What does an accountant want?

Whether you’re a bookkeeper or a business who deals with their accountant directly it’s important you understand what they need from you. Some accountants will do the bookkeeping all the way up to year end accounts, but the majority concentrate on year end, leaving the preparation of accounts to the bookkeeper. 

I have a 12- Steps Year-End course which shows you how to complete the following steps to wow your accountant. One client, who is a freelance bookkeeper, has impressed her local accountant so much by following my guidance in these trainings, that she’s got loads of referrals from them:

  1. All cash and bank transactions posted
  2. All sales and purchase transactions posted
  3. Closing cash and bank balances reconciled
  4. Sales and purchase ledger reconciled
  5. Records filed in a sensible, easy to find way
  6. VAT control accounts reconciled
  7. Wages, PAYE and NIC control accounts reconciled
  8. Loans and HP agreements correctly accounted for
  9. Fixed assets properly recorded
  10. Inter company accounts reconciled
  11. Provisions made eg, bad debts, depreciation
  12. Accruals and payments posted

If your accountant is only doing the year end for you it’s important that you introduce your bookkeeper to your accountant. If you’re doing the books yourself you need to keep a continued loop of communication between you to ensure that your accountant has the information when they need it. 

You may find that there is a clause in your contract with your accountant that they can charge you penalties if you don’t produce the paperwork before the deadlines they give you. This is because in order to do their job, they need the information from you. That’s why it’s important to familiarise yourself with what you have to provide to them.

At the point at which your accountant receives your accounts everything must be reconciled if they are not doing your bookkeeping. This is up to yourself and your bookkeeper to ensure that your accounts are accurate and that your bank statements match what your incoming and outgoing transactions are reflecting. Your accountant will need to see copies of your bank statements.

You need to provide your accountant as well as bookkeeper with proof of every transaction in the form of a document, receipt or invoice if you can (some exceptions may apply). Not only is this vital to show the accuracy of your business accounts but it’s also in the best interests of the accountant to show that they are doing their job thoroughly and accurately if HMRC were to investigate.

It’s also a really good idea to put copy paperwork for fixed assets in a dedicated place, as you will need to produce evidence of the purchase in the form of invoice or receipt for your accountant.

If applicable your accountant will need to see your salary journals and evidence to show that these amounts have left your account and that your HMRC liabilities have been paid. 

Your accountant will inform you of any deadlines which need to be met. It’s important that you stick to these so that they can do their job to ensure you don’t get charged any fees from them or HMRC. 

Remember if you’re ever not sure of what you need to provide for your accountant, just ask! They would much rather you ask the question than leave it until last minute and put more pressure on them.

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“Any advice relating to accounts or tax should be sought from your tax accountant. Sage Accounts Solutions Limited will not be held responsible for any loss or damage caused as a result of the information contained herein.”

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