Beyond Tax Compliance – Exploring the comprehensive services offered by UK Accountants
When it comes to accountant’s services, there’s more to it than just tax compliance. Accountants can be fantastic advisory partners for your business providing consulting and support to help you achieve your goals. Let’s explore the role of UK accountants in helping their clients’ businesses to thrive.
Financial Advisory Services
Aside from bookkeeping, which is the foundation of all accounting records, and submitting tax returns, your accountant may offer valuable financial advisory services. Accountants can provide information, analysis and insight to enable better strategic financial decisions such as investment planning, budgeting, and cash flow management.
Many accountants have knowledge and analysis skills to produce projections and recommendations to help you meet your financial goals. If you are planning a business expansion, restructuring, sale or retirement, you’re likely to need to dig into the financial detail in more depth than the standard financial statements such as P&L and balance sheet.
When you are looking for an accountant to provide additional financial advisory services, look for accountants who have experience of working with a wide range of businesses. They’ll have great insight into what works to grow your business, how to achieve the best sale price for your exit and a range of other business scenarios such as mergers, acquisitions, diversification and divestments.
Typically, business consulting is offered on a project or short-term basis to help achieve a specific goal or set of goals whereas financial advisory services lend to be ongoing and offered on a long-term basis. Business consulting could include risk assessment, strategy development and project planning services. Your accountant may be able to help you with implementing accounting systems, improving internal controls and governance working alongside your employees in teams aligned to your current projects.
Management Accounting and Reporting
Many accountant’s services include an option for management accounting and reporting. These type of accounting aims to provide insight for business owners into cost drivers, how to improve efficiency, reduce waste and become more profitable. Management reporting usually includes variance analysis and interpretation of actual costs vs. budget or forecast to identify where changes are required to current practices. This type of accounting and reporting is extremely useful if you are manufacturing products but it can also be helpful for some service businesses as well.
Your accountant can help you define your key performance indicators and provide monthly, weekly or even daily reporting against your KPIs enabling you to make timely, informed decisions about the health of your business at a granular level.
Auditing and Assurance Services
In the UK, all PLCs (public limited companies) and companies with public interest, such as banks and financial institutions are required to undergo an annual audit irrespective of their size or turnover. For private limited companies (Ltd) an annual audit is required if the company meets two or all the following criteria: turnover > £10.1m, total assets > £5.1m or >50 employees (average for the year).
Audits involve looking in detail at the way transactions have been recorded and how accounts have been prepared to check that they are compliant with the current accounting standards. These checks are necessary for verifying financial statements, providing stakeholders with confidence in the health of the business, the accuracy of the accounts and for detecting omissions, errors or frauds.
Sometimes companies which aren’t legally required to undertake an audit will choose to do one to give stakeholders confidence in the sound governance of the business. Audit services are often provided by larger accountancy practices and accountancy consultancies such as PWC and Deloitte.
Are you getting the most from your accountant’s services?
If your accountant only provides tax compliance services, you could be missing out on a wealth of knowledge and support to help your business achieve more. At Adams Accountancy, giving more value to our clients is one of the ways that we stand out from our competition, so if your business needs some extra advisory support or you want to dig into the detail of your sales and expenses for greater insight, give us a call on 01322 250001 for a no-obligation chat about our additional accountancy services.