At ASV, we’re making it our mission to share as much information with our incredible ASV Collective as we possibly can. BUT we can’t do this alone, so we’ve roped in some amazing female entrepreneurs to help us out, offer advice, and provide some inspiration to all of us.
This week we have reached out to Rachel Harris, founder of Accountant She, because when starting a business, one of the things that can be the most scary to understand is the finances.
Rachel Harris is disrupting what it means to be an accountant, a business owner and an employer in 2023. She is a TEDx speaker, content creator, author, business owner and, most importantly… an accountant! Rachel adds value to her audience of 30,000 by creating completely free long and short-form content delivering financial education. She is passionate about free financial education for everyone, she is the founder of @accountant_she, striveX accountants, striveX audit, striveX consulting and striveX mortgages.
Yes. She’s pretty qualified to help us out with a few questions we had about helping our community of fashion founders conquer their finances…
💥 What are your top tips for financial organisation?
1. Separate Personal and Business Finances
Open a separate bank account for your business and use it exclusively for business transactions. This separation will simplify record-keeping, ensure accurate financial reporting, and make tax preparation easier.
2. Implement a Bookkeeping System
Establish a consistent bookkeeping system to track income and expenses. This can be done manually or with the help of accounting software. Regularly update your records and reconcile bank statements to ensure accuracy.
3. Maintain Organised Records
Keep all financial documents, such as receipts, invoices, and bank statements, in an organised manner. This will facilitate easy retrieval of information for audits, tax filings, and financial analysis.
4. Develop a Budget
Create a budget that outlines your projected income and expenses. This will help you set financial goals, track your spending, and make informed decisions about resource allocation.
5. Monitor Cash Flow
Regularly monitor your cash flow to ensure you have enough funds to cover expenses and identify potential cash shortages. Cash flow management is essential for maintaining liquidity and meeting financial obligations.
6. Control Expenses
Review your expenses regularly and identify areas where you can reduce costs. Negotiate with vendors for better pricing, consider alternative suppliers, and evaluate the necessity of each expense item.
7. Invoice Promptly and Follow up on Payments
Send invoices promptly and establish a system for following up on unpaid invoices. Encourage timely payments from customers to improve your cash flow.
8. Plan for Taxes
Stay informed about tax obligations specific to your business and plan for them throughout the year. Set aside funds for taxes and maintain accurate records to facilitate tax preparation.
9. Seek Professional Advice
Consider consulting with an accountant or financial advisor to get expert guidance on financial matters. They can help with tax planning, financial analysis, and provide valuable insights to improve your financial management practices.
10. Review Financial Reports
Regularly review financial reports such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Analyse key performance indicators (KPIs) and use them to make informed decisions about your business’s financial health and future strategies.
💥 What's the biggest myth about accounting for small businesses that needs to be squashed?
Accounting is not just about recording financial transactions and submitting tax returns. It provides so many amazing insights into the financial health, performance of a business and the financial wellbeing of the founder!
💥 What's the most common mistake small businesses make in regards to finance?
One of the most common mistakes small businesses make in regards to finance is small business owners failing to keep their personal and business finances separate. Separating your business finances from your personal finances is one of the quickest, easiest and most impactful changes you can implement into your business from the very beginning!
💥 What number one tool would you recommend to small business owners to look after their finances?
I would recommend using accounting software to really lean into your numbers and take control of your business! Accounting software provides numerous benefits and can streamline financial management processes. This can cover bookkeeping and expense tracking, financial reporting and time efficiency. We teach all of our clients to use accounting software to conduct a monthly financial wellbeing routine within their business which includes planning for cash, tax planning and setting goals for their business!
💥 At what point should a small business owner reach out to an accountant such as yourself for help?
There are many points in your business journey when it’s important to reach out to an accountant. This could be when you’re setting up a business or changing company types. Tax Planning and Compliance.
An accountant can help optimise your tax position, ensure compliance with relevant tax laws, identify potential deductions and credits, and file accurate tax returns. But most importantly, an accountant can change the way you feel about your finances. You should get an accountant when you want one, is my best advice!
💥 What made you decide to take the leap and start your own company?
Ooh juicy question! I wanted to do better. I trained at a top 75 accountancy practice, so I was technically qualified at a very high level, but I wanted to take that top-tier service and apply it with people at the centre of everything. Financial education is something that is not taught at schools, and so for me, my content and my business is the way that I can do that on a scale!
💥 As an entrepreneur yourself, what advice would you give to those looking to start their business? And for those looking to scale up?
My main advice would be to define your vision and have clear business goals in mind.
Streamline Operations and Processes
Review your existing operations and identify areas where you can improve efficiency and productivity. Automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and leverage technology to optimise your processes.
Invest in Marketing and Sales
Develop a robust marketing strategy to reach a wider audience and attract new customers. Utilise various marketing channels, including digital marketing, social media, content marketing, and targeted advertising. Invest in sales initiatives, customer relationship management, and lead generation to drive growth.
Build a Strong Team
As your business scales, focus on hiring and retaining top talent. Assess the skills and expertise needed to support growth and fill key roles in your organisation. Foster a positive work culture, provide opportunities for professional development, and empower your team to contribute to the business’s success.
💥 You've also gained a great following online - how did you build this community?
I have! Our community is now 30,000 small business owners who want to feel better about their finances! Consistency, community and clarity around my audience and goals has been the secret for me. I’ve always been crystal clear on who my audience is, how I can add the most value to them and what my role is within the industry.
A huge thank you to Rachel for taking the time to answer these questions so thoughtfully. We hope you found our interview as interesting and helpful as we did! Give Rachel a follow on Instagram.
Your ASV family xx