Communicating with your accountant

It’s very important that you feel you can talk to your accountant and that you keep them informed of changes in your business.

This is the third in a series of five posts discussing ways in which you can help your accountant to provide you with the level of service you expect.

The first two articles covered getting your records to your accountant in good time, and the importance of making sure these records are accurate and tidy.

In this article we discuss the importance of communication.

It’s very important to keep your accountant informed of any changes you are making which could potentially affect the tax liabilities for your business or you personally.

This could be substantial changes such as buying a new property to operate your business from or smaller things, such as deciding to sell your personal car and lease or buy a new one through the business.

In both the above examples, how the transaction is structured can have quite a significant impact on any potential tax liabilities, hence the need to discuss the position with your accountant first.

In the case of buying a property, the effects can be long term so it’s important to consider your future plans when deciding on how to structure the purchase.

With the company car, the benefit in kind (on which you and the business will pay tax) can be quite significant, so it may be more tax efficient to lease the car privately. Alternatively it may be worth considering an electric car on which (currently) the benefit in kind is very low.

However much you have researched the position yourself, there may be something you haven’t considered, which is why it’s so important to discuss the position with your accountant first.

Also, make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute before taking advice. Particularly in the case of buying a new property, this may need some consideration, so don’t suddenly drop it into your accountants’ lap the day before you’re due to sign on the dotted line!

Equally accountants have their role to play here. It’s important that they make you feel at ease when you contact them and that they respond in a timely manner. If they don’t, then it may be time to consider a change.  It’s very important that you feel you can talk to your accountant when you need to.