Rosemary Bookkeeping Wyre Forest

Having worked in finance for 15 years and a CIMA qualified accountant, Fiona Perks decided to take the leap into running her own bookkeeping business, which with the help from Rosemary Bookkeeping, became a reality.

Rosemary Bookkeeping Wyre Forest

“I can’t wait to get started and help local business to get their books organised,” said Fiona.

One of the main reasons that Fiona wanted a Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise was because she wanted a better work-life balance, especially with a young family at home.

Fiona is motivated and very keen to grow her business and hopes to be able to offer flexible working options in the Wyre Forest area.

“I received nothing but positivity when in talks with Rosemary Bookkeeping at the start and everything just naturally fell into place”.

Sujay Patel, Rosemary Bookkeeping Network Support Manager added;

“I’m excited to see Fiona kicking off her Rosemary journey with a potential client already in the pipeline.”

If you’re looking for a bookkeeping specialist in the Wyre Forest area, contact Fiona Perks today at

Find your local Rosemary bookkeeper here.

ServiceMaster has over 300 franchisees operating in close to 700 licensed areas under its brands, including Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean, Rosemary Bookkeeping, TruGreen Professional LawnCare and Furniture Medic.  Rosemary Bookkeeping has been recognised as a leading franchise opportunity in the Elite Franchise Top 100 franchises in the United Kingdom.

Last Calls For Making Tax Digital! Everything You Need To Know

It’s April, and you know what that means!

No, we’re not talking about Brexit. We’re talking about Making Tax Digital. Yes, after years of discussions and prep time, the deadline is here. If you’ve not got yourself sorted and ready, you’ve not got long to get organised and ready to submit your VAT returns digitally. If that sounds familiar, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ve come across plenty of business owners who aren’t ready yet, but there is still time to get your house in order. To help out, today, we’re answering some basic (and not so basic) FAQ’s around Making Tax Digital, so you can meet the deadline feeling fully prepared and in the know.

Last Calls For Making Tax Digital! Everything You Need To Know

What Is Making Tax Digital?

Making Tax Digital is the name for the HMRC scheme designed to get all VAT registered businesses to submit their VAT returns online, instead of by paper. MTD has been in the making a while now, and just like Brexit, the deadline is fast approaching. The idea is simple – if you are a VAT registered business, with a turnover above the current VAT registration turnover threshold of £85,000, you now need to be using an online accounting system to track and manage your VAT. These online accounting systems can then link directly into HMRC’s digital platform, and you can upload VAT returns quickly and simply, once a quarter. You can find out more about what Making Tax Digital is by reading this blog.

Will I Be Affected? 

If you run a business that is VAT registered or has a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000, then you will need to get on board with MTD. In essence, this means you will have to:

  • Keep your records for VAT digitally
  • Submit your VAT returns to HMRC via MTD approved software 

Can I Opt In Even If I’m Not VAT Registered?

If your business is registered for VAT but earning below the VAT threshold, you have two options. You can continue as you are, or you can opt in to the MTD scheme straight away. If you choose to opt in, you have the security of knowing your software is compatible and you have all the systems you need in place ready for when you do have to join MTD, keeping you compliant from the outset and ready for the switch.

What Software Is Compatible?

Because businesses need to log their VAT returns digitally, they need to be using an accounting platform that is compatible with HMRC’s systems. In the beginning the list of HMRC approved software vendors was pretty small, but now as the deadline gets closer more and more platforms are getting accredited. The odds are if you’re using one of the major platforms (like Quickbooks, Xero, Sage, Freeagent, Kashflow or Clearbooks, you’re already using an accredited piece of software, so you don’t need to do anything. You can find a full list of approved accounting software here.

What Information Will I Need To Keep?

If this is your first time for VAT, then there are a few things you need to know. Essentially, you will need to keep a record of the sales and purchases your business makes so that any VAT outputs and inputs can be calculated for each return period (normally every quarter). These records need to include the transaction date and the rate of VAT that applies to the invoice in total. That means that your accounting software must be able to:

  • Keep the required records in digital format
  • Maintain and store the digital records for up to 6 years
  • Produce a VAT return from the digital records
  • Provide HMRC with the VAT return informational digitally
  • Be able to receive information about the business compliance records digitally

If you’ve invested in an accounting platform that is MTD approved, then you will have all of these covered.

It might be the eleventh hour, but it’s not too late yet. You can still do everything you need to get ready for the MTD deadline – but you do need to act now. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we can support you in choosing the right accounting system, train you on how to use it and even help you import all of your data, so you are ready to go when the deadline comes. From there, we can also support you with information, advice and ongoing support packages to help keep your business digital and running smoothly. To find out more, just contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Written by Rosemary Bookkeeping Reading


Part of the government’s plan is ‘Making Tax Digital’, and by introducing this, it is set to make it easier and more simplistic for businesses to run properly. It will help them keep on top of their finances, and ensure they get their tax right the first time.

HMRC has a huge ambition to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrators in the world. Underlying changes are being made through Making Tax Digital as the tax system will be working differently by transforming tax administration. It will help by making;

  • It easier to file correct tax returns
  • It more effective
  • It more efficient



Making Tax Digital for VAT Registered Businesses

VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover will be required to use the Making Tax Digital service to digitally keep records and submit their VAT returns by using appropriate software from 1st April 2019.

There will be a small minority of exceptions for VAT-registered businesses who have more complicated requirements. HMRC engaged with business owners and listen to any concerns they may have about their businesses being ready for Making Tax Digital. The decision has been made to delay mandation for them customers until 1st October 2019.

Top MTD Facts

Fact 1

Some agents and businesses are providing updates and keeping digital records to HMRC as part of a ‘live pilot’ to develop the Making Tax Digital service for Income Tax. If you are either a landlord or a self-employed business, you are not required to use this service as yet, however, you can keep your business records digitally and send Income Tax updates to HMRC by voluntarily using software instead of filing a Self-Assessment tax return.

Fact 2

Most customers want to get their tax right but the latest tax gap figures reveal that too many are finding this hard. Digital records have improved the accuracy, and along with the support built into a lot of software products and the fact that information is forwarded directly to HMRC from the digital records; the amount of tax lost to these avoidable errors will be dramatically reduced.

Fact 3

One of the biggest concerns highlights to HMRC about MTD was about the pace in which this is implemented. In July 2017, the government announced that the pace of mandation would be slowed down and that Making Tax Digital will not be compulsory for taxes other than VAT, until at least April 2020.

In March 2019, the government then announced that they would focus on helping businesses to transform, and therefore will not be Making Tax Digital for any new businesses or taxes in 2020. The roll out date is yet to be confirmed.

It’s can be a worrying time but as a Bookkeeper, I feel, these changes are going to make it much easier for businesses to manage their information and finances.

Written By Neeta Patel (Rosemary Bookkeeping Northampton)

If you would like to chat about how these changes could affect you, feel free to get in touch, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Top tips to finding a great Bookkeeper

Deciding to outsource your bookkeeping is a big decision. You’ve decided that it will be cost-effective but now you need to find the right Bookkeeper for you.

Top tips to finding a great Bookkeeper

Here are my top tips for what to look for when outsourcing your bookkeeping;

1 – Referrals

Without a doubt, this is the best way to find a great Bookkeeper. No matter how many pretty adverts you come across, there is nothing more reassuring than a personal referral from someone who has experienced their services. This is worth its weight in gold. It’s also worth noting that networking is great way to build a relationship and get to know your local Bookkeepers.

2 – Has knowledge of Accountancy

This is a bonus, but it is certainly an advantage if a Bookkeeper has any experience in accounting. It makes life easier as they will know exactly what an Accountant needs so there won’t be any messing about when it comes to filling your tax returns.

3 – What software do they use?

It’s important to know what software your potential Bookkeeper uses as it will need to be suitable for your business needs. Although you will not be the one uploading the information, knowing that a Bookkeeper is up to date with the latest and best software is one thing less for you to worry about.

bookkeeping software

4 – Value for money – That does not mean cheap!!!

