Software & Hi-Tech


Here are a few of the common ones that we get, along with answers to the questions. We will add to this list when we get more FAQs. Contact us if any of your questions are not answered here.

Would it be a waste of money to find an accountant before I start my new business, when I don’t have any accounts to be checked?

Not at all. After having decided the format of your new business, whether you will operate as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company, you will also need to know what records you are legally bound to keep. Each choice will have implications in respect of legal contracts; registering for VAT and the amount of credit your suppliers will allow your business.A chartered accountant will be able to advise and help you to set up your business correctly and effectively. And having helped you right from the start, it will be much easier for your chartered accountant to prepare things like your year-end accounts, and cash flow projections when the time comes.

What does the reduction and increase in UK interest rate mean for my business?

The key thing is to be aware of the rate you are currently being charged and to register the amount your bank reduces that rate by when there is a change in the Bank of England Base Rate. Secondly, if you manage your business to minimise your investment in working capital changes in UK interest rates have a diminishing effect. This means reducing any stocks or work in progress and keeping your debtors to a minimum by having an effective system of credit control. The Better Payment Practice Website provides guidance to businesses wanting to improve their credit control.

A chartered accountant will know, the banks offering good deals locally, can discuss the consequences of changing banks and can often advise on whether your credit management is effective.

Would I save time if I bought a PC and some accounting software and did my books on the computer?

It can pay off in the long run to computerise your records. But there are some steps to take make the transition as smooth as possible.

Make sure everyone who will be working on the records is comfortable with the decision. When thinking about the purchase of accounting software consider what you will want the system to do. There are a number of effective accounting software programmes to choose from. Do not underestimate the training required.

I’m setting up a new business. I’m PC literate and have bought some accounting software to record my transactions. What more could an accountant do for me?

Any business owner should do as much of the record-keeping as possible in order to minimise the accountants bill. However, an accountant is still absolutely necessary to:

Provide help with the record-keeping, including difficulties with the record-keeping software Sort out the tax and VAT queries and returns including helping to deal with inspections by HM Revenue & Customs Help deal with payroll/employment law issues such as annual returns, P11Ds, National Minimum Wages, etc Deal with returns to HM Revenue & Customs and ensure the correct amounts are paid and are made on time thereby avoiding penalties and interest. Help the business owner understand what the financial records are telling them about their business performance

Assist with negotiations with finance providers. Be a source of general business advice and support and to be a good listener

How can I find out if I am paying too much tax?

Ask HM Revenue & Customs for a calculation at the end of each tax year. If you have a single source of income such as employment it is not too difficult. Queries should be directed to the tax office identified on your P60 provided by employers, your local tax office or the HM Revenue & Customs helpline. If you own a business or have a number of sources of income, the tax system soon becomes more complicated. Tax advice is available from accountants and by keeping good records it helps to keep the costs down.

What is the best way to go about selling a business?

It pays to use an intermediary as much as possible.  Your chartered accountant may recommend a specialist or be able to help directly with some tasks.

Some general guidance includes:

Start a minimum of 18/24 months beforehand to tidy up the business and to prepare the paperwork for potential buyers such as business plans and financial history Businesses usually sell for a multiple of profits or turnover Find out what similar businesses sell for and what deals have been done. Monitor trade publications Develop an expectation of the likely asking price

Will the management buy the business?

Decide where best to advertise

There are a number of websites such as Business Link to help

How do I get my money out of the business if I want to retire, without closing it down?

Financial planning for retirement and steps to extract value from the business should be regularly discussed with a chartered accountant.

The best option apart from an outright sale is to groom the management to carry on the business. It might be financially viable to employ a person to run the business, initially under your supervision, but increasingly under their own initiative, provided there are controls in place to ensure you are not robbed. Think carefully about the incentives that you need to offer to attract and keep the right person.



Here are a few of the common ones that we get, along with answers to the questions. We will add to this list when we get more FAQs. Contact us if any of your questions are not answered here.

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