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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.

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

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

 

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.

Business Management Tips

SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises with 0-249 employees) make up 99.9% of UK businesses, meaning they’re the heart of the UK economy, so we’ve put together some small business management tips to help all succeed.

1. Invest in Marketing

The world we live in is a competitive one, with the internet making it easier to build a business.

As a rule of thumb, you should keep 10% of your revenue aside for marketing if you’re a startup SME and want to push your way into the crowded market place. If you’re an established SME then 5% of your revenue is sufficient enough.

Don’t ever think that because you’re established in the market you don’t need to spend any money on marketing, your market share will reduce dramatically.

Always have a marketing plan.

Here are a few marketing channels your company can invest in:

  • Facebook/Instagram Ads
  • PPC ads using Google
  • Online content marketing
  • Renting a stand at an exhibition
  • Network marketing and referrals

Use these channels from day one to build brand attention. loyalty and anticipation.

2. Invest in Employee Training

New employees are going to need to learn the ins and outs of the business quickly yet efficiently and investing in employee training will assist with this.

As well as new employees, make sure your existing ones have exactly the same training, even if they’ve been with you for a good few years.

Put together a training plan for all of your employees, you can find one specific for new employees on inc.com.

Sufficient staff training can benefit your business massively, here are a few benefits:

  • Improved employee performance
  • Improved employee satisfaction and morale
  • Being able to address weaknesses and accommodate these accordingly
  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Gives you the ability to delegate certain tasks

There are many more reasons why employee training is vital to your business and you can find out more here.

3. Separate Personal and Business Finances

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

You would have to sit and sift through hundreds of receipts and separate them into business and personal, we can guarantee you haven’t got time for that.

If you initially keep them separate, then this is something you won’t 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. Schedule Meetings With Yourself

This may sound a bit crazy but you should schedule meetings with yourself to set time aside to make important business decisions and plan for future growth.

Remember, you’re the one responsible for the success or failure of your business, you’re the one your employees will come to for guidance, and if you don’t run a tight, well-organised ship, then your business will sink.

So every week book a meeting room for 30 minutes to an hour to take yourself away from your office. A different environment will take you out of your routine, help with creative thinking and productivity.

5. Get Professional Help

Don’t be scared to ask for help with certain tasks like your bookkeeping or maybe even marketing for your business there are always other SMEs out there willing to help.

One of the most time-consuming tasks in business is your bookkeeping and this can take you away from growing your business.

Remember, no one is an expert at everything, therefore, don’t try to be and ask for help with certain tasks.

 

Why do your bookkeeping yourself when you can pass this task on to a professional bookkeeping service like Rosemary Bookkeeping?

For more details on our bookkeeping services for your SMEs, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business and we’ll be able to assist with any queries.

 

 

 

 

Bookkeeping Checklist

We’ve put together a bookkeeping checklist for you to follow and make sure you’ve got your books together.

Have a read to learn what is involved for your bookkeeping 👇👇

Bookkeeping Checklist

Bookkeeping Checklist by Rosemary Bookkeeping

Do you want to download the checklist to print it out to stick on your wall? Click here – Download

  1. Enter sales invoices
  2. Enter purchase invoices
  3. Enter cheque payments
  4. Enter bank receipts
  5. Enter petty cash receipts
  6. Reconcile bank accounts
  7. Reconcile credit card accounts
  8. Enter prepayments and accruals journals
  9. Enter depreciation journals
  10. Enter payroll journals (if required)
  11. Enter stock journals (if required)
  12. Run VAT return (if required)
  13. Run aged debtor and aged creditor reports
  14. Run Profit & Loss statement
  15. Run Balance Sheet
  16. Check all reports for accuracy

Confused over this Checklist?

If you’re not confident in your bookkeeping ability then this checklist may just look like a lot of words and not make any sense.

There is no need to worry, that is what we do on a daily basis and we’re always here to help in any way we can.

 

Find your local bookkeeping expert here

business

Having your bookkeeping up to date is a vital part of your company’s long-term success in your business market.

With many new small businesses nowadays the owners feel like they have to do everything themselves, which includes bookkeeping.

Don’t ever feel like as a small business owner you are on your own, there are always companies willing to help with growing your business.

business

Organised Books Can Help With Business Growth

Being disorganised with your bookkeeping can make the job of maintaining positive cash flow and turning over a profit a lot more difficult.

Obviously, as a small business owner, you will want to make your life easier and not harder, so hiring a bookkeeper can sometimes be the best thing for your business.

One of the best things you can do in the current world is to start using digital tools, outsourcing to a professional, or both, which together can assist in managing tax deadlines and keeping up to date with any new government regulations, such as Making Tax Digital.

Accurate bookkeeping records lead to more in-depth and better informed financial projection and strategies, so this is definitely something that needs to be adopted for success.

Don’t Neglect Your Books

Your business’s bookkeeping is on your to-do list next month, great!

However, the majority of business owners will postpone their bookkeeping for a later date, this is a big no-no as you could miss important deadlines.

If you haven’t got long until a tax deadline and you rush your bookkeeping, mistakes will be made! This can result in incorrect tax submission, and potentially some kind of fine.

That is why hiring a bookkeeper like Rosemary Bookkeeping to keep your books on track will result in more time to grow your business.

Accurate Financial Information

An outsourced bookkeeper will always be able to provide you with efficient, accurate and up to date financial information when it’s needed for important times like quarterly board meetings or new investor meetings etc.

Another great reason for hiring an external bookkeeper is that you can save your company a bit of money!

Instead of hiring a full-time employee to complete your bookkeeping for you, an outsourced company like Rosemary Bookkeeping can be hired on a part-time basis when needed.

 

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

Find your nearest Rosemary bookkeeper here.