Are you ready for when lockdown ends?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

capital allowances

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

What is Capital Allowance?

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

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

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

What can you claim Capital Allowances for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other allowances available:

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

First-Year Allowances

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

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

The current 100% first-year allowances are:

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

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

How to claim capital allowances

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

Self Employed

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

Partnerships

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

Companies or organisations that pay Corporation Tax

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

What your calculation must show:

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

Here to help with your bookkeeping

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

Bookkeeper & Bookkeeping services in Bristol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Valid VAT Receipt

A valid VAT receipt includes the following:

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

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

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

Do you buy goods from the EU?

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

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

Things you cannot reclaim VAT for

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

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

Not registered for VAT?

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

What about VAT post-Brexit?

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

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

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

Do you need support with the VAT system?

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

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

MAY 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


JUNE 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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


JULY 2021

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

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

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

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

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

31st – Second Payment on Account 2020/21 due

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


AUGUST 2021

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

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

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

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

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


SEPTEMBER 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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


OCTOBER 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NOVEMBER 2021

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

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

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

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

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


DECEMBER 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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


JANUARY 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


FEBRUARY 2022

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

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

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

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

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


MARCH 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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


APRIL 2022

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

5th – 2021/2022 Tax Year Ends

6th – 2022/2023 Tax Year Begins

6th – IR35 in the private sector comes into force

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

 

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

doing the bookkeeping yourself is not the best thing

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

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

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

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

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

So, why should you use a bookkeeper?

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

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

Can’t afford a bookkeeper?

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

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

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

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

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

The benefit of outsourcing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing the Right Accounting Software for your Business

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

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

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

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

Costs

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

Usability

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

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

Features

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

Which to choose?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOMS – Tour Operators Margin Scheme 

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

CIS VAT changes

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

VAT reverse charge technical guide HERE.

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

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

  • before 1 March 2021 – the normal VAT rules will apply and you should charge VAT at the appropriate rate on your supplies
  • on or after 1 March 2021 – the domestic reverse charge will apply
How much I love doing self-assessments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How about you?

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Costs

fuel expenses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office Costs

postage expenses

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

The type of things you can possibly include are;

  • Stationary
  • Printing costs (including ink)
  • Postage

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

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

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

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

Stock Costs

stock expenses

Your allowable expenses for your stock may include;

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

Marketing Costs

marketing expenses

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

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

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

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

Legal & Financial Costs

legal expenses

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

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

Other items that may be covered are;

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

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

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

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

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

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

New digital solutions are key to helping your business

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digitalisation

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

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

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

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

Digital applications

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

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

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

Perfecting the remote working model

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

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

Information and communications technology (ICT)

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

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

Improved relationships

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

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

Hyper-connectivity

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

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

Improving workflow efficiency

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

Enhanced productivity

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

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

Improved data management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is bookkeeping and why is it important?

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

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

What is bookkeeping?

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

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

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

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

But why is bookkeeping important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.  Procrastinating is a no-no

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

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

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

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

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

2.  Bad filing systems

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

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

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

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

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

3.  Mixing business with personal expenses

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

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

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

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

4.  Being consistent with your accounts

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

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

5.  Pay electronically

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

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

6.  Employee classification

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

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

7.  Backup, Backup, Backup!

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

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

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

8.  A light bit of reading

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

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

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

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

9. Choose the right bookkeeping software

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

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

10. Outsource your bookkeeping

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

Outsourcing is also cost-effective and more accurate –

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

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

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

New Package Dates & Details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what are the benefits?

1. Fix problems

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

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

2. Save time

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

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

3. Cost-effectiveness

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

4. Compliance

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

5. Answers

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

6. Keep track of where your money goes

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

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

7. Keeping it simple

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

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

 

Find your nearest bookkeeping professional here.

 

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

What is the difference between Accounting and Bookkeeping?

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

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

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

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

Similarities

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

Differences

Bookkeeper:

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

Accountant:

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

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

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

 

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

 

Find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper here – Find Your Nearest

Top tips if you are thinking about becoming self-employed

Top tips if you are thinking about becoming self-employed

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

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

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

Top tips if you are thinking about becoming self-employed

Data from ons.gov.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

help for small businesses

free stuff for small businesses

Many small businesses have faced their hardest year ever and business owners have had to come up with inventive solutions to get through this period. Some businesses though have found it easier than other, especially with different industries being affected harder than others but, on the positive side there is Help for Small business through COVID-19 and some small businesses have used their ingenuity to adapt their business and do well out of the current situation.

Here is a round-up of some of the help available to businesses at the moment.

As a small business owner, your first port of call should be https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support This is where you will find all of the official help and guidance from the UK Government.

You can find information on Loans, tax relief and cash grants that are available, Keep up to date with furlough arrangements and grants for the Self-employed, for the first round of self-employed grants, you could receive up to £2,500 per month in for at least 3 months. If you were eligible for the first self-employed grant, a second phase of the self-employed grant will be open for applications from 17th August.

You can also find information on how to re-open your business safely and what financial support schemes and other grants you might be eligible for. Some of these schemes have passed their deadline but keep on top of information and additions to the schemes.

VAT has also been cut from 20% to 5% for all hospitality spend until 31st January 2021, some are choosing to pass some or all of the discount on to help bring customers back in through the door, others are bolstering their income… which option works out best for your business?

Businesses in England in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry have been made exempt from paying any business rates in the coming year, check to see if you are eligible for the ‘tax holiday’.

Don’t forget to check out your local council websites for local help.

But; it doesn’t just stop there.

Many of the banks have provided some help to their customers with Business and mortgage customers being given 3 month capital repayment holidays and providing extensions to overdraft facilities. Business loans have become more available during the pandemic to help bolster businesses through this difficult period

A variety of businesses have also started providing their own help, for example:

Reed are currently providing a variety of free training courses, why not use any down time to hone your skills, further your knowledge or learn something new that could benefit you or your business now or in the future. Courses are online and you can find details of the courses here: https://www.reed.co.uk/courses/free

You can also find free courses at free course England, not new but beneficial https://freecoursesinengland.co.uk/

You can get access to some free meditation from Headspace https://www.headspace.com/covid-19 to relieve some of the stress that many are under.

