Prior to the days of the Internet, a small business owner would typically be restricted to choosing a locally based accountants to deal with their business administration. However, since the Internet has made it easier to gain access to a multitude of services and products, a business can outsource bookkeeping duties to a national accountants, anywhere in the country. With the importance of location out of the equation, the other factors to consider are wherever the online national accountants is qualified to deal with your business, the cost and access details.
A locally based accountancy would have been preferred to a national accountants before the Internet, as frequent trips would have to be made to hold meetings, deliver documentation and other aspects. An accounting firm which was based locally would keep traveling and communication times and costs to a minimum. Sending information by post was previously the most convenient method to communicate, even with a local accountants. However, if any questions are attached, or further information was required, the telephone was often the only method of communication left open to both parties, which is not always convenient and can be expensive.
As a large number of people now deal with all aspects of their life online, it makes sense for a business to do the same. Online accountancy is low cost, speedy and convenient and also allows you to select an accountancy from anywhere in the country. A national accountants will offer the same service as a locally based accountants, but will provide increased accuracy using real time information, and convenience. The costs will be kept low as the national accountants maximize the efficiency of online accounting to reduce overheads, passing the savings on to the client.
When a business owner is deciding which accountant will be beneficial to the company, it is imperative that they decide whether face to face contact is important to them. A large number of business owners are happy to submit documentation and provide information, leaving their accountant to deal with HM Revenue & Customs. Some business owners would meet sometimes to discuss their business, which would probably mean a locally based accountants for convenience.
HMRC has been gradually introducing online submission of documents for small business owners, limited companies, employers and individuals. Filing a self-assessment tax return online is not yet compulsory, but provides a later deadline of 31st January, is quick and guaranteed to be received by HMRC.
Deciding on a national accountants gives greater choice than being restricted to a locally based accountancy. The size of the accountancy should also be considered, as a business needs attention all year round, especially when staying within relevant filing deadlines. A small, locally based accountants may provide an excellent service, but what happens if they are taking annual leave or are sick? Choosing a national accountancy will provide freedom to choose a company with multiple accountants who are able to deal with a business. An online accountancy provides freedom of choice so that a business owner will be able to manage his business, knowing that administration is deal with in a timely manner, where they are located in the country.