Choosing an Accountant for a Start-Up Business


If you are about to start a business or have already got up and running, then you may not yet have thought about what happens when you reach the end of your first year of trading. But a good accountant, one that suits you and your business should be chosen carefully, not in a last minute rush.

If you are about to start a business or have already got up and running, then you may not yet have thought about what happens when you reach the end of your first year of trading. It can seem a long way off and there are so many other things to worry about when setting up on your own so trying to find a good accountant is not at the top of your priority list. But a good accountant, one that suits you and your business needs to be chosen carefully, not in a last minute rush as you approach the deadline for filing your accounts and completing your tax return.It is important to make a well considered choice if you have just started up a new business or if your small business has grown rapidly and you now need some good business advice to help you along the road to success.

So when you do have a spare moment in that busy first year do some research into your options for accountancy services. You can of course opt for a DIY approach, and this is perfectly possible if the business is fairly straightforward but even for simple companies, including one-man consultancies, do not under-estimate how time-consuming preparing your own accounts can be. Not only will it take plenty of your time but you may miss out on tax-saving advice that a decent accountant will include as part of their service. You will also be saved the hassle of completing your tax returns, both personal and business.

But just how do you know what constitutes a good accountant and where you can find one?

You could, of course, simply do an internet search of your local area and phone a few likely companies. You could ask for personal recommendations from people you already know with businesses of their own. Some people also post on small business forums but if you do that you risk being inundated with messages from accountants selling their services rather than genuine recommendations.

Some accountants work independently from home and it is tempting to believe that these will be a cheaper option but that is not necessarily the case. The disadvantage of a home based accountant (or indeed a one-man band in an office) is that there is no-one to fall back on if they, for example, become ill and are unable to work when you need them. And if their charges are not significantly lower this may not be a risk worth taking.

Also make sure the company handles businesses similar to yours either by industry or size. You don’t want to find you are using an accountant that predominantly deals with large corporations if you only employ 5 people or vice versa.

Will you have a dedicated accountant so that you speak to the same person or see the same person each time? Remember that large accounting companies often do not assign your business to a dedicated accountant so there is little opportunity to build up a good relationship with your accountant and for them to truly understand your business and any issues it may have. This can be a distinct disadvantage especially as you may find yourself having to bring the accountant up to speed on your business each time you talk to them.

Tax in general is a complicated issue but corporation tax even more so, therefore, getting to know your accountant will help build up trust that he or she is competent to handle your tax affairs and can help you to minimise your tax liability.

Here are 4 essential questions to ask any potential accountancy firms that you are considering:

  • Will you be assigned a dedicated accountant?
  • What type and size of businesses do they currently deal with?
  • Is the accountant local so you can easily meet up?
  • Do they offer a fixed fee accountancy service?

It goes without saying that the accountant you choose should be qualifiedeither as a chartered accountant or a certified accountant. Another factor to bear in mind is how much you may want to ask for advice during the year – this is particularly relevant for new businesses as they grow and evolve whilst establishing themselves. If you want to have the option to seek specific advice but don’t want to be surprised by a large bill at the end of the year then consider an accounting firm that offer fixed fee accountancy services. These usually include various price options from a basic service to one including regular telephone support or face to face meetings.


Five Ways in Which Quality Furniture Will Improve Your Business Environment

When it comes to having an efficient and well-structured company, many people overlook the importance of furniture and proper decoration. Having a comfortable working environment helps to maintain a strong sense of morale and keeps employees motivated. Here are a few of the many benefits that come from having a well-decorated work surrounding.

Comfort Matters

Leather Executive chairs with excellent design can really help improve the comfort and productivity of your team. Your office environment should be stylish and also comfortable in order to ensure that everyone remains focused. If you have a conference room where you hold many meetings and important business operations, you need to be sure that it is well-decorated. Having the most comfortable chairs will help your entire team feel at ease and make them more capable of being productive and motivated. This also upholds a sense of style and a well-established look for your company. You want everything around you to express a certain level of professionalism and it is important to remember that your furniture plays a big role in that.

It is also important to be sure that your employees’ working space is both comfortable and stylish. If they do not have the right furniture to keep them feeling at ease, then they may be far too strained to work properly.

Style Increases Office Prestige

When people walk into your office space you want them to be impressed by their surroundings. A well-designed interior can truly help to create a sense of professionalism for your company. When clients step into an organised and appealing environment, they are more inclined to put their trust in your business.

Organisation Matters

A well-furnished office also makes for better organisation, which will keep your employees focused. Being able to access necessary items with ease helps to remove the added stress of struggling trying to find the things that they need. When workers are able to easily get to their items, then they are no longer held back by poor organisation. This will save a lot of time and energy and will make the entire office more efficient.

Proper Lighting

Studies have shown that the correct lighting helps to boost productivity in the workplace. You need to be sure that your workspace has the right amount of sunlight without too much harsh reflective light beaming in. The right windows can help to create a positive light that will provide a comfortable working environment.