Even Google are sharing some free courses that may be of benefit to a small business owner, see here: https://smallbusiness.withgoogle.com/intl/en_uk/news/resources-for-smbs-impacted-by-coronavirus/#!/

Enterprise software giant SAP has opened up access to a series of massive open online courses (MOOCs). All classes are accessible through the openSAP   platform, and span topics including RPA, data science, machine learning, ethical AI and the IoT.

In fact, software companies are providing a range of software solutions to help business for example:

Google Meet, Googles Video conferencing services is available for free until 30th September 2020.

Microsoft Teams, are offering a 6 month free trial to business users.

Cisco Webex, will give a 90 days free business license.

VyprVPN is offering VyprVPN Business cloud free for three months for businesses with up to 15 employees.

Hide Me VPN has increased the data transfer limit attached to its free accounts from 2GB to 10GB. The free plan includes 5 worldwide locations and support for all major operating systems.

BreachTrak™ from DQM GRC is offering a free 3-month subscription to its data monitoring platform BreachTrak™, so businesses can monitor for data leaks or misuse during this uncertain period, where employees may be accessing and processing information outside of the normal security perimeter.

HP Inc. – HP Sure Click Pro are helping those with potential cybersecurity risks whilst working or learning from home, HP is offering HP Sure Click Pro for free. The service uses isolation technology to guard against embedded malware, ransomware, and viruses, and this Pro version also allows users to edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents, read PDFs, and access .zip files within an isolated container.

If your staff are out and about, keeping passwords safe is important, here are a couple of free options:

1Password Business has extended the 30-day trial on its enterprise password manager 1Password Business to six months, allowing newly remote employees to work in a secure and efficient fashion.

SecureAuth is offering its Intelligent Identity Cloud package for free through December 15. The package includes risk-based multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, biometric authentication and fraud prevention.

Want something more?

Apple has extended the free trial of its professional video editing software Final Cut Pro X from 30 to 90 days for all users. The company has also made its audio editing software Logic Pro X available for free for the first time, also for 90 days.

Foxit Software has made its cloud-based PDF editor, PhantomPDF Online, available for free through September 30. The tools allow users to create, edit, save and compress PDF files, among other features.

Remote contact center solution CXone@home from NICE is available to all businesses for a period of 45 days. The offering is designed to help contact centers transition to a remote working model in 48 hours or less. Key functionality includes 99.99% availability, e-learning for agent onboarding and no seat limits.

Email client Superhuman is available free of charge for life to all those directly involved in the coronavirus relief effort. It bills itself as the fastest email experience ever made. This is only available to healthcare, charities, non-profit organisations, so if you are in one of these categories, is it useful to you?

Apomatix is offering up its active audit management software free for 12 months. The platform is designed to help businesses ensure they remain compliant with international standards relating to information security, occupational health and more.

Document productivity platform Nitro has launched its new e-signature and digital collaboration tool, Nitro Sign, which will remain free throughout 2020 to support businesses during the pandemic.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but will hopefully give you some good ideas for things that will help you and your business over the coming months.

And don’t forget, if you need any bookkeeping help, Rosemary Bookkeeping are always here. We can help you keep on top of your books, provide reporting, monitor your incomings & outgoings. Well-kept books will mean you can see early where you are doing well in your business and where you may need to watch costs, it’s not always where you think.

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

 

cloud accounting software

cloud based accounting software

As a business owner, one of the most important things to take care of is your company finances; bookkeeping and accounts. Keeping track of your income and expenditure is not only vital for managing your business successfully but also to ensure that you comply with legal obligations.

The way in which you manage your bookkeeping and accounts ultimately comes down to you and there are a lot of choices out there, from using a simple spreadsheet to a full blown bespoke accounting system.

Here, I discuss the benefits of using one of the cloud based accounting software options, to help you narrow down your choice.

Cloud based computing is becoming ever more popular for businesses large or small; and for good reason.

First of all, for those of you who don’t know – Cloud based computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence – over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. Typically, you only pay for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.

Accounting software is just part of what is available on the cloud and here are some top reasons why you should be looking at cloud based software:

Work from any device from anywhere

One of the biggest benefits of cloud based accounting software is that it enables you to access and work on your bookkeeping and accounts from almost anywhere.

You can use any device and log on to your account wherever and whenever you like, without being tied to a particular piece of hardware. Should the worst happen and your desktop PC is not functioning, you don’t have to worry about getting access to your files. All data will be safely and securely stored in the cloud.

Direct links for your accountants & bookkeepers

Because the software and data is stored on the cloud, you can enable remote access to authorised users such as your accountant or bookkeeper. This shared access function means that those permitted can carry on vital tasks for your business without the need to transport paperwork in person or email information backwards and forwards.

You will have live access to all your financial information

One major advantage of cloud accounting software is its ability to link directly to your company’s bank feeds.

By linking up with your bank, your transactions can be pulled directly from your bank account and straight into your accounting software. You will be able to see in real time what is coming in and what is going out of your account, giving you a greater level of control.

Access to reports and analytics

All good cloud accounting software providers have a wide range of reporting features available. You are able to set up reports to give you figures and analytics on live data, no more waiting for figures to be emailed over or someone to work it out for you.

Many cloud accounting software providers will also feature a dashboard overview, where you can see a snapshot of your accounts at a glance.

Taking the hassle away

Utilising good cloud based accounting software makes things much easier for any business owner if set up well.

With the benefit of the direct links to your bank, easy access to reports, plus digital document uploads, using cloud based accounting can free up much of a business owners time and takes a lot of the hassle away.

Keeping up to date

Using any kind of cloud computing, companies don’t necessarily have to buy or maintain their own computing infrastructure. For some, this may eliminate the need to buy servers, update applications or operating systems. Decommissioning and disposing of hardware or software when it is out of date may become one less thing to worry about!

Storing data on the cloud is safe

With cloud computing a good provider will ensure you have end to end encryption so your data security is taken care of. How secure you consider cloud computing to be will largely depend on how secure your existing systems are. In-house systems managed by a team with many other things to worry about and physical risks to information – like a computer crashing, being stolen or having coffee spilt over it – are eliminated. Your in-house systems are more likely to be ‘leaky’ than systems monitored by a cloud provider’s engineers, dedicated to protecting that infrastructure.

