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Some start-up businesses view accountants as a luxury, or think that they are there to simply fill out the necessary forms that keep the taxman happy. However, a good accountant will offer you much more than this. Your accountant should be one of your main allies – providing proactive advice to ensure your new business survives and prospers.

Enlisting the help of an accountant brings a wealth of advantages, so here’s a selection of what you and your business could gain:

Time savings – Time spent handling your accounts only reduces the time you have available to focus on establishing your business. Having an accountant on board frees up your time so you can concentrate on doing what you do best – winning new customers and expanding your business.

Staying informed – By staying one step ahead of the latest legislation, a proactive accountant will be able to advise you on how to stay tax efficient while operating within the law.

Costs controlled – An accountant will keep an eye on your overheads during those vital and extremely challenging first few months of trading, when keeping a tight rein on expenditure is vital for your survival.

Help to grow – Accountants are a great source of strategic advice in the ongoing growth of your business. Enlisting their help early on ensures you make smart decisions from the outset.

Objective input – Your accountant will know your business inside out, but won’t have the emotional attachment that you do – thus enabling them to offer objective, honest advice.


Accountancy services for start-ups

Professional accountants offer a wealth of services that can benefit your start-up. Examples include:

Business structure – Based on your individual aims, finances and circumstances, an accountant can recommend the most profitable structure for your business, whether that’s becoming a sole trader, limited company or entering into a partnership. Incorporation services are then handled by your accountant.

Business accounts – Current legislation requires every business to file end-of-year accounts with HMRC and if a company, with Companies House, which must support the calculations included in your tax returns. Enlisting the help of an accountant can ensure they’re completed correctly and on time, thereby eliminating the risk of you being hit with a costly penalty.

Management accounts – Interim management information helps you to monitor your businesses progress during the financial year – a useful process that can highlight any issues and areas that need to be addressed.

Business taxes – Handing this service to an accountant ensures expert advice on what tax deductions and you can claim. They can also advise on VAT registration and assist in the completion of both personal and corporation tax returns.

Payroll – If you begin paying yourself a salary, or start employing people, you’re required to register for PAYE, and you must deduct tax and NIC and pay this each month to HMRC. In addition, currently small businesses are going through the process of pension auto enrolment for eligible employees. An accountant can help you navigate this potential minefield.

By Chris Hill, Partner and member of the Manufacturing and Technology Team