Getting the right accountant

When you’re starting out in business, the idea is everything. It can be easy to forget about the paper trail that comes from pursuing it, but many entrepreneurs do. It’s not until the tax reports are piling up that they consider hiring an accountant.

The legal side

Many of the basic principles of VAT, tax, and bookkeeping are public knowledge and can be found by a quick google search. But this is the tip of the legal iceberg when it comes to corporate law. You may know that you need to become VAT registered if your VAT taxable turnover is above £85,000 in a 12-month period, but are there any benefits to registering for VAT even if you haven’t hit the threshold? What’s Flat Rate VAT and how do you know which sales count under the Flat Rate Scheme?

The personal side

Paperwork is the chain holding you back from realising your idea. It’s often time-consuming and difficult to keep track of everything, and with the Making Tax Digital scheme coming into effect most businesses will be forced to use online accounting software to manage their books. Not only do our services deal with the paperwork quickly and effectively, but we also work directly with Xero, one of the biggest and most popular pieces of cloud accounting software on the market.

At Berley, since our inception we have been working with entrepreneurs, assisting them from one-time consultancy to long-term accounting services. We know the process better than anyone, simply because as entrepreneurs ourselves we’ve been through it.

Why do you need an accountant?

Where you are in your business growth stages, and your own schedule determine what you want from an accountant. For example:

  • You have just started your business and you need an experienced accountant helping you with loan application.
  • You have been in business for a while, but have yet to stay on top of cash flow. An accountant can work with you to develop cash flow projections based on various scenarios.
  • You are spending many hours a week doing your own bookkeeping when you can better spend the time at business development and closing deals.
  • You have hired a couple employees and would like to outsource the payroll service.
  • You need an accountant to prepare the management reporting and statutory compliance.
  • You’re now on the upward growth path and would like to expand your business.

In short, regardless where you are in your business growth stages, getting advice and assistance from an experience accountant will only benefit you and your business.


The Making Tax Digital scheme plans to have all tax reporting managed and sent digitally to the HMRC, meaning that by April 2019 businesses will be mandated to use the system. It’s essential to start as you mean to go on, and if you’re going to use a digital system to manage your accounts, you should aim for one of the best. Xero’s multi-award-winning software is one of the market leaders, compatible with over 700 third-party applications like PayPal. It covers a wide variety of business needs, including:

  • Invoices
  • Inventory
  • Quotes
  • Tax payments
  • Purchase orders
  • Asset management
  • Multi-currency accounting

At Berley we’re also Silver Champion Partners with Xero, giving us access to exclusive member perks that we are more than willing to share with our clients, such as access to the Xero advisor directory.

How to choose your accountant

Certified or chartered – make sure your chosen accountants are regulated by a professional body like the ICAEW and the ACCA or by the government.

Resolute heart – if you have the courage and passion to succeed, you want your accountants to be in the same wavelength too. If you are a risk-taking entrepreneur, consider working with an accountant who can share your vision.

Look at their reviews – research how other current or previous clients view their experience with them.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, set up a meeting and have an honest discussion with them. How they will work with you, the availability of your primary contact and their experience in cloud-based accounting are good questions to ask.

Why choose Berley?

Berley Chartered Accountants is founded by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. We know first-hand the challenges of starting out, that’s why we make it our mission to serve entrepreneurs and start-ups across London.

In addition to standard accounting (management account, payroll, bookkeeping, company audit, and tax), we can provide bespoke financial advice to help you to grow your business. We offer advice on the appropriate sources of funding, help to develop strategies for a successful business exit and support businesses that are international.

Call us on 020 7636 9094 or use our contact form for more information on how we can work with you.

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