexity of the services required.
Whatever the case or requirements might be, keep in mind that the cost of a chartered accountant is higher than accountant because of the level of expertise and knowledge he brings to the table. On average, an accountant charges in the range of £25 to £35 per hour, while a chartered accountant could cost up to £150 per hour.
Q: What questions to ask a chartered accountant during a consultation?
A: When you are meeting with a chartered accountant for consultation for the first time, you should ask some of these questions:
Q: What are your professional qualifications?
A: A Chartered accountant will be a member of a professional body such as CIMA or CIOT. Any chartered accountant should be able to show you proof of their qualification.
Q: What is your fee?
A: To avoid conflicts in the future, it is better to ask the accountant about the fee structure in the first meeting itself. Otherwise, you are wasting your as well the other person’s time.
Q: Describe your experience in my industry.
A: It is always better if the accountant has some experience working in your sector because he will be able to help you in making informed financial and even legal decisions due to his knowledge and experience.
Q: Samples of previous work
A: Whenever you hire someone for your company, it is always beneficial to ask about his/her previous experience. Samples of past work will enable you to judge how skillful and compatible the chartered accountant is in working in your industry. This is important if your industry is very niche-specific or if you have a major financial issue to deal with.
Q: Discussing his work-role
A: You have to convey to your accountant how involved you want him to be in your company’s financial and operational matters. Some companies require accountants to only handle their tax filing returns, while some want their accountants to take on a more proactive role in the company’s financial situations.
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