Starting a new business from scratch is equal parts exciting and terrifying. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an old hand, we’re often asked if a start-up even needs an accountant while in its infancy. Some choose to juggle figures on the back of an envelope and swear by it, whereas others will bring an expert in from the word go.
We ask the important questions to help you decide.
Do you have the time to devote to bookkeeping?
You don’t need us to tell you that you’re going to be busy. Starting a business from the bottom up is going to suck every available penny, minute and ounce of energy you’ve got. If you haven’t budgeted the time to keep on top of your books, you might well find it languishes at the bottom of your to-do list until late January rolls around.
Not only will you have to join the legions of panicked business owners who have done the same (and are desperately trying to find a decent accountant who can fit them in before tax deadline day looms), but in the first few months, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your figures, so you can fine-tune your business as needed.
Are you looking for investment?
If your start-up takes off, you may well need some financial help to grow. Whether that’s in the form of outside investment or a loan from your bank manager, having the backing of a great accountant is going to make you appear stronger and much more polished.
Aside from being able to create some snazzy looking charts and graphs, an accountant can provide realistic projections and give you the support you need to prove to lenders or angels that you’re financially viable.
Could you do with some outsider knowledge?
People are often surprised to hear that accountants do more than just numbers! A good accountant will crunch numbers, but a great one will know how to interpret them.
When you’re so invested in your project, it can be hard to see the bigger picture. Any accountant worth their numerical salt can help you see your figures from another angle and provide solid advice (whether you choose to take it is up to you!). While you and your business are undoubtedly unique, they see businesses of all shapes and sizes at various stages of conception. They know what’s worked well for others, and, as unashamed finance nerds, they love to share their know-how.
Can you even afford to not have one?
In a study by PwC, they found the UK had the 14th most complex tax rules in the entire world! As of three years ago, our tax code was the longest to ever exist, topping out at an incredible 17,000 pages long. By contrast, Hong Kong’s is a charmingly efficient 278 pages.
Not only is tax complicated, but cost is a major factor for bootstrapped start-ups too. Money can be tight and you need to make the most of it.
An accountant will know all the rules and regulations – both well-known and obscure – that may work in your favour. Lots of people find that once they have an accountant on board, they pay for themselves, and in many cases, actually end up better off.
We love working on start-ups! Give us a call today to find out more.