New and Small Businesses

Are you thinking of setting up a new business, buying an existing business or have you have made your decision and are about to embark on your new venture. Wherever you are in the process you know you will need professional, impartial, honest and timely advice and support.

Whatever business you are setting up come and talk to the experts - Roger and his team are waiting to help you make more money.

Sound Advice for New and Small Businesses:

Luck can impact on your business s success or failure but you cannot afford to sit around and wait for lady luck to knock on your door. You must do everything in your power to ensure you new venture is successful. One of the major weaknesses in the knowledge of most new business is lack of financial and accountancy skills.

This lack of knowledge is compounded because many people just starting out on a new business venture believe that they either don't need or can't afford external financial advice and support. Both these beliefs are misplaced and could result in long term damage to the foundation of your new business "The time to seek out and engage professional advisers will be fairly early in the planning stage of your new business venture. Thus their expert advice can be taken before your plans are firmly formulated. If the adviser is good, this should help you avoid making the sort of expensive errors and misjudgements which could mean your business begins with a permanent disadvantage." (Lloyds Bank Small Business Guide)

There are many advisers, most reputable, but be careful, those advisers (including Banks, Accountants and Solicitors) who claim to be able to fulfil your every need should be avoided. In most cases they are just acting as a middleman and therefore you will be paying their commissions on any products they sell you. Take advice from all that offer it, but shop around, try and find a truly impartial adviser before handing over a cheque.

Photo of Roger Smallman and Co Ltd  Piggy Bank

How to choose:

Check that the Accountant is qualified; just ask them which institute they belong to, either: The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. What you gain by using a member of one of these bodies is the knowledge that a required course of training has been followed and certain exams passed. In addition, if you want to appoint an auditor, you must appoint someone who is a member of one of these bodies, which have been recognised by the Department of Trade as auditing bodies.

Other things to consider when selecting your Accountant:

Does the firm offer the first consultation free?
Is the Accountancy Firm local to your offices or area of operation?
Do they work from home or from an office?
How many other professional staff work for the firm?
Will they take time to explain what they are doing for you?
How will they change, by the hour or fixed fee?
As with any business negotiation there should be a discussion about the scope of the work to be done and clear agreement on what this is and what it will cost. Really you must satisfy yourself, before any work is begun, that the accountant knows what you want and is capable of doing it.


What an accountant costs can be difficult to establish. The answer is it usually depends on the type and the amount of work involved. But the range can be wide, depending on whether you are using a large London firm, a smaller provincial one or a bookkeeper. Before you decide to use someone, you must have a clear statement on costs, otherwise they will come as a shock to you.

Photo of Roger Smallman and Co Ltd  Accountancy in Southampton

The five main advisers you will need to talk to early on in the planning phase of your new venture:

  1. Accountant
  2. Bank
  3. Solicitor
  4. Web Site Designer
  5. Independent Financial Advisers

The advice accountants may be able to give ranges from the basic services, such as bookkeeping, to the more sophisticated, such as tax planning or raising funds. Not every accountant will offer every sort of advice. For example, a big firm of accountants is unlikely to undertake weekly bookkeeping functions.

Some areas of services and advice you may need include:

  1. Basic accounts
  2. Doing the book-keeping
  3. Setting up accounting systems
  4. Advising on computerised accounting packages
  5. accountants for a limited company
  6. Managing cash
  7. Helping to raise finance
  8. Negotiate with the bank manager
  9. Raising venture capital
  10. Business purchase
  11. Investigating possible acquisitions
  12. Analysing franchise opportunities
  13. Negotiating purchase prices
  14. Preparing income tax
  15. VAT returns
  16. PAYE
  17. National Insurance
  18. Personal and business tax planning
  19. General business advice
  20. Preparing business plans, budgets and forecasts
  21. Advising on the form of your business: sole trader, partnership limited company.

Quite a lot of accountants, particularly the larger firms are not particularly interested in new or small businesses, in general their fees would be out of the reach of most small business. Smaller accounting firms often specialise in new business and small business tailoring their services to the small business market.

Accountancy in Southampton

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