Aside from the reassurance that you’re doing things right, an accountant can be integral to your startup business’ success.
Some startups might well consider having an accountant to be a luxury. The business hasn’t even started making money yet, so what’s the point?
In honesty, there’s no pressure for you to have an accountant on board when you launch your business.
But, that said, their experience and expertise can be a valuable source of information, guidance, and yes – reassurance.
What are the benefits of having a business accountant?
There are several reasons why having an accountant can be useful.
- They can help you save huge amounts of time on tasks that would take you much longer, such as tax and VAT returns.
- An accountant has the experience and knowledge to help you stay compliant with Companies House and HMRC rules.
- Being in the industry, they’re a good source of information about grants, funding, and allowances suitable for your business.
- A professional insight of your tax efficiency. An accountant can help you limit the amount of tax you have to pay, whilst ensuring you’re fully compliant at all times.
There is so much more that an accountant can do to help you, in addition to self assessment tax returns and organising payroll. Even brand new startup businesses, or those about to get going, can benefit from their money saving expertise.
Don’t let this overwhelm you though. Whilst your business is still in its infancy, you could always enlist a professional on an ad-hoc or consultancy basis.
You might even look for an accountant who charges their services as a monthly fee, helping you to spread the cost.
How an accountant can help your startup
Writing a knockout business plan
An integral part of all solid business plans includes information about its financial situation and future projections. Any lender or investor looking at your business plan is going to want to see these details. Having a qualified accountant help out with this is a great way to ensure accuracy and authenticity.
Forming your company
An accountant will be able to guide you on what type of business structure would be best for you, such as operating as a sole trader, or forming a limited company. They will even be able to help you form and register the business correctly.
Starting as you mean to go on with good bookkeeping habits
Balanced books and organised accounts are key to maintaining healthy cash flow. Having an accountant will help you stay on top of your bookkeeping. Some accountants will even provide you with access to bookkeeping software as part of their services.
Help applying for loans and funding
Accountants are incredibly useful if you’re planning on looking for cash to help your business scale or develop in some way. They’ll be able to help you present your request and supporting information, as well as spot opportunities you might not think of.
Keeping you on the right side of HMRC
Experienced accountants are well-versed in HMRC deadlines and regulations. This knowledge will help to keep your business on the straight and narrow.
Things to look out for in a great accountant
Accountants in general have a lot to offer for a business. To really get the most out of paying an accountant’s fees though, consider the following points as a rough guide to help you choose one right for you.
- Experience working in your industry or sector
- A great reputation, and positive online reviews
- Use of cloud-based software to ensure flexibility (and negate the issue of geographical location)
- Knowledge of the various tax laws and regulations that apply to your industry
- A strong rapport with you and your staff, because things tend to run much smoother when everybody gets along
- Attention to detail and vigilant analytical thinking
- Good communication skills, so that you always feel kept in the loop
Still unsure about taking the plunge, but need some help? Ask a tax question for free!