Planning for the future
Do you talk with your adviser about your short, medium and long-term plans in the early years sector? This should regularly be on the agenda, as a specialist adviser may be able to put opportunity your way. For example, if you are looking to expand, they should be able to help you, whether that is putting you in touch with the right people or highlighting acquisition opportunities. A regular discussion around your plans is crucial.
Ensuring that your business structure is tax efficient
Does your adviser keep your children's nursery business structure under review and discuss it with you? For example, is a group structure more efficient than stand-alone companies or are the properties within the companies or owned privately? These are just examples - there are many areas to consider and it is important to keep your structure under review, from an ongoing tax efficiency and commercial risk perspective, but also if there is an exit planned.
Introducing you to the right people
Your adviser should be introducing you to other experts in the early years sector who can help you grow your business – whether that is an experienced lawyer, recruiter or banker, there is nothing like a personal recommendation.
Keeping you updated
Sector updates are informative and enlightening, especially when we are often so busy with the 'day job'. Your adviser should be sending you succinct and relevant information regarding the early years market.
Helping you maximise cash and minimise tax
Your adviser should be keeping an eye on the way that you extract your monies from the business with a view to keeping as much in your pocket as possible rather than HMRC’s! It might sound like a simple one, but timely remuneration planning is still often lacking, without the right advice.
An ability to answer the many questions you have
Does your accountant have to ask someone else when you raise what may be perceived as a difficult question? Working with an accountant that has more than a superficial knowledge of the early years sector means that they will be in a much better position to help you when it comes to answering your questions as they will understand where you are coming from and what you mean.
Offer you depth of expertise and experience
Does your adviser have the depth of experience to be able to offer you a full service? For example, if you are on an acquisition trail, an experienced corporate finance and due diligence team that understands the sector will be invaluable to you. Do your advisers have a sufficient depth of team and experience that can grow with you?
Staying in touch
Do you contact your adviser regularly, or is it just once a year to discuss the end of year accounts? Your accountant should be a trusted source that you feel you can call/email any time to just run through an issue, or mull something over!
Come up with ideas
Does your accountant come up with ideas, or are you simply receiving a compliance service? Most accountants can prepare your year end accounts and file your tax returns, but the good ones come up with ideas and suggestions, and even challenge your thinking!
Greater peace of mind
You will have much greater peace of mind if you work with an accountant and tax adviser with the right kind of background and specialised understanding of the business and its industry.