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Category Archives: Planning
People to tell:
- Your customers
- Your employees
- Your suppliers
- Your bank
- HMRC (the tax man)
- Professional bodies/trade associations
Other things to do:
- maximise the marketing opportunity
- change your business stationery
- obtain a new domain name and relaunch your website.
- update all your advertisements
I’ve recently been in the position of choosing accounting software, so this has been forefront of my mind. This is a (by no means exhaustive) list of things to consider (in no particular order).
- ease of use/user friendliness
- accounting knowledge
- upgrade cost
- ongoing support costs
- does it meet your legal obligations
The whole point of using accounting software is to make your life easier by saving you time and money. Therefore, if it doesn’t and you can meet your legal requirements without it, you should question whether it’s worth the effort.
It should save you time because:
- the whole process of bookkeeping should be faster (although setting up a package can take an initial “time investment” at the start)
- you whould be able to answer queries much quicker (such as “did you pay supplier A last month, and if so, how much)
- some things should be semi or fully automated, such as bank reconciliations, VAT returns
- your “year end” should be more straightforward
It should save you money because:
- you may be able to negotiation lower accountant’s and/or bookkeeping fees.
- indirectly, you should save money by freeing up your/your bookkeeper’s time.
- you may be able to make better financial decisions as a result of better and more timely information.
A business plan should always include an analysis and forecast of the company’s financial position. It will detail things such as:
- start up costs
- personal investment
- additional sources of finance
- cashflow forecast
- profit & loss forecasts
- balance sheet forecasts
- historical financial information (if the business is an existing one rather than a start up)
Just as important as the figures themselves are
- details of the assumptions made in arriving at them
- sensitivity analysis (how much things will need to change before your figures don’t work anymore.
This is the area where, if you haven’t already covered it elsewhere, you can demonstrate your deep understanding of the business, marketing and sales, as well as areas such as capital expenditure, recruitment, statutory compliance and timing (as it applies to your business).
If you are a manufacturer, you need to detail how you are going to produce the goods, literally. For example: what sort of equipment is required? Where will manufacturing take place? What are the costs involved? What are your timescales? Where will your materials come from? Who are your suppliers?
This section also encompasses things like quality control and how production will be organised and managed.