The effects of work-related stress and how having a bookkeeper could help.

Not only is April the start of springtime and a new tax year, but it is also International Stress Awareness Month. Held every April since 1992, this annual event is all about increasing public awareness of the causes and cures for stress.

This year the Stress Management Society, which heads the monthly initiative, is encouraging people to regain connection, certainty, and control in their lives through the use of daily challenges. They are encouraging members of the public to pick one action to benefit their physical, mental and emotional well-being and carry it out every day.

If you have a small business, you are probably no stranger to stress. There is a lot to remember and even more to juggle – especially if you are doing your own bookkeeping. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we understand that not everyone who starts their own business is well-versed in the challenging and complex work that is often required to stay on top of your finances. So, you might put it off, or spend a prolonged period just struggling on your own. As a result, all of this work can keep piling up, creating more and more stress, and taking a toll on your wellbeing. But what actions can you take to better it?

How stress can affect you

Stress can affect you in all sorts of ways. A moderate amount can be good. Without stress, our ancestors would not have been able to stay alert to potential dangers in their environment. The environment may have changed – we are no longer in caves – and so have the dangers – we are no longer worried about the potential of being attacked by a sabre-toothed tiger. But the response in the body has stayed the same. According to the Stress Management Society, when we are stressed, our bodies go into what you have probably heard referred to as ‘fight or flight mode’, releasing a mix of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine to prepare us for action. This was useful when we have to flee from or face up to real danger. The problem comes when our bodies enter this state in inappropriate situations such as at home or work, or in response to a looming deadline.

The bodies’ response to stress will differ from person to person and can be emotional, physical, or behavioural, but it often exacerbates pre-existing problems an individual can have. This makes it hard to pinpoint specific or universal effects of stress. However, the University of Cambridge has observed common effects of work-related stress, including:

Behavioural Effects:

Substance misuse
Isolation
Lack of punctuality
Situational displays of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Emotional Effects:

Depression
Anxiety
Irritability
Frequently fluctuating emotional state

Effects on the work organisation:

High absenteeism and labour turnover
Poor timekeeping, motivation, performance, and productivity
Low morale
Increased employee complaints, ill-health, and accident & incident reports

Physical Effects:

Sleep disturbances
Headaches
Gastrointestinal upset
Raised blood pressure

Prorogued stress can be especially bad for the body and, according to the Stress Management Society, can contribute to many serious health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, strokes, ulcers, diabetes, IBS, tooth loss, joint pain, miscarriage, allergies, and alopecia.

How a bookkeeper can help you

So, what can a bookkeeper do? If you run a small business and are finding the work of staying on top of your finances is causing you stress, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional bookkeeper.

This is different from the role of an accountant, whose job is to give you an overview of trends, profitability, cash flow, and other financial factors. A bookkeeper provides more hands-on support in taking care of your books through the regular recording, tracking and management of your business’s financial transactions and data. This will allow you to reliably measure your performance and help to formulate the proper strategies to better position your business within its market.

A professional bookkeeping business can help you with the job of managing your books by:

Carrying out data entry
Balancing bank ledgers
Preparing bank reconciliations
Tracking income and expenses
Carrying out VAT returns
Maintaining the general ledger
And sometimes even completing payroll and also producing monthly Profit & Loss reports.

Save yourself from the stress of bookkeeping by outsourcing to Rosemary Bookkeeping today. To find out more about our services, or to chat with our experts, give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business now.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

Everything you need to know about MTD and how having a bookkeeper helps.

Making Tax Digital (or MTD) is part of HMRC’s ongoing initiative that has been underway since April 2019 to digitalise the UK tax system. Currently, MTD is focused on VAT submission but is set to grow to include other types of tax, such as Income Tax and Corporation Tax. The most immediate of these extensions is coming up soon, when in April 2022, the current MTD VAT will become extended to include businesses.

So, what is MTD? When and how will MTD affect your business? And how should you go about paying it? We have all the answers. Getting in touch with your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business lets you directly contact your local bookkeeping experts, who will help support you with any bookkeeping query.

We’ve also put together a post to answer all of your most burning questions on MTD. Starting with:

What is MTD?

MTD has two core components:

  1. Replacement of paper-based records and a requirement for businesses and organisations (including those with property-based incomes) to keep digital accounting records.
  2. Using compatible software to submit tax returns and updates to HMRC – The government will be removing their current online tax services when a business registers for MTD and will require businesses and organisations to use software compliant with their API (Application Program Interfaces) to submit relevant updates and returns to HMRC instead.

MTD Timeline

  • 1st April 2019: MTD has been in place since this date for the majority of VAT-registered businesses that are above the tax threshold of an £85’000 turnover or above. These included partnerships, sole traders, limited companies, non-UK businesses registered for UK VAT, and charities and trusts.
  • 1st October 2019: There was a six-month deferred start date for more complex businesses.
  • 1st April 2022: MTD will be mandatory for all VAT-registered businesses and organisations.
  • April 2024: MTD will become mandatory for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) for those who are self-employed and/or with a property-based income if they have self-employment and/or gross rental income of over £10’000.
  • April 2025: MTD ISTA becomes mandatory for general partnerships. Meaning it will now apply to corporate or ‘non-natural’ and non-limited liability partnerships with a turnover above the £10’000 threshold.

The immediate changes and how they affect your business

If, before April 2022, you were not already under the current MTD legislation, you will be required to sign up to MTD, keep digital records of VAT and submit this information to HMRC through an MTD compatible software.

It’s important to note that if your business has received an MTD exemption, this will still be in effect beyond 1st April 2022. To check if you are eligible, or apply for exemption from MTD, you can find guidance on how to do so via the HMRC website. If you’re concerned about the impact of MTD on your business, you can read more about its effects here.

MTD’s benefits:

  • It can reduce or even eliminate paper-based or manual tax processes. This allows you greater accuracy in tax returns, reduces the time you spend on administration, and gives you more time to maximise your business opportunities, productivity and profitability.
  • In the case that you opt to use cloud-based software, you’ll be able to see in real-time what is happening in your books and have better control over your finances, allowing you to up-to-date and well-informed business decisions.
  • Using compliant digital software means that submitting information to HMRC is far simpler and less stressful.
  • Some accounting software link directly with your bank account, further reducing the ‘paperwork’ and time spent filing taxes.
  • Digital software provides you with real-time management information so you can see how your business is performing.

So, if you have not already done so, you need to start weighing your options for MTD compliant software.

How Rosemary Bookkeeping can help

We understand that making the jump to digital can be scary and daunting. But, it’s not as costly or difficult as it seems – especially with the help of an expert bookkeeping service like Rosemary Bookkeeping. The benefit of changing to MTD in April 2022 is that everybody else has already had around three years of experience working with it.

With a professional bookkeeper from Rosemary Bookkeeping to help you, making your tax digital is a very simple process. We have been operating MTD for VAT submissions since its inception in 2019 and know its processes inside and out. Going digital may be a scary prospect, but by using a bookkeeper, your tax may be going digital, but your bookkeeping experience isn’t. We will assist however you need to get accustomed to the software, or simply do the work for you and make the process of sending returns to HMRC straightforward. We will also send generated returns directly from the software so that you have a well-kept and organised backlog of your records.

The main drawback of digital services like Xero and QuickBooks is that they depend on your own financial knowledge and ability to work through MTD yourself. Our bookkeeping experts are trained to work digitally using MTD compliant software like Xero and QuickBooks and Sage, but are a real-life human presence that can reassure and guide you through the process, so you’re not going it alone. As Rosemary Bookkeeping is well-versed in MTD and online services, we can also offer advice on which software would be best for you, and often offer competitive prices for software subscriptions.

Additionally, we also offer an online exchange of documents, so you’ll be able to upload photos or scans of documents so that we can process them on the bookkeeping software. We also use Apps like AutoEntry or Hubdoc, which not only attach documents directly to the record on the software but also automate some bookkeeping processes – saving you valuable time and money.

To start receiving expert help and advice from your local bookkeeping experts, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business today.

You can’t leave it all to tech.

Bookkeeping is tricky. Especially for small businesses, when you are juggling a million other things. So, it’s understandable that you want to ease the burden of this task any way you can. Nowadays we can turn to technology to solve most of our problems, and bookkeeping is no exception. You may have even seen adverts praising digital bookkeeping aids. Popular software like Xero and Quickbooks promise to make bookkeeping easy, help you track and manage expenses and stay on top of taxes. But how true is this?

What bookkeeping software does

Quickbooks promises three major things:

  • The ability to stay on top of taxes
  • The ability to track and manage expenses
  • Keeping data that allows for ‘no-nonsense’ payroll

This technology is all designed around one central premise: streamlining your bookkeeping experience. Everything bookkeeping software do is about using technology to save you time.

The bottom line is, using online software depends on you. Your ability to use this software depends on how much you know about bookkeeping and how up to date you are with recent legislative changes etc. For example, Quickbooks and Xero both rely on the use of VAT codes. But they do not provide support on what these are, and how to use them. For all their data and efficiency, they do not help much if you don’t know a lot about bookkeeping. As a result, relying on this software means taking a big risk depending on how much you know. If you are not confident with your books, you would still be better off using a bookkeeper.

What a bookkeeper does better

Having a personal bookkeeper involves all the benefits of bookkeeping software and more. They help you keep on top of your VAT returns, payroll and tax obligations. A bookkeeper also helps you track and manage your expenses, produces debtor and creditor reports to help with your cash flow and daily management of your business. They provide you with industry-specific knowledge and help you make more educated business decisions. This means you receive support all year round with any bookkeeping queries you might have. With a bookkeeper, you are not reliant on technology. QuickBooks and Xero are fantastic tools that can automate a big part of the bookkeeping process, but when it comes to technology, errors made by automated systems cannot be avoided and need somebody with experience and knowledge to check if the entries and codes are correct. Using a bookkeeper allows you not to be reliant on the software and automatic data entry. A bookkeeper also assures that your business is compliant, you meet all the deadlines, and your information is archived properly. Thanks to this you can avoid costly mistakes, save time and money. knowing that your business finances are in good hands.

For a reliable and professional bookkeeping service, contact your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business today.

It’s a question often asked. Small businesses the world over find themselves struggling with their books, but don’t want any extra expenses. So; is it really necessary to outsource your bookkeeping?

The simple answer is: there is no simple answer. It really does depend on you, your time, and your business. You have a lot of options, including purchasing accounting software to make it easier for yourself. But even with the help of these tactics, doing your own books can be daunting, tricky and time consuming.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether it is easy for you to do your own bookkeeping.

Naturally, circumstances differ from business to business. In many cases, a sole trader or small business will start off doing their own bookkeeping and manage to keep on top of it. The problem is, when you start to get busier, time is precious, and you need to decide how productive it is to be spending your time sorting out your receipts and invoices rather than concentrating on the activities that drive your business.

Bookkeeping is also one of those tasks people tend to put off. Especially when trying to focus on everything else involved in running a business, it is easy to fall into the trap of putting it in the diary or setting time aside every month, and then having something come along that then takes precedence. It’s about priorities, and bookkeeping – more often than not – falls into that dreaded “to do list”.

This tends to cause small business owners much more stress in the long run. All of a sudden, that small pile of receipts and invoices can develop in to a messy pile of paperwork that will take hours to sort through.

Ultimately, it comes down to a personal decision about productivity. If you spent the time working on your business instead of doing your own books, what would that translate to in monetary terms? If it’s likely to be more than the fee you will pay a Bookkeeper then the answer to your question is yes, you probably do need a Bookkeeper.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we aim to take the fear out of your bookkeeping. Outsourcing is a very realistic option for business owners so don’t be scared. If you are unsure, we are more than happy to come and help you find out about making tax digital, or simply conduct a 1-2-1 health check to give you the opportunity to decide for yourself if you think you could benefit. To get in touch with a professional and expert Bookkeeper in your local area with no obligation, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Everything you need to know to get your head around the new off-payroll working legislation ahead of the new financial year.

The Intermediaries Legislation (or IR35) for off-payroll working came into full force in the private sector last year. However, it can be difficult to see the full effects of a new legislation after so little time has passed. So, as we approach a year of IR35 in the private sector, we’ve put together a blog post of everything you need to know about the legislation to get prepared for the new financial year in March.

