Can I Do My Own Accounts?

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Well, of course, you can! If you’re an accountant yourself, or if you’re some kind of maths whizz that also happens to understand the intricacies of HMRC and its multitude of forms . . .

Seriously though, yes, it is possible to do your accounts yourself and to complete all of the necessary tax return forms. Having said that, not only will it take up many hours of your valuable time – which could be used for chargeable work, or for spending quality time with family and friends – you also stand an above average chance of getting it wrong. Which could lead to any number of worrying situations, such as where you’ve not put enough aside to cover your tax bill, or you get fined for the unpaid tax because you missed a vital date.

Granted, you could argue that we are scaremongering here but look at it another way. You COULD build your own house, but why would you when it’s much better to pay a builder and then to concentrate on doing what you do best, to earn the money to pay for it? And your accounts are no different.

What is iXBRL?

This stands for extensible business reporting language and is a language for describing financial statements. ‘So what?!’  I hear you say. Well, if your year end is after 31st March 2011, your accounts and corporation tax return will have to be submitted to HMRC in the format of iXBRL. No choice – they have to be in iXRBL format.

If you use high powered software programs like Sage or IRIS, which most accountants use, you won’t have any worries. However, if your uncle or best mate submit your returns for you, they are going to need to learn something new.

What if you don’t use Sage or IRIS? If you or your uncle/best friend have decided not to invest in one of these sophisticated packages, the HMRC site does allow you to build and submit an iXBRL formatted file, but it’s likely to require more time to get used to it and we doubt it will be all that simple. Of course, you could just let your accountant do it instead.

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What would an accountant actually do for me?

Providing an accountancy service involves far more than simply checking invoices and receipts, and then filling in a tax return form once a year. A good accountant will provide ongoing, proactive advice throughout the year and not just at the end when it will probably be too late to save you from an excessive tax bill. And in order to do this, they have to keep abreast of the UK tax system and all of its regulations and legislative changes.

Your accountant should:

  • Help you to structure your company in the most tax efficient way possible
  • Help you to understand the best way to take money out of your company
  • Understand what you can claim by way of expenses and the impact on your income and taxes
  • Help you to understand all of your tax liabilities
  • Prepare and complete your personal self-assessment tax return each year

Poor tax planning, or even worse no tax planning, can lead to any number of financial difficulties – such as an overdrawn directors loan account, financial penalties due to late or incorrectly submitted tax submissions, incurring additional tax for things that are classed as ‘benefits in kind’ and so on. The list is endless.

The SJD Service

You will have access to your own personal and dedicated accountant* via telephone, email and face to face meetings where necessary, to give you all of the help and advice that you need – unlike some companies that require you to work through a call centre and only have access to your accountant at year end. We’ll also send you email alerts so you never miss a deadline. We understand that you are busy and may miss one notification, which is why we produce several!

We will support you fully, act as an intermediary between you and all HMRC correspondence and contact with regards to VAT, PAYE and other tax-related issues. We will also keep you fully updated with regards to changes in tax law and the UK tax system that may affect you.

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What services does SJD Accountancy provide?

Our all-inclusive fixed fee service starts from £120 plus VAT per month which covers:

  • Year-end accounts*
  • Corporation tax
  • Payroll Bureau
  • Dividend administration
  • Dealing with HM Revenue and Customs and Companies House

  • Quarterly VAT Calculations
  • Support with Annual Returns
  • Personal Taxation
  • Access to your own dedicated accountant for help and advice
  • Free bookkeeping software

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