The top startup accountants – according to founders
Based on feedback from dozens of startups we have put together the definitive list of the UK’s top accountants for startups & SMBs. If you are in the market for an accountant – look no further.
What will an accountant help me with?
Your accountant will lift a heavy admin burden off your shoulders by ensuring that all of your invoices and transaction are reconciled correctly in your accounting system. This is crucial for reporting and to ensure that you’re on top of any accounts receivable
Month end & Year end
They will complete your month end and year end reporting, which helps you to:
- Easily track and display your financial information
- Keep your records ready in case you ever get audited
- Helps prevent future accounting mistakes
- Make your tax returns easier to compile
A VAT Return form is sent to HRMC in order to show them how much VAT you’ve charged and how much you’ve paid to other businesses. This is then used to determine whether you owe money to HMRC or are due a refund If your VAT registered, you need to send a VAT return typically every three months to HRMC, even if you’ve collected zero VAT during that period. Your accountant will ensure that this is done correctly for you
Your accountant can help you set-up and run payroll when the time comes to hire employees or pay yourself
Budgeting and general guidance
Your accountant can produce a rigorous set of budgets, which will help not only extend your runway but also in the fundraising processes.
The top accountants for startups and SMBs
If you’re a first time founder and are new to the world of accounting, there are a whole host of possible accountants to choose from However, making the right choice is difficult. We’ve compiled a list of our top accountants based on reviews, recommendations and our experience
Accounts and Legal
Accounts and Legal are based out of London, Brighton and Manchester. Their main mission is to provide accounting-services to small and medium sized businesses with entrepreneurial aspirations in a way that translates to growth. They pride themselves on offering regular support, which differs from the once a year touchpoint of traditional accountants, enabling them to help their business maximise their growth potential. Asides from traditional accounting, they also provide a comprehensive legal and tax advise service as well.
ihorizon are a leading London-based accounting firm specialising in innovative accounting and finance solutions designed to help promising tech startups to grow. They are passionate about helping tech entrepreneurs convert their ideas into realities, create jobs for other people, and add value to the fascinating world of tech. They offer a lot of additional services such as tax advisory, international expansion advisory and investment support.
Accotax was formed in 2009 and has since established itself as one of the fastest growing accountancy and tax consultancy firms in the UK. The team has extensive experience, having plied their trade in the Big Four accounting firms and have built a strong reputation for helping start-up propositions to become a solid sustainable business.You can checkout their reviews and more information about the industries that they best serve (here)
Fusion are chartered accountants with over 30 years of experience bringing comprehensive accounting and tax services to businesses & individuals throughout the UK. They believe in providing a simple, friendly and transparent service to their clients, bringing the latest technology without losing the personal touch of having an accountant. Having won Xero‘s mid-size firm of the year award in 2021, they are a great fit for any new start-up
Beany was formed in 2013 and specialises in using technology and one-to-one accounting to give a new level of efficient but personalised support. They have offer a starter pack, which is designed to help new businesses and startups every step of the way, from choosing a business structure to Xero setup and training. Beany has a dedicated support line, which is staffed by accountants to ensure that any queries are both quickly and correctly handled.
What systems do I need to have in place?
The two most popular choices for startups and SMEs are Xero and QuickBooks, which both give you a very clear view over your business’ accounts
QuickBooks offers a more intuitive interface than Xero. This is because QuickBooks was designed for small businesses that might not have an accounting background, whereas Xero was designed with accountants and bookkeepers in mind. QuickBooks is also better for businesses that need to track inventory, as it has built-in inventory management features. Xero also has inventory management, but it’s not one of its core functions.
Xero is a better option for businesses that need to track project profitability. This is because Xero allows you to see how much each project is costing you in real-time, and compare that to your estimated profits. Xero is also a better option for businesses that are expanding internationally as it offers multi currency support.
Using your accountant’s payroll software on you. behalf is an outdated strategy that results in time intensive double data entry and increased risks of data breaches, as information if often exchanged with accountants via email – and nearly 85% of data breaches occur via email.
Instead, you can use your own payroll software and either run automated payroll in-house, or let your accountant run payroll for you in your own system. This is not only more secure and easier, but it’s also much cheaper. We have put together a guide for the best payroll software in the UK for startups and SMBs.
Running payroll for the first time is daunting. With Zelt you can automate payroll calculations and sync with HMRC, your pension provider and accounting software in one go. All you need to do is execute salary and HMRC payments, which you can do directly from within Zelt, too.
Frequently asked startup accountancy questions
What is a confirmation statement?
A confirmation statement is a document that limited companies and LLPs must file at Companies House each year. For limited companies, the confirmation statement details all of its directors and shareholders. The confirmation statement of an LLP lists all its members. For both limited companies and LLPs, the confirmation statement also shows the business’s registered office address. Accountants can typically help you with this
What are statutory accounts?
Filing statutory accounts is a legal requirement. You have a choice on how to do this. You can either file a full set of accounts or an abridged set, which contains less detail, however also satisfies HMRC and Companies House’s compliance requirements. Statutory accounts must include a balance sheet, profit & loss account, cashflow statement, notes to the account and a directors report
What is month end?
Month end is an accounting procedure that ensures all financial transactions have been accounted for in the previous month. To ensure that they are giving accurate data, your accountant will need to review, record, and reconcile all account information from that month
What is year end?
Year end is the process of reviewing, reconciling, and verifying that all financial transactions and aspects of the company accounts from the past fiscal year add up. This involves calculating the business expenses, income, revenue, assets, investments, equity, and more.
What is a directors self assessment?
Directors self assessment is a HMRC process used by the self-employed and other individuals to calculate, report, and pay income tax and NI contributions on earnings that are not taxed at source (i.e., through PAYE or similar).
However, directors do not have to register for self assessment or file personal tax returns if all of their income from all sources is paid and taxed through PAYE (or similar). In such instances, they are essentially treated as employees for tax purposes. There is also no requirement for directors to register if they do not receive any taxable income at all.