On April 6th 2022, at the beginning of the 2022/23 financial year, HMRC will be fully integrating IR35 in the UK’s private sector. This date signals the end of a ‘soft-landing’ period that had allowed affected businesses a grace period over the last 12 months in which HMRC did not charge penalties for non-compliance.

What are the new rules?

The new legislation is designed to create a more level playing field by taxing contractors at a similar rate to employment in order to prevent them from working as ‘disguised employees.In the private sector, this means that the onus to determining IR35 status no longer lies with the contractor, and instead with the entity that pays the contractor. Therefore, this is now a tax burden on all client businesses in the private sector that engage contract workers – with the notable exception of small companies.

From April 2021, if a client decides that IR35 does apply, the contractor is taxed as if they were an employee. However, because the contactor’s employment status does not change, they don’t receive the rights and perks of said employment.

Who do they apply to?

According to HMRC, the new off-payroll working rules can apply to workers (also sometimes referred to as a contractor) who provides services through their own limited company – or another type of intermediary – to a client. In these cases, the intermediary is usually the worker’s own personal service company. However, it can also be a partnership or an individual. Essentially, the legislation applies to all contractors that do not meet HMRC’s definition of self-employed.

Therefore, you may be affected if you are:

A worker who provides services through their intermediary
An agency that provides workers’ services through an intermediary
A client who receives services from such workers through their intermediary

To qualify for exemption as a small business under IR35 regulations, a company has to meet the following criteria:

An annual turnover of less than £10.2 million
A balance sheet total of less than £5.1 million
Fewer than 50 employees

In cases where a contractor is working for a smaller business, it remains the contractor’s responsibility to decide their employment status.

You can also use HRMC’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool to find out if you or your worker, should be classed as employed or self-employed for tax purposes.  

Get prepared for the new tax year by leaving your books to Rosemary Bookkeeping. Enlisting the help of a bookkeeper means receiving expert support from informed professionals, dispelling any confusion on tricky matters like IR35, and having more time to focus on the things that matter most to you. Click here to find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business, and find more about our services today.

With 2022 now underway, here is your reminder of some important dates for the rest of this financial year.

January 2022:

January has various different important dates to remember.

There are two different monthly deadlines for sending off your payments for CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC. The postal deadline is 19th January, and the deadline for electronic payments is 22nd January. These payment dates for CIS, NICs, and PAYE then repeat monthly for the remainder of this financial year.

31st January is an important date to remember for various reasons. It is the deadline for filing your Self-Assessment tax return form for the tax year that ended April 2021. However, due to the difficulties may have faced as a result of COVID-19, HMRC has waived late fee filing penalties for Self-Assessment Tax Returns.

If you have been unable to file your return by the 31st January deadline you will not receive a fine, permitting that you file online by 28th February. Anyone who cannot pay their Self-Assessment tax by the 31st January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 1st April. However, interest will be payable from 1st February as usual, so it is still better to pay on time where possible.

January 31st is also the deadline by which you need to have filed your 2020/21 Capital Gains Tax, and if your company has a January 2021 year end, you will also need to have filed your Corporation Tax by this date. Furthermore, the 31st is the date by which you need to have finalised balancing payment of tax for 2019-2020, and the first payment of Account for Income Tax for 2021-2022.

 

February 2022:

The first date to remember in this month is 1st February, as it is the due date for paying Corporation Tax for a the period that ended 30th April 2021.

If your business uses vehicles, is the deadline for submitting Car P46 for the financial quarter ending 5th January 2022 is 2nd February. Following this, the VAT Tax Return and payments deadline for accounting quarter period ending 31st December 2021 is 7th February. As with January, the monthly postal and electronic deadlines for the payment of CIS, NICs, and PAYE to HMRC are the 19th and 22nd respectively.

Finally, the due date to file for Corporation Tax for companies with a 28th February 2021 year end is 28th February. Remember this is also now the final date you can now file your Jan Self-Assessment tax return online without receiving a fine.

March 2022:

1st March is both the new AFR (Advisory Fuel Rates) day for company car users, and the due date for the payment of Corporation Tax for the period that ended 31st May 2021.

The 7th March is the deadline for VAT Returns and payments of the accounting quarter that ended 31st January 2022. For large companies with the year-end of 31st March 2022 and 31st December 2022, the due date for Corporation Tax quarterly instalments is 14th March.

Following this are the monthly postal and electronic deadlines for the payment of CIS, NICs, and PAYE on the 19th and 22nd March. The filing date for companies with 31st March 2021 as a year-end rounds off the month on 31st March.

April 2022:

April is the end of the current 2021/2022 financial year. It begins with the due date for payment of Corporation Tax (for the period that ended 30th June 2021) on the 1st April.

Then, the current tax year ends on 5th April, and the 2022/2023 tax year begins the following day on 6th April. Also on the 6th, IR35 comes into force in the private sector.

19th April is a busy day this year. Firstly, automatic interest is charged where PAYE Tax, Class 1 NI, CIS and/or Student Loans are not paid by this date, so make sure you have these paid up to date well in advance. Furthermore, PAYE quarterly payments are also due for small employers for periods 6th January 2021 – 5th April 2021.

19th April is also the deadline for employers’ final PAYE return to be submitted online for 2020/2021.

Finally, on 30th April, corporation Tax Returns need to be filed by companies with 30th April 2021 as a year end.

That’s all for the current tax year in 2022. If all of this seems like a lot of work to remember, you can leave your bookkeeping to the professionals by letting us take of your books for you.

Entrusting your bookkeeping to Rosemary means:

· We keep track of your deadlines for you

· We know when your Tax return needs to be filed by

· We can keep track of your CIS payments

To find out more about our services and find out how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you, give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper here.

With the New Year upon us, there are many things to consider for small business owners across the UK, including the imminent January Self-Assessment Tax Return. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we understand that the process of keeping up with your books and finances can be challenging and daunting for many, especially with so many other things to think about and juggle.

So, why not make a new year’s resolution now: Don’t struggle alone, get help from the professionals. Rosemary Bookkeeping provides expert financial and bookkeeping advice and support to businesses of all sizes across the United Kingdom.

How we can help

Put simply, bookkeeping is the day-to-day process of accumulating, categorizing, and recording financial transactions. It is a foundation of your finances, providing vital information for reports, financial statements and tax returns. The main role of bookkeeping is to keep all financial transactions record up to date in a proper and systematic manner. Bookkeepers are responsible for a number of tasks like:

  • Data entry
  • Balancing bank ledgers
  • Preparing bank reconciliations
  • Tracking income and expenses
  • VAT returns
  • Maintaining the general ledger
  • And sometimes completing payroll and also producing monthly Profit & Loss reports.

Couldn’t I just hire an accountant?

If you are struggling to manage your finances, your first thought might be to look into hiring an accountant. Whilst there are some clear similarities between the role of an accountant and a bookkeeper, there are some key distinctions that can make quite the difference.

The role of accounting is more to provide a picture of the actual profitability, trends, cash flow and other key financial indicators. In general, bookkeepers produce the data, and accountants review and interpret reports providing insights into the business although an experienced bookkeeper can assist with this too.

In this instance, bookkeepers like Rosemary are here to provide more practical support in taking care of your books and finances for you. Leaving your books to us means that they are maintained monthly by qualified professionals with expert financial knowledge so that you can focus your attention on more important things like the actual day-to-day running of your business, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary means:

  • Your books are done regularly – so you can see what is going on in your business
  • You don’t have to spend your valuable time doing the books – so you can do things more beneficial to your financial income
  • Paying less than you would for an accountant
  • You don’t need to hire any additional staff. You only pay for the work done
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath

If you need help with your bookkeeping, you can trust Rosemary Bookkeeping. It’s what we do. To find out more about our services, or to chat with our experts give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business here.

We’ve made a list of festive expenses that you may be able to claim back as a business expense.

Christmas time can be a busy and expensive time for many businesses – big or small. But with the January Self-Assessment Tax Return coming up, here are some festive expenses that you might not have thought about reclaiming.

Decking the Halls

If ‘business as usual’ has resumed in your office, then you may have decided to also carry on the festive tradition of decorating your office for the holidays. What you might not be aware of, is that you can actually claim back decorations like a Christmas tree, tinsel, and wreathes as tax by logging them on your accounts as running costs for the office. Bear in mind that this doesn’t extend to employees working from home however, as HMRC judges this as personal enjoyment, not office related.

A Christmas Party

Providing that you went ahead with a Christmas do this year, be it virtual or in person, you may be liable to claim expenses back as tax. However, this depends on who was in attendance.

If the event is/was open to all of your employees, then the whole thing will be taxable, no matter the number of people in your operation. However, you cannot claim expenses if there were also clients and/or associates in attendance, as this is not acceptable for corporation tax or VAT purposes as HMRC classes this as business entertaining. Furthermore, any even that is not open to all employees will also not be liable.

As a result – if you do decide to invite clients and/or associates to a Christmas event, remember to allocate sufficient funds to cover their expenses because you won’t be able to claim any tax relief, or reclaim any VAT on costs. Bear in mind that you should still record this in your books, and add the costs back on when you come to calculate your profit for tax.

Presents

As it is Christmas, you may choose to buy gifts for staff or clients. In the case of clients, you are able to record these as a business cost on your books, provided that these gifts meet the appropriate guidelines so as not to constitute potential bribery. This means:

  • You must not spend more than £50 (p.a.) on gifts for any one client.
  • You must not gift a client an item that can be exchanged for goods or money – such as cash or vouchers.
  • You must include a conspicuous advert for your business. For more information regarding gifts to clients, please visit the HMRC website.

In the case of your staff, there are other key tax considerations regarding gifts:

  • If the gift has no cash benefit, then it may be accepted by HMRC as trivial benefit, which means that you will not need to pay extra tax or National Insurance, or report it on the employee’s P11D form.
  • If your gift does include cash payment to staff – they will be classified in the same way as regular earnings by HMRC so should be put through payroll as normal – and might require a National Insurance payment.

More guidance and information on gifts for staff can be found on the HMRC website.

If navigating this all feels a little daunting, why not entrust your bookkeeping to the professionals? You can find more information on the upcoming January tax return here, and to find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business, click here.

Inflation rates are projected to reach highs of 4% before the end of this year. This could have a big impact if you own and run a small business. Here’s what you need to know:

British inflation has hit decade highs, caused by a combination of factors including COVID-19, Brexit, rising energy and fuel prices, higher costs of raw materials and goods in factories, and higher bills in restaurants and hotels. In October, the UK Office for National Statistics reported that inflation had hit 4.2%, a 1.1% increase from September – a significantly bigger increase than had been predicted by experts.

So what does this mean for small business owners?

Well, this could have a number of knock-on effects that small business owners should be aware of, including:

  • A rising in costs of labour to compensate for increasing inflation
  • Rising costs of products and services
  • Labour shortages and supply chain issues

This will only be exacerbated by The Bank of England’s inconsistency on the topic of interest rate rises. As this is the mechanism used to control inflation, this will make more money more expensive to borrow – which would further reduce demand. This, in tandem with a fixed supply, means that price increases slow down, and businesses are faced with decision of whether or not to lower prices in order to maintain sales, or raise them to maintain profit (and risk losing customers).

So what can you do?

Unfortunately, the current situation leaves businesses with a dilemma and a bit of a no-win scenario. This will only change when either demand reduces or supply chains resume normal service. Meaning that, at present, the solution is in finding a balance between increasing costs and maintaining profits.

If you find the prospect of managing your finances in this difficult time daunting, why not contact Rosemary Bookkeeping? We can take care of your books for you and help you manage your finances. Hiring a professional bookkeeping service like Rosemary can greatly benefit you as we are able to help with tracking the cost and profit in your business.

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary also means:

  • Your books are done regularly – so you can see what is going on in your business
  • You don’t have to spend your valuable time doing the books – so you can do things more beneficial to your financial income
  • Paying less than you would for an accountant
  • You don’t need to hire any additional staff. You only pay for the work done
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath

To outsource your books today, and receive financial advice from our experts, give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business here.

