What can a qualified accountant do for your start-up business?

Is the thought of using a qualified accountant a luxury that you cannot afford, then think again.

The general perception is that an accountant will charge for every telephone call, every letter and only looks after the historical year-end accounts.

For a start-up company, they generally do not have the luxury of cash, time and do not have historical financial data – therefore why need an accountant?

Like all things in like, there are good and bad accountants, however a good accountant  should your main advisor in these important and early stages of your venture.  Proactive and professional advice will assist in your businesses growth and survival.

So, what are these services?

The services your accountant should offer will assist you from start to exit of your business.  Key services however should include:

  • Incorporation/sole-trader? Sound advice on the more applicable structure should be the first conversation with your accountant.
  • If incorporation is considered the most appropriate form, then your accountant will be able to perform this duty for you.  Although incorporation can be done cheaply on the internet, your accountant, will be able to advise you properly should they be contracted to do this for you, and they also take on responsibility for registration with HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Business planning and management reporting. Business reporting is the most important financial information for the start-up business.  Effective management accounts should consist of key KPI’s, cash flow projections and a sound budget that are all benchmarked to the actual results for the period.  Your accountant will ensure that they are correct and timely, therefore allowing you to understand the costs and performance of your business.
  • Statutory accounts and tax. Each structure requires reporting to with either of both The Registrar of Companies and HM Revenue & Customs.  A qualified accountant will be up to date with all current legislation, therefore ensuring your returns are correct and accurate.

So, how will does this help me?

There are a number of ways in which an accountant will assist in your start-up:

  • Allows you to focus on your expertise. You are the expert in your field, the accountant is the expert in theirs.  Therefore by allowing your accountant to handle your accounts, this frees your time to grow your business.
  • Legislation. Qualified accountants have to undertake regular professional development to remain up to date with the latest accountancy and tax legislation.  Your accountancy will be able to advise you and ensure all your information if fully up to date.
  • Fixed costs. Most accountants offer fixed costs, therefore no unexpected or unwanted bills for those all important telephone calls you need to make to your accountant.
  • Costs kept in check. Your accountant will keep an eye on your overheads and outgoings during those challenging first months of trade.
  • Forward thinking. Without the historical information some accountants love to trawl over, your accountant should be in a position to provide you with meaningful and important management information.  Cash flow projections and a finance budget are the most valuable tools a business needs at any stage, however more-so in those valuable early stages.
  • Objective input. Your accountant will know your business inside out, however does not have any emotional attachment .  This will allow objective and honest advice and input without prejudice.

A good and more importantly qualified accountant will give you the time to reduce your administrative burden and allow you to focus on building your company.  They should go above and beyond the statutory compliance and be proactive and forward thinking.
Should you wish to discuss this further, simply visit www.hca.org.uk or call 01942 734455 or and speak to Paul at Haywards Chartered Accountants to see if he can assist your business.