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You can’t leave it all to tech.

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

What bookkeeping software does

Quickbooks promises three major things:

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

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

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

What a bookkeeper does better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the new rules?

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

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

Who do they apply to?

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

Therefore, you may be affected if you are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How we can help

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

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

Couldn’t I just hire an accountant?

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

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

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

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary means:

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

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

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

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

So what does this mean for small business owners?

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

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

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

So what can you do?

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

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

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary also means:

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

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

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

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

  1. Keep personal and business finances separate

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

  1. Don’t get rid of receipts and invoices

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

  1. Maintain filing system

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

  1. Keep your time similarly organised

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

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

  1. Stay on track of petty cash

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

  1. Bank payments quickly

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

  1. Chasing debtors

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

  1. Plan ahead by putting money aside

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

  1. Learn the basics

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

  1. Trust the professionals

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

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

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

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

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

There are instances in which the deadline is different:

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

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

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

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

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

Online: 12 months from the accounting date.

Paper: 9 months from the accounting date.

Late payment penalties:

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

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

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

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

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

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary means:

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

 

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

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