If you own a small business and are approaching the holidays worrying how you’re going to manage your books, why not make these tips part of your New Year’s resolution?

The prospect of maintaining your books can be a daunting one for many small business owners. Juggling a steadily growing pile of receipts and invoices can certainly start to feel like quite the balancing act. But not to worry, we are here to help alleviate any anxiety about managing your books. Simply follow these tips to stay on top of your finances:

  1. Keep personal and business finances separate

Have separate bank accounts when you are running your own business, by separating out the two, you will be able to avoid any messy mix-ups in your finances.

  1. Don’t get rid of receipts and invoices

In a small business, nothing should go to waste. Make sure that you and your staff receipts and/or invoices for any and all expenditure, and attach them to expenses claims. To be safe, keep all records for at least six years.

  1. Maintain filing system

These records should be simple and easily organised. Sales invoices should be raised and filed in order, and purchases should follow a system that is logical to you.

  1. Keep your time similarly organised

Working closely with a plan or schedule can help you to best stay on top of your finances. Allotting diarised time to reconcile your bank accounts or update records will mean that it becomes part of your routine, and this can help it to feel like less of a chore. It also means that it doesn’t become forgotten amongst all of the other things you have to do.

Be sure to raise sales invoices quickly and file your paperwork on time. You may be able to remember what happened last week, but not last month or the month before.

  1. Stay on track of petty cash

In the same vain, you should be keeping receipts for your petty cash, and reconciling amounts regularly.  Keeping a keen eye on your cash will help to reduce the risk of loss or theft.

  1. Bank payments quickly

Once you have these cash or cheque payments it is important to stay on top of them and get them in the bank fast – even if they might feel old school. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of losing them or spending them quickly. Plus, the quicker they are in the bank, the better your cash flow.

  1. Chasing debtors

Slow payers can cause real harm to your business, and damage your cash flow. Set a clear policy for chasing up debtors. You aren’t loaning money, so your clients need to pay.

  1. Plan ahead by putting money aside

Putting money aside, perhaps in another account, will mean there are extra funds available in the event that you need them. There will always be future expenditures, such as VAT, so be sure to be prepared by planning ahead.

  1. Learn the basics

It’s true that you should always have a professional handle your finances for you, but knowing the basics can help you a lot from day to day. If you would like to learn more about finances and bookkeeping, you can find a lot of useful information and tips on our news page – under the bookkeeping tab.

  1. Trust the professionals

The best way to manage your finances is to enlist the help of a professional. Managing your books can be difficult, especially when trying to manage it alongside everything else you need to do as a small business. Outsourcing your bookkeeping to Rosemary means that your books are maintained regularly, but you don’t have to spend your valuable time doing them yourself. You also won’t need to hire any additional staff – you only pay for the work done – and a bookkeeper is cheaper than an accountant!

If you think it’s time to outsource your bookkeeping, get in touch with Rosemary Bookkeeping, or find your nearest branch here.

The Holiday season approaches – a very busy time for most businesses. Whilst it may be easy to get carried away with festivities or Christmas rushes, don’t forget that you can carry out your self-assessment months in advance.

By now, whether you are self-employed, a partnership, or neither, you should have registered for your tax return self-assessment. The deadline for the assessment may be the end of January next year, but we are just about to head into a very busy period for most businesses, and that time will be gone in a flash. So, it’s well worth getting a head-start on the process now.

‘But I simply don’t have time!’ you say. This winter period is a busy one for businesses the world over, so the temptation to put off that January tax return is a strong and understandable one. Unfortunately, it is not an option. Tax returns are not voluntary, and have to be completed no matter what. Luckily there is still plenty of time before that rush period really starts, so you still have the option to get it done now, early doors. Plus, it makes much more sense to stay on top of these things as they go, and keep your records as current as you can. For self-employed business owners especially, if your books are up to date, you will have a better understanding of the financial standing of your business. This means you will be able to put money away for the self-assessment at the end of the year.

There are instances in which the deadline is different:

  • If you are eligible, you can submit your online return by 30th December 2021, provided you want HMRC to automatically collect tax from your wages and pension.

In this case, HMRC must receive a paper tax return by 31st January 2022 if you are a trustee of a registered pension scheme or a non-resident company. Please note that in this case, you cannot send a return online.

HMRC may also write or email to give you a different deadline. More details can be found on their website.

  • Partnership returns if you have a company as a partner.

If your partnership’s accounting date is between 1st February and 5th April and one of your partner’s is a limited company, the deadline for returns is different.

Online: 12 months from the accounting date.

Paper: 9 months from the accounting date.

Late payment penalties:

Perhaps the most obvious reason to stay on top of this process, is that there are fines for lack of payment. If your tax return is up to three months late, you will have to pay a late filing penalty of £100. If it is later, or you pay your tax bill late, you will have to pay more and will be charged further interest on late payments. This amount can be estimated on the HMRC website.

You can appeal these penalties if you have a reasonable excuse such as:

  • The death of a partner or close relative – provided this was shortly before the tax return or payment deadline.
  • Fire, flood or theft that has prevented you from making the deadline.
  • Serious or life-threatening illness.
  • Postal delays that you could not have predicted.
  • Computer software failure just before the preparation of your online return.

But for the sake of tardiness, these fines are not worth the risk. It would be better to make sure of your payments whilst you have time, rather than suddenly come to find you have to shell out even more for overdue tax returns in the new year.

And if absolutely none of this has convinced you that it’s best to pay early, and the idea of sorting out your own tax returns this Christmas makes you say ‘Bah Humbug’, then don’t worry. We’ll do it for you!

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary means:

  • Your books are done regularly (so you can see what is going on in your business)
  • You don’t have to spend your valuable time doing the books (so you can do things more beneficial to your financial income)
  • A bookkeeper is cheaper than an accountant (who doesn’t like to be cost-effective?)
  • Outsourcing means no additional staff (you only pay for the work done)
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath

 

Leaving your assessment to Rosemary leaves you with a clear mind and the space to spend your holidays free of worry, and getting on with doing business you love.

If you think it’s time to outsource your bookkeeping, get in touch with Rosemary Bookkeeping, it’s what we do best.

The government have introduced a Plastic Packaging Tax that is coming into force in April 2022. The tax will apply to plastic packaging produced in, or imported into the UK, that contains less than 30% recycled plastic.

Plastic Packaging Tax Information

Plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content will be taxed at £200/tonne and even if you’re not direct manufacturers the cost of the additional tax may be passed through the supply chain.

If the packaging has multi-material components and is predominantly made up of plastic it will be classed as plastic packaging and this is decided by weight, for example:

100g packaging = 40g not recycled plastic + 30g wood + 30g paper is classed as plastic packaging for the purpose of this tax.

Plastic Packaging Tax Exemptions

Producers and importers of small quantities of plastic packaging (under 10 tonnes in 12 months) will be exempt.
Other exemptions:

  • Transport packaging is used when importing goods into the UK
  • Plastic packaging used in aircraft, ships, or railway stores for international journeys
  • Plastic packaging produced or imported for use in the immediate packaging of human medicine
  • Components that are permanently designed or set aside for non-packaging use.

It’s a good idea to plan ahead for the future and understand the composition of the packaging that’s being used within your company and possibly look into reducing the unrecycled plastic content in it.

We recommend the recording of the webinar from HMRC that goes more into detail:

  • To reduce the financial impact on their business and help the environment
  • What are the exemptions
  • When your client needs to register
  • Who is liable to pay the tax

Government website information HERE

For help with your bookkeeping find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper HERE

Client Problem:

  • Struggling to keep up with their Bookkeeping from Jan 2020 since their 20 years long standing Bookkeeper left suddenly
  • The books were left unreconciled
  • VAT had not been accounted properly
  • Covid-19 hed left them short staffed and unable to keep the records updated
  • Huge backlog needed clearing

How we helped

The clients accountant advised them to find a bookkeeper who could handle the bookkeeping backlog.

They also needed a bookkeeper who was able to understand their unique (rarely used) Bookkeeping system and attend their office a minimum of two days a week.

Following the initial enquiry in July 2021, we called immediately so that we could discuss and assess the current situation. We had a long conversation with the client about his business and bookkeeping system so we could get a good understanding of the business and what was required. We subsequently met office with his accountant to put the full process in place.

We took on the specialist Bookkeeping System, which was very complicated and used for; order processing, stock management, disputes issues, bank transaction with several banks, PayPal, Co credit Card, 4 personal credit cards, 5 different loans, HP, eBay+Amazon+Client web sales and purchase issues, bank factoring matters.

The benefit

  • We have relieved the pressure from HMRC & the Accountant for VAT submission and payment
  • The back log was sorted gradually along with the bank reconciliation which was a great help to prepare VAT return for Sep 2021
  • Final Accounts preparation for Year End 31 March 2021 has also begun

If you are not totally happy with your current bookkeeper or are falling behind doing your books yourself, get in touch with Rosemary Bookkeeping Stratford and see how Mohammad can help, call 0208 077 2029 or request a call back.

In the past few months, you might have found yourself seeing something about making an application for the EORI number. Are you confused? No problem, we’ve explained it all to you below.

What is an EORI number?

Businesses importing into the EU and UK need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI) when importing goods. This number is used to identify a business as an importer and allows to reclaim the import VAT.
The EORI system was brought in on the 1st July 2009 and replaced the Traders Union Reference Number System which previously identified traders for customs declarations when importing or exporting cargo

Who needs an EORI?

You may neeed an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number) if your business move goods:

  • between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country (including the EU)
  • between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • between Great Britain and the Channel Islands
  • between Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU

You’ll will also need your EORI number if your business:

  • appoints someone to deal with customs for you and are ‘established’ in the country you’re importing to or exporting from
  • make customs declarations
  • use customs systems, such as the CHIEF system and the Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI)
  • apply for a customs decision

You do not need an EORI number if you’re moving goods for personal use only.

Apply for an EORI number

There are 2 types of EORI numbers, starting with GB and XI.

Apply for an EORI number that starts with GB

To apply for an EORI number you need your:

  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – these are in the Companies House register
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • VAT number and effective date of registration (if VAT registered)
  • National Insurance number – if an individual or a sole trader

If your business is not based in the UK, you do not need a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code.
You’ll get the GB EORI number immediately unless HMRC needs to make any checks on your application. If they do, it can take up to 5 working days.

Apply for an EORI number that starts with XI

You must have an EORI number that starts with XI if your business:

  • moves goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • moves goods from Northern Ireland to another non-EU country
  • make a declaration in Northern Ireland
  • apply for a customs decision in Northern Ireland

Before you apply, you can check if you’re eligible for an XI EORI number.
You must have applied for a GB EORI number before you can get an XI EORI number.
Once you have your GB EORI number, you’ll need to fill in an XI EORI registration form.
You’ll also need:

  • your XI VAT number (if you have one)
  • any VAT numbers issued by an EU country
  • 2 documents showing proof of permanent business establishment in Northern Ireland (if there is one) – for example, a bank statement and a utility bill

You’ll get an XI EORI within 5 days.

If your business is not based in the country and they’re moving goods to or from

You should still get an EORI number if they’re:

If you’re not eligible to apply for an EORI number yourself, then you’ll need to appoint someone to deal with customs on your behalf. The person you appoint will need to apply for the EORI number instead of you. If based in the Channel Islands and you move goods to or from the UK, you do not need an EORI number. You’ll need an EORI number if you use HMRC’s customs systems like Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF).

From 1 October 2021, a new reduced interim VAT rate of 12.5% will be introduced for hospitality, holiday accommodation/attractions and it will stay in place until 31 March 2022. It replaces the current temporary reduced rate of 5% for these sectors.

This reduction in VAT is intended to boost trade immediately for hotels, B&B’s, cafes, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, zoos and theme parks to name but a few.

The reduced rate of VAT will apply to:

  • Hot/cold food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on the business premises, for example, cafes, restaurants and pubs. Cold takeaway food continues to be subject to VAT at 20% or 0% under the existing rules.
  • Hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Sleeping accommodation such as hotels and similar establishments, holiday accommodation, caravan and tent pitch fees and associated families
  • Admissions to theatres, shows, fairs, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and similar cultural events and facilities. If a business charges admission fees that are currently exempt then that will take precedence and the admission will not qualify for the reduced rate. The reduced rate does not apply to admission to sporting events.