Something else to consider is that data stored on the cloud does not corrupt like it can in off-line versions of desktop software.

Easy to work with an outsourced bookkeeper

Last but not least, using cloud based accounting software makes it easier for you to work with you chosen outsourced bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper can have full access to update your bookkeeping at a schedule agreed with you, saving you valuable time and leaving the bookkeeping to them. All you have to do is view your reports when you are ready. You also get the added benefit of needing less office space the more you can reduce officeless you need people in the office. Less office space means less office costs.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with several different types of cloud accounting software. If you don’t have anything in place yet, we can recommend something suitable or if you do, we can work on your chosen software.

If you would like to find out about how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you choose the right cloud based accounting software and assess your business finances during these difficult times, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Bookkeeper or bookkeeping services in Portsmouth and Isle of Wight

bookkeeping Portsmouth and Isle of Wight

Ina Cooke gained most of her business experience in the graphic design/print industry and has run several very successful graphic design & print businesses. During her successful career Ina has both lived and worked in her fair share of places, which has without a doubt contributed to her experience and enthusiasm for her new venture.

Originally from Ireland, Ina grew up in England before moving longer term and spending the next 37 years in The Netherlands. Ina made the decision to move back to England to an area she knows and loves ready to start the next chapter.

Having owned several businesses, Ina understands the ups and downs that come with owning a business. She wanted her next business venture to be something that was a change of industry but would benefit from the knowledge she had already gained and so after looking at options, Ina invested in Rosemary Bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping is something Ina understands from a business owners’ point of view and knows that bookkeeping often falls to the business owner but that is not usually the best place for it to be.

As an outsourced bookkeeping provider Ina is passionate about helping other business owners free up their valuable time to focus on their business while she can focus on their books.

Good bookkeeping can make a valuable contribution to any business, with monthly reports and regular bookkeeping, it makes it much easier for any business owner to see where their business is profitable or not and make changes quickly as well as keep track of cash flow and on top of Making Tax Digital VAT submissions.

Rosemary Bookkeeping is supported by a national network of bookkeepers with its head office based in Leicester, so all Rosemary Bookkeeping clients can be assured of backing and ongoing support. With her experience and the Rosemary Bookkeeping network behind her, Ina believes she is in a good position to become one of, if not the leading bookkeeper in the Portsmouth and Isle of Wight area.

“I wanted a business that I could grow and make successful and help other business owners, as well as enjoy my time with family and friends more, and Rosemary Bookkeeping gave me that opportunity”, said Ina Cooke, owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping Portsmouth and Isle of Wight.

Over the next 5 years Ina wants to build a successful business by building relationships with local businesses in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, as the business grows, Ina’s aim is to bring in more locally based staff and expand in to other areas to provide bookkeeping to more business owners; for now, her enthusiasm is focused on Portsmouth & Isle of Wight.

bookkeeping services

bookkeeping

As a small business owner, you will probably take on a lot of additional tasks, especially in the infancy of your business. Bookkeeping is usually one of the tasks you may take on yourself.

If you are not a bookkeeper by nature or by trade, it is easy to pick up bad habits as you find your way through the ins and outs of bookkeeping. If you pick up bad bookkeeping habits it can cause problems, you will do bookkeeping poorly and this could have financial implications for you or your business.

So; what should you be doing to avoid some common bookkeeping bad habits?

Updating your books on a regular basis

It sounds simple but many business owners do not update their books as regularly as they should. It can be a time consuming task but not doing this regularly can be the start of where things go wrong in a business.

If you don’t update your books regularly, it is much harder to keep track

If your books aren’t up to date, you won’t be able to see what is happening financially in your business. This could lead to missing up or downs in the business and that could cost you.

It is really important to set aside time regularly to keep on top of your books.

Keeping track of dates

As a business owner, it is vitally important to keep good track of dates, it is easy to get side tracked with ‘happenings’ within the business and miss a deadline. With your bookkeeping there are a lot of dates you should keep track of that includes: Invoicing dates, VAT submissions (especially with Making Tax Digital), chasing payments, when bills are due.

Write all dates down on a calendar or better yet set a digital calendar reminder and give yourself plenty of time to sort any additional paperwork etc

Always record small transactions

Small transactions can often be overlooked or maybe they don’t seem important enough to worry about but over a year those small transactions can add up. You should record every transaction you make, no matter how small it is.

If you don’t account for small transactions here and there, when it comes to the end of your accounting period your books will not balance and you won’t know where a portion of your income has gone. To fully understand how your business is doing financially, you need a record of every incoming and outgoing.

Keep track of every invoice or bill you send

You may be fantastic at the work you do and have an abundance of customers but any of your customers don’t pay you on time, it will affect your cash flow. If too many customers don’t pay you on time, it will affect you cash flow more than your company will cope with.

Keeping track of your invoices and the payment dates and chasing any late payers promptly will help keep money coming in when it should and help keep your cashflow constant.

Don’t be afraid to chase people that owe you money, if you have provided the service or goods ordered at the agreed price they need to pay you at the agreed time. Remember its business not personal.

Reconcile your accounts

You should reconcile your books on a regular basis, this means cross check your books with your other financial records so you can make sure everything matches. Compare your books to your bank statements, receipts, invoices, PayPal transactions etc.

If you do this regularly, any error or missing transaction is easier to find and resolve than if left you a long period of time.

Get in the habit of Looking at your financial reports regularly

Whatever kind of bookkeeping or accounting software you use, reporting functions are available. You can even run basic report from books kept on spread sheets or there are your bank statements etc. but there is no point in having these functions and availability if you don’t look at them regularly.

Set time aside on a regular basis to spend time looking at your reports. There are a variety of reports available for your books and each has different information that will be useful to you to help you make decisions about your business.

You should examine the same reports over a period of time, this will help you evaluate how your business is growing or not or how profitability is improving or not for example.

