Small Business Advice – The Importance of a Good Accountant

When starting a business, it can be tempting to put off having a conversation with an accountant, and instead concentrate on other aspects of your business such as sales or marketing.

However, the reality is, the sooner you have the conversation the better, and here’s why.

With Google at our fingertips, it’s easy to think that we have access to all the information we need in order to run a successful business. However, chartered accountants can train for years to become fully conversant on all taxation and accounting legislation, and more importantly how they impact a business.

By hiring a professional who has trained with an accountancy body such as ICAEW, ICAS, ACA, ACCA, CIMA or CIPFA, you’re not only investing in expert advice but also the peace of mind of know that everything is being dealt with in the correct way.


Like most business matters, organisation and preparation are key to success. Small businesses who manage their bookkeeping and accounting throughout the year are always ready when it comes to tax time.

Moreover, by engaging with a good firm of accountants you’ll have expert assistance at your side throughout your business’ growth and development, and will, therefore, be ready for any opportunities (or hurdles) that may come your way.

Maximisation of Savings

A professional accountant will not only keep your accounts organised but also suggest ways you can save money and take advantage of tax reliefs. It goes without saying, that any extra cash is a huge benefit for any small business, allowing you to invest or save.

Business Growth

Don’t just hire a bookkeeper, hire their analytical and advisory capabilities. A good accountant won’t just organise your money but instead will help you understand the numbers in order to maximise profits.

When hiring an accountant, it’s important to see whether they offer services such as writing business plans, financial forecasting, investment advice and insight reports. These services will help your business grow and ensure it is sturdy enough to withstand the test of time.

To summarise, if you’re starting out in business, it’s really helpful to develop a relationship with a professional accountancy practice from day one. Not only will it save you headaches in the long run, but a good small business accountant will be excited by your company, and so will go the extra mile to help you succeed and grow

Why do you need a Business Plan for your Start Up?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Choosing to start up a new business is both an exciting and challenging endeavour.

It may come as no surprise that a large number of start-up businesses fail due to poor planning.

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Beware calls or automated messages from HMRC saying you are under investigation!

At Cottons, we have noticed an increase in clients receiving cold calls, automated messages or voicemails from scammers impersonating HMRC.

Clients are told that they are under investigation for non-payment of taxes and that they are to call a number to discuss this matter further. On calling this number they are then instructed to pass over their bank details.

Please be assured that this is a scam. These scams are widely reported in the media and by HMRC. While HMRC occasionally uses phone calls or automated messages these generally use a recognisable reference number. HMRC are also unlikely to contact you about a matter such as this out of the blue.

If you do receive a cold call or are unable to verify the identity of the caller please end the call immediately.

To help HMRC investigations you should report full details of the scam by email to, including the date of the call, phone number used and content of the call.

If you do have any concerns with regards to this please contact us and we will be happy to discuss this further.

A Guide to Good Bookkeeping

Small business owners are often required to wear many hats, overseeing a range of tasks from project management to customer service and everything in between. The multitude of responsibilities for those at the helm of SMEs can be time-consuming and often overwhelming.

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