From 1 October 2021, all eligible businesses should apply the interim VAT rate of 12.5% on takings of supplies made of the goods and services listed above and on issued invoices until 31 March 2022.

Care will need to be taken where goods and services were supplied prior to 1 October 2021 but invoiced after 1 October 2021, and vice versa.

For example, in some circumstances, if a business has received a payment or deposit before 15 July 2020 but supplies the goods or services after 15 July 2020, then the business can choose to charge and account for VAT at 5% by issuing a credit note within 45 days of the rate change.

Flat Rate Scheme Changes
HMRC have updated the flat rate percentages to take account of the new reduced rate for VAT.
As of 15 July 2020 until 30 September 2021 the following sector rates apply:

  • Catering 4.5% (reduced from 12.5%)
  • Hotels 0% (reduced from 10.5%)
  • Pubs 1% (reduced from 6.5%)

From 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022 the following sector rates apply:

  • Catering 8.5% (interim VAT rate)
  • Hotels 5.5% (interim VAT rate)
  • Pubs 4% (interim VAT rate)

Businesses that operate outside of the hospitality, holiday accommodation and attraction sectors may also be impacted by the VAT rate change if they make purchases from these sectors.

You’ll be able to apply the new VAT code in QuickBooks, Xero and other software after 1st October 2021.

Further detailed guidance can be found on the gov.uk websites HERE and HERE.

The resilience award is a new award we introduced to acknowledge the exceptional circumstances that 2020 presented businesses with.

The winner being Mark Hamblett from Wolverhampton & Bridgnorth, whose had the business for 3 years and successfully grown it in this time. Mark has a dedicated team that helps him deliver quality work and support to his clients on their entrepreneurial journey.

Starting his franchise business Mark brought his previous expertise as a finance director to the Rosemary brand. This allowed him to look at his and his clients’ businesses holistically and support them by being able to see a bigger picture when looking at a set of accounts.

“Over the last eighteen months we have all lived through unprecedented times, which have made it vital that we adapt and find new ways of working. The support and flexibility shown by our clients has been instrumental in our respective businesses surviving the challenges we have all faced”. Said Mark Hamblett, Owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping Wolverhampton & Bridgnorth.

Nina, Rosemary Bookkeeping Brand Manager added “Mark Hamblett’s business demonstrated how to, not only survive the pandemic and numerous lockdowns but thrive during this difficult time. His business hired a new employee and grew his client portfolio, this shows that perseverance and hard work are the key to success”.

If you want help with your bookkeeping, get in touch with Mark today and ask for a call back or call on 01902 902680.

Sarah Connop from Shrewsbury brings bookkeeping services for small and micro businesses to Shrewsbury & Telford.

Sarah is ACMA qualified and has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of financial roles, working for small businesses and both FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies to help them understand their finances.

After her long career in the corporate world and working for a number of large corporations, Sarah wanted to be able to put her knowledge to good use and help small businesses that don’t or can’t have their own finance team.

Sarah had considered setting up her own business for many years but making the leap from the corporate world to the unknown was daunting as any new business owner will understand so; after spending some time researching options, Sarah chose to join the Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise network. Working with Rosemary Bookkeeping allows Sarah to work independently and grown her own business locally, Sarah can grow her own client base and build her own business reputation but also benefit from national support and backing as well as the support from a larger network.

Utilising her own knowledge, industry experience and working with the Rosemary network, Sarah’s ambition is to work with local businesses to help them simplify their finances so that they are easier to understand, to give the business owners back valuable time so they can focus on growing and developing their business instead of using it to unravel a whole load of numbers. Sarah wants the business owners she works with to be able to focus on their goals and objectives rather than their finances so their businesses can really grow and thrive.

“I want to become a brand name that people (not just business owners) recognise. I would love for Rosemary Bookkeeping Shrewsbury & Telford to grow into a network where lots of local businesses work with and recommend Rosemary Bookkeeping Shrewsbury. That we become the bookkeeping businesses of choice for the area and associated with helping other local business owners and truly making a difference. There are so many businesses that have helped me, I would like to be able to give back”, said Sarah Connop, Owner or Rosemary Bookkeeping Shrewsbury & Telford. 

I’m really excited to welcome Sarah to the Rosemary Bookkeeping Network. Sarah has a vast experience, great attitude and is striving to develop a business that serves local companies. I believe that Sarah is going to build a strong thriving business and will be a great asset to the Rosemary Bookkeeping network and her local community. I’m looking forward to following and supporting her on her journey, said Nina Ostasz, Rosemary Bookkeeping Brand Manager.

If you want help with your bookkeeping, get in touch with Sarah today and ask for a call back or call on 01743 650687.

Caroline O’Brien,  owner and manager of Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry, started the business just over 10 years ago, and within that time has built a successful and growing business. Caroline has over 30 years of experience in accountancy and bookkeeping services and provides a vital service to her SME clients across Coventry.

Because of the exemplary way Caroline runs her business, her exceptional customer service and her commitment to the Rosemary Bookkeeping Brand and Network, Caroline, Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry have won the Prestigious Rosemary Bookkeeping 2020 Franchisee of the Year award.

This award is only given to a Franchise Partner who has displayed the highest achievement in the pursuit of excellence and professional management in their Rosemary business.

Caroline said, “I was really honoured and grateful to receive the Rosemary Bookkeeping 2020 Franchisee of the Year award at our recent online forum. A huge thank you to my colleague Jasleen Heer, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Also, big thanks to all the staff at Head Office for their ongoing support and finally to all the other Franchise Partners for all their help and encouragement over the years.”

Caroline is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and this is evidenced by the high level of client referrals Caroline receives.

We were delighted to announce that the North Star Award for 2020 went to Caroline and her Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry business.

“Caroline’s business is an example of excellence and professional management of the Rosemary Bookkeeping business.I admire Caroline’s ambition to streamline all processes and her pursuit of constant improvement for the employees and herself. Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry has been steadily growing over recent years. Caroline has built a great infrastructure of employees and subcontractors to deliver quality work to the clients and accountants. Caroline’s business is managed in a lean and efficient way with the customer always in mind. She embraces the Rosemary System and supports other franchise partners in the network.” Nina Ostasz, Rosemary Bookkeeping Operations Brand Leader added.

If you want help with your bookkeeping, get in touch with Caroline today and ask for a call back or call on 02476 100192.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, our goal is to work with our clients and help them make the very best of their business. If you are looking to start your own small business, we’ve put together some top tips for small businesses that you might not have thought about that will help you make your business a success.

1. Address your excuses

The first step in starting your own business is as Nike’s slogan says ‘Just Do It’ and address the excuses as to why you’re not starting it.

Being your own boss is scary, we understand that, and in most circumstances, business owners don’t have belief in their own success. Worrying about your business is normal and failing is nature, just pick yourself up and try again.

Find a solution to your excuses instead of letting them get the better of you.

2. Absorb knowledge

Listening is learning when it comes to running your own business, be it from friends, family, experts and even yourself.

Be like a sponge and absorb everything regarding your business and industry, get yourself a few notepads and write down all of this vital information.

Encourage those you tell about your business idea to give honest feedback and again write down everything they say and implement changes to improve your business. The opinion from your peers is most likely the reflection of how your consumers will react to your business.

Watch YouTube videos, read blogs and ask experts for advice, they’ve been through it, they’ve made mistakes and come out of it better for it.

3. Ensure your business is a solution

Instead of starting with an idea of what to sell, be it a service or product, make sure you think about what you can solve with your business.

Find a niche in a certain market, grab the opportunity and find a solution to that specific gap in the market.

Ask yourself a few questions and do market research via this method:

  • Why are you starting your business?
  • What are your motives?
  • What problems do your target customers face and how can you solve them?

4. Count your costs

Once you’ve got your idea down and you’re ready to develop it add up how much it will cost. You’ll need to factor in every business expense needed to launch and run your business.

You’re bound to experience unexpected costs while running a business, it’s just the nature of it, unfortunately. Therefore, come up with the most educated number you can for your expenses and double it, as it’s always better to be over-prepared than be short on cash when the bills come.

Separate your business and personal expenses from the start, this way you won’t get confused and it will make budgeting a lot easier.

5. Know all legal requirements for starting a small business

We can understand the excitement in starting a business and then you look at the legal side of it become worried.

You need to read all about the laws of starting a business because if you fail to follow government regulations you could face penalties.

You’ll need to register your business on gov.uk, take care of all business-specific tax liabilities and as you start to hire employees you’ll need to follow the employment laws.

Speak again to experts, accountants and bookkeepers that understand these laws, remember you’re never alone.

6. Outsource your bookkeeping

Outsourcing your bookkeeping from the beginning can help put you on the right track to success, and give you more time to concentrate on growing and improving your business.

Rosemary Bookkeeping can help with your bookkeeping, find your nearest bookkeeper and talk to them today.

Well, the announcement has been made and most of the restrictions are due to end on 19th July, as a business owner are you ready?

It is of course likely to depend on many factors, such as; have you been open and trading at full capacity? Have you been able to open but with restricted availability? Have you been busier than ever? Are you struggling to fill vacancies? You may even have members of staff or even customers that are still very nervous about going back to normal.

If you work in the trades industry, especially anything related to housing, you have likely been very busy for quite some time now. You may actually find yourself short on time, I know the bathroom fitters I have booked are stacked out and working all sorts of hours to keep up with demand. It’s a very lucky place to be in.

Your struggles might actually be more to do with getting all of the materials you need? Supply has been much tougher than demand in a lot of cases.

If, on the other hand, you own and run a business in the hospitality sector, you have likely had to change the way you operate to stay afloat or maybe even had to close for some time. Hopefully that is all about to get easier, just the opening up to deal with now right?

Whatever your troubles have been over the last 18 months, now is the time to really focus on getting your business to move forwards. Did you know that around 80 per cent of UK companies fail within their first year? According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, only 42.4 per cent of businesses started in 2013 were still trading five years later. A primary reason why small businesses fail is a lack of funding or working capital, make sure you are on top of your finances so your business can stay on top. Running a small business isn’t easy at the best of times, but if you’ve got this far, you can do the rest, it’s onwards and upwards from here.

Whether you are stacked out with work load, struggling to hire staff in the hospitality sector or taking down those social distancing signs in your shop. Now more than ever is the time to be focussing on your business and your customers.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping is a very cost-effective way of helping yourself and your business. Having a good bookkeeper means you can save the time by leaving the bookkeeping to them and working on your business instead.

A good bookkeeper will be able to provide you with monthly reports so you can see exactly how your business is doing financially. This means you can make informed decisions about your business when you really need to, not when your accountant is finished with your books.

It’s going to be a busy time for any business owner, so why not put yourself ahead? Outsourcing to a bookkeeper means:

  • Your books are done regularly (so you can see what is going on in your business)
  • You don’t have to spend your valuable time doing the books (so you can do things more beneficial to your financial income)
  • A bookkeeper is cheaper than an accountant (who doesn’t like to be cost effective?)
  • Outsourcing means no additional staff (you only pay for the work done)
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath (seriously… do you enjoy doing your books?)

If you think it’s time to outsource your bookkeeping, get in touch with Rosemary Bookkeeping, it’s what we do best.

Capital allowances can grant you tax relief for the reduction in the value of assets by letting you write off their cost against the taxable income of your business.

What is Capital Allowance?

You may be able to claim a capital allowance after buying an asset such as a car, machinery or other equipment that is brought for use in your business.

They are also available for certain building-related capital spending, like qualifying capital spent on research and development and donations of any used business assets to charity.

Capital allowances are available to the self-employed, sole traders as well as larger organisations liable for Corporation Tax.

What can you claim Capital Allowances for?

You can claim capital allowance for certain assets that are purchased for business use, providing the required conditions are met. The main condition is that you cannot claim capital allowances for the cost of items that your business buys and sells as part of its trade.

Equipment purchased and used in your business – tools, machinery, vehicles, computers, office equipment, plant and factory equipment should qualify for plant and machinery allowances.

Research and development (R&D) expenditure – you may qualify for allowances if any R&D relates to your business’ trade, including equipment used for R&D also.

