When it comes to running a company, one thing for certain is the importance of managing your finances. However, for sole traders and small-to-medium enterprises, how critical is prioritising your accounts when there are so many other things that need to be done?
“I was a self-employed carpenter, I know what it’s like,” says Jason Jervis of J Jervis Accounting. “You are up at 5:30, you work 12-14 hour days and you often work on the weekends. It’s a hard graft.”
“If you’re trying to run your own business the last thing on your mind is keeping the books straight.”
However, staying on good terms with the taxman can’t be overlooked, which is why many people rush their accounts and self-assessments at the last-minute.
“Working this way is both stressful and time-consuming,” warns Jason, “but you’re also more likely to make mistakes, especially if you’re not a trained accountant. And mistakes can be costly.”
“Even if you do take the time to go through your accounts thoroughly unless you’re 100% up-to-date with the costs that you can submit as an expense, you might be paying too much tax, and in turn losing money,” Jason explains.
“When people first go self-employed or start their own business, they’re usually trying to save as much money as possible. Hiring an accountant is often seen as a luxury but in the long run, it will save them a tax liability”
Jason Jervis, J Jervis Accounting
“Even just getting some general advice from someone can help people with their self-assessments.”
Jason is also a big advocate of accounting software such as FreeAgent, QuickBooks, Sage, or Xero. He even helps to train his clients on how to use such software when necessary, something which has made their lives much easier.
Find the Time
As well as saving his clients time, Jason tries to always be available to his clients so that they can talk to him when they need to – even outside of office hours.
“I try to be flexible with clients because I know that by the time they’ve been to work, gone home, had their evening meal and spent time with their family they’re exhausted,” says Jason.
“My clients know that they can ring me at any time, even at weekends,” concludes Jason. “I’m open to supporting them at any time.”