What Lenders Look for When You’re Applying for a Business Loan

Securing a business loan is a critical step in the growth and success of your company. Whether you’re launching a new venture, expanding an existing business, or addressing financial challenges, understanding what lenders look for can significantly improve your chances of approval. One crucial aspect lenders consider is your financial forecast, and your accountant can play a pivotal role in helping you with this vital element of your loan application.

Lenders place great importance on your creditworthiness. They examine both your personal and business credit scores to evaluate your risk level. A strong credit history demonstrates your ability to manage debt responsibly. If your credit needs improvement, working with your accountant to address this issue is an essential step.

Lenders want to understand how you plan to use the business loan and whether it aligns with your business’s objectives. Your accountant can help you develop a well-thought-out business plan that demonstrates a clear vision for your company’s future. This plan should include details on how the loan will be used, target market analysis, competition insights, revenue projections, and a repayment strategy.

Your accountant can provide you with accurate financial statements, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow forecasts. These documents offer lenders insight into your business’s financial health, profitability, liquidity, and ability to repay the loan. Maintaining precise and up-to-date financial records is crucial.

Accurate financial forecasting is where your accountant’s expertise truly shines. Lenders want to see that you have a realistic plan for generating revenue and repaying the loan. Your accountant can assist in estimating future income, expenses, and cash flow, ensuring that your financial projections are robust and credible.

  1. Credit Score Improvement: Your accountant can guide you on actions to improve both personal and business credit scores, making you a more attractive candidate for lenders.
  2. Business Plan Development: Collaborating with your accountant on creating a comprehensive business plan that showcases your business’s potential and loan repayment ability.
  3. Financial Statement Management: Ensuring your financial statements are accurate and up-to-date to present a clear picture of your business’s financial health to potential lenders.

    Securing a business loan involves several key considerations, including creditworthiness, a well-crafted business plan, precise financial statements, and accurate financial forecasting. Your accountant is a valuable resource in addressing these aspects and can play a crucial role in improving your chances of loan approval.

    At 1Accounts Online, we understand the importance of your accountant’s expertise in your financial journey. With the added advantage of our partnership with Swoop, you can access an even wider range of financial solutions. Contact us today to take the next step toward achieving your business goals, with your accountant by your side and Swoop’s support in securing business loans, grants, and credit score improvement.

    Piggy bank

    How Do I Manage the Finances for My Small Business?

    A Guide to Successful Financial Management

    If you’re a small business owner asking, “how do I manage the finances for my small business?”, you’ve landed in the right place. 1 Accounts Online Ltd, a leading UK-based accountancy practice, provides practical advice to guide you through the maze of small business financial management.

    How Do I Manage the Finances for My Small Business?

    Effective financial management is the lifeblood of any successful business. Here are some key steps to consider for managing your small business finances.

    1. Maintain Accurate Bookkeeping

    Bookkeeping involves recording all your business transactions, including income and expenses. Regular and accurate bookkeeping is vital as it provides a clear picture of your financial health, helps in making informed decisions, and is crucial for tax purposes.

    2. Set a Budget

    A budget is an estimate of your income and expenses over a period. It helps control overspending, plan for the future, and ensures you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses. Regularly compare your actual spending against your budget and adjust as necessary.

    3. Keep Personal and Business Finances Separate

    Mixing personal and business finances can lead to confusion and legal issues. To avoid this, open separate bank accounts and get a business credit card. This will also simplify bookkeeping and tax filings.

    4. Stay on Top of Invoicing

    Invoice promptly and follow up on late payments. Cash flow is vital for small businesses, and managing receivables effectively is crucial to maintaining a healthy cash flow.

    5. Plan for Taxes

    Set aside a portion of your earnings for taxes to avoid a last-minute scramble. Consider engaging an accountant to understand your tax obligations better and take advantage of any possible deductions.