Gifting equipment to charity  if any assets are donated to a qualifying charity that have originally qualified for plant and machinery allowances then you may be able to claim on any leftover written down value.

Integral features and certain fixtures in business buildings – any expenditure on fitted kitchens, sanitary ware and a few other fixtures in a building can sometimes qualify for plant and machinery allowances. Certain integral features expenditure of the building, such as electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, cold water systems and lifts may also qualify.

Business premises renovation – renovations on business premises in designated ‘disadvantaged areas’ may qualify for Business Premises Renovation Allowance.

Other allowances available:

  • Mineral Extraction Allowance
  • Know-How Allowance
  • Patent Allowance
  • Contributions Allowance
  • Assured Tenancy Allowance
  • Dredging Allowance

First-Year Allowances

You can claim First-Year Capital Allowances to give you tax relief for the value of assets purchased for business use by letting you write off any cost against the taxable income of your business.

For example, plant and machinery first your allowances allow you to make a claim for up to 100% of the cost of any qualifying items against business profits within the year of purchase.

The current 100% first-year allowances are:

  • Energy-saving and water-efficient equipment – but only if on the list of qualifying equipment
  • Any new car purchase with low carbon dioxide emissions
  • Certain vehicle refuelling equipment also

For further details on first-year capital allowances head to the HMRC website

How to claim capital allowances

Claiming capital allowances is different depending on if you’re self-employed, a partnership, or a company or organisation that must pay corporation tax.

Self Employed

If you’re self-employed you need to claim any capital allowances within your self-assessment income tax return, these should be made within 12 months after the 31st January filing deadline.

Partnerships

As a partnership business, you need to claim your capital allowances on any assets owned by the partnership mutually in your partnership return, and not in returns for any individual partners. Again, these claims need to be made within 12 months after the 31st January filing deadline.

Companies or organisations that pay Corporation Tax

If your company or organisation pays Corporation Tax then you must claim capital allowances on your company tax return, but you must include a separate claim showing your capital allowances calculations.

What your calculation must show:

  • What specific allowance are you claiming for?
  • How did you calculate your claim?
  • How much are you claiming for?

Here to help with your bookkeeping

For any help with your bookkeeping, you can find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper and they can give you more time to grow your business by taking all aspects of your bookkeeping off your hands.

In light of all that’s happened lately, it’s always nice to hear some positive news, and we’ve got some to share for the local businesses of Bristol.

A new bookkeeping business has opened up by Sri Lankan born, Nilusha Thayanthurage and she looks forward to helping businesses to get back on their feet in the coming months through help with their bookkeeping requirements.

“I was looking for more of a challenge in my career and after doing a lot of homework on different businesses, Rosemary Bookkeeping stood out as the one to invest in”, said Nilusha.

Nilusha gained a masters in Business Administration and started her career as an Accounts Clerk in Sri Lanka, going on to working for a bank and then in 2013 moved to the UK to help her husband with his business. After 8 years of assisting her husband in his business, Nilusha decided it was time to move on and run her own business.

As Nilusha has done bookkeeping for a lot of her working life she’s gained a passion for it and is looking forward to bringing that passion into her new Rosemary Bookkeeping business. Nilusha wants to start off by approaching local accounting firms and assisting them with their bookkeeping needs. After a few years of continual growth, Nilusha will look at expanding her workforce and bring on local bookkeepers from the Bristol area.

All of the bookkeepers in the Rosemary Bookkeeping network thrive on helping businesses with their bookkeeping in order to give them more time to grow their business, and Nilusha is no different.

I’m excited to welcome Nilusha to the Rosemary Network. Having experience running businesses in the past, Nilusha will be able to help small and medium enterprises in the Bristol area thrive. Nilusha has a great amount of knowledge, experience and ideas on how to develop her business and I’m looking forward to following and supporting her on her journey”, said Nina Ostasz, Rosemary Bookkeeping Brand Manager.

Are you unsure of what you can reclaim VAT on? Here we’ve explained what you can and cannot reclaim any VAT on:

As a business, you can usually claim back any VAT you have paid on goods and services bought for business use, for which you have a valid VAT receipt. Remember, no receipt, no reclaim!

If the item you buy is also for personal use, you can only claim back a proportion of the VAT paid, only the actual business element of this item, mobile phone bills are a good example. You might use your mobile 60% for work and 40% for personal, in which case you can only claim back the VAT on the 60% of the purchase price and plan. You need to ensure that you have adequate records to support your VAT reclaim which shows how you calculated the business use percentage.

It’s usually a good idea to have separate phone bills for personal and business use, this way it’s easier when claiming back any VAT.

A Valid VAT Receipt

A valid VAT receipt includes the following:

  • Name, Address and VAT number of the supplier
  • Your name and address
  • The date
  • A description of the goods or services
  • The cost before VAT
  • The separate VAT amount
  • The total amount that contains the VAT.

Having said that, many VAT receipts are actually a shorter version, simply containing the total amount paid, the seller’s name and VAT number. To work out any VAT quickly this website is very helpful – http://www.vatcalculator.co.uk/ . This is the amount you can reclaim.

Can you claim the VAT back on items brought in the EU?

Do you buy goods from the EU?

You can’t claim for goods bought in EU countries, although you may be able to reclaim VAT paid via the electronic cross-border refund system. You can reclaim VAT on products and services bought during the refund period, plus VAT on goods imported to Britain during the same timescale.

You can’t claim for VAT that has been invoiced incorrectly, where VAT has been levied on sending goods to another member state or exported items outside the EU.

Things you cannot reclaim VAT for

You can’t reclaim VAT on insurance, salaries, PAYE, postage, bank interest or business entertainment. However, VAT on entertainment for overseas customers can on occasions be reclaimed when that entertainment is very basic.

You can’t claim for anything you’ve bought specifically for personal use, or the products and services your business uses from VAT-exempt supplies. Also items you buy under VAT second-hand margin schemes and business assets transferred to you as a going concern are also exempt from VAT reclaim.

Not registered for VAT?

When your business isn’t registered for VAT, you don’t have to charge VAT to your customers, however, you also can’t claim any VAT back. That’s why so many smaller businesses try to stay under the VAT radar, under the registration limit (the current threshold is £83,000 – see https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/when-to-register for further details) . Charging VAT to a customer who isn’t registered for VAT means they’ll have to cover this cost as well.

What about VAT post-Brexit?

Domestic VAT rules remain the same following the end of the Brexit transition period, however, VAT rules relating to imports and exports have changed.

Prior to Brexit and during the transition period, the UK was part of a regime called the EU VAT Regime, which meant that a UK business didn’t have to register for VAT in each EU country. Now though, as of 1st January 2021 Great Britain now has to treat EU countries like they do countries outside of the EU.

It can get very confusing so we’d suggest taking a look at this article by Sage explaining this in a bit more detail.

Do you need support with the VAT system?

If you need VAT support, we’re here to help, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Don’t miss these important deadlines the 2021/22 tax season, ensure you’ve got all of your bookkeeping organised for the year.

MAY 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31st July 2020

3rd – Deadline for submitting P46 for employees whose car/fuel benefits changed during the quarter to 5th April 2021

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 31st March 2021

14th – Due date for Corporation Tax quarterly instalment for large companies with February, May, August or November Year Ends

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

31st – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 31st May 2020 as year end


JUNE 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31st August 2020

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 30th April 2021

14th – Due date for Corporation Tax quarterly instalment for large companies with March, June, September or December Year Ends

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

30th – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 30th June 2020 as year end


JULY 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 30th September 2020

5th – Deadline for reaching PAYE Settlement Agreement for 2020/21

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 31st May 2021

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

31st – Second Payment on Account 2020/21 due

31st – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 31st July 2020 as year-end


AUGUST 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31st October 2020

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 30th June 2021

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

31st – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 31st August 2020 as year end


SEPTEMBER 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 30th November 2020

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 31st July 2021

14th – Due date for Corporation Tax quarterly instalment for large companies with year end 31st March 2022

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

30th – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 30th September 2020 as year end


OCTOBER 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31st December 2020

5th – Deadline for Self Assessment registration to notify HMRC of Income/Capital Gains Tax for 2020/2021

7th – Deadline for VAT returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 31st August 2021

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

31st – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 31st October 2020 as year-end

31st – Deadline for postal submission of Self Assessment Tax Returns for tax year ended 5th April 2021 to be received by HMRC


NOVEMBER 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31st January 2021

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 30th September 2021

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

30th – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 30th November 2020 as year-end


DECEMBER 2021

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 28th February 2021

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 31st October 2021

14th – Due date for Corporation Tax quarterly instalment for large companies with year-end 31st March 2022

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

31st – Due date to file Corporation Tax for companies with 31st December 2020 year-end


JANUARY 2022

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31st March 2021

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 30th November 2021

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

31st – Deadline for filing Self Assessment Tax Returns for tax year ended 5th April 2021 and 2020/2021 Capital Gains Tax

31st – Balancing payment of tax due for 2019-2020 and first Payment on Account for Income Tax for 2021/2022

31st – Due date to file Corporation Tax for companies with 31st January 2021 year-end


FEBRUARY 2022

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 30th April 2021

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 31st December 2021

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

28th – Due date to file Corporation Tax for companies with 28th February 2021 year-end


MARCH 2022

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31st May 2021

7th – Deadline for VAT Returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 31st January 2022

14th – Due date for Corporation Tax quarterly instalment for large companies with year-end 31st March 2022 and 31st December 2022

19th – Monthly deadline for postal payments of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

22nd – Monthly deadline for electronic remittance of CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC

31st – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 31st March 2021 as year-end


APRIL 2022

1st – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 30th June 2021

5th – 2021/2022 Tax Year Ends

6th – 2022/2023 Tax Year Begins

6th – IR35 in the private sector comes into force

30th – Corporation Tax Returns filed by companies with 30th April 2021 as year-end

 

We can help with your bookkeeping needs, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper here for more information on our services.

Like many business owners, you probably went into business for yourself because you either a) have a passion for what you do, b) wanted to make more money than if working for someone else or c) wanted a better work life balance. You have probably discovered that there is more to running a successful business than just doing the thing you love. Not every task is going to be what you want to or should be doing and unless you chose to be a bookkeeper or accountant, it’s also likely that numbers are not your thing.

However, keeping on top of your bookkeeping is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Tracking what comes in and what goes out of your business means you are in a much better position to work out what is working and what isn’t, plus very importantly, where you might need to make some changes.

An accountant is only as good as the information provided, if there are gaps in your numbers, how can they make accurate recommendations or give you complete advice?

Yes, there are lots of software providers to try and make things easier for business owners but good bookkeeping is much more than putting numbers in boxes. Do you know if or how much VAT to claim on your Jaffa Cakes for the staff meeting or your steel toe cap boots? Do you know what nominal code you should be using for meeting room hire?

Getting these things wrong can impact the finances of your business. As a successful business owner, you need to understand your business’ true cost of sales and the fixed costs so you can measure profitability of your business properly.

So, why should you use a bookkeeper?

Well, everyone has their own reason for going in to business for themselves but nobody goes into business to run it badly. You likely chose something you could do well and thought you were good at. Your business will do best while you focus your time and effort doing the things you are good at and passionate about, so allow yourself time for the actual business side of things.

Having a professional bookkeeper means you don’t have to spend your time working out what nominal code to use or what VAT amount should apply. It means you have someone who knows these things, doing all of the bookkeeping for you. Having the bookkeeping expertly done ensures your access to regular and accurate reports, so that you can meet tax deadlines, avoid penalties and eliminate stress. Sound bookkeeping makes it is easier for you to make informed decisions about your business with the provision of accurate and up- to-date information, allowing you to maximise the potential of your business.

Can’t afford a bookkeeper?

As a small business owner, you may be thinking that you can’t afford to hire a bookkeeper, that taking someone on means holiday pay, sick pay and an hourly rate / salary.

Let’s put it another way, how long are you spending on your bookkeeping and what is that time worth to you?

How many hours are you spending in your working day/week/month sorting your books? How much do you charge an hour? What else could you be doing that can probably make money for your business?

