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Accountancy Advice When Starting A New Business | Accountants for Start Up | Accountancy Help for Business Start-Up
Accountancy advice when starting a business 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Accountancy advice when starting a business

The COVID Pandemic has seen many changes to the world of employment across the world. From remote working whilst home-schooling to zoom meetings from makeshift home offices, the workplace landscape has changed dramatically. Many businesses were forced to scale back their workforce and many industries had to shut completely. Indeed, 16 months ago many of us had not even heard of the word furlough!

They say though necessity is the mother of invention and never has this been truer than over the last year. Indeed in 2020 Companies House saw a significant surge in first-time entrepreneurs seizing the opportunity to turn an idea into a reality. Whether it was new business ideas as a result of life with COVID or those that had been dreaming of being their own boss for a long time, many individuals decided it was the right time to take the plunge.

As an accountancy firm we recommend that for those just starting out, there are a few basic steps which need to be covered to ensure a successful start.

Firstly, ensure that you have a business bank account. Many sole traders try to make do with using their personal bank account but having a separate business account makes it easier to separate personal and business transactions and simplify tax returns.

Secondly, good cashflow is vital. Monitoring income and expenditure enables you to make informed business decisions, pay your suppliers and keep on top of outstanding payments. This can be done easily with one of the many software programmes available, which your accountants can then use to assist you with your end of year accounts.

Knowing where to go to access funding is vital for any growing businesses. Whether it is your bank, invoice and asset financing or peer-to-peer lending making sense of all the options can be tricky and something which your accountant can help you navigate.

Lastly, setting up in business can sometimes feel like quite a lonely place to be, particularly if you have come from a busy office environment to being a sole trader. Long hours and long to do lists can be all consuming. This is where meeting like-minded individuals can really help. Your accountant will know others in the same boat as you and the local business networks which will be good to join. Never be afraid to ask for advice or recommendations, having someone to talk to can make a big difference when you are starting out.

If you have any questions or are in need of any help please feel free to call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail

Cashflow Forecasting | Business Support with Cashflow | Accountancy Help Bristol | Help Planning Cashflow
Cashflow Forecasting 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Cashflow Forecasting

Cashflow has never been more important for businesses than in 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic has shaken businesses to the core and with the potential of a second wave a potential second wave, company owners are left wondering if their business can survive another lockdown.

With government support tapering and uncertainty about what the next few months hold, cashflow forecasting is vital to understand the position of the business. Historically, many owners have worked this out in their heads or in convoluted spreadsheets but the danger is that something gets forgotten and a large, unaccounted for, outgoing could cripple the business.

Now, more than ever, accounting software is vital. A simple, easy to understand, forecasting tool that helps businesses understand their financial position and identify areas for concern, before they become overwhelming, is something that can help businesses navigate the turbulent months ahead. By understanding the business needs in advance, company owners can try to mitigate any risks identified, putting them in a stronger position to survive any further lockdowns that may come.

Our job is to guide you through the implementation and interpretation of the data in order to provide accurate cashflow forecasting. Making the process as simple and easy to manage as possible will ensure that you have real time data, providing accurate updates at any time to help underpin any vital business decisions that need to be made.

If you have any questions or need some assistance then please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail

State Aid & Covid-19 | Accountancy Support for Business in Bristol | What is State Aid | Can State Aid Help Me
State Aid & COVID-19 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

State Aid & COVID-19

With the current COVID-19 crisis many businesses continue to seek government support to help them with the uncertainty of the months ahead. Whilst this aid is undoubtedly a lifeline for many, it could lead to potential problems in the future as businesses that benefit from such schemes can be said to be benefitting from State Aid.

Under EU legislation, a business can be said to be benefitting from State Aid if it receives aid from an EU member state which could distort competition and trade within the EU. This aid can be in the form of grants, tax breaks or loans and if it is deemed to be only available to certain sectors or industries, then it falls within this remit.

However, schemes that are universally available and not restricted to designated sectors or business size, such as the job retention scheme and deferral of VAT and income tax payments, are not classed as State Aid. Further, the business rates relief available for retail, leisure, hospitality and childcare nurseries are also not classed as State Aid, due to the colossal impact that COVID-19 has had on these sectors.

Monies received under the small business grants fund (SBGF) are classed as de minimis State Aid, providing that they fall under the ceiling of €200,000 over a rolling 3-year period, and as a result do not need EU approval. Though all companies benefitting from the SBGF are required to complete a declaration confirming that the aid does not exceed the threshold, including any previous non-COVID-19 related de minimis aid claims.

In order to support businesses in this tumultuous time, the EU have established a temporary framework within which several State Aid measures can be approved rapidly, whilst still being compatible with the EU’s internal market. The UK State Aid that sits under this temporary framework includes:

  • Retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)
  • COVID-19 business interruption loan scheme (CBILS), interest and other direct payments
  • Bounce back loans
  • Statutory sick pay (SSP) reclaims
  • SBGF claims that exceed the de minimis cap (see below)

All of these measures are subject to a combined overall cap of €800,000 apart from the CBILS and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

If you have any questions on state aid feel free to call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail

Getting Disincorporation Right | Change Business From Limited | Accountancy Help Changing Business Status
Getting Disincorporation Right 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Getting Disincorporation Right

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the small business community, some will need to close their doors and others will need to find new ways to adapt.

The word “disincorporation” is something that will be on the lips of many business owners. It is the process which enables the transformation from a limited company to a sole trader, partnership or limited liability partnership (LLP). A business owner will take this decision because they want to move away from the stresses of running a limited business, where specific rules and obligations have to be adhered to.

Whilst there are broad benefits in trading as a limited company, especially with tax efficiency measures that can be employed, it can also prove stressful and difficult to justify the additional costs and operational constraints which have to be adhered to.

Moving away from a limited business will provide more flexibility and less complicated methods of withdrawing money. The one downside though, if you do opt for the disincorporation, is that it can be quite a complicated process. If you would like to discuss the advantages and benefits, please feel free to call out team on 01173 700 079.

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