    6. Regular Financial Review

    Regular financial reviews allow you to spot trends, both positive and negative, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Monitor key financial statements, such as the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

    7. Consult a Professional

    Managing finances can be complex and time-consuming. An accountant can help manage your finances, ensuring accuracy and compliance with legal requirements, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your business.

    Why Choose 1 Accounts Online Ltd?

    At 1 Accounts Online Ltd, we understand the intricacies of small business financial management. Our experienced accountants offer a range of services, including bookkeeping, tax planning, and strategic financial advice, tailored to your specific needs.

    In conclusion, if you’re still wondering, “how do I manage the finances for my small business?”, start by following the steps outlined above. However, engaging a professional accountant can simplify the process and offer valuable insights, ultimately contributing to your business’s financial success.

    Girl shrugging sholders

    Do I Need An Accountant?

    Do I Need an Accountant? Unravelling the Importance of Accounting for Your Business

    The question “Do I need an accountant?” is a common one among business owners, especially for start-ups and small businesses. As a leading UK-based accountancy practice, 1 Accounts Online Ltd aims to answer this question and elucidate why an accountant is crucial for your business success.

    Do I Need an Accountant?

    While many may think that an accountant’s role is solely to file taxes and maintain financial records, they do much more than that. They can be your trusted advisor, assisting in vital business decisions, financial planning, and helping ensure your business remains compliant with regulatory standards.

    Navigating Through Complex Tax Matters

    One of the main reasons businesses require an accountant is for handling complex tax matters. UK tax law can be intricate and continually evolving, and having an accountant ensures you are not missing out on any tax benefits or unintentionally violating any rules, saving you from costly penalties.

    Financial Planning and Management

    Accountants play a significant role in financial planning and management. They help in budgeting, forecasting revenue and expenses, and managing cash flow, enabling businesses to make sound financial decisions. If you’re wondering, “Do I need an accountant?”, consider the benefits of having a professional analyse your financial data and provide actionable insights.


    Running a business involves numerous tasks, and managing finances can be time-consuming. An accountant takes over the financial aspect of your business, from bookkeeping to payroll, allowing you to focus more on business growth.

    Guidance during Business Growth and Change

    As your business grows or undergoes changes, an accountant can provide valuable guidance. Whether you plan to expand, take on more employees, or change your business structure, your accountant can help you understand the financial implications and ensure a smooth transition.

    Ensuring Compliance

    Accountants stay up-to-date with the latest accounting standards and regulations, ensuring your business remains compliant. They can assist in preparing and submitting necessary documents to regulatory bodies, including Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

    Why Choose 1 Accounts Online Ltd?

    At 1 Accounts Online Ltd, our team of professional accountants offers an array of services tailored to meet your business needs. Our services extend beyond just maintaining your financial records. We provide strategic financial advice, help manage your taxes, ensure regulatory compliance, and support your business as it grows.

    In conclusion, if you find yourself asking, “Do I need an accountant?” the answer is yes. An accountant is a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes. They not only ensure accurate financial management and regulatory compliance but also serve as strategic advisors for business growth.


    The importance of accountability in business coaching

    Elevating Your Enterprise with a UK Business Coach: The Role of Accountability in Business Success

    In the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, the key to achieving sustained success lies in recognising and harnessing the importance of accountability in business coaching. With a world that is rapidly evolving, being accountable allows business leaders to adapt, overcome challenges, and continually grow. Whether it’s in Suffolk or any other part of the UK, a business coach with a strong emphasis on accountability can help catalyse your organisation’s journey to success. From setting clear, achievable goals to promoting constant progress and fostering an environment of trust, accountability forms the cornerstone of effective business coaching.

    Accountability: A Pillar of Effective Business Coaching

    Paving the Way for Measurable Success

    As your chosen Suffolk Business Coach, we firmly believe in making your success measurable and tangible. With clear accountability, each milestone and goal set for your business is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This approach not only facilitates clarity but also fosters a sense of responsibility, driving you to make substantial strides in your business journey.

