There are probably hundreds of great reasons to speak to your accountant. "But...", I hear you say, "I'm much too busy to think about that right now". And of course, the conversation might never happen. Which is a real shame, because we want to help you, and the more often we speak, the more opportunities there are to challenge you and help you achieve what you want from your business.
I'm going to suggest that there are at least five key times where a chat with your accountant might make a very big difference to you and your business.
1. Just before your financial year end
The tax your company (or your personally) pay on trading activities is based, broadly speaking, on the profits generated in each accounting period. The actions you take within that period can have a substantial effect on your personal and corporate tax liabilities. By speaking with your accountant before - as opposed to after - the end of the accounting period, you can more confidently make important decisions about things like remuneration, dividends, and capital investment, with a better understanding of the tax consequences.
2. Just before the end of the income tax year (5 April)
If your business's accounting year is not aligned with the income tax year, another good time in the calendar for that conversation is in the weeks leading up to 5 April, and for similar reasons. There is a good deal of personal tax planning that can be achieved within the tax year; much less can be achieved retrospectively.
3. At the start of your business's new financial year
Need to make some changes? Not happy with how your business is performing? A conversation with your accountant at the start of the new financial year can help you press 'reset'. At Scholes CA we think good business planning is a prerequisite for long term success; your accountant can review your business plan and challenge your assumptions and priorities. Why wait til the year is half over before you make a fresh start?
4. When you're about to launch into something new
If you plan to do something in business that radically changes the risk profile - launching into a new market, or buying or selling a business perhaps - it's a great idea to have your accountant close by your side. A second pair of experienced eyes looking out for your interests is often invaluable, especially in periods of big change.
5. The next time you hear a good tax 'dodge'
We've all heard those great stories about people who earn £100k and pay no tax at all. Back in the real world, though, UK taxpayers are required to work within the framework of UK tax law. There is a great deal of effective and legal tax planning that can be done - that's what we do here at Scholes CA - but it's important to be able to distinguish between legal and effective tax planning, and the sort of activities that - in reality - amount to tax evasion.
We love to help people grow their business and achieve success. To us, that's the whole point of being an accountant - to use our skills and expertise to help you succeed. Call us for a conversation today.