As your business starts to expand it is worth looking into outsourcing jobs and roles which take up a lot of time, so that you are free to focus on the important day-to-day running of your company. One of the first companies a business might look into engaging is a qualified accountant.
Aside from time, hiring an accountant can provide your business with access to specific skills and knowledge, to ensure that your business is in full compliance with financial laws and requirements.
When you are starting out
Writing a business plan
Whilst you may feel able to handle your accounts in the early days of your business, many small business owners look to hire the expertise of an accountant to give their company the best possible start. An accountant is able to look at your business idea and what you are hoping to achieve to help you to put together a realistic business plan. Your business plan is a key factor in securing finance, so it is extremely helpful to run it past an expert.
For those starting out, deciding whether to run as a sole trader, partnership or limited company can seem fraught with complications. An accountant is able to look over your business and financial situation and help you to choose which legal form is most appropriate for you.
Not only will an accountant be able to help you to assess what finance options are available to you, they will also be able to help you to choose the right option. Your accountant will work with you on your business plan and attend meetings with investors to help you to provide a convincing argument for raising finance to your business.
For bank loans and overdrafts, an accountant is able to help you to put together financial records and projections and negotiate the best possible deal that works for both you and the lender.
Applying for a grant
Depending on the type of industry you are working in, and the type of business that you have, you may be entitled to a grant. A grant is money offered by the government or an institution or individual that does not need to be paid back. An accountant is likely to know more about what options you have, and provide guidance on meeting the necessary criteria, as well as making a convincing proposal, so that your application succeeds.
Keeping your business running smoothly
As mentioned above, most businesses decide to hire the services of an accountant once their business starts to take off. The day to day financial workings of your business can be a full-time job, even when you are still relatively young as a company, and a CA can help you with things such as
- Record keeping
- Tax returns
If you don’t want to engage an accountant straight away for all these services, you can still get their professional advice as to how you can set up accounting software which allows you to update your accounts and keep your records up to date so that you can comply with all the requirements around record keeping and make the appropriate submissions to HMRC on time and correctly.
Dealing with tax
An accountant will know the letter of the law when it comes to tax. Not only does this help to ensure that your tax records are kept up to date and your tax returns are filed on time, but they will ensure compliance with all tax laws and help avoid potentially costs fines for making a submission late or incorrectly.
Your accountant will be able to give you information about how your business can work more effectively to increase profits. They will be knowledgeable about what tax breaks you are entitled to and what allowable expenses you are able to claim.
Looking to the future
As your business continues to grow, your accountant can work with you on cash flow optimisation to make it possible for you to expand. If you are unsure about the viability of an expansion or merger, your accountant will be able to run projections and make arguments for either option so that you are better placed to make these business decisions. They are also well placed to look at your finances and help you to source additional funding, if appropriate, or talk you through other strategies such as expanding into new sectors or adding to your portfolio.
It is a complex procedure to close or sell a business, particularly if there are lots of directors and shareholders involved. An accountant is familiar with both procedures and can help you through the complex financial and regulatory tasks that are required to do complete them correctly.
Your accountant may be able to work with you to devise a sales strategy if you wish to sell the business on in order to retain staff. This process requires careful planning to maximise the potential of the business without changing the perceived value of the business. An accountant can help with putting together a strong prospectus in order to attract higher bids, as well as conducting the sale.
An accountant is essential for any business today. The UK tax code is over 17,000 pages long and the effort required to comply with it whilst successfully running your business is beyond the ability of most business owners, that’s even if they had the time to do it.
The usefulness of a qualified accountant does not end there. They can also advise on tax efficient ways to pay yourself, deal with HMRC on your behalf, as well as be your trusted counsel on how your business is performing generally.
Why not speak to TFMC’s helpful advice team today to find out how our accountancy team can be there for you. Call us on 0800 470 4820 or email [email protected] to find out more.