Learn about key bookkeeping concepts

Bookkeeping is likely not your trade or your passion but if you are managing the bookkeeping yourself, it is vital to have a basic understanding of common terms, formulas, and reports. If you don’t understand these things, you are likely to make errors that could be costly.

It would be a good idea to get to know some accounting basics and learn common accounting terms at the very least. If you understand the parts of your accounting, you will be able to manage your books much more effectively.

Get someone else to do your bookkeeping – Like a bookkeeper!

If this just isn’t for you or you just don’t have time, it really is time to consider hiring a bookkeeper. Outsourcing your bookkeeping can be cost effective and very beneficial to even the smallest business. That way, you can focus on your business while your bookkeeper can focus on your books.

bookkeeping

Why should I outsource my bookkeeping

Do you remember why you ventured into the world of running your own business? It could be a multitude of reasons; wanting a better work life balance, realising you could earn more money working for yourself than someone else, a desire to spend your working day doing what you love/choose, rather than what others asked you to do? Whatever the reason, you took that big step and decided to make a go of it yourself.

Most people who choose to set up a business for themselves opt for an industry where their skills and passions lie and that’s a big part of what makes a business succeed. Well, that together with a lot of hard work and some good customer service, sales & marketing.

How often do you sit and reflect on your choice to go in to business yourself? Despite the hard work, are you happier where you are now? Is your work life balance better? Are you spending more time doing what you choose?

As a new business owner, it is common to find yourself undertaking many tasks that you factor in, such as; sales, marketing and probably bookkeeping because well; taking on another member of staff just might not be feasible. Do you find yourself regularly spending your evenings doing your bookkeeping? Or do you allocate some of your working week to do it?

Have you thought about why you are spending your time doing the bookkeeping? If you are allocating time every week to get on top of your receipts and invoices, how much time does it take you? Have to calculated that for the year? If you added it all together and calculated the cost based on your hourly rate, it will probably work out at more than you think… Why not give it a try?

Obviously the amount of bookkeeping required in each business will differ depending on the industry and size. A consultant providing professional services is likely to have much fewer transactions than a restaurant owner, but whatever your industry you should be keeping on top of your income and outgoings on a regular basis to help manage your business finances and cash flow.

Many new business owners will do the bookkeeping themselves to save money and keep staff costs down, but doing it yourself can be a false economy, for every hour you spend on your bookkeeping, could you be achieving something more valuable with your time?

The benefit of outsourcing your bookkeeping is that, you get the bookkeeping done by someone who’s priority and talent is bookkeeping, leaving you to focus your efforts on your own priority and talent. Allocating work to the best person for the job is better all round for every business.

When you outsource, you only pay for what you get, you do not have to worry about an employee and filling their time to make it cost effective and with a bookkeeper you pay bookkeeping rates not accounting rates.

So maybe the question isn’t ‘Why should I outsource my bookkeeping’, maybe it’s why am I doing the bookkeeping myself?

If you would like to chat about how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you sort out your books and assess your business finances during these difficult times, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

bookkeeping

bookkeeping

How Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry have managed the bookkeeping for our clients over the COVID 19 crisis….

The COVID-19 lockdown has been a challenging few months so far for most, for Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry, it was no exception. Although fortunate enough to not have to close like many businesses, a lot of changes needed to be implemented to be able to continue to provide bookkeeping services where required and operate safely.

Caroline O’Brien from Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry explains how they managed changes within their business, operations & services to enable them to continue to operate and provide bookkeeping for their clients.

Continuity of service

When lockdown was first announced, we sent a Business Contingency statement out to all of our clients to inform them of our short term action plan.

Caroline then spent a considerable amount of time studying all of the various government support packages available, so that she was in a good position to give accurate and valuable advice to her clients.

It was important for us to keep in regular contact with our clients and be proactive, we sent various emails to each of our clients to direct them to the most useful and user-friendly sites with links to support packages most appropriate to them. We also suggested that any VAT registered clients could defer their VAT liability submitted during lockdown to the new deadline of 31.3.21.

About 20% of our clients were forced to close due to lockdown measures, one has already reopened, we are hopeful that others will be able to reopen soon, as more lockdown measures get eased and we will be here for them when they need us.

Meeting expectations

It is important to us that we continue to meet the needs of our existing clients. We are able to provide bookkeeping services remotely most of the time but do have some clients that for various reasons require us to be on site. For the clients that need someone on site, we confirmed that, if we did need to go to site, we could remain socially distanced at all times. We provided cleaning wipes for our staff so that they could keep their work station clean and hygienic. Adhering to social distancing guidelines meant we were able to ensure that the work for this client was not adversely affected.

Obviously, some businesses have been adversely affected by the lockdown measures. I have been undertaking detailed cash flow forecasts where clients have been concerned about cash flow problems and/or to help them decide if they wanted to apply for any of the government loans or grants available.

Because we use cloud based industry approved software, in most cases we are able to work remotely, this has made it easy for us to continue to provide our bookkeeping services with very little or no interruption.

Keeping things going

On the whole, we were able to continue to provide our bookkeeping services through the last few months of lockdown, we had one client that we were not able to work for, for a period of time as they closed mid-March. However, in the second half of May, they re-opened and utilising their required security and VPN access we were then able to resume work for them remotely.

Customer service

When we could see that a lockdown was likely, we asked one of our on-site clients to set up VPN access so that we could continue to cover all aspects of the job remotely. For those clients with whom we have regular monthly meetings in person, we have been able to hold remote telephone meetings instead.

It is also important to provide our clients with useful and helpful information. So we utilised social media as a method of maintaining contact and used it to post about the government support available.

Moving on

As lockdown measures ease, we will work remotely as much as possible whilst the government advises and to help keep everyone safe. However, if there is a pressing need to go on-site for a particular reason, we will ensure that we do this in a socially distanced and hygienic way.

If a client does request that we start to work in their office again, we will ask them to confirm that they are COVID-19 secure and share their COVID-19 method statement to ensure everyone remains safe.

Due to the flexibility of Rosemary Bookkeeping, our ability to increase capacity and our good relationship with local accountants, a new client was passed to us in May from one of our local accountants. This new client had a large backlog of bookkeeping which we processed, cleared and passed to the accountant to complete the accounts and we look forward to the ongoing relationship we have started.

