Why get an accountant to do your self assessment?

In a change from the norm, this time I’m not writing the blog but handing over to Chris, to give his thoughts on why he wishes he’d used an accountant for his self assessments when self employed.

From 2003 until 2010 I was self employed and like so many in that situation, I did everything myself, bookkeeping and tax returns included. I never got a quote for my tax return to be done for me, mainly as I assumed it was a lot of money and I’d managed to do it so far without problems but also as I never felt my books were good enough! I knew others who had theirs done for them and said the bill was always smaller than what they’d saved, but I was sceptical!

I used to dread putting my tax return in, feeling the figures wouldn’t be believed or worrying something was wrong that I didn’t know about, worrying I’d get a dreaded brown envelope with a letter saying they wanted to investigate my books! I knew there were lines in my books that *looked* bad (such as the Xbox 360 that the company had brought, which was legitimately brought for use on an event we were managing) and felt that an accountant would just blanket say no to anything like that!

Having now seen things from the other side, I wish I’d taken the plunge and got an accountant when I started! There’s the obvious benefit of having someone who knows all the rules about what you can and can’t claim and as I was told before, the amount they save you will usually be more than the cost!

I’ve always encouraged the price to be listed online, as I feel if I’d have seen the cost I’d have got in touch - while the price does vary as some people have a more complicated tax return than others, it’s still definitely a lot cheaper than I expected it would be (the latest prices can be found on our website here)

Then there’s the reassurance of knowing they’ll be there if I did have an inspection of my books, having someone who’ll be able to talk to HMRC and understand what they were asking would have been worth so much too!

And even better is knowing that the support would be there all year, if I had something I wasn’t certain could go through my books I could have called or emailed at the time rather than trying to remember months later why I did what I did!

I know working for an accountant would always make me recommend their services but I really do wish I’d known what I know now, the peace of mind alone would have been worth the fee, yet alone all the time saved actually processing the tax return itself!

Knowing you can talk to someone about it who isn’t a pushy sales person is great too, so if you get a quote and decide you don’t want to go ahead then that’s equally fine, nobody will be calling you up hassling you to sign up! So get in touch now, you can either book an appointment to come in and chat here or send us an email here.

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