If you're looking to fund an idea or business, you should be able to get help from an accountant.
Accountants can help you to:
- write a business plan
- plan your finances
- meet funders
- arrange your funding
- prepare for due diligence (when an investor or lender checks your suitability for funding)
An accountant will charge you a fee for their help.
Writing a business plan
When writing your business plan, an accountant could help you to work out:
- how much funding you'll need
- when you'll need funding
- what you need funding for
- why you need funding
This will help you to make your reasons for needing funding more clear to potential funders. It will also help you to show any potential funders that your business is ready for funding.
Planning your finances
Financial projections are normally made up of:
- a profit and loss account
- a balance sheet
- a cash flow statement
An accountant can give you advice on the best format to use to present this information to potential funders.
They'll also be able to tell you how much detail you'll need to include. And will help you to give information about any assumptions made when creating your financial projections.
An accountant should understand the different ways of funding your idea or business. And they'll be able to introduce you to funders who are likely to help you.
It's likely an accountant will also know what a funder is looking for, for example:
- in a business plan and financial projections
- what sort of businesses or ideas they usually give funding to
- what they look for in return
This means an accountant can help you to prepare to approach funders.
If you're successful in getting funding, an accountant can help you arrange the terms of this funding.
They can represent you in negotiations with funders. And explain any implications the terms of your funding could have for your idea or business.
They'll be able to examine the terms you're offered and make sure they won't cause problems for your idea or business.
If you have more than one offer of funding, an accountant can help you work out which offer is best for your business.
An investor or lender will want to check you or your business are suitable for funding. This is called 'due diligence'.
During due diligence a funder will look at the financial, operational, commercial and legal aspects of your business.
An accountant can help you pull together the information you'll need. They can also help make sure it will make sense to funders.
Choosing an accountant
When choosing an accountant you should think about the following.
1. The type of businesses they work with
You should look for an accountant who works with businesses of your size or in your sector.
For example, if your business is small you might want to work with an accountant who works with small businesses.
2. Size of the accountancy firm
Working with a smaller accountancy firm could mean you always deal with the same person.
A larger accountancy firm might give you access to more specialist advice. This could help you if your idea or business needs specialist help.
All accountants will charge you a fee for their help. You should ask for a quote and make sure you know how much you'll be charged and when.
4. Qualifications and experience
Make sure you use a certified or chartered accountant. Their certification should be with one of the professional accountancy bodies. You can find more information on professional accountancy bodies on the Accountant Directory website.
They'll also need to have the right experience for your needs.