How to support new businesses in their first year

17th May 2021
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The first year of operation is a learning experience for small business owners. With lots of hats to juggle and new processes to master, there’s lots you can do as an accountant to help support your new client.

Tax advice

It’s likely that first-time business owners won’t have much experience with tax beyond being a PAYE employee. Offering assistance with understanding their responsibilities, record keeping and registering for the relevant taxes will give your clients peace of mind. 

When their first submissions happen, make it really clear what you need from them to do your job and submit on time. It can also be helpful to give your clients an idea of what they can expect to pay in tax so they can set some money aside to prepare. Taxes can seem really daunting, so a little reassurance will go a long way. 

Help with their business plan

From company structure to creating a viable business plan, you can share your expertise to help your clients make the right decisions. Their growth will benefit you too, so any advisory services you can provide will help their business get off to a good start.

Budgeting and forecasting

Your experience in realistic budgeting and, later, forecasting can be extremely valuable to a new business. Sharing reports and explaining their insights will help your client make the right decisions to grow their business during their first year, and know what they need to do to break even. 

Managing expenses

Whether it’s personal or employee expenses, there’s a lot of support you can offer. If you’re working with a sole trader or solo business owner, give them an understanding of allowable expenses and what they can claim on. 

If your client has employees, guidance around how to handle employee expenses and creating an expenses policy is important to make sure they are running things correctly. 

Setting up payroll

When your client hires their first employee there’s a lot to learn about running a payroll and registering for PAYE. There’s a lot of compliance that needs to be met, and if you can take on managing payroll for your client it will give them one less task to do.

Financial advice

As a business grows their needs will change. Offering tailored financial advice along the way can be of huge benefit to your clients. From which expenses they can cut down on to where to invest, your input could be a game changer for your client. 

If they are looking to get financial support for their business, like a loan or using invoice finance, guiding them through the process and making sure it’s a sensible solution for them is important.

A good bookkeeping routine

Getting a new client into good habits with providing you the right materials will help your relationship in the long run. Tell them what you need from them and how often, and recommend when they should check in on your reporting.

Using a collaborative accounting software is a great way to do this. By offering a solution that includes benefits for your clients too, like invoicing or expenses management, you will have everything you need in one place to do your job easily. Plus, your client will have a useful tool to help them run their business.

About Bokio

Bokioe cloud accounting software offers bookkeeping, invoicing and expenses management. It’s a great solution for collaborating with micro clients, like small businesses, sole traders and freelancers. With automated reporting and automatically generated VAT Returns for Making Tax Digital, Bokio helps you save time on day-to-day tasks so you can focus on offering high value advisory services.