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How your accountancy practice can help SMEs

Published on 30th April 2019 - Last update on 4th May 2019

Regardless of their size or sector, every business operating in the UK requires is likely to require the services of a qualified accountant. And with more and more businesses starting up each year, the demand for this knowledge and expertise continues to grow. However, simply managing your clients' financial affairs is no longer enough. In order to attract new clients and forge stronger relationships, recognising the needs of SMEs and providing a bespoke service is crucial. So if you’re looking to add value to your services, here’s how your accountancy can do more to help the SME community.

Aiding and supporting the start-up process

For anyone setting up their own business, starting the process of laying solid foundations for the road ahead can be quite daunting. But this is also a period where your advice and guidance as an accountant can prove invaluable. So as well as helping entrepreneurs get to grips with their business’ finances, your services could expand to include advice on:

  • Whether they should register as a sole trader, limited liability company (LLC) or as a partnership
  • Establishing an effective business plan
  • Operating expense tracking
  • What types of accountancy software would be suitable for their business and day-to-day operations
  • Which current accountant they should be using and what benefits to look out for
  • Ensuring that they’re compliant with government accounting regulations
  • Business Finance

By expanding the types of services that you can provide, you’ll be able to assist in the key areas that many start-ups, and even existing SMEs, find challenging. This will, in turn, boost the reputation of your practice, encouraging more business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to seek out your services, and for the long-term.

Are your clients looking to raise funds to support growth and maintain day-to-day operations? Need help sourcing an appropriate agreement for their individual needs? Apply for Business Finance and learn more about how your clients could benefit.

Monitoring and regulating day-to-day operations

One area that many business owners find challenging is managing and maintaining the integrity of their day-to-day operations. But staying on top of it is essential to produce and deliver the goods and services that their business relies on. In addition, they also need to establish an effective means of communicating and reporting to your accountancy practice, which presents you with an opportunity. So to go one step further provide the assistance that you SME clients require, you could provide guidance on:

  • Hiring new employees and how to correctly register the services of independent contractors
  • Managing and assessing the details of their business’ financial statements
  • Staying on top of employee wages and payroll processing
  • Corporation tax and how their operations can be made more tax efficient, as well what tax benefit they’re entitled to
  • How to submit key financial documents and reports to HMRC

Running the day-to-day operations of any business is a full-time responsibility, so your SME clients may not have the time they need to manage these areas effectively and ensure that they’re compiled accurately. So by going the extra mile for your clients, you’ll be able to take on these responsibilities and make certain that things are accurate and processes smooth. Plus with the data at your disposal, you may also gain the insight necessary to recommend practical changes to help reduce their expenses and tax liabilities.

Encouraging and supporting growth

Another important aspect every business owner needs to focus on is growth. However, identifying when and how to support growth isn’t always a straightforward matter. SMEs traditionally aren’t cash-rich, so their ability to maintain a consistent rate of growth is limited.

But, as an accountant, your knowledge and expertise could serve as the pillar of support they require to move forward with their short- and long-term goals. As such, to add value and encourage them to achieve their vision, your accountancy practice could provide services to:

  • Help them identify which areas of their business need developing
  • Assess whether their cash flow stable enough to support expanded operations or whether they need help managing uneven cash flow
  • Explain how they can acquire property and manage the costs that are associated
  • Offer advice on whether to raise prices or how to negotiate lower costs from suppliers
  • Develop more detailed and robust financial forecasts
  • Identify areas where they’re losing money and how they can stay within their budget
  • Source what business finance solutions are suitable for their business and which providers to apply to

When working with businesses, you will find you are often in a position to help business owners really understand their unique propositions. But simply having a great idea doesn’t guarantee them success, which is why it’s important to lay a solid foundation from which they build and expand their business. But that can often require access to capital, which could prove problematic for many start-ups. However, rather than allowing them to draw upon their own savings or request assistance from friends and family, you could, instead, help them explore what the Alternative Finance industry has to offer. Providing access to a wide range of finance options for a variety of different financial situations and business stages, your assistance would prove invaluable in guiding them towards a suitable solution. But with so many products and lenders to choose from, aiding your clients in this area is no small task. Fortunately, that’s where we can help.

Looking to provide further assistance to your SME clients?

Working with SMEs and developing an in-depth understanding of what they need isn’t simple and can take many hours of research. However, it’s vital that you fully appreciate that each client is unique and requires a service tailored to their individual needs. That’s why, as well as providing guidance on how to manage their finances and operating costs, you can also provide assistance on helping them identify which business finance products are the most appropriate for their goals and current financial situation. However, with so many finance solutions available which all operate in different ways, sourcing an appropriate agreement can be a daunting task. However, there is a solution.

At Rangewell, we’re an Access to Finance specialist and have mapped over 400 lenders to offer your clients an overview of more than 23,000 business finance products. Our services are free to use and we’ll also guide them throughout the application process. So if you’re clients are looking to raise capital for their business, apply for Business Finance today or find out more about partnering with Rangewell.

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David Harrison

David Harrison

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