Plan your business budget … and stay in control

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Plan your business budget … and stay in control

Is keeping your taxes in order an ongoing struggle? Or perhaps you need to scale back your everyday business expenses? During our live Q&A on how to plan your business budget, our panel of experts offered useful advice on everything from using crowdfunding websites to cutting down on energy use in the office.

A reliable accountant can be a valuable asset in keeping your budget under control. However, research from the professional body of accounting technicians (AAT) found that SMEs were leaking £2.9bn annually because of unqualified staff handling their finances.

Hiring an accountant
So the first topic for discussion was how small business owners can find a competent accountant: what should their first steps be and how can they get a reliable recommendation?

Anne Ovens, founder and director of Aspiration Europe, which provides business accounting and consultancy services, suggested talking to other businesses – ask who they use, and which accounting firms are experienced with particular industries or accounting issues. “If you are selling your product(s) overseas or planning to, an accountant who has some experience with international trading issues may be useful,” she added.

Meanwhile, Caroline Morgan, a non-executive director of IPSE, a membership organisation supporting independent professionals and the self-employed, said: “Getting professional advice from an accountant who can recommend the most efficient way of dealing with your money is often money well spent.”