First of all, get yourself a good accountant!
A mentor of mine told me one of the golden rules in business, the moment you decide to venture into one: get a good accountant. I never realized how important that piece of advice was, because I grew up very organized about money and all my economic transactions in general, even receipts -- I would fix them by the date and record transactions in my personal ledger. I'm #WiseCashGirl after all, plus I'm really anal about my financial records; what are accountants for anyway? I just saw them before as professionals who would collect my (extremely organized) records monthly and from those, prepare documents and forms that speak accounting jargon and "government language" ifyouknowwhatimean.
When we formally incorporated Blogapalooza Inc. in 2015, I knew theoretically how things are done under the corporation law -- you go to the SEC to register your corporation name, you fill out Articles of Incorporation, gather requirements and comply with necessary paperwork, and then you pay certain setup fees. Easy peasy!
Always easier said than done, though.
In May 2015 when we decided to finally incorporate our company, we asked a couple of friends for recommendations for firms that can help with the process. We asked around: which accounting firm can handle the needs of our startup in a way that's fast and responsive, can speak accounting language that's tailored to our company and easily understandable for us (no jargons please!), can fit and adapt to our ever-changing needs, and most of all, a firm that we can afford on a startup budget?
That's when I got to know the directors of Business Health Consulting and Accounting Services Co. (BHCASCo). First meeting and I knew that they were the ones we're going to hire -- that they were the ones who were going to stick with us, our rollercoaster startup journey, and my insane need to document everything and be updated of all happenings all the time. :P
Our team of advisers and consultants from BHCASCo, during our financial planning session last January. L-R: Limuel Cornejo, Jovoy Del Rosario, Sean Yangco, Jefferson Viray, and myself.
BHCASCo has helped Blogapalooza in a couple of ways that most startup entrepreneurs (and freelancers and professionals alike) won't get to appreciate or even foresee, until they're faced with problems already. Among the multitude of ways that BHCASCo's assistance has been extremely helpful to us in Blogapalooza Inc. are the following:
1. BHCASCo took care of the entire incorporation process of Blogapalooza Inc. -- we only had to sign documents and pay necessary fees for government permits! From procurement of the necessary documents and even printing them for us, to running errands and enduring long queues in government offices to pay for our permits, to sometimes sending their staff over to wherever we are to make us sign the documents needed when they're urgent (as you know, we're all over the place) -- all for a service fee of I think at that time was only PHP 15,000. Super sulit and sakto for startup budget!
2. When you're a startup founder/entrepreneur, you have other things to worry about, yet you always have to make sure that your company is in good standing with the regulators. Working with BHCASCo, we only have to hand over to them our receipts every month and they take care of all documents for accounting and tax compliance -- statements of comprehensive income, balance sheets, audited financial statements that we submit to the SEC every year, as well as all forms that we need in the course of operations. This is helpful for freelancers, self-employed entrepreneurs and professionals, even artists!
3. We've had some rearrangements and reallocations of shareholdings in our company since, and BHCASCo had been reliable in making sure that our deeds of assignment/sale, capital gains taxes, and all other payables in line with share transfers and buyouts are well done. This is very important if you're running a startup and in the course of operations, you have to welcome strategic partners and/or investors coming in for equity.
4. When Blogapalooza Inc. had to transition and grow from being in the events business to being an influencer marketing company, we had to do some amendments in our incorporation papers to make sure that all our business activities are compliant with necessary regulations. You need help of your lawyers to prepare the documents, of course, but BHCASCo is also helpful when you need to amend some parts of your company incorporation papers, including primary business address, primary & secondary purposes, etc.
5. Again, I'm really anal about documentations, so BHCASCo makes sure to furnish us with scanned copies of all the important documents, like permits, invoices, receipts, etc. every time. The hard copies are all well-kept and properly labeled in their office files.
With their comprehensive service and assistance, I don't even feel that our accountants are outsourced! They're a company of their own, around 20-25 people in their office in Jollibee Plaza Ortigas, and always ready to welcome startup founders, entrepreneurs, freelancers, professionals, artists, self-employed individuals, and anyone who might need accounting help.
You can get in touch with our Account Manager in BHCASCo, Jovoy Del Rosario at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish to ask for more information. He's the one taking care of Blogapalooza's account so he knows how it's like to work with me -- I'm good with taking records and we're very organized internally, but Jovoy knows how to handle startups and (sometimes cranky and demanding) clients really well.
Please mention Blogapalooza or Ace Gapuz when you get in touch with them, because I would love for them to know that I appreciate them very much and that I'm recommending them to people because I am happy with their work. :)
Disclosure: Of course I didn't get paid to write this article! I'm recommending BHCASCo because they've made things so much easier for us (I kid you not, we've had so many amendments in our incorporation papers) and I never had to worry about a thing since we commenced operations in 2015. We're fully compliant since day 1, and I know that we're always ready anytime the BIR decides to check up on our books. I know the birthpains that startups have and the overwhelming amount of stress that startup founders go through on a daily basis -- your accounting records should be one less thing to worry about. :)