There are many reasons a business will benefit from the services of an accountant – some fundamental to the day-to-day running of a company, others more associated with long term growth and development.
Larger, well-established businesses will usually find themselves in a position to employ a financial director, possibly an in-house finance department, but for SMEs and start-ups a trusted accountant is the most cost-effective option.
From the start, a business needs to navigate financial challenges, from finding the capital or investment to get up and running, maintaining cash flow and invoice payments, through to ensuring that the firm is properly calculating tax returns and remaining financially compliant.
Here are some the main things an accountant can provide support with:
Starting a business is a slog. An accountant will take on the time-consuming functions like bookkeeping, filing accountants and making sure tax returns are completed on time. As the business grows, they will assist in essential areas such as financial reporting, payroll, compliance, tax efficiency and business planning.
Regardless of how young your business is, it’s not only sensible but provides peace of mind to have real-time information on your exact financial position. Without it, there’s no real way to make informed choices about how to develop and grow.
Financial expert advice
Expert input from an accountant will help a business work smarter and more efficiently. There is a range of accounting software available, so it might be tempting to think that such a platform will be all your business needs and that you can manage it yourself. Nothing, however, can replace the advice of an expert to help you get the most out of your software package, to make sure you stay in control of your business and to maximise and monitor on your behalf the product features of your chosen software, such as daily updates on banking transactions and cash flow.
Investments and financial growth opportunities
Having a good relationship with an accountant means that you will be able to generate accurate information from your accounts and call on their knowledge and expertise to get an overall view of how the business is performing and how and when you are ready to move on to the next stage of growth.
They will spot trends and recognise potential pitfalls so that any decision you take about investment or expansion will be done with a clear view of what it will mean for the business.
Your first priority, particularly as your business grows, is to keep it running smoothly. But, as time goes on and the company grows in terms of orders, personnel and business space, the importance of remaining up to speed with the rules and regulations, remain compliant and not fall foul of your responsibilities.
By regularly reviewing your company’s tax position to identify areas that are inefficient, a proactive accountant will help you to identify and utilise Government approved tax reliefs and exemptions to your advantage. That expertise can help you recoup or save money that can be reinvested to help your business grow.
Someone with an eye on changing tax rules will make pre-year-end tax planning relatively straightforward, so that you can take action in good time. This not only makes sure your business understands and is compliant with the latest legislation but also that it is operating as tax-efficiently as possible.
Planning for the future
Strategy is everything in business. A small company will never successfully become a large company if there is no growth planning.
An accountant will have the experience gained from seeing other clients in similar situations. They should have strong relationships with other professionals, such as investors, banks, financial institutions and solicitors which will mean they can give you access to trusted industry experts with up-to-date knowledge across a range of specialisms, as well as identifying opportunities for business growth.
In a nutshell, a good accountant provides you with the reliable financial information you need to make key decisions and is a constant source of support and advice as you develop your business.