Our priority here at Rosemary bookkeeping is to focus on the bookkeeping so that our business owner clients can focus on what they do best and grow their business. Now more than ever it is important for business owners to spend time in their business looking at ways they can move out of lockdown in a strong and positive way. We are here to keep their books in good order whilst they do just that.

If you would like to chat about how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you sort out your books and assess your business finances during these difficult times, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Belinda Whitaker

Belinda Whitaker explains her strategy for surviving Coronavirus, read more in this fantastic article on Total Swindon click here (credit Fiona Scott Media Consultancy).

plan for surviving coronavirus

 

If you would like to find out how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you sort out your books and assess your business finances during these difficult times, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

connected

Being on lockdown, stuck in your house, restricted movement, social distancing, whatever you want to call it isn’t easy for a lot of people but luckily for us, in this day and age, we have a wide range of technology at our fingertips to help us stay connected. 

 Staying connected is important for us on a personal level to help keep away the boredom, help keep us motivated and help keep a closer eye on our loved ones that are now out of reach. Video calls are most definitely a great option for keeping in touch with people. 

Staying connected for business is going to be vital for many as more and more people are migrated to home working; getting access to apps, software and resources will help us work effectively and efficiently and well; just make the day easier. 

Here’s a good but not exhaustive list of software and Apps you could try to keep you connected for work and socially. 

Video Calling Software

Facetime – available on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and even newer Macbooks 

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204380 Facetime is a nice simple tool to use to video call loved ones but it is also a nice easy option for one to one video meetings. 

WhatsApp is popular for group chats but also have a video feature where you can video call individual people or groups of people, WhatsApp is available for Android, iPhone on Mac & Windows PC so is very accessible for lots of users 

https://www.whatsapp.com/ 

Zoom is designed for video conferencing and makes keeping in touch from a personal point of view but is especially handy for business use with several options & plans 

https://zoom.us/ 

Skype – Skype has video conferencing available and you can chat to more than one person at a time and share your screen, this makes it good for personal use but also. Works well for businesses use too 

https://www.skype.com/en/ 

Microsoft Teams – This is more than just a chat or remote meeting solution, Microsoft teams allows you to set up teams, have chats, hold group video calls, share a calendar and share documents within the teams, it is designed for teamwork. 

https://products.office.com/en-gb/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software 

Handling documents 

Big businesses might have fantastic IT resources, but if you are a smaller business it might be harder to manage your documents between your teams.  

I wouldn’t want to suggest one over another but a few options to help you keep running more smoothly are: 

Microsoft teams – as above, it is not just great for keeping in touch, it also has the power to share documents and update them live without the need to email things backwards and forwards. 

Dropbox – This is more of a file-sharing option, you can give authorised people access to a Dropbox folder so you can access the documents within. If you have to work with personal data you will need the business version to help you be GDPR compliant 

https://www.dropbox.com 

Google Drive – This is a file-sharing platform and they have both personal and business packages available 

https://www.google.com/drive/ 

Huddle – a cloud-based project management solution that helps project teams in businesses 

https://www.huddle.com/ 

Receipt Bank – a pre-accounting tool often used by accountants and bookkeepers but can also be used by businesses to log receipts digitally. 

https://www.receipt-bank.com/uk/ 

Smart Receipt – Turns your phone into a receipt scanner and expense report generator with Smart Receipts! You can track receipts and lots more 

https://www.smartreceipts.co/ 

Expensify – claims to be the world’s leading application for expense management, receipt scanning, and business travel. Take a picture of your receipts using SmartScan and go from there 

https://www.expensify.com/ 

 

There are loads of tools out there to help make things just a little easier… all at your fingertips. 

wellbeing

With many of us perhaps feeling concerned, stressed or panicked by the current situation, we’ve put together a few ways of looking after your mental wellbeing during these challenging times. The below is not medical advice but aimed to help a little as you face life’s current worries.  

Connect with people

If you are in self-isolation, you may start to feel just that, isolated. What better opportunity than now to re-connect with old friends, keep in touch with family and check in with your nearest and dearest. Video calls are a great way to stay connected but why not brighten someone’s day by sending them a hand-written letter? Also, a lovely thing for your children to do as part of their homeschooling.   

Help Others and Offer Support

Being there to help others can be a mood boost for both parties. Local support groups can offer suggestions as to how you can help your local community. Maybe a phone call to an elderly resident is needed or perhaps you’re able to pick up medication for someone who is self-isolating. Little actions can go a long way.  

On a larger scale, the NHS has implemented a campaign for “NHS Volunteer Responders.” This is “a new group that will carry out simple, non-medical tasks to support people in England who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. They will be used by healthcare professionals to make sure people who are highly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) are able to stay safe and well at home.” You can see if you are eligible to help via the following website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/participation/get-involved/volunteering/nhs-volunteer-responders/ 

Relaxation techniques

Colouring In – Not just for kids! Adult colouring-in has taken off in a big way in the last few years. It’s a great way to practice Mindfulness and switch off from the world around. You can print out designs to colour in at homehttps://www.justcolor.net/ or even colour in digitally on your computer or phone. https://colormandala.com/ 

Yoga / Meditation – you can join in live via various online classes or YouTube have tonnes of instructional videos for everyone, from beginner to pro. Yoga can massively help with your mental wellbeing. 

Reading – why not take a moment to switch off and escape the world around you. Reading is great for focussing the mind and also a great way to begin an effective sleep routine.  

Sleep Routine

Maintaining a good sleep routine is always important but with many now having a less structured day, perhaps it’s time to focus on this. It’s easy to fall into the trap of staying up a little later and snoozing the alarm clock a few more times when your daily routine is not so rigid.  

If you’re having trouble sleeping, the NHS website offers some top tips: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/sleep/ 

With daylight hours increased last Sunday now is the ideal opportunity to set a new sleeping pattern for the Summer months.  

Exercise

Current NHS advice permits “one form of outdoor exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.” It is also important to remember to maintain a 2-metre distance from others when outside. So, how does exercise boost your mood? Physical activity causes the brain to release endorphins. These are chemicals which, in simple terms, cause you to feel happier and improve feelings of well-being.  

