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The Business Accounting Services Your Startup Needs


Starting a business is an exciting process, but the finances can be a bit overwhelming.

There are so many things to think about and keep track of, from your inventory to your marketing budget. And one area that is often overlooked is accounting. Having a good handle on your finances is critical to the success of your business, yet many startups don't have the time or resources to find dependable business accounting services.

Man with beard stressed about business accounting services

Your business needs accounting software and services that make your business run smoothly, not create more work for you! That's where outsourcing your accounting needs to a professional service comes in. In this article, we'll explore some of the top reasons why you should consider using an accounting service for your startup business.

Accountancy software for startups

Accounting is an essential part of any business, and it's important to get it right from the start. In fact, strong finances can become one of the greatest tools you can have to scale up your business.

Whether you’re planning a new fundraising round, or planning to reinvest in more workforce or technology, good accounting services are vital. But before we discuss the best business accounting services, let’s discuss accounting software.

There’s a whole range of technology available to help you keep your books clean as a whistle. They help organise expenses, invoices, receipt tracking and many more accounting essentials.

But are they easy to use? Do they cut down the jargon and provide actionable information? Most importantly, will you decrease your workload thanks to their help? Let’s take a look at some of the most common.

two women looking at business accounting services


GnuCash is a fascinating example of open source accounting software.

It’s completely free to use and due to its open source nature there are hundreds of contributors continuously improving the software, fixing bugs and creating add-ons. This means that it’s flexible and free, which is an ideal combination for startups on a budget.

The downside to this accounting software is that it is desktop based. That means you must install GnuCash on a single device and access it only through that device. Without cloud-based accounting systems, there is no online backup and no mobile app for you to use on-the-go whenever and wherever you like.

It handles invoicing, credit notes, payroll and accounts payable, however you won’t experience anything such as open banking integration, or ever be able to use accounting services unless they are in house on your computer.


Wave has a very specific user base due to the nature of its benefits and drawbacks.

On the one hand, it offers unlimited accounting, receipt tracking and invoicing services completely free of charge. On the other hand, payroll isn’t on the free plan and they have a pay per use policy regarding payment services which, although small, can be pricey if your profit margins don’t make up for it.

With only very basic services available and the pay per use policy for payment services, it’s only small to medium businesses with few, but profitable, transactions that find a use for this software.

Woman happy she's found business accounting services


ZipBooks is a classic piece of accounting software that offers just enough, but not too much.

ZipBooks covers all your basic needs with ease, offering unlimited bookkeeping, invoicing and customers on its free plan. It’s easy to use and only connects to one account which is why it is so popular with sole traders.

However, when it comes to reporting, you’ll have to pay to upgrade to a premium version. While it does cover the necessities, reporting is an essential in business accounting services as it prepares you to make informed business decisions backed up by financial data.


QuickFile covers the basic accounting needs for low income sole traders and businesses.

With software that connects to dozens of banks and web services, an on the go app to scan and record receipts, branded invoicing, multicurrency support and VAT return filing, it seems to cover all the basics.

However, the free version only covers your ledger entries up to 1,000 a year and can plaster your screen with ads.

What accounting services does your startup need?

As a startup, you have a lot on your plate. You're busy building your product, recruiting your team, and getting your business off the ground. The last thing you want to worry about is your finances and dealing with temperamental or frustrating software.

The good news is, there are plenty of business accounting services out there that can help your startup succeed.

Here are some of the most important accounting services your startup needs:

Office workers laughing after discussing business accounting services


Bookkeeping is the process of tracking all of your financial transactions. This includes everything from sales and expenses to invoices and payments. It's important to keep accurate records of your financial activity so you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources.

Tax preparation

Taxes are a complex and ever-changing landscape, so it's important to have someone on your team who knows how to navigate them. A good tax accountant can help you minimise your tax liability and maximise your deductions. They can also help you set up a payment plan if you owe taxes.

Financial reporting

Financial reporting gives you a clear picture of your company's finances. While the best accounting software can provide easy to view, understandable reports in just a few keystrokes, financial reporting is best done by a professional accountant. An experienced accountant can read between the lines to pinpoint areas of your business that are leaking money. Or they can identify areas in which investment now could lead to greater returns in the future.

Learn how cash analytics can scale up your business

Cash analytics are one of the greatest tools any business has to make data driven financial decisions based on your accounts. Learn more about this and more from our School of Startups!
Read now

The benefits of outsourcing accounting services

As a startup, you have enough on your plate without having to worry about your accounting. That's why it makes sense to outsource this critical function to a professional accounting firm.

By doing so, you can focus on running your business while leaving the financial management to the experts. Studies have even shown that certain functions are cheaper and more efficient when outsourced rather than completed in-house.

There are many benefits to outsourcing your SME accounting.