    Ensuring Constant Progress

    As UK accountants, we understand the importance of continuous growth for the health of your business. Accountability fosters a culture of progress, helping you stay on track and continually advance towards your goals. It eliminates complacency, fostering a proactive attitude that is essential for business growth.

    Creating an Environment of Trust

    Trust is the backbone of any successful business relationship. By embodying accountability, we aim to instil a sense of trust and confidence in our clients. Whether it’s through our services as UK accountants or as a Business Coach, our commitment to accountability helps you see the real-time progress and results, fortifying your faith in us and our processes.

    Suffolk Accountants: Your UK Business Coach and Accounting Partner

    At 1 Accounts Online, we combine the power of strategic business coaching with our expertise in financial management. Our dual role allows us to offer solid financial advice to entrepreneurs, bolstered by our rich background as UK accountants.

    We ensure that every piece of financial advice we offer aligns with your overarching business strategy and objectives, helping you make well-informed financial decisions. This fusion of coaching and accounting facilitates more holistic business development, driving you towards your desired financial results.

    In essence, the interplay between a business coach and accountability can drastically improve the trajectory of your business. As your trusted UK Business Coach and UK accountants, we at 1 Accounts are committed to fostering a relationship grounded in accountability, propelling your business towards a future of sustained growth and success. Reach out to us today to explore how we can lead you on the path of accountable and strategic growth.

    business finances

    How Do I Understand My Business Finances?

    Unraveling the Mysteries of Business Finances – the Fun Way!

    1. When Business Finances Feel Like Hieroglyphics

    Ever found yourself staring at a pile of spreadsheets and financial statements, as decipherable as ancient hieroglyphics? You’re not alone. Thinking “how do i understand my business finances?” and actually understanding business finances can feel daunting. But fret not – there’s light at the end of the tunnel, courtesy of your friendly UK accountants at 1 Accounts Online!

    2. Light-Hearted Learning with UK Accountants

    Here at 1 Accounts Online, we’re all about keeping things light-hearted, even in the typically serious realm of finance. After all, learning becomes so much easier when it’s enjoyable. So, let’s decode the secrets of your business finances together, with a sprinkle of fun.

    3. Meet Your Financially Focused UK Business Coach

    Our financially focused business coaches aren’t just experts in finance and accounting; they’re also expert communicators. They love transforming complex concepts into simple, enjoyable lessons. Our team believes in breaking down towering financial walls into digestible, bite-sized pieces. With us, phrases like “cash flow” or “profit and loss statement” will be a source of empowerment rather than confusion.

    4. The Haverhill Business Coach Approach: How Do I Understand My Business Finances?

    So, you’re asking, “how do I understand my business finances?” The answer is simple: start with your Haverhill business coach! Mastering the basics of bookkeeping, interpreting financial statements, or strategic financial planning – our team is dedicated to guiding you through each step with humour and enthusiasm.

    5. The Journey of Understanding Your Business Finances

    Remember, understanding your business finances is a journey, not a race. And like any good journey, it’s always more enjoyable with a friendly companion by your side. With the guidance of our UK business coach, you’ll not only understand your business finances but also learn how to use them to drive growth and success.

    6. Let’s Turn That Financial Frown Upside Down!

    Join us at 1 Accounts Online and discover a new, light-hearted approach to understanding your business finances. We guarantee you’ll leave each session a little more financially savvy, with a smile on your face. After all, as your Haverhill business coach, we believe that a day without laughter is a day wasted.

    should I become a limited company - thinking

    Should I Become a Limited Company?

    A common dilemma faced by many budding entrepreneurs and freelancers in the UK is: should I become a limited company? This question arises as a natural step in the growth journey of any small business or self-employed professional. But, deciding to incorporate a limited company is a crucial decision that can have far-reaching implications on various aspects of your business. Let’s break this down to help you make an informed decision.

