Accounting for established businesses

Both established business and start-ups have different challenges with regard to marketing plans. An established company would already have a reputation of their own in the market, and the perception of them would be very difficult to change. A start-up on the other hand, would have to find people who are willing to take a risk by becoming the customers/clients of a brand new company they’ve never heard of before.

If you are an established company you have experience from which to draw.  This is quite beneficial as there is no better marketing than your customers. You could build a portfolio of testimonials, case studies and stories to use in every media and conversation you have or spend as much time talking to your current customers as new ones – you want people just like your current customers, right? You would be able to really understand their needs, wants and challenges, allowing you to connect with new clients faster and easier.  If you don’t know today what is keeping your clients up at night you would need to find out.

Established businesses tend to have different needs to start-ups and early stage businesses as they will have established accounting and control systems, and may have passed through a period of rapid growth, and are now consolidating their position.  Accounting firms and financial advisors need to work with their clients to ensure that the focus on the business strategy is not lost.

Here are some of the things that need to be ensured:

  • That accounting systems are up to date. Perhaps assistance to implement a new accounting firm is needed.
  • Payroll management systems need to be kept up to date.
  • Controls need to be appropriate to the size of the business. If systems are not regularly reviewed there’s a possibility that control systems are not operating as originally envisaged, have simply been forgotten, or over time have changed.  A systems review can be a useful exercise that would serve to protect your business from loss via error or fraud.

Established companies use various services for the following:

  • To prepare for VAT or payroll management inspections in order to make sure that such visits go smoothly.
  • To answer any queries that may be raised by HMRC.
  • To prepare forecasts, so that the future expectations for the performance of the business are clearly defined. Actual results can be compared to these expectations.
  • In the preparation of P11Ds.
  • To ensure the use of appropriate tax planning to achieve their goals.
  • If clients are considering expanding through acquisition the company might require assistance in commenting on the legal documents from an accountant’s viewpoint, and perform due diligence on the target company.
  • The company could also require assistance in reviewing the owners’ options with regard to exit from the business.

The services that are most commonly used by established businesses include:

  • Auditing
  • Accounts
  • Corporate tax planning and compliance
  • Financial systems advice
  • VAT advice and planning
  • Personal tax planning and compliance
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