Congratulations! You’ve finally taken the plunge and moved from a life of corporate security to being a freelancer, carving out a name for yourself on your own. Being a freelancer provides a refreshing sense of freedom, from choosing clients to managing your own finances. Unless you’re a freelance accountant, however, it’s likely that the latter isn’t your forte.
Although, you might think that an accountant is an extravagant luxury in the early days, you’ll soon find yourself in desperate need of someone to be on your side to keep HMRC happy, maintain compliance, and ensure you’re paying the right amount of tax.
Every Minute Counts
Not quite convinced by the above? Then let’s take a look at an all too familiar equation:
Time = Money
As a freelancer, this has never been truer: you’re now solely responsible for your time and what that costs – and unlike your old job, there’s no one to pick up the slack. With that in mind, can you afford to set aside hours at a time ensuring your bank statement is reconciled, or that your invoices have been sent out on time? On top of this, there’s tax to take into consideration, and making sure you’re compliant with financial standards. All in all, it’s a timely pursuit – especially for those new to managing the books.
Working Hard or Hardly Working?
An extra downside to taking on your accounts alone is that freelancers are already more likely to work for longer hours, as there’s no longer a rigid 9-5 structure in place. Adding the books to this work load will eventually see you losing sleep and damaging your health. If you’ve spent the day crunching numbers, project work is likely to be relegated to the evening, when you might not be so alert. The opposite is just as damaging: sorting the books out at night is opening you up to potential errors which will cost you in the long run.
Can You Afford to Make Mistakes?
Of course, if you half know what to expect and you don’t mind all the extra work, you might be able to scrape by for a little while. But if financial compliance isn’t your forte, you could be putting yourself in HMRC’s line of fire for every mistake you make. This is where an accountant is crucial in preventing your business (or yourself) from being fined – or worse.
Strategically Save Money with Tax Planning
An accountant isn’t just for getting you out of sticky situations with HMRC, however: accountancy firms, such as ourselves, Gorilla Accounting, can help freelancers to correctly navigate tax laws and governmental assistance, ensuring they’re only paying what’s truly necessary – which in turn opens up huge potential savings.
Still think you can live without an accountant?