    Understanding Limited Companies

    Firstly, it’s crucial to understand what becoming a limited company entails. It is a type of business structure where the company is an entity separate from its owners. This means that the company has its own legal identity, distinct from its directors (the people who manage the company) and shareholders (the people who own the company).

    In the UK, limited companies can be categorised into private limited companies (Ltd), which cannot offer shares to the public, and public limited companies (plc), which can. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on private limited companies, as these are the most common choice for small businesses and freelancers.

    Benefits of Becoming a Limited Company

    Limited Liability

    The primary advantage of incorporating a limited company is limited liability. In essence, if the company runs into financial trouble, the personal assets of the directors and shareholders are not at risk. The financial liability of the owners is limited to their investment in the company, providing a safety net against unforeseen business issues.

    Tax Efficiency

    Limited companies often enjoy more favourable tax rates than sole traders or partnerships in the UK. As a director, you can choose to take a combination of salary and dividends, the latter of which is taxed at a lower rate than income tax (dependent on company profits).

    Credibility and Perception

    Becoming a limited company can boost your business’s credibility. The perception of being a larger, more established entity can be beneficial in negotiating contracts and attracting clients or investors.

    Considerations Before Incorporating

    While the benefits are enticing, there are some important considerations to bear in mind before deciding, “Yes, I should become a limited company.”

    Administrative Responsibilities

    Limited companies face more stringent reporting requirements, including submitting annual accounts and reports to Companies House. This can increase your administrative burden and necessitate hiring an accountant.


    As a limited company, your business’s details, including director names and registered office addresses, become public record. Some business owners may not feel comfortable with this level of exposure.

    Difficulty in Withdrawing Money

    Unlike sole traders who can withdraw cash from their business without any tax implications, withdrawing money from a limited company is not as straightforward and can be subject to taxes.

    Making the Decision

    Ultimately, the decision to become a limited company is a personal one that hinges on your business’s specific circumstances. It’s essential to balance the potential benefits against the administrative, financial, and legal implications that come with incorporating.

    Take into account factors such as the nature of your business, financial prospects, and tolerance for risk and administrative work. You should also consult with an accountant or business consultant to make sure you understand all the implications.

    Should I become a limited company? It’s a question that deserves careful consideration. Done right, it could be the launchpad that takes your business to the next level. But, it’s vital to ensure you’re making the right move for the right reasons. So, take your time, do your research, and make the choice that best suits your business aspirations.

    confused person

    Top 10 “I didn’t know that” questions answered

    I didn’t know that?

    This is a phrase we hear a lot, especially when someone sets up a limited company and especially in January when personal tax returns are due.

    Here are our top 10 I didn’t know that questions

    1 . I didn’t know that I needed a separate bank account?

      Yes, a limited company is its own entity and funds held in a personal account will be deemed personal income and could attract tax. Therefor you will need to set up a business bank account for your limited company.

    2. I didn’t know I had to register to pay myself?

    Yes you need to register with HMRC for a PAYE reference and deduct tax and NI on your earnings.  Note single director companies do not get the £5,000 employers NIC relief.

    3. I didn’t know I paid tax on dividends?

    Yes, you pay tax on dividends and these are declared on your personal tax return.  

    4. I didn’t know you had to make a profit to declare dividends?

    Yes, dividends are a distribution of profits and not an expense.  You need to prepare a profit and loss account, work our corporation tax payable and then you can declare a dividend.

    5. I didn’t know I needed paperwork for the dividend?

    Yes, you need a board minute and dividend voucher prepared on the day that you declared the dividend.  Backdating to ‘FIT’ your accounts is illegal.

    6. I didn’t know I had to keep accounting records? 

    Yes, HMRC require you to keep accounting records and the Companies Act.  We recommend Xero as an accounting software provider.  Giving over a years bank statements and records to prepare is expensive and you will have no idea of dividends you can vote if any.

