What makes a good owner managed business accountant?
If you own or are involved the operation of a owner managed business, you will soon discover how essential it is to have a good accountant.
Its an unfortunate fact that we often see owner managed business clients coming to us with tax delinquency issues or who have missed tax mitigation opportunities simply because they did not instruct the right accountant, at the right time.
In the initial period of trading many owner managed business make the mistake of choosing an accountant based on fee alone, with a mantra of ‘the cheaper the better’ they embark on a sporadic google hunt.
Most, if not all directors realise this is a mistake, this realisation usually occurs when they are presented with the first year’s accounts and corporation tax liability.
An owner managed business accountant is not an homogenous product and choosing one based on fee alone is akin to choosing your ‘other half’ by candlelight!
We know owner managed business, we’re one ourselves! We work closely with our owner managed business clients to ensure they have the correct corporate structure, support and advice to not just survive, but to grow and prosper.
When operating a owner managed business you need actuate and timely management information, if you are trading above the VAT threshold you also have a legal requirement to maintain digital books and records.
We believe having access to and reviewing financial information on your businesses regularly gives clarity around the performance which sometimes you fail to see when involved in the day to day operations.
We are registered, qualified partners with all the major software houses including SAGE, XERO, Kashflow and are one of the UK’s few Elite Partners of Intuits world leading software Quickbooks. This provides our owner managed business clients access to a specialist and dedicated customer support line and additi0onal resources, assisting with any Quickbooks query, particularly useful for our Ecommerce and retail EPOS integrated clients.
When was the last time you walked through your Management Information with your accountant?
Many owner managed businesses continue to outsource their statutory reporting obligations even when they have a full in-house finance team. The reason for this is in no small part due to the complex and disparate laws, standards and regulations surrounding financial reporting in the UK, many Directors find they lack the in house skills, technical knowledge and tools to make the necessary filings to Companies house and to HMRC, as such taking these responsibilities in house is simply not attractive or cost effective.
Once engaged we can cover all statutory reporting from accounts productions through to VAT, payroll, pension, CIS and intermediary reporting.
We are licenced and regulated Chartered Accountants and registered HMRC agents, we can operate as the companies registered office and will manage all of the statutory reporting requirements as instructed.
Many of the required filings for a limited company carry fines for non-compliance, and some criminal prosecution, it is essential you understand what filings you need to make when you are operating a limited company. The laws are changing all the time and it may be that you are not aware of a requirement for your given industry or trade.
An example of HMRC introducing new reporting requirements would be best demonstrated by the recent introduction of new intermediary reporting requirements in the recruitment industry.
The introduction of these rules were not widely publicised and many recruiters were simply unaware they had a new quarterly reporting requirement.
HMRC levied fines of up to £650 per day for non-compliance which created serious liquidity problems for many owner managed businesses in the industry.
As you can see, ensuring you are up to date with all statutory reporting is essential.
Our owner managed business accountants can assist on all aspects of statutory reporting, including the provision of legal advice, the services we cover include but are not limited to:
- Production of Financial Accounts under relevant reporting standards
- Calculation and filing of corporate tax returns
- Prepare claims for tax allowances and exemptions
- Companies House annual and ad hoc reporting
- Share Issues, Transfers and Structuring
- PAYE Taxes including Benefits
- Reporting to the Pension Regulator – workplace pensions
Tax Planning and Mitigation
Paying the correct amount of tax is not as simple as it may sound. Each business is different so ensuring you have the correct advice and implementation of planning strategies is essential.
From understand what costs your business incurs, and which of these will be an allowable tax deduction may help align your expenditure to reduce your tax liabilities.
A well-timed asset purchase or contribution to a qualifying pension plan can have a dramatic effect on corporation tax.
With changes in the benefit in kind rules, it may be possible to purchase a car in your company and pay no personal BIK tax whilst also receiving a cheque from HMRC for 19% of the cars total value!
Trivial benefits, use of home as office, business telephones, these are but a few of the many small exemptions and allowances that exist and that we advise and implement into a planning strategy to ensure you only pay the tax that is due and not a penny more.
We work with our innovative clients managing claims under the governments research and development [R&D] tax credit scheme, returning 33p for every £1 spent on R&D qualifying activity.
Further mitigation of corporation taxes can be achieved by Intelligent application of the annual investment allowance and first year allowances.
Low tax liabilities do not happen by mistake, they happen by design, requiring detailed analysis of your business and expert implementation.
We provide filing and advisory services acorss indirect and withholding taxes such as VAT and CIS [Construction Industry Scheme]. Our owner managed business accountants work with clients to ensure correct application and operation of each tax, with HMRC soon to hold preferential status in the event of insolvency for both these taxes, it is essential Directors understand the implications of errors and non-compliance.
Profit extraction is a huge part of our tax planning advisory service which we provide to all of our owner managed business clients. We work with directors and shareholders to advise a structure and profit extraction model that will work for them.
Shareholders are often surprised when we discuss exit strategies at the nascent stages of a company, however it is essential those invested understand, at the very least from a tax perspective, the current position and options available to them.
As a company progresses through its life cycle we are able to advise and support owner managed businesses with all end of life services including:
- Creditors Voluntary Liquidations
- Members Voluntary Liquidations
- Insolvency Advisory
- Strike Off
- Long Term dormancy – dividend planning
- Share Purchase Agreements
- Company Sale and Brokerage
- Company valuations
- Due Diligence & Legal
The decision to start a business, especially when considering operating through a separate legal entity carries many considerations.
Limited companies can provide security and access to investment and growth opportunities, however it can also burden you with legal requirements and loss of privacy around your financial affairs.
The accountants here at F9 are able to walk you through the options available when deciding how best to operate, we can ensure you have the knowledge and advice you need in order to make the right decision for you.
The actual process of setting up a company is very easy however it is not as easy to rescind or amend your newly acquired legal responsibilities acquired as director of that new entity.
If you choose to operate under the veil of incorporation, we will ensure you are correctly registered at companies house, and with HMRC for all relevant taxes.
Our team of accountants and tax advisors are able to assist you with bank accounts, insurance and bookkeeping software to ensure you get off on the right foot. We provide extensive hand holding over the initial months to ensure you have the support and knowledge you need to start trading, invoicing and filing returns correctly.
If you are in a hurry, we have new companies pre incorporated and can provide you with the documentation required to start trading immediately.
Our pre-registered companies have bank accounts and have been in dormant status with no previous trading history. We can simply transfer ownership and executive responsibilities and you are ready to trade the same day.
Services we provide include:
- Company Formations
- Registered Office
- Registration of taxes
- Bank Accounts
A partnership offers a great vehicle for operating if you provide professional services and are able to agree a profit share agreement. partnersIt provides privacy as financial and earning data is not publicly available and can reduce reporting requirements. With the possibility of now limited your liability whilst still operating under a partnership agree, this commercial vehicle is even more appealing.
If you are considering forming a partnership, whether there is just two or many more of you in business together, contact us to discuss the pro’s and con’s of this arrangement. We have an experienced team of accountants and tax advisors in our Brentwood and Canary Wharf offices, ready to help, contact us today.