Maybe you are doing the bookkeeping in the evening or at weekends? Are you getting the work/life balance that you planned on? Are you spending your free time doing things you wish you didn’t need to? What really is the value of that time to you? It’s probably worth more than what it would cost to outsource to a good bookkeeper.

Then we need to consider the benefit of using a professional; you are a professional at what you do and can work efficiently, well, it’s the same for bookkeeping. A professional bookkeeper will likely take a shorter amount of time to get through the same work, meaning their time is more cost effective. I know it would take me a lot longer than James to build the wall in my back garden next week, that’s why (well, one of the reasons why) I am paying him to do it.

The benefit of outsourcing

Anyway, back to bookkeeping. Having a professional bookkeeper doesn’t mean you need to hire someone on fixed hours for every week of the year. Outsourcing your bookkeeping is a very effective and efficient option. An outsourced bookkeeper will work closely with your accountant and liaise directly with them if you wish. They will also be able to work on the bookkeeping and accounting software either you or your accountant prefer to use, meaning less work and effort on your part.

An outsourced bookkeeper will usually work remotely so you don’t have to provide equipment or office/desk space, so no upfront overheads will be required and you just pay for the work you get.

At Rosemary bookkeeping we work with our clients and accountants to provide a service that best fits their needs. Rosemary Bookkeeping provide regular reports so our clients and their accountants can see what is going on financially within a business when they need to. Rosemary Bookkeeping focus on the bookkeeping, leaving the accounting to the accountants and running the business to the business owner. With clear and transparent pricing Rosemary Bookkeeping clients always know they are paying only for the work completed.

If you’ve realised that doing the bookkeeping yourself isn’t for you then get in touch with your local Rosemary bookkeeper today to ask how they can help.

In light of what’s happening in the world, it’s always nice to hear some positive news, and we’ve got some to share for the local businesses of Stratford. A new bookkeeper is in town, Mohammad Hossain has started his own business in the Stratford area and he looks forward to helping businesses to get back on their feet in the coming months through help with their bookkeeping requirements.

“I decided on a Rosemary Bookkeeping business because I wanted to do my part in helping local businesses with their bookkeeping during and after the pandemic”, said Mohammad.

Mohammad has spent most of his professional working time as a Chartered Certified Accountant and also as a Bookkeeper for a number of Accounting and Audit Firms in London covering various small and medium corporations and in 2020 he decided it was time for a change. He decided to look into owning his own Bookkeeping business because this is the aspect of enthusiasm for his previous roles he most enjoyed. That’s why he came across the Rosemary Bookkeeping and thought it would be a great opportunity to join a national network of bookkeepers to have the help needed from the brand and other business owners.

All of the bookkeepers in the Rosemary Bookkeeping network thrive on helping businesses with their bookkeeping in order to give them more time to grow their business, and Mohammad is no different.

“I’m really pleased to welcome Mohammad to our Rosemary Bookkeeping Network. With all the experience, fantastic attitude and strive to develop his business Mohammad is a great addition to our network of bookkeepers and will be a great support and asset for local Stratford companies. I’m very excited to work with Mohammad and follow his journey to thrive.”, said Nina Ostasz, Rosemary Bookkeeping Brand Manager.

For any small business owner, keeping track of your incomings & outgoings is one of the most important tasks. Recording payments, tracking expenses, invoicing customers and reconciling transactions means you can make informed and profitable decisions about your business.

Luckily, there are now a wide range of software options available to make it easier for you to keep on top of your finances. Some have been heavily advertising of late, you’ve probably seen more than one.

But, with so many options out there, picking the right accounting software for you and your business isn’t an easy task.

Below, we list important factors you should consider when selecting your accounting software.

Costs

The prices can vary considerably. There are packages at the lower end of the price range but these will often be a more basic package. Think about your business requirements now and in the future. Will a basic package be enough or will you need more features further down the line?

Usability

The size and structure of your business will affect how many users there will be accessing your accounting software. Do more users mean more cost? Is it scalable if needed later?

Do you want your accounting software to be installed on a particular desktop? This might limit the number of users so you may prefer a cloud-based system that you can access anywhere.

Features

Work out what you really need from the accounting software and what you need it to do. Do you need both accounts receivable and accounts payable tools? Which reports do you need it to generate? Do you need it to track inventory? Do you need it to include ancillary services, like time tracking, project management and payroll?

Which to choose?

Of course, as bookkeepers ourselves, we have our preferences when it comes to software. We work with all sorts of platforms and packages but there are a few we see time and time again:

Xero: Widely acknowledged as one of the top pieces of cloud based accounting and bookkeeping software – especially if you’re working on a Mac. Xero is great if you’re just starting out or if you need your accounting to be simple and straightforward. Another tick for Xero, it is designed to grow as your business does. We like that it’s affordable, easy to use, offers a ton of add-on features and integrates with hundreds of third-party business solutions, many of which you probably already use. There is also a 24-hour email and live chat support function, meaning there’s always someone there to help you.

FreeAgent: Unlike a lot of bookkeeping and accounting software products which limit your transactions unless you purchase a more expensive package, FreeAgent supports unlimited users, clients, invoices and transactions for one monthly price. It’s a cloud-based piece of software and comes with a built-in project management feature. These features make it ideal for keeping track of billable hours and expenses. As a FreeAgent partner, we recommend it for freelancers, consultants and other project-based businesses.

QuickBooks: One of the most popular accounting software packages out there (and for good reason). QuickBooks works for all types of small businesses. With three different small business plans to choose from, plus a separate plan for the self-employed, freelancers and contractors, it’s got something for everyone. Both new start-up businesses and bigger, established businesses have benefitted from its’ range of features, which cover basic bookkeeping to advanced accounting and business analytics.

Sage: Sage is one of the bigger brands, and it’s been around a lot longer than most. Sage Business Cloud Accounting has two plans for small business owners, starting with invoicing, expense management and reporting, building up to the creation of quotes, estimates, tracking and inventory management. It’s most popular with retail based businesses due to its ability to integrate with POS systems. Sage also appeals to businesses with large finance departments thanks to its’ support for multiple users and payroll systems.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with small and medium sized businesses to take the pain out of your bookkeeping. From helping you choose the right software to use, software supply, training and data migration, to a complete outsourced bookkeeping service – we can help. If you’re just starting out or you’re looking to hire a bookkeeper to support you as you grow, we’d love to help. Contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper for your free consultation.

The UK exited the EU VAT regime, Customs Union and Single Market from 1 January 2021. This means the loss of a range of compliance simplifications and the imposition of customs declarations, goods regulations, services and import VAT.

In this article HERE you can find an outline of the major changes affecting VAT treatment after the UK leaving the EU.

Here you can find the most recent guidance from the government; Import goods into the UK: step by step

If you import goods into Great Britain from outside the UK or from outside the EU to Northern Ireland you may have to pay import VAT on goods. For supplies of services from outside the UK you must account for VAT under the reverse charge procedure.

Guidance on Paying VAT on imports from outside the UK to Great Britain and from outside the EU to Northern Ireland

Export goods from the UK: step by step
Guidance on how and when you can apply zero-rated VAT to exported goods – Goods exported from the UK from 1 January 2021

TOMS – Tour Operators Margin Scheme 

If you supply digital services to private consumers you can read the guidance here – VAT rules for supplies of digital services to consumers 

CIS VAT changes

If you’re in the construction sector changes on VAT are coming on 1st March 2021.

VAT reverse charge technical guide HERE.

VAT is due when a VAT invoice is issued, or payment is received, whichever is earlier.

For invoices issued for specified supplies that become liable to the reverse charge, the VAT treatment for invoices with a tax point:

  • before 1 March 2021 – the normal VAT rules will apply and you should charge VAT at the appropriate rate on your supplies
  • on or after 1 March 2021 – the domestic reverse charge will apply

As a company owner/director, running a business has its ups and downs but one thing I always looked forward to when I was a company director, as I am sure you do, is that 31st January deadline, finding time to gather all of the information and send off that lovely Self-Assessment.

Oh, you don’t find that the best bit of being self-employed or a company director?

Ok, if I am perfectly honest I dreaded it. You see, I was quite capable of running my business, quite capable of selling what I needed to, quite capable of creating what I needed to, that’s why I decided to start my own business (and just so we are clear, it wasn’t a bookkeeping business!).

Like most people who launch their own business, we start something based on what we like, what we are good at and what we think we can make money doing. However, along with that often comes a whole host of other skills and requirements which need to be done well in order to make our business a success.

But it’s not just the extra things for the business like bookkeeping and payroll, it’s also the personal bits like; yep… your Self-Assessment.

Most of it seems fairly simple but how many times have you really known exactly which expense goes in which column or box? I usually muddled through it and hoped I’d got everything right but I wish I’d made it easier for myself. Knowing what I know now, there is definitely a better way.

Although as a bookkeeper can’t file your self-assessment for you and can’t sort your personal financial information, they can help you make sure all of your business information is accurate, taking one of those stresses away.

I for one would much rather be taking the dog for a walk, marketing my business or doing some work for my client so I can invoice them, than spend that time stressing and working out what column my business cards or printer costs need to go in.

How about you?

If sorting your bookkeeping out isn’t your favourite things, why not, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

N.B. Rosemary can’t file your Self-Assessment for you or compile your personal financials but they can make sure your business bookkeeping is up to date, correct and that you have access to the information you need to complete the business section of your Self-Assessment.

When it comes to carrying out your self-assessment, it’s hard to know what can and can’t be included as allowable expenses. Contrary to popular belief, the government want you to succeed in business so will allow you to spend on certain items in your business without having to pay the tax for them.

In general, tax-deductible items will come under the following categories;

  • Travel
  • Office
  • Stock
  • Marketing
  • Legal & Financial

Travel Costs

fuel expenses

Any business-related car or van use may be allowed. Things such as;

  • Vehicle insurance
  • Fuel
  • Hire charges
  • Repairs
  • Servicing and breakdown cover

You are not able to claim these charges for general use such as driving to and from work but if your vehicle is genuinely used for work purposes, these allowances may be available for you.

It can be difficult to calculate your use if your vehicle is used for both personal and business. In this case, refer to the “simplified vehicle expenses” form on the government website where you will find a flat rate for each circumstance.

Under travel, you may also be able to claim for;

  • Train
  • Bus
  • Plane
  • Taxi
  • Hotel rooms
  • Evening meal during a business trip.

If you are taking a trip but it’s for a combination of personal and business, you will need to calculate how much is used for business and only submit that amount as allowable expenses.

Office Costs

postage expenses

There are many items that can be listed under allowable expenses whether you work from premises or your own home. It’s a little more complicated when you work from home which I will explain later.

The type of things you can possibly include are;

  • Stationary
  • Printing costs (including ink)
  • Postage

You can claim for equipment such as computers, printers and software but this may have to be claimed under your capital allowance if you don’t use cash basis accounting.

With regards to your premises, the following may be allowed;

  • Rent
  • Maintenance & repair
  • Utility bills
  • Property insurance & security.

If you work from home, you may be able to claim for a proportion of your utility bills, but you will need to work out what proportion is used for business and what is used personally.

Stock Costs

stock expenses

Your allowable expenses for your stock may include;

  • Stock held
  • Raw materials
  • Costs incurred from producing goods

Marketing Costs

marketing expenses

Most businesses need to budget for marketing costs and this is taken in to account when it comes to allowable expenses. They may cover the following;

  • Newspaper adverts
  • Directory listings
  • Mailshots
  • Free samples
  • Website

You may also be able to claim for certain subscriptions. An example of these would be;

  • Membership to trade bodies or professional membership organisations
  • Subscriptions to trade or professional journals

Legal & Financial Costs

legal expenses

There are some fees that are essential in business and they may be covered under allowable expenses. For example;

  • Accountancy fees
  • Solicitor fees
  • Bank, overdraft and credit card charges (If used for business)
  • Interest on business loans
  • HP interest and leasing payments
  • Business insurance such as Public Liability Insurance

Other items that may be covered are;

  • Uniform or PPI
  • Staffs salaries
  • Bonuses
  • Pension contributions
  • Benefits
  • Agency Fees
  • Employer NI contributions.

This is just a guide and more information can be found on the gov.uk website. The most important thing to remember is that you will always need to prove these expenses so remember to keep a record of all receipts and invoices.