    7. I didn’t know I paid tax on monies taken from the company? 

    Yes, if you have borrowed from your company you will pay tax on your Corporation Tax Return.  This is a holding tax that will be repaid once you are back in funds with the company.

    8. I didn’t know my company had to register for VAT? 

    Yes, if you exceed £85,000 in a rolling 12 months you must register for VAT and in some cases it is better if you do register for VAT.

    9. I didn’t know I couldn’t run my car through the business?  

    You can run the car through the business BUT it will be classed as a benefit in kind and you will pay tax on the benefit.  Some cars are much better through a Limited company than others.  Electric cars are a great benefit.

    10. I didn’t know it was so complicated? 

    This is where a good accountant will help you manage your limited company so that you comply with the companies act, HMRC and help move your business forwards.


    Take a look at this video:

    13 Ways an Accountant Can Help a Small Business Owner

    There are two huge mistakes that many start-ups or small business owners make. The first one is trying to manage their own accounting system. This is often done incorrectly which can hurt the business in the long-term. The second mistake is assuming that an accountant is only good for managing accounts and filing Tax or VAT returns.
    An accountant is a financial guru and an all-around business advisor all in one. Accountants are an incredibly valuable member of any small business team as they can offer a lot more than just accounting to small business owners. Here are 13 ways accountants can help:

    1) They can help you go from business idea to start up

    They will give you advice on what you need to create the foundation for a successful business e.g. determining the best business structure, creating your business plan, opening a business bank account etc.

    2) They can assist with the financial analysis in your business plan

    They can also help with loan applications and forecasting.

    3) They analyse your finances to determine where your business’ money is going

    They can then advise you on where to make improvements in your processes and cash flow so your business can scale and grow.

    4) They will explain your financial data so you can make financial decisions with confidence

    A good accountant will break it down so you understand the ins and outs of your business at all times.

    5) They close out your books and create end-of-year financial reports

    With your reports, an accountant will recommend changes to budgets or forecasts.

    6) They compile and submit your taxes and financial reports to HMRC and Companies House

    As well as submitting, they can also calculate VAT, provide advice on estimated tax payments, and provide guidance.

    7) They make sure that your accounting procedures comply with government regulations.

    Legislation changes all the time. An accountant keeps up to date with these so they can check your company’s tax position and keep you compliant.

    8) They oversee your company payroll and payment process

    They can help you streamline your business processes to work smarter, not harder.

    9) They can help you streamline your business processes to work smarter, not harder

    They can provide advice on the type of accounting software that’s suitable for your business, how to track your expenses, and also invoicing and payroll. More time means more earning potential!

    10) They can identify risks in financial transactions to prevent fraud

    Many business owners want to identify investment opportunities too. An accountant can provide advice on this and check whether an investment is solid.

    11) They can help you identify areas for growth in your business as well as ways to save money

    By looking at cash flow patterns, inventory management, your pricing, business financing.

    12) They will work with you to create a business budget and stay on track

    Every business owner needs a budget to support their business goals. An accountant can actively help with this.

    13) They can advise you on all the big things

    Reports, taxes, audits, business strategy, you name it and they can probably help you with it. Need advice on property or equipment leasing and purchase? Need guidance or resources to assist with scaling the business? Guess who can help – Accountants!

    Accountants are key to business success, wherever you are on your business journey

    These are just some of the ways that accountants can work with you to support your business. Whether you’re launching a start-up, you’re a small business owner who needs help with running the business day-to-day or you’re wanting to really scale your business, an accountant can provide essential advice and guidance, every step of the way.

    7 ways to have the right mindset for growth during a recession

    A fixed mindset is thinking that the recession means business stops and clients don’t want to spend money.
    A growth mindset is using this recession as an opportunity to adapt and do things differently.
    You bees the second mindset if you want to grow your firm doing the recession.
    The only thing holding you and your firm back from growing right now is you. To help you move your practice forward, both now during the pandemic and during any future recessions, here are 7 mindset shifts you need to make.