A Bookkeeper is traditionally a more cost-effective way to manage your books than leaving it all down to your Accountant. However, it’s important not to look for the cheapest service available as that could end up being a costly mistake. A good Bookkeeper will be reasonably priced and affordable for a small business, however, they have expenses to pay too, such as software. If they are far cheaper than the competition, there may be a reason.

5 – Experience

Everyone has to start somewhere but as a small business owner, you want to feel confident in the ability of your Bookkeeper. Even if they are new to being self-employed, experience in the industry will always hold an advantage.

6 – No obligation advice

A good Bookkeeper will offer you a no obligation meeting to discuss your needs. A great Bookkeeper will do a free health check on your books to help you decide if you really need one!

7 – Trustworthy and honest

It’s not easy to establish this from the beginning which is where personal referrals help. But you can get a feel for someone and it’s important to feel comfortable with your Bookkeeper and sense that they are trustworthy. It’s worth looking at reviews and testimonials for extra reassurance.

Ultimately, you won’t know how good a Bookkeeper is until you start working with them, but these tips should help you make that decision. Happy hunting!!!

Written By Neeta Patel (Rosemary Bookkeeping Northampton)

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 help you find out about making tax digital or just 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.

need a bookkeeper

need a bookkeeper

I often get asked this question. Afterall, most small businesses don’t want or need any extra expense in their business so, is it really necessary to outsource this particular task or would you be better off, doing it yourself?

The simple answer is, there is no simple answer. It really does depend on you, your time and your business activity.

The fact is, anyone can do their own bookkeeping. You can even purchase accounting software to make it easy for yourself, but that statement is key to making your decision.

The question really should be, is it easy for me to do my own bookkeeping?


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.

We often find that it’s one of those tasks we put off. We will put it in the diary or set time aside every month, but something will come along that we simply must attend to. It’s about priorities and bookkeeping, more often than not, falls into that dreaded “to do list”.

This tends to cause a small business owner much more stress in the long run. All of a sudden, time will sneak up on you and suddenly, that small pile of receipts and invoices has developed in to a messy pile of paperwork that will take hours to sort out.

If you are super organised and know, without a shadow of a doubt that you can allow this time every month, in theory, you should be fine but if you are like the majority of business owners, you may find yourself in a chaotic mess at the end of the tax year.

Ultimately, it’s about productivity. Is it more productive for you to be working on the things that bring the money into your business or sorting out your paperwork? You need to decide what that’s worth to you.

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 small fee you will pay a Bookkeeper then the answer to your question is yes, you probably do need a Bookkeeper.

My advice would be to talk to your local Bookkeeper. Perhaps it’s someone that you network with and you’ve built a relationship with. If they are anything like me, they will do a simple health check on your books for free and will give you a much better idea of whether this is something you need to invest in now, or if it can be out off until a later date.

Of course, I’m always on hand if you need any further help or advice. Neeta x

need a bookkeeper

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 help you find out about making tax digital or just 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.


As of 2019, all VAT registered businesses will need to be using an accredited piece of accounting software to complete their accounting records under the Making Tax Digital rules due to come into force from April. For smaller, non-VAT businesses, you remain unaffected for now, but businesses that are registered for Value Added Tax  will need to use compatible accounting software to control and maintain their finances in order to submit their VAT return digitally to HMRC. For many, this means completely switching their records to a different piece of software.


Figure Out If You’re VAT Registered

Before we get into the tips to make your switch easier, let’s take a quick look at what a VAT registered business is. This will help you figure out whether or not you and your business is affected by the new laws. A VAT registered business is obliged to charge VAT on any relevant goods or services they sell/provide. They can reclaim the VAT that they pay on the stock they have, but if the VAT they charge exceeds the VAT they pay, then they have to pay the difference to HMRC. You must register for VAT if you expect your turnover to be more than £85,000 in the next 30-day period, or if your business had a turnover of more than £85,000 in the last 12 months.

Get Software That Is Certified

Looking at that figure, it’s safe to say that any VAT registered business is likely to have a lot of accounting work to do and would need a suitable platform to work from. A list of such software is available on the GOV.UK website. Some of the more popular accounting software includes Xero, Quickbooks, Freeagent, Kashflow & Sage. Though the full list is much more extensive.

Ask For Help

If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, it might be time to think about looking for a Bookkeeper to keep your books for you. If you’re VAT registered, you should probably already have another party keep track of things for you, and they will find the switch (if it’s necessary) much easier than you will. In the case of you or a member of your team still needing to switch software programs, have a chat to the company who provides the program, and see if they can answer any of your queries.

Know When It’s Time To Move

If you run a company with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, you will need to switch to MTD (Making Tax Digital) compatible software in order to be able to file your VAT returns under the new MTD rules from your first VAT quarter after 1st of April 2019. The MTD pilot has been running since April 2018 and is already open to many VAT registered businesses and their third-party agents. Joining MTD sooner, rather than later, will help you prepare for any changes that you need to make.

Additional Help And Support

In the event that you still feel underprepared for the move, even after contacting an agent who may deal with tax for you, you can find more help and support for MTD on the GOV.UK website; which includes webinars and a video which explains MTD in more depth. Or, you could see your bookkeeper for some help and support.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with small and medium sized businesses to take the pain out their 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. Just get in touch with us today for your free consultation.

Written by Rosemary Bookkeeping Reading

MTD advisor

At Rosemary Bookkeeping Newbury & Basingstoke, we are pleased to say we are Quickbooks Making Tax Digital Certified.

If you need to get ready for Making Tax Digital and don’t know where to start, what it means, or if it applies to you?

Get in touch today and we can arrange a free bookkeeping health check and see how we can help with Making Tax Digital.

MTD advisor

about making tax digital

about making tax digital

Making Tax Digital will change the way your business pays its taxes to HMRC. It is a scheme by the UK government to make it easier for businesses and individuals to manage their taxes. The first stage comes into play on 1st April 2019 and is called Making Tax Digital for VAT.

From that date, VAT-registered businesses (those companies with their turnover over the VAT threshold, which is currently £85,000) will be required to digitally submit their tax records to HMRC. They will no longer be able to do this via HMRC’s Government Gateway website.

What does that mean for businesses?

If you are VAT registered, then you will need to move to digital record keeping (i.e. use software to record all your VAT invoices and receipts). If you are not VAT registered, then digital record keeping is optional for the time being.

If you are VAT registered and do not yet use software to record your VAT information (invoices to customers and from suppliers) you need to start planning for Making Tax Digital. The implementation date is 1st April 2019.

My company uses spreadsheets for business records – what will that mean for me?

You can still continue to use spreadsheets to digitally record and store your business records. However, you will need to make sure those spreadsheets can digitally submit any necessary data to HMRC.

My business is not VAT registered and I don’t know if I will earn £85,000 this year. What should I do?

You will only be required to follow the rules of Making Tax Digital if your turnover exceeds £85,000 – the VAT threshold. You will need to keep track of your turnover over the last 12 months on a cumulative basis, and if at any point your total turnover exceeds £85,000 you will need to register for VAT.

What if I temporarily go over the VAT threshold?

If your business isn’t VAT registered and you do go over the threshold, you will need to comply with the requirements of Making Tax Digital. If your taxable turnover then drops below the threshold, you still need to continue complying with the legislation.

My business is under the VAT threshold, but I want to be part of Making Tax Digital. Is that possible?

Yes. Your business can choose to waive exemption if you wish to voluntarily follow the requirements of Making Tax Digital.

It’s important to note that “Making Tax Digital” is only coming in to play for VAT registered businesses in April 2019. For all other businesses, it comes into force in April 2020.

With this in mind, it’s a great idea to get started on digital bookkeeping so you are ready for the change. Starting early will help you to understand the workload involved and you will have plenty of time to decide if outsourcing to a well prepared Bookkeeper would be the best option for you.

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 help you find out about making tax digital or just 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.


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.

With that time of year of year fast approaching, I thought I would compile a list of items that may be included in your allowable expenses. This list is not exhaustive, and more information can be found at

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 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 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 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 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.

By Neeta Patel – Rosemary Bookkeeping Northampton

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.


Making a difference is what motivates bookkeeper Neeta, as she celebrates the second anniversary of ‘taking the plunge’!

