Why do I need an accountant and are all accountants the same?

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There is no legal requirement for most businesses to have an accountant. The exceptions are those that are required by law to have what is known as an audit.

The requirement for an audit is for those businesses that have a turnover in excess of £10.2million or assets of £5.1 million. Such businesses are not typically start-up or small businesses. 

Most businesses benefit from the advice and wisdom of having an accountant to look after their affairs.  Not least if it is just to ensure they operate legally and to help minimise any tax liabilities they may have.  Certainly having an accountant with whom you have a good working relationship should help in the success of your business.

Working with you, your accountant will provide advice and support on the business idea, structure, funding and on-going bookkeeping, as well as assistance with the preparation of your year-end accounts and your personal and business Tax Returns.

The title 'accountant' is widely used to cover a multitude of roles people undertake ranging from bookkeeping work, through to those who are company finance directors and partners within a professional firm of chartered accountants.  It is the norm for most businesses to employ the services of a practicing chartered accountant.