Accounting is one of those professions that a lot of people don’t fully understand because most people will never need to hire one. It’s if you start a business and find yourself a bit overwhelmed about tax returns and bookkeeping, that you might wonder whether it’s finally time to hire an accountant.
Naturally, before you make any kind of investment in your business, it’s a good idea to research it. If you’re here to learn more about what an accountant does all day, you’ve come to the right place. But with some common misconceptions floating around, let’s bust some myths.
Only big companies need accountancy services
Probably one of the biggest misconceptions with accountancy services is that it’s just for big businesses – not micro-businesses, freelancers or contractors.
In fact, if you’re a solopreneur then you probably need help more than anyone. It’s easy to drive yourself mad when you’re trying to manage everything all single-handed. An accountant can really save you some time and sanity.
Accountancy services are too expensive
One of the reasons why many smaller businesses disregard the idea of getting an accountant is because they think it’s too expensive. That might have been true back in the day, but with so many accountancy firms around today, competition is fierce. This means you’re much more likely to find competitively priced services.
With the rise of online accountancy firms, these types of firms can keep their fees low due to having low overheads themselves.
Accountants are responsible for managing your money
Accountants are not financial managers, or miracle workers for that matter! Just because they are involved with your money, cash flow, and profits, doesn’t mean they have any real control over where your money goes. They’re there to help you gain control over your own money, but it’s your choice what you do with it at the end of the day.
This misconception particularly comes up when discussing payroll. Some people assume that because an accountancy firm manages the payroll, they’re also responsible for using the business’ money to actually pay the staff or even the director themselves. As accountants don’t tend to have access to your bank account, this would be impossible.
Accounting is all about maths
While basic arithmetic skills, and not running scared when you see hundreds of figures, are important attributes for an accountant, this isn’t the main part of the profession. Accounting is more to do with recording and analysing transactions as well as advising clients of various tax laws and liabilities.
Maths skills can always come in handy of course, but you don’t need to be a mathematician to become an accountant. Calculators and software have pretty much made this obsolete these days. It’s more about problem solving and analytical thinking.
Accountants will solve your money problems
Accountants can certainly help by providing advice and clarity on money issues, but they are primarily there to ensure your tax affairs are in order. They’re a valuable source of information and will likely have some useful suggestions for you, but you’re still the one in the driving seat!