Rosemary Bookkeeping Northampton

If you take a look at what was happening in the news on Thursday, September 1st, 2016, you might struggle to find anything significant. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were exchanging their non-stop verbal blows in the campaign for the White House, the fall-out from the Brexit Referendum was continuing to gather pace, and, that, really, is about it.

But closer to home, one extremely significant event was taking place: on September 1st, 2016 Neeta Patel launched her business, Rosemary Bookkeeping, Northampton. It might have been one tiny step for mankind, but it was one enormous step for Neeta. Two years on, she has never looked back.

Rosemary Bookkeeping is a specialist bookkeeping franchise, and was precisely the opportunity Neeta was looking for, with her background in the accounts department of some big-name businesses including Homebase and Argos.

Now she is using her experience for the benefits of her growing list of clients, and is not just extremely fulfilled in her work, but is loving being in charge of her own destiny, and already thinking of expanding in the New Year.

“Having a good bookkeeper means a business owner delegates the managing of invoices, expenses, cashflow, and dealing with VAT returns, among other duties,” said Neeta. “That is what I love doing, and it means my client can concentrate on doing what he or she does best, and what they set up in business to do in the first place.

“Too many businesses fail because the owners are often so busy doing the day-to-day work, the administration gets forgotten about, there’s no one to chase up non-payments, and then there’s the annual panic when it’s time to submit tax returns.

“But that’s where someone like me comes in, and hopefully by doing that, I can play my part in helping businesses be organised and efficient behind the scenes, and through that, be in a position to grow, thrive and go from strength to strength.”

It was circumstance that led to Neeta buying in to the Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise, but since doing so she has never looked back.

“I loved working in the corporate world, and had a great experience with Homebase and Argos, and more recently with T-Systems in Milton Keynes,” said Neeta. “I worked my way up at T-Systems, but in 2015 I had the option of taking a redundancy package, and decided to take the plunge, spurred on, to be honest, with the desire to be more in control of my work-life balance, as the mum of a young son.

“I thought long and hard about what to do next, took lots of advice, and then came across Rosemary Bookkeeping at a Franchise Show,” she said. “It immediately appealed to me, and after meeting the management of Rosemary Bookkeeping at their headquarters in Watford (now owned by ServiceMaster in Leicester), I liked what I heard, and in July 2016 I went for it, with my official launch a few weeks later, on September 1st.

So why do you need a bookkeeper if you have an accountant? It is a question Neeta has been asked countless times, and finds it an easy one to answer.

“What I do is manage your books on a day to day basis, and ultimately have everything in order ready to deliver to your accountant,” said Neeta.

“It goes much further than that though: what I offer my clients, is the management of cash-flow, making sure invoices are paid, issuing useful reports, deal with VAT, make sure the money side of the business is well organised and in good shape, and that the books are all in good shape for passing on to the accountant for tax return purposes.”

Neeta has already built up a healthy client list that continues to grow, as more business owners learn of her services, and her abilities to keep them in good financial health.

“I love what I do, and take enormous satisfaction in helping my clients, and freeing them up to build up their businesses without the administrative worries that so often weighs many people down to breaking point,” she says.

“I’m looking to work with sole-traders, which I love doing, and also looking for small to medium sized businesses who I genuinely believe I can make a difference to.”

As Neeta celebrates the second anniversary of launching Rosemary Books in Northampton she looks back sure in the knowledge she did the right thing. And is now looking forward to many more anniversaries ahead!

For more information about Neeta, and Rosemary Bookkeeping Noethampton, go to, or call her on 01604 422314.

building a business

building a business

According to statistics published in 2017, about one-fifth of business startups fail in the first year and about half of all employer establishments fail within five years. Only about one third survive ten years or more.

If you are thinking of starting a small business, get the right processes and steps in place to make sure you are one of the third:

1. Manage your cash.

The main reason small businesses go bankrupt is lack of cash, not lack of profits. It is vital for you to really understand how your cash flow is being effected.

2. Track your Data.

Tracking your data properly will help you make strategic business decisions. Set and track your key performance indicators (KPI’s) for your business. Understanding why things go up or down, will help you to make key decisions to help you grow your business.

3. Financial Planning.

You should develop a financial plan based on your company strategy and make sure you monitor your performance against your plan regularly to ensure you stay on track.

4. Understand your margins.

Many small businesses only understand their bottom line, and not how individual products and or services contribute (or take away) from the bottom line. It is vital that you know how profitable each of your products or services are to ensure your business is a profitable as possible.

5. Have a strategy for recruiting and retaining talent.

Having the right talent is vital for building a successful business. Take some time to think about your companies culture, and what you want the culture to be. Clearly define the job role and specifically target potential candidates, when you have the right people make sure you have a strategy in place for keeping them. It takes work and investment to get the right talent, make sure they want to stay.

6. See what in going on online.

In todays word, your business is always visible to your potential clients and customers. People are more reliant on reviews from their peers than ever before and leaving reviews has never been easier. Be the first to know when a customer gives you a bad review, or someone raves about your business online. Make sure you are in a position to use whats happening online to your benefit.

7. Engage in marketing that gives you ROI.

Many small businesses don’t understand marketing and why would they, unless their business is Marketing? Marketing can be done for free or it can cost you money, it is important to monitor results from your Marketing efforts to measure performance and ROI (Return on Investment). You can start by networking with local businesses and local business owners, find out what works for them, it might be something that works for you? When you talk to new customers always ask them how they heard about you. Learn what works, and what doesn’t, and repeat your successful marketing promotions. Don’t spend money if you aren’t going to be able to measure the results.

8. Talk to your customers.

Every business should talk to its customers, it is valuable information knowing  what they like or don’t like. You could talk to them in person or send a customer satisfaction survey. People like to talk, and people like to be asked for their opinion. Sometimes negative feedback may not be the nicest to hear, but it’s important to hear and listen so you can understanding how you can make your business better for your customers.

9. Know your competitors.

It really doesn’t matter what your business is, you will not be alone, there is always a competitor. Find out about both your direct and indirect competitors. You always need to keep an eye on your competition, understand what they are doing, how they market, what their pricing is, etc.

10. Its not just about the money.

Your are in business to make money which is absolutely fine but it is worth considering that customers also like to buy from businesses they feel have ethics and passion. For example people are often willing to pay more for items made from fair-trade materials. Think about giving free advice or helping charities to give back to your local community.

accountant or bookkeeper?

This is a question I often get asked when I tell people what I do. Many people assume they are the same thing and I can understand why. The two terms are often used interchangeably. It can also be confusing because there are bookkeepers that provide accountancy services and accountants that provide bookkeeping services. Many business owners don’t realise that these are two separate roles and, quite significantly, priced differently.

What’s the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant?

To make a clearer distinction, I will explain what the differences are between a bookkeeper and an accountant and how each can help your business.


Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business. Transactions include purchases, sales, receipts and payments by an individual person or a company. A bookkeeper will conduct this process.

HMRC also refers to bookkeeping as ‘record keeping’.

The theory is, behind every transaction on your business bank account, there is a piece of paper. The bookkeeper will process the paperwork and allocate or code them to appropriate ledgers – sales ledger, purchase ledger, general ledger. They are responsible for the day to day financial transactions of a business, making sure that the ledgers are balanced.

A bookkeeper will update a business’ books regularly, usually once a month. At the end of the financial year the bookkeeper will have brought the books to trial balance stage, at which point this will be sent to the accountant who will then use this information to produce financial statements.

A bookkeeper can perform other tasks such as raising invoices, payroll, credit control and VAT returns. As mentioned above, some bookkeepers will provide a full accountancy service.

Why should I use a bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping should be done little and often. Depending on the volume of paperwork involved, this can be done weekly, monthly or quarterly but more commonly it is done monthly. For a business owner that is running a business and doing many other things, bookkeeping tends to be one of those things that gets left behind as soon as you get busy. If this happens you should seriously consider getting yourself a bookkeeper. If you fall behind on keeping your books up to date, it can cause numerous problems.

