1. Make use of technology
Today, businesses have a myriad of resources available to make managing accountancy records convenient and simple. I’d urge businesses to make the most of cloud computing and automation. This is especially valuable now that the Government’s requirement for Making Tax Digital is a reality for the majority of businesses, and flexible working rights have all increased the demand for secure, flexible ‘on-the-move’ cloud-computing solutions.
These systems are enabling more and more businesses to save time on collecting and processing their financial data and chasing up payments automatically. Cloud accounting also means that your accountant can easily collaborate with you, to verify that transactions have been recorded correctly and tax opportunities have been taken up.
2. Plan ahead for tax advantage
Everything has a tax implication so I believe that savvy Hoddesdon businesses should plan ahead to wisely minimise tax liabilities. Planning your tax involves organising your company finances to make sure that you pay no more tax than you should. By analysing your business plans from a tax perspective, it’s possible to identify potential tax opportunities.
For businesses of all sizes and at all stages of development, there are many allowances and reliefs that can enable you to legitimately minimise tax liability. Tax planning also encompasses broad considerations such as the selection of loans and investments, tax efficient employee share schemes and the timing of income and purchases. We can advise you if you need help.
3. Get help with change
When you’re making changes to the way business finances are run, remember that your accountant has great experience that you can draw upon. Whether you’re employing more people, bringing on board a business partner, want to become a limited company, or set up a childcare voucher scheme, your accountant can help. We always encourage our clients to talk to us before any change – small or large – as our previous experience means we can guide them all the way through.
4. Estimate tax liabilities
Your tax bill must be paid, there’s no avoiding it. But to make life easier, you can plan ahead and reduce the pressures. I would advise facing future tax payments head on, by estimating the likely amounts ahead of time and ensuring your business regularly sets aside enough cash, in advance, to meet the payment.
You could use figures from the previous tax year and modify them to take into account any significant changes to the business in the current year, particularly if profits are rising. Alternatively, your Accountant can help you to generate an accurate estimate of your tax liability. Then you know where you stand. For some small Hertfordshire businesses having a separate account to hold future tax payments can make life more straightforward.
5. Work towards audit
As well as planning your tax year, if your business is one of those that’s required to have an audit, get ahead on audits too. Nothing complicated is required – just book the date in advance and make sure the key members of your team know when they need to be available. The next step is to keep on top of your finances throughout the year so you’re well organised when you need to file your corporate tax returns with HM Revenue & Customs and provide audited annual accounts to Companies House after year end.
6. Get a good accountant
As a professional Accountant, I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to work with an Accountant that’s a good fit for you and your business. You’ll need a team that you can trust, with expertise in your industry and very importantly, an Accountant that sets out fair and transparent fees.
7. Don’t stop at accountancy
Consider extending your network of business contacts in and around Hoddesdon, particularly if your business serves customers in this community. You can join the Hoddesdon Business Improvement District group who strive to make Hoddesdon a great place to work and do business. There are also many local networking events in Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Ware and Hertford including the Hoddesdon Networking Breakfasts that HB Accountants host. Plus, each year we enjoy attending the Ambition Conference which reaches out to around 100 local business participants with the very latest in marketing ideas and strategies.