Victoria Parkinson is the Director of VSP Accountancy, a chartered accountancy service that specialises in small businesses and new start-ups. Previously working at a firm for twelve years, we met up with Victoria to find out more about her and hear some of her tips for freelancers and tech start-ups at the C4DI.
“There’s no need to worry about big accounting bills when you’ve already got the costs of launching a start-up,” Vicky assures us. “I’m dedicated to changing how people perceive accountants. I’m always here when they need me for helpful, straightforward and actionable insight.”
Set on stepping away from the stereotypical view of accountancy, she emphasises what makes VSP so different: “When I set up the company, I really wanted to work with smaller businesses or start-ups, as they are often the ones who are priced out of getting access to quality advice. I am now finding that the range of services they need is quite broad; some clients have a reasonable knowledge and all they require is my accounting practice, whereas some start-ups have very limited experience in the subject.”
This is where VSP comes in, advising people on the most tax-efficient way of setting up and structuring themselves: “Firstly you need to choose how you want your business to operate: are you a sole trader, a partnership or a company?” With C4DI members ranging from brand new freelancers to seasoned organisations, this clarification makes a huge difference to how you operate and turn a profit, not to mention the administrative and legal implications to your operations.
Vicky elaborates further: “Your obligations depend on the business structure you opt for. Sole traders, for example, need to fill out a self-assessment tax form, whereas companies must sort the tax returns for the individuals who work for them, as well as keep records of annual accounts for Companies House.”
Once the initial organising is over, Vicky can then concentrate on more specialised support: “A few clients at C4DI have requested advice on how the government’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme works, which can help start-up businesses to attract capital injection. In addition, Research and Development Tax Credits are one of the most generous tax reliefs available.”
One C4DI business that uses Victoria’s services is NFire Labs, which is led by Alex Youden. He said: “VSP took all of the responsibility for our accounting and VAT. Without this, we would have spent countless hours trying to work it out ourselves, but instead we concentrated fully on the things that we are good at!”
VSP Accountancy proudly offers a one-stop-shop for freelancers and new businesses, with Vicky providing everything from useful suggestions to preparation of accounts, bookkeeping and in-depth structuring. “Running a small business is hard enough without having to worry about your accounts and the huge fees that come with it,” said Vicky. “I’m here to help all C4DI members to keep their cash flowing and their revenue growing.”
Working at the C4DI has brought about an abundance of opportunity for VSP Accountancy: “The building hosts a diverse mix of people, ideas and some fantastic emerging businesses; I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great start-ups so far,” Vicky enthuses. “On top of that, it’s great for creating a dedicated workspace; I focus more when I’m here and get loads done. The environment significantly improves time management and productivity levels.”
Any advice for new ventures? Vicky strongly suggests that start-ups don’t ignore things like fines or deadlines and offers three tops tips:
Keep good records. If you forget about expenses, it means more in HMRC’s pocket and less in your own.
Don’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to deadlines. Penalties from HMRC and Companies House can be very expensive.
If you have any questions, please just ask. I’m around every week for free advice.
To find out more about VSP Accountancy, from taxation to payroll, please visit vspaccountancyservices.com.