A bookkeeper will keep your books up to date and ensure that if anything is missing it can be picked up straight away instead of at the end of the financial year. They will provide useful reports that help you keep track of your business performance, and will bring your attention to something that needs to be dealt with straight away. Generally speaking, bookkeepers are cheaper than an accountant.


An accountant generally takes over where a bookkeeper leaves off. They will use the information provided by the bookkeeper and prepare adjusting entries to record expenses that have occurred but are not yet entered by the bookkeeper, for example if a supplier invoice hasn’t arrived on time prior to closing the books, or if wages in relation to the current month won’t be made until two weeks later, etc. Other adjustments to the accounts include the calculation and recording of depreciation. After making the adjusting entries, the accountant prepares the company’s financial statements, such as a profit & loss account, balance sheet, cashflow statement, etc.

An Accountant will also perform other tasks such as setting up a Limited Company, Tax returns, compliance, advice and business strategy. As mentioned above, some accountants will provide a bookkeeping service. In an accountancy practice an employed bookkeeper is likely to perform this task.

Accountants generally will have a professional qualification through an accounting body. Accountants will go though years of studying and training to obtain a qualification and they will be bound by code of ethics and subject to disciplinary procedures should they breach their professional membership conditions.

Why should I use an accountant?

Regardless of the size of your business, and unless you are an expert in tax or finances, you should get yourself an accountant. They will provide your business with a great deal of essential support. You can seek help with budgeting and forecasting cashflow from an accountant as well as credit control and just general financial advice. They can offer you up-to-date information on any general or legal enquiries.

Professional accountants understand the nuances of dealing with the tax authorities, the correct format to submit information to HMRC, and are generally for more able to deal with tax enquiries should they arise. If you need advice on anything from the expenses you can offset against Corporation Tax, or whether or not you have enough retained profit to declare a dividend legally, an accountant would be able to answer these queries with ease. Taxation is a large business expense and an accountant can effectively minimise these costs.

The distinction between accountant and bookkeeper keeps changing as accounting software and other software evolves. For many years, companies used the title of accounting clerks for employees doing the tasks formerly performed by bookkeepers. The accounting clerks are usually supervised by an accountant.

Remember both are professional roles in their own way.  If you looking to employ or outsource you should be looking for someone with a suitable qualification or experience. Bookkeepers and accountants can be certified through professional bodies. Make sure you seek someone that can explain accounting jargon in plain English!

Rosemary Bookkeeping provide an outsourced bookkeeping service for small and medium sized businesses. If you would like more information about outsourcing your bookkeeping, contact Neeta Patel:

Tel: 01604 422314


If you run a business of any size, you’ve probably used accounting and bookkeeping software at some point. Accounting software makes it easy for you to track your business’s financial health and monitor the way money moves in and out of your business. You can use it to create invoices, track expenses and generate a variety of reports that can help you asses your business performance and inform key decisions. But with so many options out there, how do you know which is the best one for you? We have a few tips to help you make the right decision for your business.



Since this is usually the first thing people think about (particularly if you’re starting out), we thought we’d address this first. Accounting software’s all vary in cost and billing model, so it’s important to find something that fits in with your budget and needs. Some will demand a high upfront cost to buy desktop software (though this is rare now), while most will work on a Software as a Service model and sell you a license on a monthly subscription. You can usually choose from multiple billing plans, ranging from £10 to £40 a month and even higher, and there may be an annual payment option that offers a discount for bulk payments. Ultimately the cost will be determined by what level of functionality you need. So look at what’s included in each package, and compare the prices of those, not just the cheapest or most expensive options from each supplier.


Depending on the needs of your business, you might need some extra functionality, so it’s important to remember to check what’s included and what isn’t. Accounting software can help you see a bigger picture of your business and make day to day tasks much easier – but you should only pay for that if it’s going to be useful to you. Here are a few features you should look for in your bookkeeping and accounting software:

Basic Accounting: Most small businesses can make do with accounting software that offers basic functions like invoicing, income and expense tracking, financial report generation, and customer management. However, if your business sells more than just a few products, you may also want software that tracks your inventory, manages vendors and assists you with purchase ordering. Or, if your business provides services, you could want functionality that makes it easy to track time and invoice billable hours.

Time Saving Automation: If you’re raising a lot of invoices every month, or your expenses tend to be in the same place for the same amounts all the time, automation features could save you a lot of time. Automate recurring invoices, reconcile your accounts with the click of a button or automatically create purchase orders for new stock when your levels dip.

VAT Preparation: Do you want to make you (and your accountant’s) life easier, and have your bookkeeping software help with compiling your VAT data ready for the HMRC returns? If so, check that your chosen programme can do the correct VAT calculations and VAT reporting. It will also need to be compliant with the upcoming ‘Making Tax Digital’ requirements due to be introduced for most VAT registered businesses in April 2019.

Add-On Services: Do you need any extras, like payroll services or payment processing? These usually come as an added subscription charge, but might save you money compared to buying them elsewhere.

Third Party Integration: Can your bookkeeping software integrate with the programmes and services you already use? Can you set it to bring in data from your bank account, CRM, POS, inventory software and e-commerce platforms? Or will you have to do all of that manually?


When you’re comparing bookkeeping and accounting software, it’s important to ask yourself how you plan to use it – since this will affect your choice. Will it just be you using it, or will you need multiple users to have access? For example, many people will give their accountant and bookkeeper access to their software to help stay on top of things. Or if you have a finance department, you may want full access for them, but limited access for sales team who only need to raise invoices. If you own more than one business, you may also want to choose accounting software that supports multiple small businesses under one account with no additional costs – or else the subscriptions will add up quickly. And finally, where and when will you be using it? Some business owners are happy to simply stick to a desktop software version, however, more commonly now, they want to be able to check their books on the go. A lot of providers will offer mobile apps as well as cloud storage of your data, so you can monitor key information and get core tasks done no matter where you are. This will influence whether you opt for a cloud-based provider, or a desktop one.

Our Top Picks

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: Xero is 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 every month, but 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, so there’s always someone there to help you.

FreeAgent: Unlike a lot of bookkeeping and accounting software products that limit your transactions unless you purchase a more expensive package, FreeAgent supports unlimited users, clients, invoices and transactions for one monthly price. It’s also a cloud-based piece of software, and comes with a built-in project management feature that makes it perfect 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, and 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, or 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 across the Reading area to take the pain out their 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. Just get in touch with us today for your free consultation.

10 Bookkeeping Basics You Need To Know

As a business owner, you’re probably a master of doing what it is your business does. Most small business owners and startups are. But being able to deliver an amazing service and run a team aren’t the only elements to running a business. In fact, you could be a fantastic business owner, but still flunk basic bookkeeping. But if you, the business owner, don’t understand the different types of ‘accounts’ used to organise your finances, then measuring the success or failure of your business is almost impossible. Even if you outsource your bookkeeping to someone else, you still need to understand a few basics to stay on top of things. After all, as a director it’s your legal duty to understand the state of your business, and to provide oversight to ensure things are being done correctly. So without further ado, here are the basics of the 10 most common types of bookkeeping accounts for a small business that you should know.

10 Bookkeeping Basics You Need To Know


It doesn’t get more basic than this. All of your business transactions will pass through your bank accounts – sometimes shown in the accounts as ‘Cash at bank and in Hand’. This account is very important. We ensure that each bank is kept as a separate account in the bookkeeping software, including one for Petty Cash and if necessary one for Till Receipts. all are reconciled to ensure the accounts are always in line with the bank statements or till reports.

Accounts Receivable

If your company sells products or services that aren’t paid for immediately, you have ‘receivables’ that you need to track. Accounts receivable is basically all the money you are owed by customers, which makes keeping it up to date crucial for chasing overdue payments and sending accurate invoices.


Products you have in stock to sell are like money sitting on a shelf and must be carefully accounted for and tracked. The numbers you have in your books should be periodically updated by doing physical counts & valuation of inventory on hand. This will help you notice right away if something isn’t right and keep everything balanced.

Accounts Payable

No one likes to send money out of the business, but it’s much worse if you have no idea where it’s going and what you have left. But it’s less painful if you have a clear view of everything, which is what your accounts payable is for. Good bookkeeping helps ensure that you make timely payments, and more importantly that you don’t end up paying early. Having a good grasp on this could also mean you qualify for discounts with your suppliers for paying early, so it’s worth knowing about! 

