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Be Wary When Selecting An Accountant

Posted: 17 May 2011 in Blog How to select an accountant

Choosing an accountant can be difficult but is important to the success of your business. Each will have a different style, offer different services, have expertise in different sectors and have different strengths and weaknesses: just like any other business

There are a range of accountants offering exceptionally cheap services however you do have to be careful that they will provide the service you require.

There are several questions worth bearing in mind when selecting your accountant:

-  Do you know which accountant is actually doing your accounts or tax return? Do you what their qualifications they have? Do they have the right skills? Is their work reviewed by anyone else? This is the equivalent of buying a car without seeing it first. It might look like a good deal but could cost you a lot in the long run if things go wrong.  Always meet the accountant who is actually going to do the work

-  What qualifications does your accountant have? There are a range of qualifications. Just because a website says “qualified accountants” this does not mean that all are of the same standard. There are a number of different qualifications for accountants. We are a member of the “Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW)”. This is one of the most difficult to become a member of and who deliberately set a high standard for their members. Members are regulated and their work reviewed on a regular basis.

-  Does your Accountant have professional indemnity insurance? Never use one that does not.

-  What experience does your accountant have? If you are signing up to an anonymous, cheap accounting service you might end up with an accountant with limited experience and who may not be best equipped to advise you. Look for accountants with experience, preferably in your area of business.

-  Can you actually get in touch with your accountant? By this I do not mean the person on reception, but the person who is actually dealing with your affairs and knows about you.

-  Do you mind if your accounts and tax are outsourced to another country. Check with your Accountant whether they do this as many accountants do.

-  Is your accountant passionate about helping you? Do they care about you and helping your business or are they just going through the motions?

-  If you want to get in touch with the partner, director or someone in authority in your Accountants can you? Do they get back to you in good time?

-  Accountancy is like everything, you get what you pay for. Look for a service which is good value and not just cheap!

 

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Tax Rates

Income tax2013-142014-15
Tax-free personal allowance (under 65)£9,440£10,000
Basic rate: 20%£0 - £32,010£0 - £31,865

Higher rate: 40%(dividends: 32.5%)

£32,011 - £150,000

£31,866  - £150,000

Additional rate: (dividends: 42.5%)

Over £150,000

(45%)

Over £150,000

(45%)

Capital Gains2013-142014-15
Annual Exempt Amounts for individuals£10,900£11,000
Corporation tax (rates for financial years starting on 1st April)20142015
First £300,00020%20%

Next £1,200,000

23.75%21.25%
Over £1,500,00023%21%

Tax credit on dividends (basic rate taxpayer)

10%10%
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Motor cycles

24p24p
Bicycles20p20p

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