    1) Make peace with your reality

    Suffering is what happens when you resist what is already happening. The sooner you confront the current reality and accept it, the quicker you can move past it.

    2) Hold yourself accountable

    If you want to grow, you need to think of the acronym R.O.A.D. You need to take Responsibility for the choices you’ve made, you need to take Ownership of where you want to go, you need to start taking Action, and you need to be Decisive. When making your strategy plan, be 100% accountable for putting it into action.

    3) Don’t compare yourself to others

    Some businesses are struggling, others are thriving. Don’t compare yourself to either. Every business owner, firm, and situation is different, so don’t disrupt your focus with doubt.

    4) Prioritise delivering value

    Concentrate on delivering exceptional service to your current clients. How can you offer extra value during this time? This will make you invaluable and it will ensure that you stand out from your competitors.

    5) Focus on your strengths, not your ‘failures’

    What work are you good at? What do you love to do the most? Which clients are your favourites to work with? Being positive during this time is essential, so focus on what you love and reflect on your principles and values. Rediscovering why you do what you do is very powerful when it comes to self-motivation and drive.

    6) Fail fast and achieve quickly

    Inaction is the worst thing you can do, not trying something and failing. During a time of such change, don’t procrastinate and don’t be a perfectionist. Take action, fail fast, learn from your mistakes, and concentrate on getting there first (not doing it perfectly and getting there last).

    7) Be grateful and become self-aware

    Practice gratitude every day by thinking about what you are grateful for both now and in your future. Also, take time to reflect and to rediscover your purpose. If you’re confident and happy, you will attract similar clients.

    Adapt AND adopt

    We have all had to adapt to some degree during the pandemic, for example, being forced to adapt to working from home. Changes such as these are necessary to our ‘survival’ during this time.
    With that being said, however, it is the accountants who have both adapted and adopted changes of their own, who have thrived. These are the individuals who make quick and effective decisions, who take responsibility for changing their situation, and who take action.
    Anyone can grow their firm during a recession, they just have to have the right mindset.

    Hiring an accountant could save your business!

    A lot of new businesses fail. A lot of old businesses fail. A lot of previously successful businesses fail. Why? Usually, it comes down to issues around finances.

    If you’re starting a new business, or if you’ve been in business for years and are trying to grow your team and scale your company, hiring an accountant can help. Here’s how.

    1) They help you become more tax-efficient

    Tax isn’t easy. Legislation changes all the time and any delays or mistakes could be costly. With an accountant filing your taxes for you, you can have the peace of mind that it is all being done correctly and on time. Not only that, but it saves you a lot of time and resources AND it saves you money. Accountants can reduce your tax burden by identifying opportunities for deductions, and they can help you avoid any government fines.

    2) They mitigate the risk of financial mistakes

    Accountants know how to identify financial risks and avoid them before they become major problems. What this means for you is that you’ll never spend money you don’t have, you will save money in all the areas you can, and you’ll be more aware and better equipped to stick to a proper budget. Fewer to no financial mistakes means minimal losses and more profit!

    3) They actively help you to grow your business

    If you get an accountant on board in the early stages of your business, they will help you to develop a plan for growing your business in the right way. Not only that, but they will also ensure that your finances are handled correctly from the beginning so that it doesn’t take over everything else in the future. As your business grows, they will start to provide advice in other areas such as budgeting and financing; payroll and recruitment, cashflow forecasting and investments, and business strategy. They will work with you to ensure you have the financial capabilities and processes needed to work towards your business goals.

    Survive and thrive!

    Most new businesses fail because of financial issues, so don’t make the same mistake. Hire an accountant as early as possible and get the guidance and expertise needed to take your business to the next level. They will not only help you save money, but they can help you make money as your business grows too.