Loans Payable

If you borrowed money to buy equipment, vehicles or pay bills, then this account tracks that loan, including interest payments and due dates. This is usually more important for startups to follow, though established businesses looking to grow may also need to take out and monitor loans.


The Sales account is where you track all incoming revenue from what you sell. Recording sales in a timely and accurate manner is critical to knowing where your business stands.


Your purchases accounts are where you track anything you buy for the business, such as raw materials or finished goods for sale. This is also where you would include any costs of outsourcing that was essential for a sale, or is part of your service offering. This account is used to calculate the ‘cost of sale’, which in turn impacts your bottom, line, so it’s important that it’s accurate and up to date.

Overheads & Expenses

This is the catch all term for the other costs of running a business that are directly related to the sale so don’t fit into the ‘cost of sales’ category. This includes things like your rent, bills, and any fees for professional services fees you might use. If you aren’t sure if an expense falls into the cost of sales category, it probably belongs in here.

Payroll Expenses

This is the biggest cost of all for many businesses. No matter how much you beg, few people want to work for nothing.  Keeping this account accurate and up to date is essential for meeting tax and other government reporting requirements. Shirking those responsibilities will put you in serious hot water.

Retained Earnings

The Retained Earnings account tracks any of your company’s profits that are kept in the business and are not paid out to the owners as Dividends. Retained earnings are cumulative, which means they appear as a running total of money that has been retained since the company started. Managing this account doesn’t take a lot of time, but it is important to investors and lenders who want to track how well the company has done over time.

Many business owners think of bookkeeping as an unwelcome chore.  But if you understand and make effective use of the data your bookkeeper collects, bookkeeping can be your best friend, helping you run your business more effectively. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we specialise in providing outsourced support for small business owners, tailored to whatever they need. Whether that’s some training and one-off help on using the right software, ongoing support or even a fully outsourced service. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, please just get in touch today.

business in school holidays

The school summer holidays are fast approaching. For children, this time is full of joy and anticipation –  6 weeks to do what they want to do, no homework, no pressure.

business in school holidays

For parents, particularly sole traders and small business owners, this time can be filled with dread. How do you juggle the family and the business? How do you keep little ones amused so you can keep working? How do you make time to get away from the business to enjoy the summer?

I am one of these parents and I usually find myself feeling guilty for not spending enough time with my child or enough time on my business. I started my bookkeeping business to allow me to spend more time with my son. I am known as a ‘mumpreneur’.

For many of us it is not practical, or even affordable, to put children in holiday clubs for the entire holidays. Nor is it realistic to tell clients that you will not be contactable during this time!

So, what can you do? Here are some tips to help you stay productive and organised:

  1. Set your priorities for both work and home.

Plan in advance. I create a 6-week timetable on a spreadsheet and work out what my busiest dates (based on client deadlines) are likely to be and I make sure I have somewhere for my son to be. For those non-critical times, I change my working hours. I keep the day free and work more during the evenings and some weekends. Remember on family days, switch off the work phone, leave the emails and have a great time!

  1. Get your business organised.

Holiday periods are a great chance to focus on what is important and essential for your business.  Where possible outsource some tasks such as admin and bookkeeping, not just during the holidays but on an ongoing basis. That way when the holidays arrive you don’t need to think about handing over the work, it will always be done for you.

  1. Use your networks for both home and work.

At home see if you can share childcare, offer to have friends’ children to join yours on your family days. If you coordinate well, your children will have a great time with friends and you get clear working days.

  1. Keep them occupied while you work

It’s important to give them variety. A few days, or a week of holiday clubs will be good for them. It gives them the chance to play with other children and gives you the time to arrange client meetings whilst they are away. At home, keep them busy with structured activities such as board games and puzzles. Some TV time every now and then is not harmful either!

  1. Delegate to someone that doesn’t need time off during the holidays

Pass work onto someone that can help out when you are not available. You may have a business partner or someone in the office. If neither, get yourself an associate on a temporary basis. But make sure you don’t just dump the work on them and leave them to it for 6 weeks. Be available for queries during certain times of the day.

  1. Automate your marketing

Don’t neglect your marketing activities. If you are operating a ‘stop-start’ approach during the holidays you risk losing potential sales. Social media and e-mail campaigns can easily be automated to maintain awareness about your business.

  1. Take some proper leave yourself

Use this opportunity to book a reasonable amount of time off to completely switch off. You need recuperation time too, its not just for school children!


There are 13 weeks of school holidays a year in the UK. Plan these into your business and prepare in advance. You don’t have to stop your business every time the schools break up. As your business grows learn to outsource your work.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping we lighten the load for many small and medium sized businesses by managing all their bookkeeping needs. So, whether you are on holiday or busy with clients, you can be sure that your accounts are always up to date.

Have a stress free summer!

If you are looking to outsource your bookkeeping, contact Neeta Patel at Rosemary Bookkeeping:
Tel: 01604 422314


Outsourcing bookkeeping

Should I employ an in-house bookkeeper or outsource the work?

 Congratulations! You have a successful business and have seen significant growth and healthy profits from all your hard work. You worked those long hours, perhaps over the weekends, sacrificing family time and even some ‘You’ time in order to achieve your dream of running your own business. It wasn’t easy, but you did it!

You’ve since taken on some staff to help you because let’s face it you can’t do everything on your own.  They are experienced and help you meet your targets. You are a business owner and you have numerous things you need to juggle.

So far you have managed to do the bookkeeping yourself, but now you need to focus on sustaining your business growth and let your staff do what they are good at, therefore you need to get someone else to do the books.

Employ or Outsource Bookkeeping

So, should you employ a bookkeeper or could you outsource the work? Let’s look at the factors to consider for both: –

Employ a bookkeeper
You could argue that you already have employees so what difference does it make to have another one? True, but you would have to employ some staff with specific skills depending on the nature of your business. For example, if you run an IT business, a catering business, a garage, a lettings company, and so on, you need to employ experienced staff to work to your standards, following your rules and guidelines because that’s what makes your business the success it is. Also, some business processes are more easily outsourced than others. Activities like Bookkeeping and Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Human Relations and Office Cleaning are easily primed for outsourcing and are more cost effective than employing someone in house to do these tasks.

If you decide to employ a bookkeeper you need to consider the cost implication of keeping an employee – financial and non-financial. You’ll need to provide appropriate working space and most likely would have to provide some training. But what if you have no idea how to train someone how to do bookkeeping correctly?

Keeping the bookkeeping in-house means all the paperwork remains in-house and you have instant access to any document you may need. But with the advances in technology these days this is not really an issue.

hire a bookkeeper


Outsource bookkeeping
There are a number of benefits with outsourcing bookkeeping as ultimately it allows for the most flexibility.

If an employee falls ill you’ll still have to pay them, unlike outsourcing where you don’t bother about such commitments. If the employee goes on holiday, you’ll have to pay them and also look for someone to do the job during this period of absence. But if you outsource this job, you won’t have to bother about such costs.

One problem with having an in-house person is that it may require specialised software and equipment. Using an outsourced bookkeeper means you do not need to provide them with this because they already have it, cutting costs.

Another issue with an in-house bookkeeper is that it may be hard to keep up if your business grows. This could result in having to bring in more employees, thus having to train them, show the new system and so forth. With an outsourced bookkeeper, they are more likely to be able to adapt to your needs.

Entrepreneurs have long seen outsourcing as a strategy reserved for big business, but technology has made it a more accessible tool for small businesses – and for some small firms, outsourcing has made a powerful impact on their growth, productivity and bottom lines.

The decision whether to employ or outsource rests squarely on your shoulders. It’s an important decision you’ll have to make. As a business owner, you’ll decide on what suits your circumstance and the type of business you run.

Whatever you decide, make sure your bookkeeper is experienced and qualified. A good bookkeeper will ensure your business records are kept up to date to keep you track of your business performance.

