A large part of the work of a small business accountant involves preparing accounts.
A set of accounts generally comprise a profit and loss account and a balance sheet.
The profit and loss account tells the business how much money it has made over a given period by considering sales and costs.
The balance sheet shows how much wealth the business has accumulated by considering assets and liabilities.
As a minimum, businesses must prepare end of year end accounts as these are required to be included on tax returns that are required by HMRC or in submissions to companies house if the business is a limited company.
Many small businesses and particularly new business start-ups prefer to have six monthly, quarterly, or even monthly accounts prepared.
In this way, they have more up to date financial information at their disposal and can measure their progress sooner than if they were to wait for the year end accounts to be prepared.
Ultimately, the decision as to how often the accounts are prepared always rests with the owner of the small business, generally after discussion with the accountant to evaluate the potential benefits that may result.