Accounting for Computer & IT Consultants
As you would know, the information technology industry is incredibly dynamic and the rate of change continues to accelerate with the internet and cloud computing. With this rapid change we see more and more IT consultants emerging in niche areas. Here at SBG Accountants we understand the IT industry and service a number of IT consultants and contractors. Over the past decade, Paul Dobson and his team of accountants have mentored dozens of IT consultants through the start up phase of their business. We have watched them grow rapidly and employ staff along the way.
THINKING OF STARTING AN IT BUSINESS?
Information Technology groups are one of our specialist industries and we are recognised as business start-up specialists. If you are looking to start an IT business or buy an existing operation, there are numerous issues to consider. There is your business structure, tax registrations, insurances, tools, software, your vehicle plus finance. As business advisors we can assist you in all of these areas plus provide advice on HR matters, payroll and the preparation of a business plan.
Starting a business is a bit like building a house and it all starts with solid foundations. In a business sense these include the right tax structure, accounting software, insurances, a marketing plan, website and social media channels. Your choice of business structure is a critical decision and we always recommend you ‘start with the end in mind’. There are a number of different options including sole trader, partnership, company and trust but Australian tax laws are complex and changing your business structure at some point in the future can trigger a capital gains tax event that could prove costly. Whenever we provide advice on business structures we always take into account issues like:
Minimisation of Income Tax
- Maximize Asset Protection
- Allow for the admission of New Business Partners or Investors
- Comply with all Legal Requirements in your Industry
- Consider Future entitlement to Discount Capital Gains Tax Concessions
- Risk Profile of Your Industry (and trades are high
As a consequence, we often find the business structure is a compromise based on the relative importance of each of these issues. In some cases you might also need to consider if it will be easier to do business in your industry as a company or sole trader.
Your choice of accounting software is another brick in your business foundations and up to date, accurate financial records let you make informed business decisions. The wrong software can be catastrophic and poor financial records are one of the biggest causes of small business failure. Your software needs to match your business needs with your level of accounting skill otherwise you could end up producing what we describe as 'computerised shoebox' records. This can cause frustration and extra costs which conflicts with our mission of helping you cut the cost of compliance. In some cases we will train you to use the software and while we support a number of programs we have a strong preference for cloud based solutions like Xero.
To build a house you also need the right tools and when 'constructing' your business we have developed a number of tools including a
start-up expense checklist broken down into various categories including:
- tools and equipment
- professional advice and software
- information technology costs
- marketing and signage
- vehicle and trailer costs
This checklist will help you identify all your potential establishment costs and these figures then filter through to our cash flow budget template and allow us to produce a projected profit and loss statement for your first year of trading. These reports can also tuck neatly into our business plan template that is designed to help you secure funding from external sources like a bank.
Our business start up checklist is another useful tool and if you need a vehicle in your business we can assist you with finance by chattel mortgage or lease through one of our affiliate partners. You can also access fleet pricing on your new car, ute or light commercial van that could save you thousands of dollars. For an IT consultant, your vehicle is arguably your most important business tool and you can learn more about the alternative methods of claiming your car expenses and the distinction between a business and private trip by downloading our 'Motor Vehicle Tax Guide' from the resources section of our website.
Through an affiliate partner we can also help you source funds to finance your business purchase or equipment and we use benchmarks to compare your business performance against your peers so you know what is working in your business and what needs working on. If you're starting a business you don't need to reivent the wheel as we have all the tools and resources to help you get off to a flying start.
That’s really just the beginning because as accountants we can offer you advice regarding business insurances and prepare some ‘what if’ financial scenarios so you know your business’ best and worst case scenarios.
MARKETING YOUR IT BUSINESS
For small business owners, your marketing can be the difference between gloom, doom and boom.
Most IT business owners rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business and while these ingredients remain important, you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly local searches like ‘IT Help Southbank’ are driving traffic to your website and often your website is the first touch point with a potential new customer. As you know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website is your 'online shopfront' and silent sales person working 24/7 to promote your business.
One of our biggest points of difference compared to other accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan), your corporate brochure and help you harness the power of social media to win more referrals. Over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, quality lead generation websites that are responsive to smart phones and tablets. We can provide advice and guidance with your website content including video production and if your website lacks calls to action or lead magnets we'll help you build them. In addition, we'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing and search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website.
If you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques your business probably won't reach its full profit potential.
The marketing process begins with your branding and we have worked through the process with dozens of clients over the years and using some online resources we can help you build a modern brand that resonates with your target market. We can even help you develop your stationery at a fraction of the cost of engaging a graphic artist or marketing consultant.
Our role includes helping you understand the Four Ways to Grow A Business and in the process, identify the key profit drivers in your business. We can talk you through various profit improvement strategies and even quantify the profit improvement potential in your business. Our role is to make sure you don't leave any profit on the table.
The team of specialists at SBG Accountants offer IT consultants the full range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:
- Start-Up Business Advice for IT Consultants
- Advice regarding the Purchase or Sale of a Business
- Spreadsheets and Tools including a Start-Up Expense Checklist, Business Plan Template and Cash Flow Budget
- Provide Advice and Assistance with the Establishment of Your Business Structure (sole trader, company, trust, partnership etc.) taking into account issues like Asset Protection and discount Capital Gains Tax Concessions
- Registrations for Business Name, ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
- Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
- Accounting Software Selection and Training
- Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
- Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
- Tax Returns and Tax Planning Strategies
- Preparation of Business Plans
- Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
- Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
- Business Succession Planning
- Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
- Advice & Assistance with Claiming Motor Vehicle Costs
- Recession Survival Strategies
- Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
- Business & Risk Insurances
We are so much more than just tax Accountants. We are business and profit builders who genuinely care about the success of your business. We service the needs of a number of IT professionals and offer you strategies to grow your business, your profits and your wealth. If you’re looking to get your IT business off to a flying start or want to grow your existing business, contact us today.
We invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You can expect practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a significant impact on your bottom line. To book a time, call us today on (03) 9629 6744 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page. Let's get to work ON your business so it is more profitable, valuable and saleable.
SBG Accountants & Business Advisors - Taking Care of Business