If you are looking to outsource your bookkeeping, contact Neeta Patel at Rosemary Bookkeeping:
Tel: 01604 422314


Mark bookkeeping image

Having lived in Wolverhampton for over 35-years, Mark Hamblett is familiar with the area and local businesses. No stranger to hard work, Mark has over 30 years’ experience in financial roles. His new business, Rosemary Bookkeeping is a franchise of ServiceMaster, one of the UK’s leading and longest-established, multi-brand franchisors.

Mark said: “I chose Rosemary Bookkeeping and ServiceMaster because I was impressed with the strength of the organisation, the help that’s on offer to grow my business, and the regular contact and support I have been given throughout my due diligence exercise. For me all of this put my mind at ease that I would be able to focus on building a strong business that will exceed the needs of my clients”.

“I want to provide a good quality service, so that people can trust in what I am providing for them. I feel sure that forming strong working relationships with my clients will allow me  help them achieve success for their businesses.

“I believe  my experience  in previous financial roles, where I progressed to become Finance Director and owner manager in a local design and manufacturing business enables me  to appreciate the needs of business owners when it comes to bookkeeping.”

When asked what motivates him, Mark said it was providing a service that he believes in and being able to offer this to all types of businesses; and the Rosemary opportunity offered this.

“The strength of the Rosemary marketing team was another tick factor for me; it allows me to focus on my strengths and gain help in areas like marketing and sales. I’m now looking forward to getting started.”


Marketing Manager, Hannah Banfield is delighted to have Mark on board. “Momentum for Rosemary Bookkeeping is really building and there’s such a great deal of opportunity just around the corner with HMRC’s “Making Tax Digital” plans next year.

“Mark has big plans for his business that includes creating local job opportunities and supporting local businesses. We’re thrilled to have him as part of Team Rosemary and I’m confident he will build a fabulous bookkeeping business”.

ServiceMaster has over 300 franchisees operating in close to 700 licensed areas under its brands, including Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic, TruGreen Professional LawnCare and Rosemary Bookkeeping.  TruGreen has been recognised as a leading franchise opportunity in the Elite Franchise Top 100 franchises in the United Kingdom.

For more information, contact Hannah Banfield, Head of Marketing, on 0116 2759000 or

Taking Your Accounting Mobile

Mobile Accounting

The life of a small business owner is never boring. There is always something new to do, somewhere new to be, and anything that can be done on the move, will be. So it makes sense that business owners would want to manage their accounts on the go. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops have made working on the go much easier, from checking emails to managing your diary, updating your business social media and even creating and editing documents. These are things many business owners do every day. But did you also know that you can manage your business accounts on the go too? Most accounting software providers have now created mobile apps to match their desktop versions, so you have all the access you need to your accounts. Not convinced? Here are 4 things you can do using a mobile accounting app.

No More Hoarding Receipts

This might be one of the single best things for most business owners when they first switch to cloud accounting software. When you download the app that goes with your accounting package, whether that’s Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent or anything else, you will be able to input your receipts at any time. That means no more gathering receipts in your wallet or losing them between the train and the office. And no more spending hours at the end of the year sorting through the box of paperwork you’ve amassed. Instead, you can just take a photo of the receipt, mark it as an expense and that’s it. You can throw the receipt away. HMRC recognises digital receipts as acceptable proof of expenses, so there’s no need to keep piles and piles of receipts.

Invoice And Log Payments On The Go

If you work in the trades, sales, or other professions that require a lot of time on the road, it can be difficult to manage generating invoices in a timely manner. Particularly if you’re on the road for long periods, with little time to sit down at your desk. But with a mobile accounting app, you can generate and send invoices directly from your mobile phone. This means you can generate invoices as soon as your finish a piece of work, or as soon as the deal has been agreed to. Far less time spent on billing, and you’ll be far less likely to forget about sending an invoice.

Bank Reconciliation 

Reconciling the bank accounts with the accounting software is one of the tasks a lot of business owners dread at the end of every month. And hey, we don’t blame them. But it’s one of those tasks that is best tackled in little doses, which is what a mobile accounting app does. Because you have access to all the information in the palm of your hand, you can avoid painful backlogs and reconcile your accounts every day with just a few taps. Because the software is linked with to your bank business account, the recent bank transactions will show up on the app your phone, allowing you to run through and create or confirm matches with your accounts over morning coffee. You’ll never fall behind again.

Keep An Eye On Cashflow

Keeping tabs on the money coming in and out of your business is vital. Good cash flow is the key to good business, but sometimes that can be hard to see. Mobile accounting apps help you check your business cash flow whenever you want, with simple dashboards to show you thinks like revenue, expenditure, overdue invoices and payments that are due. No more generating complex reports or having to dig for the information – it’s all right there on your mobile phone screen.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we love mobile accounting apps. We encourage our clients to use the apps that match their chosen accounting software, link in to take care of their books and even offer training to help them learn all the tricks they need to get going. If you’re using accounting software but don’t know where to start with the app version, or if you’re thinking of switching to a new software provider, we’d love to help. For your free consultation, just get in touch with us today.

About Rosemary Bookkeeping Gatwick

Local businessmen, Alex Rabbetts and Richard Clarke have launched a brand-new bookkeeping business, operating in the Gatwick, Crawley, East Grinstead and East Surrey and surrounding areas.

No strangers to hard work, the duo have previously run a number of successful businesses.

Their new business, Rosemary Bookkeeping is a franchise of ServiceMaster, one of the UK’s leading and longest-established, multi-brand franchisors.


Alex said: “We both come from business backgrounds and have previously run a number of businesses. We took the decision to invest into Rosemary Bookkeeping, because firstly we wanted something that interests us, and secondly because it can be a scalable business.”

“Our long-term goal is to expand the business of course, but primarily we wanted to deliver a superior and valuable product that is reachable by all. We want to deliver a quality service and build the business by bringing on board high caliber and experienced people.”


When asked what motivates them, the duo commented that they wanted to bring a much needed product and service that many businesses need but at an affordable price without compromising quality.

“We want to create local job opportunities and support local businesses. We’re not just about teaming up with the big names out there.”


Marketing Manager, Hannah Banfield is delighted to have them both on board.

“Momentum for Rosemary Bookkeeping is really building and there’s such a great deal of opportunity just around the corner with HMRC’s “Making Tax Digital” plans.

“Alex and Richard have big plans for their Gatwick business that include creating local job opportunities and supporting local businesses to help them grow. We’re thrilled to have them as part of Team Rosemary and I’m confident they’ll build a fabulous bookkeeping business”.


For more information, contact Hannah Banfield, Head of Marketing, on 0116 2759000 or

A former commercial banker has launched his own bookkeeping franchise business from his home in Claverham after investing in the award-winning franchise, Rosemary Bookkeeping.

Tony Comport, left his 35-year career in business and corporate banking for the more personal world of SME bookkeeping. Tony’s business, Rosemary Bookkeeping will operate across North Somerset providing valuable bookkeeping services for SMEs and Accountancy Practises throughout the area.

No stranger to the numbers game, Tony said: “I’m not afraid of the hard work, in fact I’m quite looking forward to networking and making new contacts as I start to grow and develop the business. Rosemary Bookkeeping provides a totally transparent costing system to the end user and I value honesty and integrity in business, so it feels like the perfect fit.

“I’m delighted to be joining the Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise network and excited about building this business not only for me but hopefully for my children’s futures.”

Entrepreneurship runs in the Comport family, with both Tony’s daughter having owned numerous local businesses.

Hannah Banfield, brand leader for Rosemary Bookkeeping added: “I’m delighted Tony chose to join the Rosemary franchise network and we are excited about his future with the business. He has a head for numbers and a passion to deliver excellent services, what could be better?”

You can visit Tony’s website here 

Rosemary Bookkeeping was purchased by the franchisor ServiceMaster in August 2017 and now has over 300 franchisees operating in close to 700 licensed areas under its brands, including Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic, TruGreen Professional LawnCare and now Rosemary Bookkeeping.

bookkeeping tips

The thought of having to balance the books each month can have some small business owners panicking. Not to mention having to deal with the ever-growing pile of invoices and receipts. If this sounds familiar, try these ten bookkeeping tips …

  1. Keep personal and business separate

Separate bank accounts are a must when running your own business. Keeping personal and business finances separate will help to ensure there is no messy mix-ups.

