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Selecting the right accountant

Written by Phil Archer on Tuesday, 12 October 2021. Posted in Analysis, Finance

When it comes to finding professional suppliers when starting up your franchise it is important to pick the ones who specialise on Franchising.

Selecting the right accountant

When it comes to finding professional suppliers when starting up your franchise it is important to pick the ones who specialise on Franchising. Lawyers who have experience with franchise brands will understand the complexities and uniqueness of a franchise agreement. When looking for funding, the banks with a franchise department will understand the difference between investing in a franchise compared to going it alone. Deciding on your accountant should be no different. In fact it is even more important as they will partner with you in your new venture for a long time. 

This article will go over the main points to look out for when choosing an accountant and highlight the benefit of why a franchise accountant will help your business flourish. 

Unmatched knowledge on franchising

It is no surprise that the first thing to look for is what knowledge an accountant has on franchising. However, it is important to also understand why this is key. Starting a franchise has many similarities to starting a stand-alone business, however it is the differences that can make it a challenge accountancy wise. For example, how you handle the initial franchise fee VAT in the correct way, and when it is best to register to claim back the VAT on the set-up costs. This is not something the average accountant comes across on a regular basis.

Understanding the brand

Being able to understand your business and industry is one thing but having a deep understanding of the business model and the actual franchise even before you start trading has many benefits. The accountant would already know the ins and outs of how everything is done, what chart of accounts to use, how to categorize items on your accounting software, and even any pitfalls previous franchisees may have come across. They can help you avoid these, so you have a smooth start to running the business. 

Helping you to keep compliant

As a franchisee you are responsible for complying with the franchise agreement and the operations manual. An accountant who understands franchising will know the importance of this and can help make sure you meet your obligations. One of these is reporting your accounts correctly to the franchisor and following the correct chart of accounts to enable this. There is a whole host of important information to get your head around in the first year, so having an accountant to help with part of that can really help take some of the stress away. 

Cashflow is key

In the early days of buying a franchise, and in any growth stages, keeping a good eye on the cashflow of the business is key to success. Especially when you are running a franchise business. Often stand-alone businesses may not have many staff or a large premises straight away, however a franchise will often hit the ground running with large initial costs. Helping to keep an eye on cashflow and running forecasts can help to see where the business is heading, and is key to make sure you can meet your obligations whilst staying afloat. 

To conclude a franchise specialist accountant can help in many ways, and can be influential in helping your franchise succeed. 

About the Author

Phil Archer

Phil Archer

Phillip Archer is the Funding Manager at award winning accountancy firm d&t who have worked with over 100 franchise networks and over 2,000 franchisees. Previous experience working within the finance industry in some very well known house hold names , paired with his current role, Phil has the tools to help franchisors and franchisees alike. With the variety of services available at d&t Phil has helped franchise brands to get funding for their franchisees and increase franchise efficiency through expert accountancy advice.

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