Preparing for a first meeting with an accountant can be daunting, you may feel the need to bring every document you can lay your hands on but still have the worry you’ve left something behind.
So that you’re not left in the dark about what you will and won’t need, we’ve compiled a handy list of documents you’ll need to bring along below.
But before we divulge, we thought it’d be nice to also know how the meeting will go, what will be covered and what to expect. Here’s how we do it…
A catch up and a coffee (or tea)
Getting off to the best start is important so a good meeting with your accountant will begin with a catch up on your business, they’ll probably want to hear how you’re finding things too. This won’t just be the bottom line figures but any challenges you’re currently facing or new developments.
Gaining a round up of what’s happening with you and your business and a good picture of what's happening outside your financials helps an accountant get a solid overview of where you are and where extra support and advice can be offered further along the road.
An overview of your financials
A top line summary of what’s coming in and going out and where your business could be impacted by recent changes to tax rules. It will then be clear to an accountant where you might be able to make some changes and see savings as a result. This cost saving exercise should be re-run at each subsequent meeting. Don’t forget, an accountant has a wide range of connections and will be able to connect you with other businesses and specialists who can save you money on supplies etc. so you can run your business more efficiently.
An in depth look into your area of interest
Accountants are business experts and we can use our expertise to support your current and future growth plans. Offering insightful advice on investment and expansion our knowledge will enable you to understand from an accounting point of view how you can make your plans come to fruition.
A friendly reminder for upcoming deadlines
An accountant should be able to give you advanced notice of any important deadlines and what will be needed for them. At Blue Rocket Accounting, our team leaders ensure our clients are given plenty of forewarning of important upcoming deadlines so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises.
In a year end meeting, you will be presented with your final tax bills with the figures and references you need to pay. That way you know where you stand and can avoid penalty fines for late payments - providing of course you have supplied your accountant with all the necessary information they have requested and so they have enough time to work on any additional admin required.
We pride ourselves on our levels of service, frequency and variety of communication we have with our clients. It is of utmost importance that we can be reached anytime of day with no ‘on the clock’ charges for simple enquiries.
All the time you need
No two clients are the same, that’s why it’s important that you get the time and attention you feel you need from an accountant. Whether it’s a quick monthly check in or a more comprehensive deep dive every quarter, it’s imperative you know what you can expect from meetings.
We encourage our clients to speak to us as much as they like; for some businesses and individual clients this is a call every now and again, for others it can be a monthly meeting in person.
If it’s important to you then it’s important to us too!
However you’d like it delivered
If we’ve learnt anything from the pandemic, it’s the importance of adaptability for businesses. That stands for all of us, so if you want a meeting over Skype or a face to face in the city, it’s your shout. An accountant should be willing to consider a location that suits you.
If it’s a toss up between our office or yours we do advise coming to us as it’s a distraction free environment where you can come away from the day to day and focus on the subject in hand.
Our purpose as an accountant is to serve our clients and ensure they are offered the support and guidance they need to be a success.
We can guarantee we’ve seen it all so there’s no need to panic or worry about laying out the full picture for an accountant to view. It’s the best way for them to offer accurate advice and help you find your way out of any tight spots or offer a realistic point of view if a business partner needs a reality check.
There is a whole host of support services an accountant can offer at a meeting from credit control to budgeting forecasts. All in aid of making sure your business is on track. You can hand over those mundane tasks so that you can focus on driving the business forward.
A good accountancy firm should be able to support your business as it grows. Never be afraid to ask for something, your accountant should be there to help you.
A personal cheerleader
We enjoy nothing more than seeing our clients grow, your mission is our success. That's why a meeting with an accountant is an important source of encouragement and positivity to drive progress.
Even well established businesses need a refuel of this energy and a refresher on how to move forward. And, that's why you should prioritise (and even look forward to) your meeting, as even when you’re doubting yourself during a tough period, your accountant should be there to offer a boost and some clarity on how to progress onward and upwards!
Actions and your next steps
You should come away from your meeting with a sense of what your next steps will be and precisely what your accountant will do for you. From when you are due to have your next contact, to how you will proceed from there, you should not have any difficulty speaking to your accountant.
Now for the documents you’ll need to bring along with you.
Take statements for all your business accounts for the whole period. Also, bring your paying in books and cheque books that you use.
- Bank statements
- Loan statements
- Credit card statements
Your accountant will need to know the closing balance at the year end for any loans as any interest is a tax-deductible expense.
Take along any newly made financial agreements for example hire purchase items as repayment interest is another tax-deductible expense. Not declaring a new agreement could increase your tax bill significantly.
So that your accountant can reconcile the net payments your employees received, you should bring a copy of each month’s payroll.
You should declare any income you’ve received throughout the year, including any extra from sales of property or shares, or from self-employment.
Invoices and Expenses Receipts
Keep a record of expenses and invoices as without these your tax bill could increase. You should also keep track of petty cash payments so your accountant can reconcile them.
Bring along your P60 if you have had any employment income over the period, or your P45 if it stopped during the year.
It’s important to show your accountant if you have a P11D as otherwise your tax calculation will be incorrect and could cause you future trouble with HMRC.
Bring along any paperwork if you have made payments to a private pension so they can be declared by your accountant.
Bank Interest Details
Take along details of any bank interest made throughout the year, excluding ISAs but including interest in your savings account.
You must take details of any dividends received throughout the year no matter how small they might be.
Your accountant will need to see any property management expenses and/ or any mortgage interest you may have.
For further advice call Blue Rocket Accounting on 01322 555442 or email email@example.com