Outsourcing is actually a very realistic option for business owners so don’t be scared. If you’re still not sure, Rosemary Bookkeeping are more than happy to come and do a 1-2-1 health check with you and give you the opportunity to decide for yourself if you think you could benefit with no obligation, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

The world as we know it has changed and is transforming in front of our eyes. We’ve been tested in different ways every day trying to adapt to new working and learning routines.

It’s essential that small businesses across the globe get through the pandemic because they are vital to every nation’s economy.

The current crisis is accelerating the digital world, but also has the potential to accelerate a digital divide. At present, there are many technology-oriented solutions that can help your businesses to survive this crisis. Digital technologies can be essential not just to survive, but to thrive and have continued success after the pandemic.

New digital solutions are key to helping your business

At present, any business focused on providing the exchange of goods and ideas between people without in-person interaction should be able to survive. An example this kind of company is Zoom, which by now everyone has heard of by now as they’ve provided video chat and conferencing services to the world during 2020.

Online retailers such as Amazon are seen massive growth, as much as a 44% increase in stock price since a low on March 12. You can argue that there are some big and well-positioned businesses that are managing to survive and even see growth, but many big manufacturers are struggling to survive.

On the other hand, some small local companies are flourishing, for example, some local restaurants have reinvented themselves and are now focusing on delivery with Deliveroo, Uber Eats etc.

The common characteristics amongst businesses that are experiencing success during the pandemic:
– The ability to adapt to the new customers’ requirements
– A willingness to embrace technology in order to improve production and services.

To overcome this crisis, companies need to be receptive and responsive, and there are many digital solutions that can help them not just to carry out their normal activities, but also enhance business processes as well.

Here are a few examples about how technology can help businesses to go through this pandemic:

Digitalisation

Going digital during the pandemic is not just something you can choose to do, it’s now a vital part of the day to day work life in every business around the world.

The first step to go digital is to update your company website where prospective clients/customers can check and order your products and services online. Then, you can start promoting your business on search engines such as Google or Bing, as well as social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

Digital transformation is not just about having a digital presence; it is the integration of digital technology into every aspect of a business.

It’s not just a cosmetic change; it is a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge all state of affairs, experiment. Remember, don’t be scared of failure, we all learn from our mistakes.

Digital applications

Many companies and services have continued to remain open during COVID-19 by implementing new physical distancing rules and technology to keep their business running and their employees safe. However, due to increased lockdown measures, technology has become as important, if not more important to all businesses again.

During the pandemic, there has been an influx in the usage of online services such as digital signature or digital IDs not just to buy products and services; also, to connect with social organisations and hospitals etc.

It’s become essential to provide personalised and digital services during the pandemic. Before COVID-19, these types of digital applications were nice to have, but are now a necessity.  For many organisations, these apps and digital software can help them with providing a good quality service whilst reducing/completely stopping in-branch visits.

Perfecting the remote working model

Companies across the world have had to shift to a work-from-home model due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a consequence of that, employers have needed to adapt and find the right tools to make the employee’s work day easier, and to be able to monitor their workers’ progress.

For many employers, time tracking is critical to figure out how productive employees are when working remotely whist other prefer to focus on productivity. Nevertheless, data should be available to both manager and employee in order to get optimal results and with the right technology and software in place. Businesses can maximise their employee’s ability to work remotely, and be more efficient

Information and communications technology (ICT)

During the pandemic, technology has allowed people to communicate virtually, regardless of location—making it essential for businesses that need to remain open and working.

Having the proper technology implemented within your organisation allows affective virtual communication when social distancing or lockdowns are compulsory by government officials.

Improved relationships

Do you need to conclude a distance contract or communicate with other offices without physical presence?

Digital solutions such an electronic contract can improve relationships between clients, suppliers, workers and all those involved in the different economic sectors. In addition to being able to remotely carry out any of the above processes and solve the hiring needs in the best way with the most advanced technology, no matter the sector in question, these tools will lower operating costs as there is less travel involved within the UK and other countries. Therefore, reducing wasted tine and dedicate more hours to more important and demanding tasks.

Hyper-connectivity

This term was created by social scientists and refers to; “The use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and a wide range of information and communication services.”

This concept when applied to business is the total connection between all the areas involved such as employees, customers, suppliers and any other stakeholders. Hyper-connectivity makes information more easily accessible and available on any device, which can be easily shared amongst any of the stakeholders associated with your business. Hyper-connectivity helps organisations to become more agile as any new team members have instant access to the platform at any time, anywhere.

Improving workflow efficiency

Learning to improve all work processes is necessary to improve overall business performance. Technology now offers workflow software that enables businesses to restructure their way of working, like work order processing or accounts payable procedures amongst others, instead of having to use the old-fashioned pen and paper. These tools provide you with the ability to maintain normal operations, as online data backups and recovery systems can help in something like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enhanced productivity

Technology also helps us to improve productivity by eliminating all those unnecessary time-consuming tasks. File management software removes the need for data entry, filing and manual file retrieval. There are plenty of useful technology and software options out there to improve workflow.

For example; bookkeeping and accounting software that can automate most of the processes that used to take precious time to complete.

Improved data management

The volume of data we create on the internet is always expanding, in fact, at the moment over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created every single day. Every time a consumer conducts a search, completes a purchase, visits your website or comments on one of your social posts, you will add to that vast expanse of information.

As we all know, this information can be a valuable asset, but only if we know how to tap into and extract the bits that are relevant to business success. In the last few years, the volume of data has increased far faster than we have the ability to process it, but technology can help you to keep your information organised and indexed correctly.

There are a number of apps out there to help you organise and process relevant data, which can help us to make informed decisions from further analysis and research. Without data collection and analysis, companies would be using outdated practices and data to make decisions.

These are very challenging times; however, there are some tools available that can help you minimise the impact on your business. Many of those technologies already exist, you just have to know where to search, learn how to use them effectively and take advantage of their benefits.

It has been a tough year so far for business owners and the self-employed to say the least. Knowing how your business is going to be affected or what to do for the best to keep revenue coming in has meant that many business owners have needed to change their plans or maybe their whole operational structure. Keeping on top of the continuous changes with rules and regulations has made it that much harder, but it isn’t all doom and gloom.

A lot of businesses have actually prospered during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite national and local closures, some have used this opportunity to quickly adjust and adapt their business to trade in the ‘new normal’.

Businesses that have adapted have seen growth and are likely to have built a lasting relationship with the customer base, which will carry on after COVID-19 recedes.

One of the most important things to do when making sure your business is able to adapt is keeping on top of the constant changes throughout the UK.

You should be keeping on top of the regular changes to rules and regulations in your area of operation, if you don’t you could be missing out on vital information or worse, falling foul of regulations, risking fines.

A couple of months ago, we put together an article with useful links to help you to find reliable sources of information, you can find a copy here https://www.rosemarybooks.co.uk/where-to-find-useful-information-about-covid19.

Set aside time on a regular basis to catch up on changes and make sure that you are aware of any regulations that could affect you.

There has also been a lot of help out there for small businesses, we also put together an article with information on help available for small businesses, which you can find here: https://www.rosemarybooks.co.uk/help-for-small-business-through-covid-19 (some of these may have expired or changed since publication so please read them all thoroughly).

See what help is available to you and your business, apply for things in a timely manner, don’t leave it to that last minute, time might run out. Find out about the latest business support here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

You can also sign up for email notifications here https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?topic=/coronavirus-taxon/businesses-and-self-employed-people

If you don’t already, now is even more important to keep on top of your bookkeeping. Keeping on top of your bookkeeping on a regular basis means that you can make informed decisions for your business and will be less likely to have cashflow or financial issues. You can talk to one of the Rosemary bookkeepers and ask for a FREE no obligation bookkeeping health check and find out how Rosemary could help you and your business.

In both our business life and personal life, we all have a system for keeping on top of our bookkeeping and I’m quite sure some are more organised than others.

You might rather like checking your incomings and outgoings every day, week or month, but either way, particularly in business, bookkeeping is essential. Every business should keep track of their income and expenses, if you don’t know what your cashflow really looks like you could run into big problems down the line.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is essentially the task of recording all of the business’s financial information, so that it is easy to see what money is coming in, and what is being spent.

As a small business owner, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day business activities but in order for your business thrive, you should be balancing your books every single month. If you don’t, how do you know if you will have enough to cover your next lot of expenses?

Many small business owners will take on the bookkeeping themselves when they first start their business, if this is your choice, get in to the habit of doing your bookkeeping every month at least or you risk getting in to bad habits and falling behind.

Outsourcing to a professional bookkeeper frees up your time to focus on your business, and if your business isn’t a bookkeeping business then you are probably better at doing something else, if you are fantastic at bookkeeping, maybe you want to join the Rosemary Team?

But why is bookkeeping important?

In short, if you don’t have a good working knowledge of the finances of your business, there is a very good chance that you won’t be running your business very long. According to ‘Investopedia’, the top reason for small businesses failing is financial hurdles.

Whatever your business there are ongoing costs throughout the year, for example for VAT registered companies VAT Returns must be submitted 4 times a year digitally – MTD. Good bookkeeping means you will be able to correctly calculate how much is due and make sure the return is submitted on time.

If you are self-employed you must file a Self-Assessment tax return every year. Keeping on top of your bookkeeping will help you submit your return in good time, saving a last minute panic and rush to gather information or worse yet missing some and facing a fine.

But it’s all fine, you have an accountant so you can just send them everything before your end of year right? Even if you have an accountant, you will still need you to keep on top of your bookkeeping so that they can create your accounts on a good set of books. If you have records missing or unordered, they may not be able to do their job.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping we can take care of your day to day bookkeeping and provide the reports you need, so you can take care of your business. We can also liaise directly with your accountant, to free up more of your valuable time.

If you feel like you don’t understand the bookkeeping side of your business, or just don’t have time to do it, you can always contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeping office here.

1.  Procrastinating is a no-no

Are you a procrastinator who leaves everything until the last minute?

Well, with bookkeeping, you can’t be! It can quickly get out of hand and pile up on your desk.

It is important that you keep on top of financial deadlines, for example Making Tax Digital on 1st April 2019.

MTD is a requirement for VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold to use the MTD service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns.

If you feel like you don’t have time to do your bookkeeping and run other parts of your business as well, you can give Rosemary Bookkeeping a call to help with all of your bookkeeping needs.

2.  Bad filing systems

You need to make sure, as a business owner that you are keeping all of your old receipts and filing them correctly with accompanying paperwork.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “oh dear I don’t keep my receipts”, don’t worry there are plenty of business owners like this around the UK.

Get into a habit of when you get in the office every morning to pop your receipts in a folder. Even if this is being filed correctly later that day, at least you have made a start.

Are all of your invoices and bills in sequential order? If they aren’t, then they should be! This will make life a lot easier when it comes to any deadlines, or audits etc.

A quick tip is to start using cloud-based software. This software is very useful and saves you a lot of time when it comes to filing. It can scan your receipts, input important information about your business cash flow and also generate invoices.

3.  Mixing business with personal expenses

If you’re doing all of your bookkeeping yourself, and mixing your business and personal expenses then you’re making your bookkeeping a lot harder.

You would have to sit and sift through hundreds of receipts and separate them into business and personal.

If you initially keep them separate, then this is something you will not need to do and will give you time to do other important tasks.

When the tax return deadline comes around, if you’re organised and have split your business and personal expenses, then you’re more likely to pay the right amount of tax for your business.

4.  Being consistent with your accounts

If you can, set the same date every month to sit down for a good few hours to do get your bookkeeping and accounts in order for the last calendar month.

If you feel like you’re bogged down with too many other tasks, then you can always contact Rosemary Bookkeeping to take over the bookkeeping side of your business.

5.  Pay electronically

An easier way to keep an eye on and make your bookkeeping easier is to make sure all business transactions are paid on your business card and not with cash.

This is obviously, because of the information your bank would provide on a statement; amount, date and the recipients/company name.

6.  Employee classification

Many businesses have different classifications of employees, be it full-time employees, part-time employees and independent contractors.

Keeping these separate and correctly classified is important to avoid such things like any overpayment of taxes or misfiling.

