Are you considering launching a business venture, or perhaps acquiring an existing business? If so, it’s worth seeking professional advice from honest and impartial experts who’ll help you maximise the chances that your venture is a success. Our accountants are some of the best qualified professionals in all of Southampton when it comes to providing aid in both the business start-up and development phases. Whether you need advice on preparing your accounts, paying corporation or capital gains tax, setting up a payroll system, filing VAT returns, or legislation you should be aware of – we’re here to help. Below, our chartered accountants have run through some general advice for businesses in Eastleigh, Southampton, Winchester, Romsey and elsewhere in Hampshire, but don’t hesitate to call us if you want more specific advice, tailored precisely to your situation.
As anyone who has experience in the business world knows, there’s a certain level of luck involved with any venture. But there are many ways to improve your chances, and if you don’t take them, rest assured your competitors will! One of the major pitfalls that new businesses around Southampton encounter relates to a lack of accountancy skills. What’s more, many businesses believe they simply can’t afford the aid of professional accountants.
This is simply untrue; our chartered accountants offer extremely reasonable rates to start-ups, helping them get on the first step of the ladder without breaking the bank. After all, our accountants, perhaps more than anyone, realise that money’s tight in the early days. Deciding that it’s best to try and go it alone can prove disastrous, and lead to a lot of bad habits that cause problems in the future. For example, like incorrect VAT returns and poorly assembled payroll systems. Believe us, we’ve seen it too many times with troubled start-ups around Southampton, Eastleigh, Romsey and Winchester.
There are also other sorts of advisers worth consulting, not solely accountants. But always make sure to research the firm or individual you seek advice from. While most banks, solicitors and accountants can be trusted, there are characters operating around Southampton, Eastleigh, Romsey, Winchester and elsewhere in Hampshire who may try to take advantage of you. One of the most common ways they do this, is by selling unneeded products and services. Shop around, and avoid firms that act like “middlemen”. Our chartered accountants concentrate purely on accountancy and not selling third party products, to ensure our clients get the best service possible.
Banks – Most start-ups in Winchester, Southampton, Eastleigh, Romsey and the wider Hampshire area require some finance to get things up and running. Be sure to speak with financial advisors at banks and to shop around for the best deal possible. Many offer special deals and generous repayment terms on loans to new businesses.
Solicitors – Nearly every industry has its own red tape and set of legal rules that govern what you can and can’t do. Speaking with one of Hampshire’s many reputable solicitors to ensure you don’t fall on the wrong side of the law is a very good idea, especially if you are working in a heavily regulated sector. Remember, there’s both national and EU law to think about.
Website Designers – In 2016, every good business requires a good website. If you’re not on the internet, you could be missing out on a significant amount of business. Put two identical businesses side by side, one with a decent website and one without, and we know who we’d put our money on to outperform the other! Speak with a website designer and make sure you can establish an effective online presence.
Independent Financial Advisers – While chartered accountants can help you with many aspects of your finances, if you’re entirely unsure about your projected sales, margins and profits, it could be worth seeking advice from independent financial advisers, who specialise in these areas.
The first question to ask when choosing accountants in Winchester, Southampton, Eastleigh, Romsey or elsewhere in Hampshire, is “are you qualified?” It’s important that you select accountants belonging to either The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. To become a member of either body requires an extensive amount of training and examination. If you choose unqualified accountants, you really don’t know whether they have the training and experience to be of assistance to your business. If they lack the knowledge to properly assist you with VAT returns or payroll management, you may be in trouble!
Other questions you should pose the chartered accountants you’re sounding out include:
Once you have the answers to these questions, you should take some time to discuss what you are looking for, and how much you’re expecting to pay. It’s important that, as in any business dealings, things are as transparent as possible.
Accountants can help you with all sorts of areas, from basic aspects of your business like bookkeeping, to more specialist things like raising venture capital and tax planning. Not all chartered accountants around Winchester, Southampton, Eastleigh, Romsey and wider Hampshire market their services toward small businesses, as they see their fees slightly out of their reach. Firms like Roger Smallman & Co Ltd, however, specialise in small business accounting and as such offer services at distinctly affordable rates. We can help you with all of the following:
1. Day-to-day accounts
3. Accounting systems (set-up and maintenance)
6. Cash flow management
7. Advice on securing finance
8. Negotiating with bank manager
9. Sourcing venture capital
10. Investigation of possible acquisitions
11. Assistance with completing acquisitions
12. Analysis of franchise opportunities
13. Negotiation of purchase prices
14. Income tax preparation
15. Capital gains tax/corporation tax assistance
16. VAT returns
17. PAYE set-up
18. National Insurance
19. Business advice
20. Personal/business tax planning
21. Preparation of business plans, forecasts and budgets
22. Advice on forms your business can take (e.g a limited company)