Why DIY Accounting Is Dangerous



If you’re running your own business, or you’ve just started up, you’re constantly looking for ways to minimise costs and improve your profit! Many people look on professional accountancy and book keeping services as a cost burden and see DIY accounting as an instant saving.

However, if you have the right accountant, you should consider them as an investment. Getting rid of them to do your own accounts could cost you pain, grief and money in the long run.

Are you claiming for every business expense?

Whenever someone tells me they’re getting a relative or a spouse to do their book keeping and tax return for them, it fills me with dread.

Now, I do have some clients that this works well for, but is your relative or spouse going to know tax legislation and case law inside out and be aware of every business expense or allowance you can claim for? Probably not, in which case you could be paying much more tax than you’re saving through DIY accounting.

Even if they have a good grasp of this, tax is ever changing and you need to keep up to date!

Staying under the radar

A bigger danger is if your amateur accountant fails to fill in the right boxes or puts the wrong information in the wrong place. You could attract unwanted attention from HMRC, which could lead to a tax enquiry.

If they get really excited they may even delve into your last 20 years of tax returns and that can seriously make your life difficult.

Your time

There are only so many hours in the day, accounting and tax returns can be completed and if you are not a specialist, and only do them once a year, it can be very onerous on your time, not to mention stressful. Ask yourself whether this is the best use of your time?

There are better tools and software now available, so you can do more yourself – but they are not necessarily the answer. Your time has a cost to it. It might simply be cheaper to get someone else to do these jobs for you!

Proactive Advice

As an accountant, when we look at someone’s accounts or tax returns, it is a unique look into their world. We can use that to identify opportunities to grow your top line and reduce costs, in order to grow your bottom line. We can ensure you are getting the right structure, identify tax planning opportunities and help ensure you are set up for the future.

Making tax digital

More and more of our dealings with HMRC are done online. While HMRC thinks this is being helpful, going online doesn’t suit everybody, especially if you’ve been using paper forms for years.

Things are going to get even more complicated when Making Tax Digital is rolled out, requiring filing every quarter. Even when your long-suffering relative or spouse is IT-literate, will they want to spend even more time working on your books?

Even if they are able to embrace the change and utilise cloud-based software they still won’t be specialists and it takes time to complete the learning curve of software.

Call in the professionals

I’m pretty sure you didn’t set up your own business so you could spend more time in the office going through receipts. I’m even more certain that you don’t want more stress in your life.

So why not let an accountant take the weight off your shoulders. A good one will pay their way through savings and sound business advice, so you can focus on what you do best.

Treat your accountant like your secret business partner, not a cost burden, and you will reap the rewards.

The next step

To find out how we can tailor our accounting services to your business’s needs and budget, contact Black and White Accounting today, or ring us today on 0800 140 4644.