Style Helps Productivity

The right colours can actually help create a more productive workplace. Employees feel more eager and ready to work when their surroundings make them feel positive. Establishing a stylish environment is one of the best ways to help workers feel a sense of pride and excitement about doing their work.

Without a well-designed workplace, people often feel depressed and incapable of focusing. Both comfort and style play large roles in work productivity as well as client appreciation. It is important to take the time to ensure that your company’s furniture is of the highest quality.

Customer Service

The Dangers of Asbestos

Many people have heard that asbestos is dangerous, and that it needs to be removed as soon as possible if it’s found in their home or workplace. However, most people don’t understand exactly what asbestos is or why it’s so dangerous. They may also not know exactly where in their homes they may find asbestos or when it should be considered dangerous. Here are some asbestos basics so that you will be prepared to deal with this substance and know when you need to call in the experts to remove it.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is actually the common term for six different types of minerals that occur naturally. These minerals are made out of very fine fibres that are incredibly durable. They resist fire and heat, plus there are a number of chemicals that cannot eat through asbestos. This makes these minerals very useful for many different things from building materials to protective gear. However, once the dangers of asbestos were discovered, its use in many of these implements has been discontinued.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

When asbestos is solid and not releasing any fibres or dust, it’s actually not dangerous at all. It’s only when asbestos dust is inhaled that it becomes potentially deadly. These fibres and dust can become trapped within the lungs or make their way into your digestive tract. There, they can cause a number of different illnesses, including cancer. Asbestos is at its most dangerous when it easily crumbles upon being touched.

In many cases, flooring, ceiling tiles, shingles, cabinet tops, and other items that contain asbestos will not be dangerous unless they have been damaged. Aging, water damage, vibrations, and any type of impact, however, can lead to the release of asbestos dust. When this occurs, you will need to contact a professional asbestos removal service.

Common Health Issues

If you have inhaled asbestos, you may be at risk for one of the three common types of diseases associated with the minerals. Being exposed to asbestos only once is usually no cause for alarm. In most cases, short-term exposure is harmless, but those who have been exposed to asbestos for years should take note of the signs of these three illnesses. Sometimes, symptoms do not develop until years after your initial exposure.

Lung cancer is the most common illness. If you have been inhaling asbestos for years and have noted a change in your breathing or have a persistent cough, you should see a doctor immediately. Those who work in the fields of manufacturing, mining, and milling may be at higher risk, as are those who smoke or are often around cigarette smoke.

Asbestosis is another disease that affects the respiratory system and is caused by inhaling asbestos. The inhaled fibres damage the tissue in the lungs, causing it to scar. This results in having difficulty breathing and can eventually lead to heart failure. Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment for this disease, but it is also fairly rare.

Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that affects the membranes that line the abdomen, lungs, chest, and heart. Mesothelioma is almost always caused exclusively by asbestos and most often affects those in manufacturing, textiles, and mining.

Small Business‎

Modern Water Shows

Technology has given us many things, it allows us to do things faster and with more accuracy, and with the clever use of water, light, colour, and sound, modern water shows are literally stealing the show. Seen in large shopping malls, these towering creations are very effective crowd pullers, with some people actually making the trip specifically to view the water fountain. A modern water show is equally at home inside or out, and there are a variety of systems, depending on the environment. Many are floated on a barge and moored on a large body of water, and at night they can be truly stunning, with the light show adding another level to the ambience.

The creator

Today’s musical fountain manufacturer is a combination of a technician and an artist. He or she would have many years’ experience building water shows, and with the technical know-how, can create almost anything. This is most definitely a specialist industry, so don’t expect to find a long list of providers, but if you contact an established supplier, they will be able to assist at the design stage, making sure you get the most from this unique attraction.

Enhance the area

Once a water show has been installed, there is very little to do, apart from the odd bulb change, and a modern water fountain would work for the duration of the business day, providing an added attraction that complements the environment. As each show is custom built, whatever space you have available, something suitable can be designed, and with a range of programmable shows, there is also variation.


The technology that finely controls the pressure and direction of the water jets, allows for a high level of creativity, and you can have something that is unique to your location. The right music sets the ambience, and with perfect synchronicity, the pulsing jets of water take on a life of their own, and is always a star attraction for passers-by.

Outdoor venues

Large bodies of water are ideal locations for water shows, as they can be installed on a stable raft, which allows the attraction to be moved at will. This water recycling system would be independent, and the show would operate with very little maintenance required. Popular open air restaurants that have a small lake or pond will often install a floating water show, which is a great attraction for the diners.

Indoor fountains

Popular in shopping malls, public buildings, and theme parks, a musical water show is a very effective attraction, and as their popularity increases, more and more examples are seen in our cities and towns. While some are huge, the size depends on the available space, and a small water show is just as effective as its larger counterpart, so if you have a corner that might be suitable, contact a supplier and they can advise you on the most effective display for the specified location.

Water shows enhance any environment and with a timeless attraction, they are an ideal way to increase the number of people in any given area.