Start-ups: here’s why your accountant is your new best friend

When you’re an entrepreneur burning the midnight oil to turn your dream into a business reality, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You’re busy sorting the legal side of things, filling out that TA-22 form and getting all your paperwork in order, finding the talent you need to get things up and running, getting your marketing plan together to get the word out – the list goes on. Hiring an accountant can wait until you reach the SME stage, right?

Well, not quite. In my 15 years working in Malta’s accounting sector, I can’t begin to tell you how many promising start-ups I’ve seen take quite a costly tumble because they’ve tried to handle all their own accounting without the know-how. While most recover, there is a very real risk of not only stunting your company’s growth but stopping it completely. Outsourcing your accounting early on can save you money and stress in the short term, while helping you carve out fresh opportunities that’ll carry you forward long term. Let’s take a closer look at why your accountant is actually far more than that. 

Find funding opportunities

Your accountant will have their fingers firmly on the pulse of any local and EU funding opportunities that you can take advantage of, and that kind of cash injection early on can be what propels your start-up into success. They won’t just know about all the latest funding initiatives out there – they’ll have the industry knowledge you need to expertly navigate all the bureaucracy and sail through to approval. Minimal stress for you, maximum results for your business. 

Take the Business Consultancy Services Grant Scheme, for instance. While it’s not difficult to understand what it’s all about, you need someone in the know to guide you through the specifics. Are you eligible? Do you have everything you need to apply for it? When’s the next submission deadline? And so on and so forth. Having a trusted accountant by your side to guide you through the jargon jungle can be a lifesaver. 

Solid business strategy

I think I can speak for all the certified professionals at NM Group when I say that when it comes to the business world, we’ve seen and done it all, and that’s an experience we can share that goes beyond facts and figures. It’s a real boon to have someone on hand to offer insights on your overall strategy, especially when you’re still laying the foundations for your business. You can’t plan for the future without knowing your finances inside and out, and you can’t do that properly without an accountant by your side to tell you what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past.

When your weekly calendar is bursting with meetings, to-dos, high-priority asks and ten Zoom calls on top of that, it can be hard to find time to sit down and think about your long-term vision and what steps you need to take to get there. The last thing anyone wants to do at the end of a long day is go through an ocean of facts and figures – but then, that’s what your accountant is there for! They’ll take all that daunting data and give you a top-level view of it all that you can use to inform your business decisions going forward. You can even go to your accountant for advice on what you need to do financially to get where you need to be, and how long it’ll take to get there. 

Make sure you’re compliant

Rule number one of a successful start-up: make sure you’re compliant from day one. This is perhaps the most crucial part of the process that a qualified accountant can help you with because it can have long-lasting repercussions on your finances – and your reputation. You need to know what kind of company you should register as, do the mountains of due diligence required, sort out your VAT registration, carry out audits, and all this while you’re sorting out payroll and monthly expenses. 

The bottom line is this: failing to comply with compliance can lead to a crippling fine – and in some cases, jail time. Don’t skimp on it!

So here’s my advice to the get-up-and-go entrepreneurs out there: buddy up with an accountant and work together hand in glove to plan for the future of your start-up. Simply put, your business is your baby, and it’s worth considering your money-minded friend as the Mary Poppins of the nanny world. Outsourcing your accounting needs is cost-effective and can give you the inside track on what’s happening in the world of funding and finance.

To find out more about how a qualified accountant can help your start-up really take off, get in touch on [email protected] – let’s chat!

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