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At what point do you need an accountant?

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Reading many blogs, posts and journals and also listening to various podcast still hasn't really given me a definitive answer to the question "when do you need an accountant?" 


various sources have said "you only need one after purchasing your 5th property" yet some say "you need one from the outset"


surely having an accountant from the beginning would be the best option, so that you are not losing out on any tax advantages on you whole portfolio?


what i do know, going on with my portfolio is that i am going to use a property specialised accountant. if your going to pay for an accountant  you may as well use an expert.


any opinions on this matter would be greatly appreciated!


thanks, James 

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Hi James,


I have 3 BTLs and have always sorted my own accounts but that is mainly because I am very figure minded, my dad is an accounting director so probably get it from him! Therefore I'm always on top of everything that goes in or out of my 'House' account.  I have 1 bank account that caters for all properties and in conjunction with this, I have my own spreadsheet showing the breakdown for each property, the rental income and each expense that leaves so when it comes to end of year figures, I can easily see £x has gone towards maintenance, £x has gone towards mortgages and £x has come in as rent for each property.


Therefore, I'd agree that if I was to have 5 properties then the figures and account may be a little 'busier' and more work will be required to keep on top of it and for that reason I can understand why people may look to get someone in to take over.  I think a lot depends on the landlord / owner understanding what is going on and keeping on top of it right from the outset for each property.  My wife as an example, she wouldn't have a clue what is going on if I was to ask her to look at things!  :blink:


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Doing books is one side of it and with a spread sheet reasonably easy to do as long as it is monthly as it makes it easier. The advice is very different and I would make contact at the beginning of your property journey. Allowances and structure are so important. even if it is only an introductory chat.

Regards Simon

Searchlight Finance Ltd

T:01565 654005


Landlord and specialist property finance advisor only dealing with investors, landlords and developers throughout the UK and beyond.

Buy to Let - Commercial Finance - Bridging Loans - Development Finance - HMO Finance - Refurbishment Loans - Multi Let - Limited Company - Student Lets - Portfolio Finance

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Yes James I recommend to start with

1. get your hands on Simon Allen's spread sheet

2. Buy Iain Wallis - legally avoid property taxes

3. Down load the HMRC landlord tutorials which are really good for beginners ( they also even do webinars - 21st Century stuff :-) )


The Manchester Meetup takes place on the first Thursday of every month, find out more here

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thank you for your replies guys. i have read iain wallis book 'how to legally avoid property taxes' which i found very useful, a must read for all investors! as i wish to be a hands off investor i am looking to employ an accountant for that reason. But is it worth the effort and the cost if i can do my own accounts and claim back expenditure etc easily?

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