accountant jargon

Accounting Jargon Busting

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We know when you’re setting up a business from scratch there’s a lot to get your head around, often not helped by accountants talking to you in industry speak.

Here we try to explain what we mean (and we promise to never speak to you in acronyms):


Hello! That’s us. Those folk who love to get stuck into spreadsheets, paperwork and numbers.

What they should do: make your life easier by handling all of your financial affairs for you. Offer clear, transparent pricing on what exactly you’re paying for.

You can read more about what accountants do in our recent blog post.

Auto-Enrolment Pensions

All UK businesses are now required to sign up their employees for a workplace pension scheme.

Read more about how we can help over on the Auto-Enrolment Pension page.


Drawing its name from the days when records were kept in books. Bookkeeping is simply keeping proper, accurate records of all your business transactions. This is much more than just keeping your paperwork tidy.

Our bookkeeping service is now done digitally, so you have fast access to the detailed information or business overview you require. Even if you do not keep your records digitally, we can turn them digital for you.

We take away the manual ‘slog’ of entering data. So you can focus on the big picture with confidence in your figures.

Corporation Tax

Corporation Tax for Limited Companies is based on the profits your business makes after your operating costs and expenses.

The Corporation Tax rate is now standardised at 19% for all limited companies.

We will register and calculate Corporation Tax for Limited Company clients. Need to know what is an ‘allowable expense’? We’ll help with that too.

Client Meeting

Some of the larger accountants may play fast and loose with the term ‘client meeting’. They could mean you’ll be on the clock, in a sterile boardroom.

Not at Heelan Associates.

Our team will give you as much time as you need. Pop in to the office and ask us a quick question, or hop on Skype or the phone (just give us a little notice before you pop by so we can get the kettle on).


The profits generated by your business after all costs, corporation tax & VAT has been paid, which can be distributed to your shareholders (the owners).

Dividends must be distributed according to the percentage of company shares owned by each shareholder. If you are the sole shareholder and own 100% of the company, all the dividends are paid to you.

For these Dividends to be legal, you need certain paperwork in place. We can sort this for you.

Need help understanding the Dividend tax rates related to your business? Contact us. 

Directors Loan Account

The director’s loan account is an account that exists only in your accounting records. It’s a way to keep track of the flow of money between you as an individual and the limited company.

As a director of a limited company, the company is separate from you as an individual or a ‘separate legal entity’.

Money earned by your business belongs to the company and not to you personally. In the instance of a limited company contractor can be a challenge to get your head around, as you are the company!

However, there are various ways that you can take this money out and the director’s loan account keeps track of the interactions between you and the company.

Limited Company

A limited company is registered at Companies House as ‘limited by shares’ or ‘limited by guarantee’.

Limited by shares companies are owned by one or more shareholders, and managed by one or more directors.

Limited by guarantee companies are owned by one or more guarantors, and managed by one or more directors.

In years gone by, often accountants would buy an ‘off the shelf’ company when you’re setting up a business where you then change the name and ownership.

Heelan Associates will only ever set up Limited Companies for our clients from scratch (if you do not already have one), making the process much smoother – and making sure it’s right first time.

Registered Address

This is what appears on your Companies House record, and where HMRC send their official documentation. The is public information.

Your Registered Address can be different to your trading address.

Many of our clients use the Heelan Associates address as their registered address. This means we can handle any requests with HMRC directly, without you having to pass them on to us. This also means your personal address can be protected from the public record at Companies House.

Self Assessment Tax Return

If you’re making the move from employment to setting up on your own, the Self Assessment Tax Return can look very daunting.

Self Assessment Tax Returns are required for a number of reasons.

Generally, if you receive an income from other sources.

If you’re not sure if your situation means you need to complete one, then get in touch with us and the team will answer your questions.

Tax Refunds

Beware adverts from businesses that claim ‘Get your tax refund’.

The first question you should always consider is ‘am I due a tax refund?’.

You will only be due a refund or repayment if you have paid some tax in the tax year, and also overpaid tax.

A tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April each year.

We often hear people say ‘well I must be due a tax repayment I haven’t worked all year’, but there is the problem, if you haven’t worked, or earned over a certain amount, you normally won’t have paid any tax to reclaim.

Have questions about any of the above? Contact the team who will be happy to cover in more detail.