Expert knowledge

When you work with a professional accounting firm, you'll have access to a team of dedicated experts who can provide valuable insights and advice on financial management. This can be invaluable for making key decisions about reinvesting into certain areas of your business.


You have the time to focus on what really matters to you: YOUR Business. Outsourcing your accounting frees up your schedule so that you can focus on running and growing your business. It will also give you the time you need to decide how to spend your new found savings and investments. This is especially important in the early stages when every minute counts.

Cost saving

Professional accounting firms are able to provide cost-effective solutions that save you money in the long run. For example, they can help you reduce expenses and improve your bottom line. The right accountancy firm can lower your taxes, successfully claim R&D Tax Credits for you and much more.

Peace of mind

We believe that people do their best work when they aren’t under stress. When you outsource your accounting, you can rest assured knowing that your finances are in good hands. This gives you peace of mind so that you can focus on other aspects and manage them with your full capabilities.

Two women sitting discussing business accounting services

How to choose the right business accounting services for your company

Choosing the right accounting firm is crucial to the success of your business. If you’re not ready for all the bells and whistles that some accountancy services offer, then it’s not worth it.

On the other hand, if you don’t get the accounting support that your business needs, then scaling up will be more difficult than ever. You could be left in the lurch as your accounting emergencies pile up and you are left clueless. Many accounting services aren’t flexible enough to cope with sudden growth either.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision:

Experienced with startups

Make sure your finance partner has experience with startups. Startups have unique financial needs and you want to make sure your accountant is familiar with them. Ask about their experience working with startups and if they have any specialties or services geared towards them.

Your return on investment

ROIs aren’t just for business., so consider the fees of business accounting services. This is an important factor, especially if you’re looking to keep your overhead low, but don't let it be the only one you consider. Some firms may charge more, but they may also be worth the investment if they have more experience or offer better services.

Software for accountancy

Ask about their technological capabilities. In today's world, accounting firms need to be able to offer technology solutions that make it easy for you to track your finances and stay on top of things. Ideally you need a cloud-based accounting software, with the potential to use artificial intelligence to make systems more efficient. Ask about the software they use and how they can help you stay organised.

Trust others

Get referrals from other startups. Talk to other entrepreneurs in your network and hear about their experiences. You can even visit the websites of accountancy services, check their case studies and contact the companies directly to hear about first-hand experience with them.

Woman at laptop smiling at papers for business accounting services

How to get started with outsourced accounting services

Outsourcing your accounting needs is the first step towards growing a successful business.

Whether you're looking for bookkeeping, tax preparation, or financial consulting, outsourcing these services can save you time and money. This planning and preparation can ensure that your accounting needs are met without breaking the bank.

Firstly, choose a reputable and experienced accounting firm.

Secondly, create a clear scope of work that outlines the specific services you need.

Finally, establish clear communication channels with your accounting team to ensure a smooth workflow.

And at all times, ensure that these services can be flexible enough to grow with your business accounting needs.

Olio had to choose between expensive, in-house accountancy and outsourced accounting services, and their story is playing out well to this day…

Olio’s accounting processes

Olio was a brand new business with high aspirations. They knew where they wanted to take the business, they just weren’t sure how to achieve it.

How could they build the financial foundations that they needed to grow?

They found a way. Their team has grown from 2 individuals to a growing team of over 40 people. Their user market has increased from 10,000 to 3.3 million members and they have successfully received R&D Tax Relief for the past 6 years.

We are proud to have supported Olio with our accounting services. They are just one of the many partners that we work with who have scaled up their businesses effortlessly.

Accountancy Cloud helps us to hire quickly, they consistently provide affordable essential accountancy services and they’ve supported our R&D tax credit application every year successfully!
Saasha Celestial-One, Co-Founder & COO of OLIO


If you're starting a business, it's important to make sure you have the right accounting services in place. We provide dedicated accountants that provide you with valuable insights to grow your business. We’ve successfully claimed over £30 million in R&D Tax Credit claims for our partners. Our outsourced CFO services create bespoke financial models and help drive investors to contribute to Startups.

Not only that, but all of our services provide you with our signature bookkeeping and accountancy software. The cloud-based software that we provide is driven by a mix of sophisticated technology and supported by our on-hand accountants. Generate reports in the blink of an eye and manage payroll with a click of a button.

Don't try to do everything yourself — focus on running your business and let an accountant take care of the rest. It's worth the investment to ensure that your startup is on solid financial footing from the very beginning.

Talk to a specialist financial advisor today and learn more about the business accounting services we have to offer. You’ll be part of a network of hundreds of growing Startups. Don’t forget to check out our School of Startups where you can freely read the latest guides and advice from seasoned CEOs, entrepreneurs and professionals of all kinds!

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