Choosing banks, accountants, and insurers

I'm still working through the administration of setting up the new business, and finding that it takes longer than I expect. I am choosing a bank and an accountant to work with, as well as researching insurers for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

It is worthwhile meeting bankers and accountants, as relationships are important, and talking to accountants produces advice about banks and vice versa. At the moment UK banks are competing with one another to get new business customers, and offering a period of free banking. The charging structures of some are such that banking continues to be largely free thereafter. Having said that, it's more important to maximise sales than to worry about bank charges. I find myself warming to managers who are obviously honest, and demonstrate their skill by listening rather than talking about their relationship with other customers.

In meeting accountants, I have been impressed by each but then inclined to meet with others. This is because I at first valued people who were telling me things that I did not know, then realised that it was more important to have an accountant who listened to where I was at rather than giving me a pre-prepared speech. I also realised that some were more in touch with ways to help me “keep it simple” – so that I have to spend less time on my own book keeping. Quotes for doing the end of year accounts for a small Limited Company have ranged from £400 to £1750 (plus VAT). It seems useful to me to have access at the firm not just to Chartered Accountants, but also to a Chartered Tax Adviser.

I need to have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance, although I am not sure to what level. I do not need Employer's Liability Insurance as there are no other employees at present. I find a wide range of different kinds of policies are available, at a wide range of prices, and are easily accessible over the internet (Towergate offer a comprehensive range, and Hiscox policies are widely offered by brokers). Being a member of a relevant professional institution attracts discounts on tailor-made policies which is good.

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