Recognising the value of professional advice

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29 Sep 2013

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a couple of small start-ups decide not to take up our services because they did not want to spend £99 per month on accounting services. This is wrong. If you decide you don’t want to deal with us because you don’t like the cut of our gib or because our services aren’t right that’s fine. But not because of the fee. Our opening fee is £99 per month and as the first three months are free, this means the first year’s fee is less than a grand. This really is crazy.

Consider: Do you know what your obligations are under RTI? Are you geared up for it so you can avoid the non-compliance fines? Do you even know what it is?

What is the best trading structure for your business? Limited company, sole trader, partnership? How about an LLP? Certain structures limit your exposure to risk, certain structures are more tax efficient. Can you really say you are able to make that judgment call?

And what about your record-keeping? Don’t think an excel spreadsheet is going to be much use to you when you need to make financial decisions for the business. And if you need any bank support they are going to expect you to keep your eye on your (and their) money far more frequently and accurately than a spreadsheet will allow. Surely you’d much rather know how much profit you’re making on a real-time basis and how this will impact your future corporation tax planning. 

A good accountant will be able to keep you right on all of these issues and much, much more. The decisions you make at the very start of your business life cycle can have profound and long reaching consequences. And with HMRC’s new addiction to penalty raising for seemingly every transgression, it makes sense to have someone who knows the ropes as a wingman.

So please, for goodness' sake get an accountant. It doesn't have to be us (although we'd love it to be). Just get someone.

And frankly, if you don’t recognise that this is far more valuable than £99 per month, then maybe you shouldn’t be running a business after all.