Why do you need an accountant when setting up a new business?

Chris Walford partner and Chris Lewis director at Albert Goodman's Worle office.

Chris Walford partner and Chris Lewis director at Albert Goodman's Worle office. - Credit: Archant

So you’ve got a great idea for a business and you’re ready to take the leap– but how do you set up a business? And where can you get sound financial advice?

Starting your own venture is a big commitment, not to mention financially, and sometimes it pays to get some expert financial advice.

We asked Chris Walford, partner of Somerset-based accountancy firm Albert Goodman, why it might be a good idea to enlist the help of an accountant to get your business off to a flying start.

How to write a business plan

“People often think accountants just crunch numbers and do spreadsheets, but in reality, we can do a lot of work to put together a business plan,” said Chris.

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“We can work out how much money needs to be invested, how much to spend on marketing.

“We can help the owner talk to the bank when they want to apply for funding, such as a small business loan, and ensure they have a good, solid case to do so.

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“We can also help them to explore alternative funding sources such as crowd-funding, seed-funding, etc.”

Setting up a company

When it comes to setting up a company, you definitely have a number of options.

An accountant can help you when you’re opening a small business, and advise you as to the different structures, such as whether you should register as a sole trader or a limited company.

“We can also help with things like tax returns and making sure people are paying the correct amount of tax,” said Chris.

“There is a suprising about of support out there for small businesses and we can advise on the different tax reliefs that are available.”

Business management and bookkeeping

Once you have set up your small business, an accountant can also be invaluable to ensure everything ticks over smoothly.

“A lot of business owners don’t want to spend money on an accountant when they’re setting up a company but actually it can save them so much time and stress,” said Chris.

“That investment can free up their time to handle other parts of the business, and the accountant can help them to grow their small business into a bigger one.

“It’s important to get to know your accountant and to meet them in person, more than anything that good relationship can help you get the most out of your financial information.

“At Albert Goodman, lots of people can work for one business, but we have single points of contact because it’s important to have a good relationship with your accountant.”

To find more about how an accountant can help you start a small business, and with your business management, visit Albert Goodman’s website here.

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