WHY USE SPECIALIST ACCOUNTANTS?
Running an estate or letting agency requires the ability to balance and manage many tasks including the wealth of legislation and administration procedures that you must adhere to
There are a number of key reasons why it is important that estate or letting agent should use the services of a specialist property accountant to manage their finances, and the clue is in the word specialist, as professionals with expertise in this area of accountancy can prevent a host of non-compliance issues and pre-empt any other complex situations that may arise.
The skills of an accountant specialising in residential property accounts will be comprehensive and include a wide range of knowledge about property tax law and the complex operating environment that you now find yourself in due to the numerous changes in legislation that have occurred over the past few years. Where an estate, or letting agent is dealing with a large number of properties there will likely be a high volume of monetary transactions involved. that you will need to ensure have all been dealt with and recorded in the correct manner. In addition there will also be a number taxes rules and regulations that the business needs to take into account, all of which create a juggling act of figures and potential pitfalls as you try to grow you buisness day to day.
Taking the pressure off the area of finance and compliance work, can enable estate and letting agents to concentrate their efforts on adding value to the business, safe in the knowledge that their accounts are in good hands as any mistakes can be costly and have a detrimental effect on your reputation.
Key areas a specialist accountant may advise on would include the following:
Many new regulations have been implemented in the financial and business sectors since the economic crash. In particular, there have been a number of amendments to legislation, including changes in taxation with regards to the residential letting of properties. Navigating through these can be a minefield without the help of an expert to interpret the rules and provide expert advice to ensure you are not caught unawares.
CLIENT MONEY ACCOUNTING
New regulations are now concerned with ensuring clients’ money is handled separately from the businesses own banking funds, with secure and consistent controls in place to protect the individual funds held on account of the estate or letting agents clients. This is now proving a major task for many business with the deadlines for compliance becoming effective in 2018.
If your estate or letting agency holds client money, then you must produce on application, and thereafter within 6 months of your financial year end, an accountants’ report showing compliance with ARLA Bye Laws. We can provide these reports for you as required under the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), confirming compliance with the association’s bye laws which will include mandatory reconciliations of the funds held with the client account, so that you can concentrate on your business.
We can create a number of bespoke reports to help you keep track of your business performance, cashflow and Profit & Loss, which is vital particularly for a growing estate and letting agency. We can create bespoke management reports to you on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis as you require.
We can offer comprehensive tax health checks and tax planning advice to ensure you are running your business in the most tax efficient manner possible. We aim to ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises.
It’s important to keep you staff happy and informed, and in one particular arear, that of payroll, it is essential that this process works seamlessly for all your staff. We can handle all your payroll requirements including auto enrolment pensions management, using the Xero payroll system, with an employee portal that allows them to view their payslips and P60’s on their smartphone, as well as request time off or update static information such as their home address. Again, all designed to allow you to concentrate on the main business matters.
Specialist property accountants will also assist in compiling the annual financial statements for filing at Companies House.
By Alan Boal