Every company owner across the industries knows the importance of having accounting firms to provide support with tax returns, financial accounts and mandatory reporting. Many assume the assistance available stops there.

However, particularly during challenging times, the advice, insights and suggestions a qualified advisory team can offer may be invaluable, offering expertise and knowledge to propose solutions, explore potential action plans and create robust strategies to help get your business back on track.

We commonly find clients are relieved to access the support we offer when they are struggling due to large-scale events such as inflation or the COVID-19 pandemic or because of changes to their tax obligations, audit compliance requirements or profitability. Professional advice can also add value and help identify opportunities even when the business is ticking along nicely.

Five Reasons to Make the Most of Local Accountancy Firms

Alongside the general services mentioned above, as a specialist business accounting firm, we provide a comprehensive array of assistance, from help for business start-ups looking to incorporate a business for the first time to transition programmes for established firms upgrading their accounting software.

Whether your business is managing a sudden shift in revenues, has issues paying contractors or needs professional advice following complications with your tax matters, we can help. Here’s a recap of why local accounting services can be hugely beneficial, and the contribution accountancy firms can make.

1. Face-to-Face Consultations

The first advantage of having positive partnerships with accountancy firms in your contact list is that you can arrange a good time to phone or sit down with an accounting team member and talk through concerns or problems you are experiencing in person. Most business owners are busy, and this option can give clients clarity, provide the space to think calmly through troubleshooting scenarios and talk about any issues you’re having with a finance professional.

Having qualified, ACCA-accredited chartered accountants you trust fosters a sense of approachability, where you know your accountant is on your side and will look for ways to help – irrespective of whether you’re late with your tax return, are facing an HMRC taxation investigation, or have made a mistake on your Construction Industry Scheme payroll deductions.

Instead, we’ll deploy all of our cumulative knowledge to look for steps we can recommend that will aim to address issues, mitigate your business risks, expedite corrections where necessary, or liaise with the tax office to ensure an agreement is reached quickly.

2. Long-Standing Relationships

Managing financial constraints and worries about liquidity can feel overwhelming, but many UK businesses face these hurdles. Last year Xero, the cloud-based bookkeeping software provider, reported that as many as 90% of sole traders and small business clients found cash flow difficult to manage.

Local accountancy firms get to know you, your business, trading structure, management team, UK taxation position and all the details underpinning your organisation. This depth of professional knowledge can be a substantial benefit when looking for creative ways to approach a problem – without needing to start from scratch.

It’s also important to have a rapport with your accountant, giving you the freedom to discuss issues openly without any misconception that serious trading difficulties are something you need to be dealing with alone.

If you use the same accountant for auditing services, this same benefit applies, where they’ll already understand much of your business and can focus on the audit without needing additional time to learn the background.

3. Localised Knowledge

An established understanding of the local economy and business sector can be useful. Local accountancy firms who serve much of the business community will also be able to refer to case studies or replicate strategies – adapted to your business – which they have seen proven successful elsewhere.

Remote and online accountancy can be fine for a range of general tax calculations, payroll and filings but isn’t sufficiently localised to offer the highest standards of in-depth support, what-if modelling and advice you need for more detailed consultations.

Other positives may be where grants or business networking opportunities are open to local professional clients. We might advise if a new UK trade group, federation or funding scheme becomes available to businesses in the area, for instance, and believe this could be a perfect match for your company.

4. Training and Education

While, like many local accountancy firms, we offer all the services you might associate with corporate finance, we also aim to support clients as their businesses grow, including a personal service around areas like selecting fit-for-purpose advanced bookkeeping software, delivering on-site training to business owners and their workforces, and offering updates and nudges when something crops up we feel may be of interest.

Having a local accountant available near your premise allows you to organise meetings at your offices or ours and request one of our accomplished team of accountants visit you to run through focused training or contribute to director’s discussions to provide an impartial, reliable viewpoint.

5. Access to Resources

Finally, regulated local accountancy firms give you access to all the skills within their teams. Many UK clients prefer to consult with the same chartered accountants since they can ask questions or explain problems without needing to add context or background.

However, your accountant can refer to their colleagues for specialist assistance, such as if they require accounting expertise in the Construction Industry Scheme or accounting experts knowledgeable about data and transaction management.

What to Expect When Working With Local Accountancy Firms

We often say James Todd & Co are more than just accountants, and this is absolutely true. Our team is proud to have partnerships with some fantastic businesses in and around our offices in Chichester, Lavant and Fareham, and we always strive to provide exceptional services to give every client the best growth opportunities.

During times of turbulence – of which there have been many this last couple of years – our role is to deliver the advice, support and knowledge you need to make informed judgements, such as comparing cost-effective business loans, deciding on the ideal financing route, or projecting your income to determine where you have shortfalls in revenue.

For more information about our accountancy services and in-house team of chartered certified accountants, or why we believe a local UK accountant offers a resource that is hard to quantify, please get in touch, or learn more about our services online.