  1. Don’t throw anything

Nothing goes to waste. Ensure your staff keep receipts or invoices for expenditure and attach them to expenses claims. You then to keep all records for at least six years, just to be safe.

  1. Filing your paperwork

Filing paperwork should be simple. Sales invoices should be raised and filed in order, whilst purchases should just follow a system that is logical to you.

  1. Stay on top

Working to a routine, a plan, a schedule can help you to stay on top of your finances. Diarising time to update records or reconcile your bank account will mean you stick to it and it doesn’t become a forgotten chore.

Raise sales invoices quickly and file paperwork on time, you’ll be able to remember what happened last week but not last month or the month before.

  1. Petty cash is pretty important

Reduce the risk of theft or missing cash with a keen eye on petty cash. Keep receipts and reconcile the account regularly to stay on top of things.

  1.   Getting’ paid

Cash and cheque payments might be old school but it’s important you stay on top of things and get them banked fast. You’ll reduce the chances of losing them, spending them and the quicker it’s in the bank, the better for your cash flow.

  1. Chasing debtors

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

  1. Plan ahead

Putting money aside, perhaps in another account will mean there are funds available should HMRC come knocking. There will always be future expenditure such as VAT so plan ahead.

  1. Learn the basics

You should always have a professional handle your finances for you but knowing the basics can help you day-to-day.

  1. Brings in the pros

To stay compliant and out of trouble, you should always look to hire a professional. Work with a local bookkeeper or speak to your accountant for support. You are good at what you do so leave the finances to those that are good at what they do.


There is no excuse for missing your self assessment tax deadlines and unfortunately HMRC do not accept excuses! Therefore we’ve produced a quick guide to the six most important self assessment tax dates…. download our guide and save it for future reference or you can always call our local teams for more help!

6 April

This is the start of the tax year. Why? Well that’s a long story

31 July

This is the deadline for additional payments if you make advanced payments on your account (known as ‘payments on account’) but you don’t want to miss this one – there are penalties if you do!

31 October

This is the deadline for filing a paper tax return, whether you choose to work out how much tax your owe yourself or want HMRC to do it. However, if you receive notice that you must file a tax return after 31 July 2017, you’ll need to send back the completed form within three months of the notice’s date of issue.

31 January

This is the final deadline for online tax returns, unless the notice to make an online tax return is issued by HMRC after 31 October 2017, in which case you have three months from the date of issue. This is also the deadline to pay any tax due for paper and online filers.

1 February

It’s important to be aware that filing your tax return late, or failing to pay the tax you owe on time, will probably mean you face extra penalty fees and interest charges, starting from the very next day!

5 April

This is the end of the tax year and shortly after this date anyone who is required to file a tax return will receive a notice advising that you must file a tax return for the tax year just ended.


For further help with these self assessment tax dates or bookkeeping advice, why not contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper!

A recent  report for the business innovation charity Nesta  suggests that Small businesses’ growth could  be stifled because of the burden of financial administration and also warns  that a lack of transparency in the market for financial products can hamper  small firms. 

It found that 42% of entrepreneurs say dealing with finances is the most stressful aspect of running a company, while 17% add that the stress has made them unwell.  The vast majority of small business owners handle their banking and finance without professional help. One in five spend more than eight hours a week managing their banking.

If you can identify with these findings then outsourcing your bookkeeping is an easy way to ensure that a professional is dealing with your business finances giving you more time to spend developing your business and looking after your health!

Rosemary Bookkeeping delivers an intelligent bookkeeping service to SME’s, Accountants and Franchisors ensuring a consistency of delivery and high-quality work.  Our practical, down to earth and friendly approach provides clients with information that enables them to understand and make decisions on their business, provides peace of mind that HMRC will be happy, with fair and reasonable charges.

If you would like further information please get in contact with us 0345 862 0072

Steve Brown, winner of the BFA’s Olderpreneus Award, was featured in an article in the FT Money section on Saturday 17th February.

Read the article here:

Prior to joining the franchise 2 years ago, Alexis had spent 28 years in Administrative type roles which saw her relocate to the island of Bermuda for 4  year working for a bank as a Company Secretarial Administrator. It was, whilst she was in this position, that her interest in figures and bookkeeping came into play. She embarked on a long distance learning course in bookkeeping and having realised that although she wanted to work for herself she would like a support structure she began researching franchising and found Rosemary.

“I came to find out about Rosemary Bookkeeping through Franchising Works. I knew that this field of work interested me and speaking to them and doing my own due diligence confirmed this to me. Once I met the Rosemary team at their Head Office I immediately knew that this was the fit for me. Everything felt right and I knew that this was the road that I was going to take.

Alexis lives in Northwich with her dog who likes to keep her active with lots of walking and cycling.

2 years on, Alexis talks about her experience so far…

“The past 2 years have positively flown not only managing to my own business but those of my clients as well. It has been a great experience so far and I now have a diverse range of clients that I work closely with. I have experienced the highs and lows of running your own business so understand the challenges that each business owner faces. I have given each of my clients the individual attention to help set them up with an easy to manage bookkeeping system ensuring accurate and prompt filings of VAT returns with HMRC as well as year-end preparation to pass onto the Accountants. Working closely with my clients ensures that I understand their business needs so that I can give them the bespoke service that they require”.

Alexis’s secrets to success…

“Using the unique system of Rosemary Bookkeeping enables me to be more organised in my work and produce accurate results every time which Accountants like. I am now at the stage where I have taken on 2 new associates to work with me and that I have intensively trained on the Rosemary System.

I am slowly gaining new clients month by month which gives me time to work out who they are and what they do in their own businesses which ultimately leads to a good working relationship. As I get to know their business, I can offer them help and guidance on a wide variety of issues.

One of the accountants I work closely with gave me this testimonial:

Alexis very kindly referred a client of hers to us and although their deadline was fast approaching I was sure that we could meet it for them. One of the key items we need, especially when close to filing deadlines is accurate records from the client. As Alexis had prepared the clients records for the previous year, that is exactly what we received. Alexis was always on hand and efficiently answered any queries we had when finalising the accounts.

Neeta Patel attended a BFA sponsored  franchise exhibition and was curious when the name Rosemary Bookkeeping kept being mentioned. Being a qualified Management Accountant she was initially researching Accountancy franchises but her curiosity won and she looked the Rosemary Franchise website and booked in for a Discovery Event.

Having worked in industry for all of her working life, Neeta was seeking to find the ideal work/life balance following the birth of her son. She wanted to work – working with numbers was something that always interested her – but she also wanted to spend quality time with her son. A traditional 9-5 role didn’t fit this bill so when she was made redundant in November 2015 this was the ideal opportunity to search for the right position for her, hence her visiting a franchise exhibition.

“In 12 months’ time I want to have established myself as a reputable bookkeeper in my area of Northampton and to have built up a sizeable business whereby I can begin to employ staff and turn my role into a more management position”.

The Rosemary BookkeepingTM franchise responds to the increasing need in the UK for an affordable, professional bookkeeping service that supports both the client and the accountant. Neeta will be working in harmony with her clients’ accountants, providing them with exactly what they need in the format they want saving his clients’ time and money.

The franchise is based on a business concept that has been established and refined since 2002, providing a unique bookkeeping system within a fully supported franchise package. Neeta will be able to obtain great flexibility and the potential for a superb work-life balance, that will allow her to juggle her new business whilst looking after the family home with her husband and child.

The Founding Partners have over 60 years of business and bookkeeping experience between them in the essential business disciplines of accounting, operations, sales and marketing.  As an Associate Member of the bfa, Rosemary Bookkeeping has a proven ability to sustain a franchise network successfully.

Rosemary Bookkeeping has recently opened up more territory opportunities in the Midlands, North of England and South East. For more information please call 0345 8620072 or visit our website

A  former IT specialist, who now runs a bookkeeping business in Newbury, was named  Olderpreneur Franchisee Of The Year, at the British  Franchise Association’s 2016 BFA HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards ceremony, held at Town Hall Birmingham last night (September 29th).