If you are unable to go out at the moment, why not participate in an online exercise class. From circuit training to ballet, there is something for everyone! 

Remember to take into account your own fitness levels and health/medical conditions before embarking on an exercise regime. 

Content is based on the Government’s health guidance and COVID-19 measures at the time of writing. Please refer to the government website to ensure that this information is current.  

If you have concerns regarding your mental health and wellbeing, further information, help and support can be found by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ 

We’ve found a maths activity that will keep you occupied for a bit, Vedic Maths. Make sure you read the instructions carefully, good luck.

You will need:

1 9 x 9 grid (below)

A relatively sharp pencil (too sharp and it will tear the tracing paper!!) OR coloured pencils

Sheet(s) of tracing paper (or alternative)

A couple of paper clips (to keep the tracing paper from moving)

This is all about patterns in maths – both numbers and lines/shapes. The pattern comes from the timetables.

Part 1: To complete the grid

The rule is that each box contains only a single digit

The first row is the pattern of 1s

The second row is the pattern of 2s BUT when there is a double-digit number add the two digits together for the single digit that goes in the box

The third row is the pattern of 3s

The fourth row is the pattern of 4s and so on.

As you complete each row look at emerging patterns, What do you notice about each row? Each column? How soon can you predict what will happen next?

Predict the numbers and prove that you are right.

What are the patterns in the numbers? (Look at rows, columns and diagonals; also 2 x 2, 3 x 3 squares etc)

When the grid is complete look at all the patterns and describe them. Is there a special number?

What would happen if you added an extra row and column?

What would the pattern of 12s be? How do you know? Is it similar to any other pattern on the grid?

How? Can you explain this?

Part 2: For the line patterns

1. Clip the tracing paper over the grid

2. Choose a number

3. Mark every square that contains that number with a dot on top of the tracing paper

with a pencil (or a coloured pencil)

4. Remove the tracing paper (tip – it is vital – you will see why – that you draw on the side

of the paper with the dots on; write the number at the top of the paper so you

always get it the right side up!)

5. Join every dot to every other dot by drawing lines with a ruler please note there

should be several lines coming from EACH dot

6. Repeat for each number so that you end up with 9 patterns

When your 9 patterns are complete lay them side by side

What do you notice in the patterns? What do you think the special number is now? Why?

On the grid, you could also try colouring all the 1s in one colour, all the 2s in a different colour etc to see if that makes a pattern too.

Good luck and have fun, let us know how you get on with this Vedic Maths problem

information

There is information everywhere you look about the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, sometimes it is difficult working out fact from fiction so we have collated a variety of reputable links that will be kept up to date with reliable information.

Health Information & Advice:

Advice for the public from the World Health Organisation

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Health advise from the NHS

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Government Advice for Employees, & employers (Dept for Business Energy and Ind Strategy)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

NHS online self-assessment

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 if you think you have symptoms.

COVID 19 Official Infection Rate Stats England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland

COVID-19 Cases Update (Public Health England)
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f94c3c90da5b4e9f9a0b19484dd4bb14

Information about Financial Support:

Government Guidance for employees (Dept for Business Energy and Ind Strategy & Public Health England)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

Government support for businesses affected by Covid 19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Banking Group Solutions for businesses affected by COVID19

Lloyds
https://www.thebfa.org/expert-advice/lloyds-banking-group-ready-to-support-uk-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/
HSBC
https://www.thebfa.org/expert-advice/hsbc-uk-announces-package-of-support-for-customers-affected-by-covid-19/

Stay up to date using a reliable source to keep yourself, loved ones, customers and everyone else safe.

positivity

In these unprecedented times, you, like many others around the world may be feeling a little low in spirits. Things may seem a little gloomy but there are rays of positivity shining through.  

I’ve put together a little blog on some of the lovely things which I’ve seen in the last few days in the hope of sharing a little happiness.  

Rainbows Pictures Springing up in Windows 

The trend started online, following the closure of UK schools on Friday 20th March.  

With the view of “spreading hope” the rainbows also provide a lovely bit of positivity for when you are out and about during your daily exercise. If you’re out for a walk / run / cycle, see how many are around in your area.  

Balcony Singing, Italy

You’ve more than likely seen some of the balcony singing taking place throughout Italy recently.  

Here’s one of the best video’s I’ve seen of music bringing people together, boosting morale and staying positive.  

Fortunately for my neighbours, I won’t be recreating this anytime soon! 

 

 

Connecting More  

 Last week I downloaded the “House Party” app. It’s essentially a video call app with function for multiple participants. It’s less formal than other video calling platforms such as Microsoft Teams and really simple to use. My family all enjoyed a drink and a catch up together on Mother’s Day via the app with extended family from further away too. Something which we most likely wouldn’t have done without the social distancing measures in place. Somehow, I think we all feel the need to connect even more with people at the moment.  

Support for our NHS workers 

On Thursday 26th March, Lincoln Cathedral will glow blue as a mark of support to our amazing NHS workers: 

This will be followed by the Nationwide “Clap for our Carers” campaign at 8pmWhereby, people across the UK can clap from their gardens, front doors and balconies to show their support and give thanks to doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists and other NHS staff, working tirelessly to help those affected by the coronavirus. 

Supermarkets are already showing their gratitude to NHS workers such as in this clip from Tesco in Swansea, where staff applauded and gave flowers during designated NHS staff shopping hour. 

 

And finally, a brilliant video of staff at Basildon NHS keeping themselves motivated in these challenging times… 

 

 

 

clean home

Whilst many people are at home now is the perfect time to give your home some TLC. Below are some hints and tips to make sure your home is clean and looking its best for you and your family. 

Decluttering

It’s quite amazing how much stuff we can collect over time and it’s equally amazing how reluctant we can be to give it up. We like to go by the one year rule… if you haven’t used, worn or looked at it for a year, it needs to go. We know there are some items that you simply can’t get rid of so why not look to put them into storage for safekeeping? 

Grab yourself a box or a bag and start loading your old and unwanted items into it. 

