WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A BUSINESS ACCOUNTANT
Tax Advice, Planning & Accountancy Solutions
ABDS ACCOUNTANTS - SOUTHAMPTON
Choosing the right accountant for your business is an important task. Our name - Accountants for Business Development and Solutions - reflects our mission statement and values.
At ABDS, we like to see businesses flourish. We are in touch with the accounting, company and tax issues that face our clients and are ever mindful of their short and long-term strategic financial goals.
Brilliant with numbers
Great with people
Clear & precise with advice
Timely & cost-effective
ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES FOR BUSINESS & BEYOND
- OUR APPROACH
We cover the basics: our work is accurate; our chartered accountants talk to our clients in plain English when and where they need us; and our accounting services are affordable. But we go a step further. We take holistic view of our clients’ accounting, business and personal tax affairs including their retirement, estate and wealth management plans.
What does this mean in practice? Put simply we are our clients’ trusted business advisors. We seek to fully understand our clients’ situations and plans. So, as well as the accounts preparation, payroll and PAYE, bookkeeping and personal, corporate and VAT tax returns, we offer our clients high-quality, tailored business consultancy and coaching, financial planning and tax planning advice. This means taking the time to understand our clients’ current reality, their vision for the future and proposal to achieve that vision. Listening and asking the right questions is crucial.
Our advice is more often than not centred on our mantra: “Plan, plan, plan, whatever size your business plan for the future. Without any planning you may never get to where you want to be.”
Whether you are a sole trader, social enterprise, charity, limited liability partnership or limited company, all businesses should know what they are planning to achieve in the short, medium and longer term. This includes selling your business or passing the business onto the next generation. We help our clients to plan and adapt over time.
It can be lonely at the top for business owners and the self-employed. There may not be many opportunities to discuss strategy, personal tax planning and their business’s financial performance with other people as it remains quite a personal and confidential matter. As a result, sometimes, business owners and the self-employed aren’t great at expressing or explaining their own perspectives on where their business should go next and the plan to get there.
Clients use our technical expertise and outside perspective to enhance their planning process. They welcome an opportunity to work through their thoughts with us with all the relevant business, accounting and tax information in front of them. We encourage them to think of things they would not otherwise think about and clarify their ideas. Then, they can develop and promote a common understanding amongst their employees or relevant others, such as their spouse or financial backers, of their business’s goals and plan for getting there.
We then help with implementing the plan, be that by providing commentary on the business’s financial performance based on management accounting or with one off initiatives. We just helped one of our clients – a large manufacturing company in Southampton – to recruit a new sales director, sitting on the interview panel alongside the business owner and another member of his senior management team. We have also been involved in undertaking negotiations for buying back shares from extended family members that no-longer work in the business, so the working family retain control. .
FINANCIAL PLANNING & GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESS OF ALL SIZES
HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS & DELIVER SOLUTIONS
So, what questions might we ask to help the planning process? To clarify our client’s current reality, we might start with:
What do you feel are the most important decisions you’re facing?
Can you tell me a little bit about the history of this situation?
What are some of the factors you consider when trying to decide about . . .?
How do [other people] view or how are [other people] affected by this situation?
And then thinking about the future we might ask, how will your needs and those of your customers change over the next ‘x’ years?
For instance, during a recent conversation with a client about her plans and annual turnover improvement goals, it became apparent that it wasn’t really the business’s current position that was the issue but her worries about providing for loved ones after the business was sold and estate and wealth management issues. The solution, retirement and inheritance tax planning. We tailored our advice accordingly.
The more specific a client can be about a wish or desire, the easier it is to plan to achieve it. In this instance, by asking the right questions, we helped her to be specific in her responses, which meant we could address her worries. The conversation felt much more like a business coaching conversation or something you’d expect from a management consultant alongside of a chartered accountant.
When choosing an accountant consider that many will just ‘do the books’ and don’t look beyond the numbers. But the money only tells half the story. We have seen this proven repeatedly. Talk to us and we can help you so your business thrives.