7.  Backup, Backup, Backup!

We all know what technology is like, it can decide to turn off or have some kind of error at any time.

This is why backing up your data securely on a cloud-based platform is extremely important!

You need to make sure this is a secure platform that works in conjunction with GDPR to ensure the safety of your data.

8.  A light bit of reading

You would be surprised at how many business owners don’t read financial statements and just add them to their procrastination pile.

There are plenty of reasons why financial statements can help with your business and avoid a financial breakdown. Here are a few reasons:

  • See current/upcoming financial trends within your business sector
  • Gain insight into maximising your tax deductions for the year
  • Share with existing/potential investors as to how your business is performing
  • Stay in control of all of your cash flow

Those are but a few reasons why financial statements can help you run a business and keep your bookkeepers happy!

9. Choose the right bookkeeping software

It’s important to choose the right bookkeeping software for your business as there are many different types, from cashbook only software to that the covers everything from ledgers to foreign currency transactions.

Here is a good comparison site of the top 11 accounting and bookkeeping software – Software Comparison

10. Outsource your bookkeeping

If you, the business owner, are also doubling as the office administrator/bookkeeper, you won’t have time to do the most important thing, grow your business. That’s why outsourcing your bookkeeping can be beneficial for you and your business.

Outsourcing is also cost-effective and more accurate –

  • Cost-Effective – You’ll only need to pay for the hours worked on your accounts, as opposed to paying a monthly wage for an in house bookkeeper
  • Accuracy – You will get the necessary work done on your accounts professionally, so you can be confident they are correct every time

If you feel like you don’t understand the bookkeeping side of your business, or just don’t have time to do it, you can always contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeping office here.

The government has recently announced a new package that is aimed at helping all workers affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, which includes the new Job Support Scheme which is there to contribute towards employees’ wages, and a limited extension of the already in place Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

New Package Dates & Details

The Job Support Scheme – This will replace the current furlough scheme on 1st November 2020 and last for six months.

 To qualify, employees must work for at least a third of their normal working hours, for which they will be paid in full by their employer. For the hours that are not worked, the cost will be split three ways – the state pays a third, the employer pays a third and the employee loses a third. Find more information about this scheme here – Job Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – This has been extended for another six months, a third and fourth grant are to be made available.

The third grant will be available for November 2020 – January 2021, although is at a much lower level than any previous grants – those eligible will get 20% of their average trading profits, which will be capped at £1,875. The details for the fourth grant have not been released yet, see the full information for this scheme here – Self Employment Support Income Scheme

Self-Assessment taxpayers can delay payments further than normal – Tax due by the 31st January 2021 can now be paid over the following 12 months – Tax Payment Deferral

Businesses can now have longer to pay off bounce back loans – New and any existing loans may now be paid over a 10-year period, with payment holidays and interest-only repayment periods are also available for businesses – Bounce back loan extension

If you want any more help with anything in this blog then contact your local bookkeeper – Find your nearest.

As a tradesperson, your business has probably seen ups and downs over the last few months but with more people working from home, there has been a noticeable increase in demand across the industry.

Like many other tradespeople, you may have been doing your bookkeeping and accounts on your own and possibly spending evenings and weekends trying to balance your books. Maybe you have roped a member of your family in to help?

This is where hiring a bookkeeper can help you. You know yourself, you provide your service to your client/customer because you do a better job of it than they could, it’s your trade/you skill/your expertise. Utilising a professional bookkeeper means your books are being looked after by someone with the trade/skill/expertise they need.

So, what are the benefits?

1. Fix problems

One of the most common reasons our clients come to us in the first place is because they have been trying to do the bookkeeping themselves, and struggle, can’t keep up or get in a mess.

They may struggle from the start or they may be ok from the start but get busier and busier with their business and not be able to keep up. As a new business owner, it is common to work as cost-effectively as possible so outsourcing might be considered an additional expense but; as your business grows, it’s important to focus your efforts on what brings growth to your business. Let the professional take care of your bookkeeping so you can take care of what you do best.

2. Save time

Saving time is one of the key reasons’ businesses look to hiring a bookkeeper to look after their books; giving you more time to run your business will help in achieving business goals.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we’ve seen it all, businesses producing accounts on pieces of paper, on a disorganised spreadsheet and in some circumstances… in their head. These are not reliable methods of keeping track of the incomings and outgoings of your business.

3. Cost-effectiveness

At Rosemary Bookkeeping you know what you are paying for, our pricing is clear, affordable and value for money. Using a professional bookkeeper, you aren’t paying for them to check and research and work out what bill goes in what category or has what VAT, they know the ins and outs meaning they can do your bookkeeping more efficiently.

4. Compliance

Depending on your business there may be more than one requirement for you to keep legitimate, from Making Tax Digital to CIS submission, using a professional and experienced bookkeeper can help keep you compliant.

5. Answers

Rosemary Bookkeeping understands that your trade is different from that of a bookkeeper and you may have questions about your bookkeeping. We’re always available on the phone or email and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as we can. You don’t have to go it alone with Rosemary.

6. Keep track of where your money goes

You may be working hard day and night as well as over the weekend, but if you don’t properly account for incomings & outgoings regularly, it makes it much harder to keep on track of where the businesses money is going.

Using a reputable bookkeeper means you get regular reports and access to your well-kept books and you will be able to see where your money is and where it isn’t. So, you can make informed business decisions.

7. Keeping it simple

If you are a small business with 1-5 staff, you likely have simple needs, at Rosemary, we work with you from the outset to assess your bookkeeping needs and make sure you get the most suitable service to help you manage your books. For larger organisations, we have plenty of scopes to meet your requirements too.

Whatever the size of your business we can liaise directly with your accountant, send you regular reports and help you make the most of your business.

 

Find your nearest bookkeeping professional here.

 

Often bookkeeping and accounting are considered to be the same profession. Although a bookkeeper and accountant seem to have very similar roles and often do similar work there are some major differences between the two. The real value of any business is achieved when both work closely together.

What is the difference between Accounting and Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the day-to-day process of accumulating, categorizing, and recording financial transactions.

Bookkeeping is a foundation of your finances, providing vital information for reports, financial statements and tax returns. The main objective of bookkeeping is to keep all financial transactions record up to date in a proper and systematic manner.

Bookkeepers are responsible for data entry, balancing bank ledgers, preparing bank reconciliations, tracking income and expenses, VAT returns, maintaining the general ledger, and on some occasions completing payroll. Nowadays, often bookkeepers can also produce monthly Profit & Loss reports and some other financial statements and reports. In general, bookkeepers produce the data, and accountants review and interpret reports providing insights into the business although an experienced bookkeeper can assist with this too.

Accounting is the high-level process of recording, measuring, classifying, verifying, summarising, analysing, interpreting and communicating financial information compiled during the bookkeeping process. Accounting is producing conclusions, reports, forecasts, financial statements, tax returns, strategies and models that can be used by business managers to make key business decisions. As a result, it provides a picture of the actual profitability, trends, cash flow and other key financial indicators.

Similarities

  • Bookkeepers and accountants both work with financial data.
  • Working with small businesses bookkeepers’ and accountants’ roles sometimes overlap, as bookkeepers can generate financial reports through bookkeeping software.
  • Both are tax compliant.
  • Both share a goal of improving your businesses financial health.

Differences

Bookkeeper:

  • Records and classifies all financial transactions
  • Processes receipts, payments and other financial transactions
  • Processes sales and purchase invoices
  • Maintains and balances subsidiaries, general ledger and historical accounts
  • Reconciles bank statements
  • Track income and expenses for the tax periods
  • Prepares initial financial statements
  • Manages accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Prepares and files VAT returns
  • Can also facilitate payroll

Accountant:

  • Analyses, interpret and provide subjective advice based on data from the bookkeeper
  • Adjusts entries
  • Generates financial statements and reports
  • Files income tax returns
  • Submits annual accounts
  • Advises on tax strategy and tax planning
  • Prepares financial forecasts
  • Analyses business performance
  • Prepares budgets, business plans and cash flow forecasts
  • Provides financial management advice
  • Audits

A Bookkeepers’ and Accountant’s work can overlap but in general, a bookkeepers priority is to record transactions and keep them organised organise whilst accountants provide consultation, analysis and often are more qualified to advise on tax matters.

When deciding if you need a bookkeeper you’ll need to review the benefits, as it might be more beneficial for you to concentrate on your business and hire a bookkeeper to professionally look after your day-to-day financial tasks. A bookkeeper can also liaise with the accountant for you to allow you to focus even more on your business.

 

In summary, bookkeeping is the completing of day-to-day financial tasks and accounting is the analysing and summarising of information produced by a bookkeeper. Both have a big role to play in the business and together bookkeepers and accountants can help you better understand your business and take it to the next level.

 

Find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper here – Find Your Nearest

Top tips if you are thinking about becoming self-employed

Top tips if you are thinking about becoming self-employed.

During the course of the Coronavirus pandemic we have seen many businesses struggle and the inevitable loss of jobs, as the job market becomes tougher and because people have had more time on their hands being furloughed and have had time to reflect on their work life balance, it is inevitable that many are thinking about working for them-selves and setting up their own business.

As of the end of December 2019, there were five million self-employed people in the UK which represents 15.3% of employment in the UK. And according to the office of national statistics the most common type of self-employment is ‘working for yourself’

Top tips if you are thinking about becoming self-employed

Data from ons.gov.uk

Setting up a business yourself can be very daunting but once you get going it can be very rewarding, here are a few tips to help get you started.

So, you are thinking about going self-employed what are some of the benefits? Well primarily, you get to be your own boss. You get to choose what work you do and when you do it, giving you much more flexibility and greater control over your work life balance.

Many people choose to go self-employed because they can earn more by providing the service or products directly.

But, be assured, many self-employed people find themselves very busy and you will have commitments that you may not have accounted for. You will be responsible for meeting your customers’ expectations by yourself, growing your business to make it financially viable and running everything behind the scenes.

When you are working out if being self-employed is right for you, it is important to prepare ahead of time, plan well and be prepared to adapt, some of the things you should consider are:

  • Do you have the financial investment to get set up in the first place?
  • Where will you carry out the work? Do you need an office or workshop space? What equipment will you need? How much will it all cost?
  • How will you go about getting new clients?
  • Can you manage financially if you have spells of little or no income?
  • Will you be working on your own? If so, how will you find it having no work colleagues to work with?
  • If you will need people to work with, how will you go about getting them and paying them?
  • Have you considered how you will deal with losing employee benefits such as holiday pay and pension contributions?
  • Are you happy that you can properly look after the admin side of the business such as bookkeeping, cash flow and tax returns?

You will need to consider if you want to be a sole trader or set up a limited business and the structure of your business. If you want to set up a ltd business, you will need to register your company with Companies House. You will need to pay corporation tax and there are other implications.

There are pro’s and con’s to setting up as a limited business or as a sole trader. If you are ready to take the step into self-employment, there are some things that you are required to do.

Whether you set up a limited business or trade as a sole trader, you should:

  • Tell HMRC that you’re self-employed, so that they know you need to pay tax through Self Assessment and pay Class 2 and 4 National Insurance contributions, you can find more information here https://www.gov.uk/self-employed-national-insurance-rates
  • Make sure you set up suitable insurance for the type of work you will be doing.
  • Set up a separate business bank account to keep your business and personal expenses separate.
  • Consider finding a suitable chartered accountant to help prepare your annual accounts and tax returns although this is not a legal requirement to have one.
  • Consider how you will keep track of your business finances, will you use software, have you considered a bookkeeper?
  • If you are going to be working from home, check your tenancy agreement or mortgage agreement to make sure you’re not contravening any terms. You may need to notify your landlord or mortgage lender.
  • If you are not sure about all of these things, you could consider a franchise, the benefit of a franchise is you get support from a franchisor that can help you get everything in place and there will be a network of like-minded people running a very similar business to talk to and ask questions of without the worry about competition.

If you decide that becoming self-employed is right for you, plan well, do you research and enjoy.

If you need help with your bookkeeping, talk to your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today and ask how we can help.

Make the most of Rosemary’s FREE Bookkeeping health Check, just get in touch with your local bookkeeper.