Running a business alone means you’re responsible for your own bookkeeping and accounting, even if you don’t have finance experience. If you don’t feel capable of managing these tasks by yourself, you might want to hire an accountant to take over, or use accounting software. One option is to use Xero or hire one of their accountants, but can they offer the best assistance for your business? 

This guide will help you find the best accountants for your specific needs by looking at the following areas:

  • How will hiring an accountant benefit my business?
  • Is Xero a good idea for my business?
  • Why is Countingup a better option for one-person businesses?

How will hiring an accountant benefit my business?

Accountants are finance experts, meaning they can make your bookkeeping and accounting significantly easier. As a one-person business, hiring the right accountant will especially benefit you in the following ways:

Streamline your Self Assessment

Self-employed professionals earning over £1,000 need to complete a Self Assessment tax return, which can be a confusing and tedious process. An accountant can sort through your financial data to help fill in the tax return accurately. The added bonus is that you’ll have more time to focus on building your business. 

The right accountant for your business will also understand the specific challenges one-person businesses might face. As a result, they’ll be able to anticipate the likely hiccups and obstacles you could come across when filing your tax returns and help you avoid them.

Minimise your tax bill

Ensuring you claim all your allowable business expenses on your tax return could be critical to staying financially healthy. But it can be tricky to figure out which expenses you can claim back on your own, which is where an accountant is a massive help. 

Due to their financial expertise, an accountant might spot tax-deductible expenses that you would have missed when preparing your Self Assessment. If your accountant has specific knowledge of your industry and business type, they could help you reduce your tax bill even further.

Help you make better business decisions

Every business wants to grow, but without a solid grasp of your finances, creating a plan that will help grow your business is tricky, and maybe even impossible. While you can educate yourself to understand the financial side of your business, hiring an accountant will save you the trouble.

After researching to find the right accountant to suit your needs, you’ll notice that their in-depth understanding of your business finances can help you make better decisions. A skilled accountant can analyse how effective your business decisions have been so far. Your accountant can then share their insight to help you steer your company in the right direction.

Is Xero a good idea for my business?

Features and services of Xero Accountants

Xero has a range of helpful services for small businesses and works with a team of experienced accountants across the UK.

The biggest benefit of working with Xero is their accounting software. It has a variety of features, such as providing an easy-to-read overview of your finances including expenses and income. This interface also allows you to make payments easily, even letting you schedule future payments.

Xero also works with a number of accountants throughout the UK. Xero-partnered accountants use the Xero software and have a good understanding of its features, which helps ensure that the process of working with an accountant is more efficient. Xero even offers a tool to match you with accountants that specialise in your industry or the particular task that you need them for.

Is Xero right for me?

When running your business alone, it’s essential to find accounting software that meets your needs and hire accountants who understand your requirements. A lot of Xero’s functionality is focused on things like paying employees, so sole traders and one-person limited companies might want to consider another alternative as they won’t get much use out of some of Xero’s features. 

Xero also doesn’t provide an actual financial account to store money in, but rather connects to existing bank accounts. A better alternative is Countingup, which offers a convenient two in one package: their app works as both a business account and accounting software.

Countingup also offers the Countingup Accountant Hub, which allows your accountant to view all of your financial transactions without the need for endless emails or the mailing of physical documents. To allow your accountant access, all you need to do is send them an invitation email from the Countingup app. 

While Xero offers a similar feature in Xero HQ, their version is much more difficult for accountants to access as they must agree to a Xero partnership and be verified first. Xero HQ has features more suitable for a large accounting firm, so if you use an independent accountant, it’s unlikely to be suitable.     

Do you want to learn more about how Countingup measures up against Xero? You can explore this Xero alternative here.

Discover the best alternative for your business needs

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. Countingup beats Xero accounting software because it specialises in one-person businesses. This means every tool and feature is explicitly designed to suit your business needs. 

In addition, Countingup makes it almost effortless to collaborate with your accountant to optimise your financial management. With the app, you can share your accurate, real-time bookkeeping data with your accountant in seconds with the tap of a button — no more worrying about being chased for missing data, duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies.

As well as accountant access, Countingup also has useful functions like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights. These allow you to confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

Find out more about Countingup here, including how to start a three-month free trial.   

Related Resources

Read more