With a boom in accountancy practices specialising in working with startups, eCommerce and IT businesses, there’s a growing number of opportunities to provide true specialist expertise. That's were your firm comes in.
Accountants who can support the business plans of those entrepreneurs who are prepared to be innovative, bringing capital from tax reliefs or grants into their companies, will find that their clients relationships are more sustainable in the longer term.
The boom of accountancy practices
The past couple of years has seen a boom in accountancy practices specialising in working with startups, eCommerce and IT businesses.
As more products and services move more completely online, or gain their own disruptive challenger brands, there’s a growing number of opportunities to provide true specialist expertise.
And, of course, COVID-19 pushed many businesses that had ‘go digital’ marked on the planner for 2025 to accelerate those plans.
The growing need for R&D
One clear response from the accounting industry has been an increase in the number of firms with dedicated research and development (R&D) tax credit teams.
HMRC’s guidance around R&D tax relief is opaque at best and accountants have found a niche translating it into something like plain English.
Their job is, in effect, to answer one specific question: is my project eligible for relief? Or, even better, to say: “Tell me about your projects – let’s find out if any of them might qualify.”
The relief applies more widely than many people realise. Businesses in all sorts of sectors, working on all kinds of projects, have made successful bids for R&D credits with the support of accountants who are able to pre-empt objections and questions from HMRC.
Now, we wouldn’t say this seam is played out, exactly, but it’s certainly become a real industry and, as a result, it’s harder to stand out in this niche than it might have been in 2019.
Set up a Capital Advisory function
As a complement, or an alternative, you might consider setting up a capital advisory function.
What’s Capital Advisory? It’s advising clients on how and where they can access the capital they need, at the right price, and expediting the process with direct access to providers.
As you can imagine, it’s a great way to connect with the kind of dynamic, interesting clients you can get excited about working with. Those who are itching to grow rather than fretting about going over the VAT threshold.
Unfortunately, advice on funding is also a function that many accountancy firms lack the confidence to provide, or outsource to specialist partners. That represents a missed opportunity in many cases because, really, it’s not as complicated as it might sound, if you have the right tools.
Capitalise provides easy access to a range of funding services from a broader range of sources than perhaps many clients realise are available, from grants to credit term negotiations. The injection of much-needed capital your advice leads to could make the difference between a startup being the next Deliveroo or the next Hubbub. (Who? Exactly.)
Not to mention that clients running technology-led businesses tend to appreciate it when their accountants are keeping pace. From cloud accounting to automation, evidence that your firm is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to digital solutions won’t ever go amiss.
You’ve made the connections, you’re supporting cutting edge clients – what about that glow we mentioned above? As Capitalise’s in-house accountant, Kirsty McGregor, says in our new guide to future-proofing your clients’ businesses:
"Firms can often gain wider publicity in the press when these clients achieve [success] – good news stories which can be used in marketing for years afterwards, appealing to businesses who have similar aspirations.”
Download our guide 'Future-proof your clients with Capital Advisory' to help you understand the various ways in which you can support your clients to be future-proof.
Book a consultation to find out how Capitalise can help you deliver a capital advisory service efficiently and easily.