Do your own accounts or outsource to professionals?

This is a collaborative post sharing the pros and cons of doing your own accounting as a small business owner, and whether deciding to call in a professional is a good idea. I hope it’s helpful.

I am partially employed and partially self employed but I have been fully self employed as well. When I first started down the road of self employment, I managed my own accounts and submitted my own tax returns. It wasn’t too complicated and to be honest, the online system for tax returns in the UK isn’t that hard to use.

When I ran a charity, or was at least, the director of one, we made the decision that I would do the accounts, as it was a small charity and our income wasn’t that big or complicated to manage. But eventually it got too much for me and we payed someone to manage our accounts for us.

Recently, as a self employed worker, I decided that I just don’t have the time or capacity to manage my tax returns, monthly accounts and other financual tasks, and because I am also employed by an organisation, it’s getting a little more complex. It is an added expense but it’s worth it.


The pros of doing your own accounts are:

  • It’s free, in that you are not paying someone else so your costs are less
  • You don’t have to organise your documents for someone else to look at, there’s no one chasing you for paperwork or hassling you about what you are spending
  • It’s a good skill to learn, managing basic accounts

The cons of doing your own accounts are:

  • You are on your own if you run into issues, and there is no one to help you if you are trying to manage something and you don’t have the skills
  • You are fully responsible for ALL of your financial arrangements and it falls to you and if you miss a deadline or loose track of accounts then you don’t have anyone eto help you.
  • If things go wrong, you need to clean it up or pay someone last minute to help you which can be expensive.

So, if you are running a small business or dealing with accounts, you need to think carefully about if you can manage them or if you need to call in a professional to help you with the day to day, and other tasks to keep your accounts up to date and prevent you from making errors or missing tax deadlines or payments.

You can of course use software for accounting and bookkeeping which makes life a lot easier, and helps you to manage your income, expenses, calculate tax and keep everything in order so that when it comes round to that dreaded time of the year when you have to submit your tax return, or be audited to make sure your books are all correct and up to date, or to work out how much tax you owe, then you are at least organised and you have everything ready to face that. It’s definitely worth considering as part of your plan when you start a business or need to do you own accounts.

Do you do your own financial accounts or do you get someone to help you? What’s your top tip to manage that well?

Posted in I am not just "mum" and tagged accounts, managing your business finances, things to consider as a self employed person.