Beany is an online accountant. All this means is that we do all the normal stuff an accountant does, but we use technology to make it cheaper, faster and better for you.
What does a small business accountant do?
Our job is to go into your accounting file and make sure that the numbers are right. And, to be honest, no one’s file is ever 100% right.
What are the mistakes that we fix?
Sometimes people put expenses through their business which the HMRC don't allow, such as gym memberships, life insurance or grocery expenses for their family. You’d be surprised by what we find in files.
We can also bring in *assets that you’re using and claim *depreciation. We can also save you a bunch of tax by looking at how your business is structured. You could be trading as a sole trader, but if you change to a company, there could be significant tax savings.
Once we’ve made all these accounting adjustments, then we prepare *financial statements that make Companies House happy. If you don’t have a company, they still provide a useful record of how your business is doing, your bank will want to see them if you need a loan.
*assets are business expenses that relate to items that last more than one year, such as a motor vehicle or a piece of plant. You use your business assets to generate future profits.
*depreciation is the process to expense your assets over time. Essentially, you can expense your asset over its life time.
*What are financial statements? This is a formal term for your financial information which is set out in a specific way to comply with international accounting standards and the requirements of the United Kingdom’s Companies House so that anyone on the planet reading the financial statements knows that they have been prepared to the same standard using the same rules.
They show all the business income you’ve earned and all the business expenses you’ve paid, showing the difference as your net profit or loss for a year (usually). They also give a snapshot on one day, the last day of the year, of everything you own and everything you owe, and the difference is how much you’re worth on that one day.
There’s a whole bunch of notes before the profit and loss (called the income statement) and the balance sheet (called the statement of financial position) and a whole bunch of notes afterwards. These are meant to make it easier to read the financial statements and explain them. Pretty sure no one reads them, but they are required in law!
Then what? We look at your total financial situation - are you married, do you have children, have you made donations, do you have other businesses or assets, do you have a rental property, do you pay child support or have a student loan, or dividends or a holiday home in Cornwall? We look at the whole enchilada and this is where the clever Beany chartered accountants come in - they look at everything and work out using our software, what is the very best tax position we can find for our lovely clients?
Sometimes we will need more information from you - what are your plans for the next few years? Do you have tax losses to use up? Are you getting married (you’d be surprised how important this information can be)?
Once we have all this knowledge about you and your situation, we can prepare tax returns and explain to you why we’ve done what we’ve done to minimise tax.
Then we file your tax returns - but it doesn’t end there. We keep an eye on your tax account and warn you if you haven’t paid, we look at any payments on account you need to pay, and whether you have overpaid or need to make a top-up payment.
This is the regular stuff.
Then there’s other stuff that we routinely get asked about. Should I buy this van? Can I claim expenses on my boat if I take clients out on it? My Xero file doesn’t reconcile - help! We get lots of questions about any kind of accounting and tax issues and we answer them all via our support desk with a median response time of 1.2 hours - we’re there when you need us.
We also do business valuations, specialist tax advice (what happens if I’m buying from China, selling into Europe and I’m a tax resident in the UK), lots of support around cash flow forecasting and cash management.
We also spend quite a bit of time either setting up your Xero file, unscrambling your Xero file or converting your shoebox into a Xero file. We love training you on how to get the most out of Xero.
To find out more about what we do, or ask us a specific question, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.