DIY accountancy for small businesses: is it worth it?

DIY accountancy for small businesses: is it worth it?

When you’re a small business owner, multitasking is often a way of life; if margins are tight, you have to roll up your sleeves and become a one-person sales team, admin assistant and marketing manager. After all, if you can fit in a quick round of vacuuming on your lunch break, why hire a cleaner? This DIY work ethic can certainly save you money if you have the energy for it.

The perils of DIY accountancy

It can be tempting to try the same approach with your accountancy needs. There are plenty of informational resources online and several software options that promise to make things simple. But the danger of trying to do everything yourself is that, when your attention is spread over so many different areas, mistakes creep in.

Not ordering enough stock, or forgetting an email, are mistakes that can be easily fixed. But something like a payroll error can be time-consuming to correct, especially if you’re not really sure what you’re doing. Worse still is the mistake that you don’t realise you’ve made – until you hear from HMRC and have to cope with an unexpected tax bill. Getting in some outside help can give you peace of mind and free up your time to focus on what you’re good at – running your business.

Call on the services of a good accountancy firm

Additionally, a good accountancy firm will have assisted many small businesses and be familiar with the needs and challenges involved. They will be able to give you advice as to the best financial route for your circumstances, for example if you are considering VAT registration or changing from a sole trader to a limited company. If you are launching a new business, it’s worth having a robust accountancy solution in place from the start that can be easily adapted as your business grows; DIY can only take you so far.

Knowledge is never a bad thing; it’s certainly worth educating yourself on the accountancy needs of your business. Ultimately, though, it may be best to use this research to make an informed decision about which services you need from an accountancy firm to make your business thrive.

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