Dusting 

Next, take a microfibre cloth and work your way around the room, top to bottom, picking up as much dirt and dust as you can. Your microfibre cloth should do the hard work for you, even better when it’s a little damp, so move quickly and wipe over all your surfaces. 

Vacuuming 

When you’ve finished with the microfibre cloth, pick up your vacuum and work your way around the room again. If you couldn’t reach an area with your cloth, your vacuum should have a better reach. Use all the extra tools at your disposal to pick up the hidden and hard to reach dirt. 

Sofa Cleaning

Regular vacuuming of your sofas should make this job even easier but with the vacuum cleaner on full power, run the crevice tool all over your suite and remove the cushions and get right down into the hard to reach areas. 

With some help, lift the sofas up and run the vacuum cleaner or a microfibre cloth underneath to pick up the hidden dirt. It’s only a very quick job but cleaning underneath sofas really does help to make the room feel cleaner. 

Kitchen Cleaning

If you have a dishwasher, utilise its power and place everything you can inside to give them a really good clean. If you can’t wash certain items in the dishwasher, place into hot, soapy water whilst you tackle other jobs.  

To tackle the fridge and any nasty stains or odours that have collated in there, grab an old toothbrush and toothpaste and get scrubbing. The chemicals in toothpaste are great for cleaning stains and marks leftover time and the toothbrush allows you to reach those tricky areas. Rinse the fridge well and if odours remain, chop a lemon in half and place one half at the top and one at the bottom – they’ll soon clear up any nasty smells. 

Bathroom Cleaning

Tough limescale in the bathroom may take time to clean but with pre-planning, you can clean your bathroom overnight, whilst you sleep! For showerheads and taps that are turning green, fill a bag with white vinegar and tie it tightly around the showerhead or tap and leave it overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and take a toothbrush to the stain and it should just wipe off. 

These hits and tip will make sure your home is looking its best and smelling beautiful.   

homeschooling

Well, this is different! Being a fulltime working mum, homeschooling wasn’t something I had planned for and if you’re here reading this, I doubt you did eitherBut here I am and I’m trying my best to keep some normality as much as I can considering what’s going on in the world right now. 

I have two children, one of Primary School age and one in Secondary School, my challenge is to keep them entertained and somewhat educated while I work full time, from home (mostly) 

Keep To A School Day Routine  

To keep disruption to a minimum and help keep the kids focussed on their schoolwork, try sticking to a school day routine as much as you can. 

We are starting school at 9am each school day, and Ive found a fantastic YouTube channel ‘The Body Coach’ who are streaming live PE videos each school day. Take a look here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ 

What better way to keep the kids active and get them ready for learning? If you want to know why exercising in the morning is so beneficial, this is a useful read: https://www.myactivesg.com/read/2018/2/6-reasons-why-morning-exercise-is-important-for-your-health 

Scheduling The Kids Day 

Most schools have provided a good number of online resources, so why not structure your learning day/week into a school timetable. Evidence shows that children do best when they can follow a routine, this will also make it easier for you to keep on top of things.  

  MONDAY  TUESDAY  WEDNESDAY  THURSDAY 
09.00 – 09.30  PE  PE  PE  PE 
09.30 – 10.15  MATHS  MATHS  MATHS  MATHS 
10.15 – 10.30  BREAK  BREAK  BREAK  BREAK 
10.30 – 11.45  ENGLISH  ENGLISH  ENGLISH  ENGLISH 
11.45 –  13.00  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT 

 

Shhhh… I’m thinking of doing the Science bit at the weekend so I can have some fun too! 

Don’t forget, it’s also important to allow time for the kids to have fun and to entertain themselves, all work and no play is going to make this a long journey and well, we’ve got work to do too. 

If you are looking for more inspiration from an education point of view, below are some other links to a wide range of websites with homeschooling ideas. 

https://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/home-school-ideas.html 

https://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/education-1071/home-education-873/653184-ideas-homeschooling.html 

https://www.edplace.com/blog/homeschooling/lesson-planning-and-ideas-home-education-days-across-the-uk 

https://www.homeschool-activities.com/ 

https://www.theschoolrun.com/home-education-step-by-step

Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained 

Are you looking for ways to entertain the kids that isn’t YouTube or computer games? 

Make the most of your garden or outside space, we all need some fresh air and sunshine, yes, it is out as I sit here writing this, stuck in the office and looking out of the window. As we all need a bit of a break from work and learning, I thought I’d also share a range of websites with ideas for fun things to do, so here you are: 

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1389/diy-kids-activities/  

https://www.toucanbox.com/activities/fun-things-to-do-at-home-with-your-kids 

https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/best-indoor-kid-crafts-activities.html 

https://www.verywellfamily.com/absolutely-free-activities-for-kids-2997490 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/gardening_with_children/ 

https://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/gardening-children-schools/family-activities/Activities 

YouTube Channels: 

  • Crash Course Kids 
  • Science Channel 
  • SciShow Kids 
  • National  Geographic Kids 
  • Free School 
  • Geography Focus 
  • TheBrainScoop 
  • SciShow 
  • Kids Learning Tube 
  • Geeek Gurl Diaries 
  • Mike Likes Science 
  • Science Max 
  • SoulPancake 

 This isn’t going to be easy by any means, I’ve already needed to remind my kids that this isn’t a holiday but hopefully, this will help keep you sane that little bit longer and at least give you some ideas to help you through it.  

My Own Personal Favourites;  

  • Home economics – Teach them how to make a cup of tea, for me of course, as I’m busy working!
  • Science – How washing up liquid removes grease from the saucepan and other cooking utensils
  • Mechanical Engineering – How to operate a hoover, the kids always think it’s a hard job! 

Written by Vicky, Commercial Marketing Manager and Full Time Mum 

social distancing

With all that’s going on in the world now, everyone needs to understand what the differences between Social Distancing, Isolation and Quarantine are.

There is a difference between each of these terms and we’ll explain the difference below.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing should be practised by everyone, whether or not they are exposed to the virus.

Social Distancing includes avoiding handshakes, crowds and staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from people.

Working from home/Remote Working has been recommended by the government when possible and if showing any symptoms, you should be self-isolating.

What is Isolation?

