Choosing the right business bank account
Posted: Thu 25th Aug 2022
As two banks prepare to exit the Irish market, we look at what you need to think about before your next move.
If you are still on the fence about where to go, or are considering opening an account as a new business, Enterprise Nation snagged some useful advice from Larissa Feeney to share with our members.
Larissa Feeney is CEO and founder of Accountant Online which provides remote accountant services to small businesses.
“We help them throughout their business journey from a compliance perspective. Making sure that everything's kept right with the Revenue Commissioner - on the tax side, and with the Company’s Registrations Office - on the company law side. And we assist them in all of their day to day, financial needs,” says Larissa.
Making the move
When it comes to switching banks, Larissa can sympathise with businesses because it’s a move she has had to make recently herself as she banks with one of those withdrawing from the Irish market.
“It’s very difficult and a lot of businesses are, kind of, still burying their head in the sand, I think. I know that both Ulster Bank and KBC are putting resources into giving people the nudge to make the move,” she says.
It has been reported that wait times to open a bank account have taken up to three months in some instances.
“It’s a very difficult and time-consuming process for business owners who are already incredibly busy running their business and doing the day to day - to have to take time out to do this with everything else, it’s hugely disruptive,” she explains.
If you’ve time or not, the fact remains, if you are a current Ulster Bank or KBC customer then you are going to have to go through the pain of moving banks.
What to look for
In order to help ease that pain, we asked Larissa what small businesses should be looking for in their search for their next business account. This also applies to those starting out in business too.
“For small businesses in particular online banks are really where I would be looking if I was a small business starting today,” she explains. “Those providers really can offer a small business all of the banking facilities they need at that stage of their business journey.”
“Generally, for new businesses, they are looking at fees as their starting up funds will be tight. And they will be looking at the online services, how user friendly the app is and how quickly they can set things up,” says Larissa.
She goes on to explain that newer businesses, in particularly younger business owners, don’t want to go into a bank – for them a provider which allows them to apply for all their services without having to go into a branch is ideal.
What to watch out for
When it comes to being wary of getting yourself involved with a business account that is not suitable to your needs Larissa gives the following advice.
“It depends on what your needs are as a business. For example, if you have the type of business that needs an overdraft then you need to go to a banking provider that offers that solution – in that case an online provider may not be the right fit for you,” she explains.
“If you need some type of foreign exchange, you need to make sure that the bank you go to has that option,” she continues.
“The biggest issue is fees and making sure you know what you are paying for your banking,” she adds.
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