Those who have started a small business know how exciting the process can be. Watching your business grow from the ground up and witnessing it flourish is an incredibly rewarding part of the process, and can often be the very aspect that drives entrepreneurs forward through periods of struggle and difficulty. One common area of difficulty for small business owners is balancing running a business against keeping on top of finances and accounting. Entrepreneurs are renowned for their resourcefulness, imagination, and work ethic. So it is unsurprising that many attempt to deal with their business’s finances on their own. But accounting takes up a lot of time, and it can be really difficult to get your head around it all if you are unfamiliar with the process. You can save your own time and resources by outsourcing the work to a professional accountant. There are various reasons why we think small businesses need an accountant, but beginning the process by defining what a small business accountant actually is should help to clarify why they can be a necessary part of your start-up venture.
What Is a Small Business Accountant?
A small business accountant specializes in all the aspects of financial management that impact a small business. They know exactly what small business owners require from their accountants, and are on hand to offer that expert advice. Having a small business accountant allows you the peace of mind you need when it comes to things as important as finances. Even tiny slip ups can cause a problem with HMRC, so it just makes sense to seek out the help of a professional.
Large Business Accountants vs Small Business Accountants – What’s the Difference?
The requirements of a small business are vastly different compared to that of a larger one. This means their requirements when it comes to financial record-keeping are also different. As smaller businesses and SMEs are usually in a period of growth, and are looking towards short term expansion, a significant amount of their accountancy needs are associated with managing growth. This means they may not have implemented all their financial processes, and are developing them for the first time. Large business accountants, however, are following protocols already developed, while small business accountants often use their expertise to develop an SME’s processes from scratch.
Important Services to Consider
Although each small business accountancy firm will offer a varying range of services, often bespoke to the SME that requires them, there are a few fundamental services that we would strongly advise small businesses seek out from professional accountants. These core services are explained below, but, again, they do not represent the broad scope of small business accountancy services out there.
In this day and age, it is impossible to ignore the gigantic impact that the online world has had on financial services. There is no way of navigating accountancy without considering keeping online accounts. Online accountancy allows you the freedom to deal with your finances remotely. This means information and data on a range of records can be available to you in a matter of seconds. Using reliable online accountancy software will save you money against using an in-house system, while also allowing you to take control of your finances.
Keeping track of your records sounds relatively simple, but don’t be fooled. Bookkeeping is a long, tiring, repetitive process that absorbs time and energy. Efficient bookkeeping is unbelievably valuable to a start-up business. When you are going through a period of growth, it can feel extremely frustrating when small clerical errors start anchoring you down. Starting a business can feel like pushing a very heavy boulder up a hill on the best of days, so don’t add any more weight to the load than is necessary. Outsource your bookkeeping to keep the wind in your sails and to continue striving towards business growth.
When you start a business, you tend to picture the end successes– the happy customers, the employee growth, the profits. You don’t stop to consider how you will fulfill boring but necessary administration such as filing VAT returns. Working out your Value Added Tax is a complicated process, especially when you consider how many different forms of VAT, or sales tax, exist. A small business accountant can take the pressure off by completing your VAT returns for you. They can use their expertise to decide which return system suits you and your business the most. It makes sense to save time and resources by enlisting help from a Small Business Accountant for your VAT returns.
Hiring your own employees is a massive step if you are running a start-up. Being able to pay people what they are worth, while supporting both their career growth and the direction of your vision, represents how far your business has come. But payroll is a tedious task that is full of potential pitfalls. Maintaining strong relationships with your employees is really important when you lead a start-up business. Hard work is necessary for your success, so don’t lose the trust of your employees by messing up their payroll. This can cause problems that could have been very easily avoided. Using a small business accountant for accurate wage calculations, for preparing P45 and P60 form submissions, and for payslip distribution, keeps trust and relationships strong between you and your employees.
The steps involved in company formation are absolutely integral when you start up a business. But it is also a really complicated process, and if you lack the professional training and expertise, it can be difficult to work out which company structure will best support your business and its needs. Seeking help from a small business accountancy firm should give you the peace of mind that you are setting up your company in the most suitable and efficient way.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Small Business Accountancy
It is easy to sum up the essence of this article in a few simple words. Fundamentally, accountancy is really complicated, time consuming, stressful, and causes a world of pain when you get it wrong. A start-up business should be focusing on the bigger picture. Businesses in their growth stage have a lot of plates to spin, so why not allow a small business accountancy firm to take control of some of them? If you are searching for a professional and reliable accountancy business that knows exactly what they are doing, Lumbview Accounts really are ahead of the game. Not only do they offer a wide range of accountancy services that support start-ups in Manchester and the North-West, they also have many years of expertise to back it up. Letting go of any aspect of a start-up can feel scary. We know how important the success of your business is to you, so don’t play a game of risk with your finances. Trust the professionals, and let them help you drive your business to the next level.