Beyond the balance sheet

How to scale-up with accounting services and professional advice

Simon Smith 07/10/2020 5 minute read

Simon Smith FCCA shares how Reaction Engines relied on Wellers for the necessary systems, controls, and advice for scaling up.

Many founders will start out with a vision or dream of where they see their organisation heading. Navigating the early challenges of starting out, most owners would expect those aspirations to begin to become a reality as you move into growth and become a scale-up business.

However, the challenges of scaling are at least equal to, if not harder, than the early days of setting up. As your business expands so it becomes harder to run and control. That's where professional and accounting services can alleviate the burden of managing the finance function while helping inform your strategic and investment decision making.

In this post we share a testimonial video from one of our clients as to how we helped them transition from start-up into scale-up.

Accounting services & advice for your growing business >

Business accounting services

Obtaining investment, or financing, may bring more resource but expansion will change the dynamics of your organisation. The likely result being it will be harder to manage. Think of things such as the following to name a few:

  • Employing and managing staff
  • Operational issues such as office health and safety
  • More financial, regulatory, legal, and tax commitments
Alan Bond recognised the need for help early on at Reaction Engines and worked closely with Wellers. Our outsourced accounting services ensured the necessary financial infrastructure and fiscal discipline was put in place so that his business could be run effectively as it expanded.

Consequently Alan was able to focus almost entirely on all the vast, complex scientific and technical challenges of developing aerospace engine technology for hypersonic and space access propulsion. He did so safe in the knowledge that the finances were sufficiently robust to keep all the key functions and divisions operating efficiently.

Professional advice

Alan's close relationship with Wellers meant he had full confidence that matters arising from growth were in very safe hands. For example, dealing with HM Revenue & Customs enquiries, conducting research and development tax claims, implementing an enterprise management incentive share scheme for staff and identifying when and how much further investment would be needed. 

Often owner managers will be very good at what they do. The key component to them realising their goals is to receive help in specific, complex, and time consuming business areas such as the finances. This ensures they then have the freedom to implement their vision.

Doing exactly that in partnership with Wellers worked out just fine for Alan and Reaction Engines.

Transcription of the video testimonial

Alan Bond:

"I'm Alan Bond, I'm one of the founding engineers of Reaction Engines.

"I'm often asked why I've got this drive to go into space. I want to see the human race have access to the entire solar system. That's been my drive all my life."

Simon Smith:

"Hi my name's Simon Smith, I'm a senior partner at Wellers. I've acted for Alan since 1989. 

"In those days it was a classic scenario of a start-up where we would go to a client's premises and deal with all of their accountancy and taxation issues.

"The company has grown hugely over the years and the number of services we've done along the way immeasurably."


"I had no clue about how to go forward and run a company. Wellers gave me a tremendous amount of advice on that and indeed we finished up with something of a partnership by the time we got into the early nineteen nineties. 

"They were looking at all of those issues that I didn't know how to handle. I was able, in those days, to focus entirely on looking at all of the technical problems, of which there were more than enough to keep me happy.

"Wellers were always there with lots of advice and eager to search, find out what the state of everything was and what I was doing. I think in particular, in dealing with the Inland Revenue, Wellers were very up to that and kept very comprehensive records of everything that we were doing."


"We all believe that our clients are extremely good at their job and knowing what they want to do.

Reaction Engines Limited really to me demonstrates classic 'business oxygen' that Wellers provide, from start-up all the way through. We've experienced all of that journey with Alan."


"In all of my studies over all of the years, all of which have been focussed on propulsion and getting off the earth and into space, I've not found any reason why any of that shouldn't be possible.

"It's complicated. The science says it's possible, the engineering needs some development, but the human race has a very rosy future in front of it. It's got an almost limitless supply of resources out in the solar system.

"It can do anything it wants, it just needs to stop scrapping over the pebble that we actually live on."

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This post was created on 18/04/2018 and updated on 07/10/2020.

Please be aware that information provided by this blog is subject to regular legal and regulatory change. We recommend that you do not take any information held within our website or guides (eBooks) as a definitive guide to the law on the relevant matter being discussed. We suggest your course of action should be to seek legal or professional advice where necessary rather than relying on the content supplied by the author(s) of this blog.



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