Isolation is for those who have been either diagnosed with COVID-19 or showing symptoms of the virus.

Isolation serves as a deterrent to keep the infected away from the healthy in order to stop the spread of the virus. This applies to anyone living with someone showing symptoms, anyone with an underlying health condition or anyone over the age of 70.

What is Quarantine?

Quarantine is the restriction on the movement of people, which is intended to prevent the spread of disease. Preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a COVID-19, but do not have a confirmed case.

This is the current situation in countries like Italy & Spain to which they have issued a nationwide quarantine and restricted everyone from leaving their homes as much as they can.

Here are a few small graphics that we’ll be sharing on social media as well that you can share if you like:

Social Distancing Isolation Quarantine

 

wash

Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to reduce the risk of infection and it’s important to wash your hands frequently and properly, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

wash

Here is the proper way to wash your hands as recommended by NHS:

How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

  1. Wash your hands under warm running water
  2. Apply soap and rub palms together to ensure complete coverage
  3. Spread the soap over the back of your hands
  4. Make sure the soap gets in between each of your fingers
  5. Grip the fingers on each hand, ensuring you cover each finger with soap
  6. Rub both thumbs into a clenched fist
  7. Press fingertips into the palm of each hand
  8. Rub your knuckles on the opposite palm
  9. Dry thoroughly with a disposable paper towel

Other Tips on Hand Washing

Your hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds, of which you can keep track of by singing Happy Birthday twice.

An acceptable alternative to hand washing is to use an alcohol-based sanitiser, with at least 60%. When possible, wash your hands using the above method as this is more effective against viruses.

Do I really need a Bookkeeper

Do I need a bookkeeper? Well, for me at this moment in time, I personally do not, why? Because as I am employed full time and have no other income that I need to account for. But; once upon a time my situation was different. Before I worked where I work now, I like about 5.7 million other people every year made the decision that starting my own business was my next step.

Do I really need a Bookkeeper

I know from experience that starting a business from scratch is not easy, from the practicalities of where do I run my business from? What business bank account should I get or do I even need a business bank account? To, should I be a Limited business? How do I register as a Limited business? And where is my registered address going to be? There is so much to work out, it can be overwhelming for some and possibly ignored by others.

Like many other new business owners I found my feet, made a list and worked my way through all of the things I thought I needed to get my business up and running. I decided I wanted to have a limited business to make sure I kept business and private lives separate. I found three local accountants, did some research and had appointments with them all before deciding which one was best for me, this is important, it is likely that you are going to have a very long relationship with them. I used the accountants address as my registered address because I wanted to keep my business and private life separate, then registered with Companies House… everything was coming together well.

My business got off the ground, we gained clients (the most important part) and the business grew nicely but let’s face it, running a business is a learning curve, we all know (or think we know) what we are good at, taking that to running a business doing it is quite different. There are so many things you find out that you need to be doing, and because you are a micro, small or start-up business we all try to keep costs down to a minimum. Like many other start-up’s and small business owners, I did most if the admin and back office stuff (I am going to call it stuff because well, I am great at what I am great at, it doesn’t make me great at ‘stuff’) myself because that is what I thought was the most cost effective option. – We all like to save money right?

Anyway; my business was growing well and we had our happy clients but after a number of years, I made the decision that I didn’t want to work for myself any longer and one of the main reasons was that I had found myself spending most of my time doing jobs that I didn’t actually want to do, jobs that were not part of what I wanted to do as ‘my’ business. I am pleased to say that my company is still growing nicely and in safe hands with a family member as Managing Director but, I am pleased I stepped away to spend more of my time focussed on doing the jobs that I love.

As part of my current ‘Job’, I work with lots of small and medium sized businesses and have also worked with Rosemary Bookkeeping; as someone that has had a small business, I realise how valuable their services would have been to me as a business owner. I knew I needed an accountant, as was a priority but I did not understand how beneficial it would have been to have someone doing my bookkeeping for me. It never occurred to me that outsourcing some of the admin and day to day ‘stuff’ would have been such a huge benefit to me as a business owner, I just thought I was doing the most cost effective things. If I had known, I would have spent less time doing my bookkeeping and more time on what I love and maybe, just maybe I would have chosen to stay in my business?

The Bookkeeping isn’t the only service that as small business owners we find ourselves tied up doing, there are lots of other things too. Is it time to evaluate how effective and efficient your time is? Would your time be better spent doing something else, like talking to customers, selling your services, creating a bit of artwork or doing whatever it is that you are great. Why not consider outsourcing the rest of it to someone great at it?

So; Do I really need a Bookkeeper? No, I am still employed full time and have no other income that I need to account for, what about you?

What to see how a Rosemary Bookkeeper can help? Have a look here

Tax Excuses

There is no excuse for missing any tax deadlines and unfortunately, HMRC does not accept excuses! However, some of them are quite funny, here is our list of favourite excuses:

Tax Excuses

“I failed to submit my tax return because…”

    1. “My bad back means I can’t go upstairs and that’s where my tax return is!”🚶
    2. “I had a run-in with a cow!”🐮
    3. “I’ve been cruising around the world in my yacht and only picking up post when I’m on dry land!”🛥️
    4. “My tax papers were left in my shed and a rat ate them!”🐀
    5. “My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type!”❄️
    6. “After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else!”🌋
    7. “A pirate stole all of my accounts!”🏴‍☠️
    8. “I was up a mountain in Wales, and I couldn’t find a postbox or get any signal!”🌄
    9. “My dog ate all of the tax returns and all of the reminders!”🐶
    10. “I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years!”🇮🇹

Now for a bonus one, this has got to be our favourite excuse of all time…

“I couldn’t file on time as my partner’s being seeing aliens and won’t allow me to enter the house!”👽

If you find yourselves making up excuses contact us today to help with any tax returns you may have outstanding. Remember excuses like this the HMRC will not take to them kindly at all!

Important Tax Dates

31 January

This is the final deadline for online tax returns unless the notice to make an online tax return was issued by HMRC after 31 October 2019, 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.

6 April

This is the start of the tax year. Why? Well, that’s a story dating back to 1582, read all about it here!

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.

 

For all of your bookkeeping needs find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper and contact them today.