Every entrepreneur is required by law to keep accounting records, including freelancers. The Dutch tax authorities can check the VAT return on the basis of these accounts. As a self-employed person you can choose to do your own bookkeeping, but in most cases it is advisable to let a bookkeeper do it for you. This not only saves you a lot of time, but you can also be sure that your VAT return is done correctly. In this article you will read more about the advantages of using a bookkeeper such as Expatax.
What does a bookkeeper do?
The main advantage of a bookkeeper is that he takes a lot of work off your hands. Depending on the agreements that are made, he can do the following for you:
- Give financial advice.
- Filing your tax return.
- Draw up the annual accounts.
- Payroll administration.
- Accounts payable and receivable management and invoicing.
Of course you can also choose to take on part of the bookkeeping yourself. For example, many freelancers choose to invoice themselves in order to save on accounting costs.
What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?
In practice, the terms “bookkeeper” and “accountant” are often used interchangeably. Yet a bookkeeper and an accountant are not the same. Here are the main differences.
A bookkeeper – as the name suggests – is concerned with bookkeeping, while an accountant is concerned with setting up and auditing accounts. In other words, executive work versus auditing.
Whereas an accountant mainly works for larger SMEs, a bookkeeper mainly works for freelancers, sole traders and smaller SMEs.
A common misconception is that a company is obliged to use an accountant. This is not the case. Only large limited liability companies are necessarily required to have an accountant. The law has created a schedule that lists various criteria.
If your company meets 2 of the following 3 conditions you must have an accountant:
- Value of assets is greater than € 4,400,000
- Net turnover is greater than € 8,800,000
- Average number of employees is greater than 50
Other reasons for an accountant
It may be that you are in a specific industry for which an annual report is required. This often has to be drawn up by an accountant. For example, you may be applying for a subsidy that requires an auditor’s report. Even in these cases it is often not necessary for the entire financial statement to be prepared by an accounting firm. A statement is then often sufficient.
What does a bookkeeper cost?
A bookkeeper costs on average about 30 to 70 euros per hour. This hourly rate often depends on several factors. For example, it may be that a more expensive bookkeeper is better educated, or that he has a liability insurance. Expatax takes care of continuous training of our employees and has an extensive professional liability insurance.
When choosing a bookkeeper, do not only focus on the price, but look carefully at what you get for that price. In some cases, cheap can really be expensive. So do enough research and preferably choose a bookkeeper with a quality mark. For example, Expatax is a member of the Register Belastingadviseurs.
What does a bookkeeper offer?
A bookkeeper may seem to cost money, but in practice it actually saves money. For example, a bookkeeper knows exactly which deductions you can make use of, which means that your VAT return will usually be more positive than if you were to do this yourself. An accountant can also give you advice on the best times to invest.
Furthermore, using the services of a bookkeeper is often cheaper than doing your own bookkeeping. When you know little about accounting, then you spend a lot of time on it. Also, you make mistakes faster – which you then have to solve, or make your VAT return unnecessarily higher. In other words: a bookkeeper pays for himself in most cases.
Smart cooperation with your bookkeeper
Many freelancers deliver a shoebox with receipts to their bookkeeper once every quarter. In itself that is fine, but then you do not get the most out of your bookkeeper. And that is a shame. One of the ways to work smartly with your bookkeeper as a freelancer is to use an accounting program. This allows you to digitize your finances and give your bookkeeper more insight, so he spends less time on accounting and can give you better advice.
Among others, Expatax works with Exact Online. This allows us to work smarter together and gives you full insight into your up to date accounts.
Do you want to work smarter with your bookkeeper?
Expatax is happy to be of service.
- Easily share your financial information
- Get better advice
- Save costs on your bookkeeper