Steve Brown said: “I am proud, delighted and a little shocked – it’s great to be recognised for your success – as well as having a sustainable business which I can pass on to my family in years to come.”

Pip Wilkins, bfa chief executive, said: “Steve’s shown the ability and resilience to overcome many challenges. From leaving a corporate environment and starting his own business, to managing that business while caring for his wife, his calm head and steadfast approach has translated into a fast-growing business – and now a national award as well.”

Andrew Brattesani, UK head of franchising for HSBC, commented: “While running his business and helping his daughter with hers, Steve’s still found time to put new ideas into the wider network for the benefit of his fellow Rosemary Bookkeeping franchisees. He’s a brilliant example of how in franchising, experience is highly valued and no age limit applies.”

Steve took over the Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise six years ago, and since then he has seen turnover increase by 37% per annum; client numbers have almost doubled since 2012 and one client is a company with a turnover of £5m.

“We are so proud of the success Steve and his daughter TJ have achieved and we will continue to support and guide them in growing their business even further” says Lisa Curteis, Recruitment Director Rosemary Bookkeeping Ltd.

Rosemary Bookkeeping has released more territories in the UK so please contact us on 0345 862 0072 to find out more information.

Rosemary Bookkeeping has a network of Franchise Partners  across the UK who all have bookkeeping clients.

The Worthing office is looking for a part time, experienced bookkeeper to provide support to one of the Franchise Partners. A small business with big ambitions, this exciting role will suit an experienced bookkeeper looking for a varied role with the flexibility and identity that a small company environment provides.

Role includes but is not limited to – Undertaking bookkeeping for various clients

Job Specification

  • Part time ad hoc hours to suit
  • Work from home (ideally based in the Worthing area)

Experience required

  • Previous proven bookkeeping experience essential and able to work to deadlines
  • Sage experience essential, Quick Books and Xero desirable
  • Must be IT literate and good MS Office knowledge

Needs to have

  • Space in own home to work – preferably a home office
  • Up to date computer and printer (must be protected by an approved anti-virus software and a minimum configuration of Windows 7, MS Office) we will provide the necessary bookkeeping software
  • Clean full driving licence

Personal Attributes

  • Friendly, personable
  • Excellent interpersonal/communications skills
  • Analytical/logical
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Ability to work to a deadline
  • Not afraid to ask questions

If you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail please call Sheila on 01903 680238 or email her

Steve Brown of Rosemary Bookkeeping Newbury is a finalist in the Olderpreneur of the Year category of the BFA’s Franchisee of the Year Awards.

Steve started his bookkeeping business in 2010 with his daughter, TJ Sutherland, who operates  the Basingstoke territory.

He says: “I was working long hours in IT as a global business support manager in a pressurised environment and my daughter was looking to go back to work after having her daughter. We both wanted to achieve a better work/life balance.


“Since 2010 our business has grown extensively and we now have two full-time and three part-time members of staff. TJ and I work as a team, but each has key roles, with individual responsibility for our own territory and the clients within our territories. “Having grown the business, we now are able to take a back seat in relation to actually doing the processing and focus more on managing and growing the business. “One of my key aims at the start of the franchise was that I wanted to build a sustainable business to pass down to my children and grandchildren and support the local community. Rosemary Bookkeeping has helped me to fulfil this ambition and I hope that in our next term with Rosemary perhaps I can retire. “I am extremely proud to be a finalist in the British Franchise Association awards. It shows that even with age you can achieve great things.”


The Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise responds to the increasing need in the UK for an affordable, professional bookkeeping service that supports both the client and the accountant. It’s based on a business concept that has been established and refined since 2002, providing a bookkeeping system within a fully supported franchise package. The franchise is run by two successful business women, Joanna Dennis and Lisa Curteis, who have over 50 years of business and bookkeeping experience between them. As an associate member of the bfa, Rosemary Bookkeeping has a proven ability to grow and sustain a franchise network.

Goska Dabrowski, as a child, moved around  the world with her family – from Poland to Germany and finally settling in  South Africa where she married and had her children.

In 2014 the family decided to relocate to the UK. Whilst on a business trip to the UK, Goska’s hsusband, Jan,  saw an article featuring Rosemary Bookkeeping in a franchise magazine. Being a bookkeeper, with 14 years of experience, after reading the article Goska knew that this was the perfect opportunity for her.

Settling in Bournemouth Goska continued with her due diligence on Rosemary Bookkeeping and after speaking to some existing franchise partners and meeting the Head Office team decided to join the franchise.

She hopes that the wealth of experience she has built up with ensure that she effectively support and guide her clients by offering a efficient and professional bookkeeping experience.

Rosemary BookkeepingTM franchise responds to the increasing need in the UK for an affordable, professional bookkeeping service that supports both the client and the accountant. Goska will be working in harmony with her clients’ accountants, providing them with exactly what they need in the format they want saving his clients’ time and money.

The franchise is based on a business concept that has been established and refined since 2002, providing a unique bookkeeping system within a fully supported franchise package. Goska will be able to obtain great flexibility and the potential for a superb work-life balance, that will allow her to juggle her new business whilst looking after the family home with her husband and children.

The franchise is run by 2 successful entrepreneur business women, Joanna Dennis, Lisa Curteis who have over 50 years of business and bookkeeping experience between them. As an Associate Member of the bfa, Rosemary Bookkeeping has a proven ability to grow and sustain a franchise network.

Rosemary Bookkeeping has recently opened up more territory opportunities in the Midlands, North of England and South East. For more information please call 0345 8620072.

How do Rosemary  Bookkeeping support franchisees during times of technological change?

Just like any business in any sector, Rosemary Bookkeeping  have to keep innovating and changing the way they work in order to keep up with  changes in technology. While HMRC aim for a fully digital system by 2020 so it is essential that bookkeepers remain up-to-date with advancing technologies to avoid going out of business. With such a massive shift in the way that bookkeeping is conducted, how do Rosemary  Bookkeeping support their franchisees in this changing world?

Rosemary Bookkeeping support to deliver their bookkeeping services as well as marketing their business in a digital world. By keeping up to date with the latest technology and software, franchisees ensure that they stay ahead in a highly competitive market. They are trained in new ways of working to win and retain business – working smarter and faster whilst maintaining a high level of customer service.

The Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise has over 20 nationwide franchised offices with a potential market size of approximately 6 million individual businesses. The franchise is based on a business concept that has been established and refined since 2002 providing a unique bookkeeping system within a fully-supported franchise package. Franchisees obtain huge flexibility with superb work-life balance – they work the hours they want, around their own commitments.

With so many businesses now operating online and using third party software to integrate into their businesses to complete sales activity it is vital that bookkeepers understand how this impacts their clients’ business so that they don’t get left in the dark ages whilst everyone else flies into the digital world and this is where Rosemary Head Office can offer support to their franchisees.

“One of our key customers is an online retailer. The biggest difference between an online client and a regular client is the lack of paperwork. We exchange all of the documents we need online and then upload them into our own online software in order to generate an invoice for each transaction. It’s a very simplistic system. There can be VAT issues depending on where their customer is and foreign currency can be a bit more complex. Rosemary Head Office support us in the technical aspects of the work and if we ever have any queries they’re our first port of call. We structured our online system along the lines of the Rosemary system which gives us guidelines for our own business,” explain Tony and Rosie, Rosemary Bookkeeping franchisees in Cheshunt.

“At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we provide our franchisees with a knowledge bank called ‘Herbal Essences’. This helps our franchisees to differentiate between different types of client and a guide on how to provide the best service for each one. As the bookkeeping world evolves, at Rosemary Bookkeeping, we keep on top of changes and make sure that everything we do is in line with the changes. Technology changes what we do for clients and how we do it,” explains Lisa Curteis, Franchise Director at Rosemary Bookkeeping.

Rosemary Bookkeeping ensure that they stay ahead of the competition and keep their franchisees successful and thriving in the bookkeeping sector.

If you would like to find out if the Rosemary franchise would suit you please take a look at our website and contact our Franchise Team on 0345 862 0072 for an introductory chat.