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Business Advice and Support Services

We want to help you make the right decisions for your business to secure its financial health and growth. We would like to become your business advisor, supporting you throughout the year and not just at the year-end. We find this partnership approach leads to a much better relationship with our clients and gives us the opportunity to add more value for them than the remote production of a set of year end accounts and tax return.

Our range of services includes will help you, as the business owner, to be more aware of your business performance, manage your business finances and grow your business.

Start-up businesses –Starting up in business can be a very daunting task. We are able to assist you through this apparent maze by offering a thorough but ‘plain english’ insight into the decisions which you need to make in order to get your business started on a sound footing. This will cover areas such as -

  • Legal structure – should you be self employed or a limited company 
  • Limited company – forming a company and choosing an appropriate name
  • Financial records – what you will need to keep and how best to do this
  • VAT - will you need to register and what schemes are available if you do
  • Paying staff - your PAYE responsibilities, now including auto-enrolment
  • Paying yourself whether by salary or dividends
  • Registration with HMRC for taxation, payroll and VAT where applicable  
  • Insurance – what you must have as a minimum and may want by choice
  • Writing a business plan (essential if you need external finance)
  • Budgeting – your business decisions translated into income and costs
  • Cash flow - how to plan cash flows in and out of the business during the start-up phase and as your business grows

Consultancy/ Owner Managed Business  - whilst there may be considerable financial benefit in becoming a freelance worker or consultant, in addition to running your business you will need to consider the issue of IR 35, the tax legislation concerning employment status. More details regarding IR 35 can be obtained from HMRC website using the following link - https://www.gov.uk/business-tax/ir35.

This is a complex area and one which is continually evolving. If you are in business and are uncertain whether your working arrangements satisfy the conditions required to be self employed within HMRC’s definition, we will be happy to review your arrangements and advise accordingly.

Established Businesses - The needs of an established business are no less complex than those facing the start-up business. Sometimes the task of a business owner can be a difficult and lonely road. We offer a range of services to support and assist the business owner/manager to meet the challenges they face. These can be provided as standalone services or as part of a package of ongoing support tailored to meet your needs.

Business performance reporting – we will work with you to identify the key factors which drive performance in your business and establish a process for reporting these as well as your financial performance information on a periodic basis determined by you. There will be a set up fee between £100 and £250 depending on the time taken to agree the indicators, data sources and the format of reports.

Once the reporting system is set up we are happy to provide different levels of reporting frequency, analysis and commentary depending on the business owner’s requirements.

Business planning"Failing to plan is planning to fail". A business plan is an essential tool to help you understand where your business is now, think about where you want it to go in the future and identify what actions you need to take in order to make it happen. Typically it will cover a three to five year time period and will have more detail for the first year. We will work with you to capture your ideas into your business plan and identify the actions you need to take in order to achieve your goals. We will also meet with you on a periodic basis to review progress and annually to refresh and update the plan if this is desired.

Budgeting – A budget is a statement of the financial impacts of your planned business activities. It will show how much you plan to spend within your business, analysed into different types of expenditure and how much income you aim to receive from each of your products or services. It is both a planning tool to help you identify and control your costs and a statement of your business goals against which you can measure your achievements.

Variable Budgeting – In times when the economy is unpredictable, budgets can be prepared for a range of different scenarios (fast growth, slow growth, no growth etc ) in order to plan for differing outcomes. We will help you to put together a budget or a range of budgets which is/are appropriate for your business and circumstances.

Cash flow forecasting“Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is king”. Inadequate cash flow can cripple your business. We will work with you to prepare and maintain a cash flow forecast which will show how cash is flowing in and out of your business, identify surpluses which can be put to use and highlight shortfalls which need to be overcome by appropriate remedial measures.

Risk management – all businesses face risks. These will arise from their activities, from their competitors, from legislated requirements, from local or central government policy changes and from the wider environment both physical and economic. We will help you understand the risks your business faces and help you to manage those risks more effectively.

Continuity planning – every business faces the possibility that a key element of the business (such as premises, IT systems or key members of staff) may be compromised or unavailable. We will help you draw up a continuity plan to enable your business have a better chance of surviving if any of these eventualities were to happen.

Option analysis – business owners make decisions every day but some are more complex than others and have bigger consequences. We can help you analyse the costs and benefits of different options and provide you with information to help you make more informed business decisions.

Project management – managing projects and ensuring that costs do not escalate can take considerable time and effort. We can provide you with financial reports to help you keep costs under control and expertise to assist with overall project management if required.

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