Blog

How Automated Are You?

Automation is a bit of a hot topic in the bookkeeping world at the moment, but what does it actually mean and what does it mean for your business?

What is automation?

At it’s core, it’s really just systemising how tasks are carried out, often using software to replace some of the human time and effort needed. Many bookkeepers, including me, use it as a way of reducing time spent on data entry so we can focus on client relationships and business growth. For me it’s about using my time wisely...

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Interview With Emma James

We recently caught up with one of our award winningbookkeeping members, Emma James, and found out a bit about her business and her journey.



Tell us a bit about your practice

On the 1st of September I'll be 2 years old. It's just me at the moment, but that could change. I mainly work with remote clients. I have a few on site, but I'm only taking on new remote clients in the future.

I only work with Xero, and I’m focused on very, very small businesses. I feel that the term SME is too wide so I...

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Five Things We Learned From The Apprentice This Week

While The Apprentice is popular entertainment viewing there are also a few simple business lessons we can learn from each episode.

Last week we saw each team make and sell doughnuts. There are a number of key business Tasks at play with in this episode. Pricing, costs, understanding margins and delivering on promises were all important, and lessons we can learn.

Pricing

5 doughnuts may seem extravagant, but it shows that market rates are not really as fixed as we lead ourselves to believe. If we...

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Pre-registration Input Tax

Doing the first VAT Return for a Client? Yes! Then make sure you claim pre-registration input tax.

This is a statutory right, under VAT Regulation 111, and you can find out more in VAT Notice 700, chapter 11.

The claim for pre-registration input tax can include services purchased up to 6 months before registration, and goods purchased up to 4 years before registration, as long as those goods are on hand at the date of registration. Do prepare a simple schedule of the goods. And make sure you...

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Deregistration for VAT

The process of deregistration is as important as that for registration. Errors can be expensive, but there may be some VAT savings to be achieved with careful planning.

Where a business ceases to make taxable supplies, it is required to notify HMRC within 30 days, and has to deregister immediately.

A business can voluntarily deregister at any time if it expects its taxable turnover in the following 12 months to be below 83,000 (the deregistration threshold is always lower than the registration...

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Fighting threat and prioritising data security in your business

As technology evolves and becomes more sophisticated, so too do viruses, malware and hackers, and their means to violate protective barriers in order to infiltrate sensitive data and information.

According to PwC’s 2016 Global Economic Crime report, cyber crime affect almost one in three organisations (32%), with the financial services industry the ‘most threatened’ by economic crime. As accountancy and bookkeeping practices handle sensitive personal and financial data for their customers,...

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The Pain of Paying

Some of you will know that one of the many reason I encourage all bookkeepers to look towards menu pricing is something that behavioural economists call the "Pain of Paying".

This concept tells us something that many of us instinctively know. People feel pain when they spend money. This is because we tend to be loss averse.

We can manipulate how great we feel this pain by changing how and when we make payment. If we pay by credit card the pain is less than if we pay by cash. The reason for this...

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Why Go Digital? HMRC’s Reasons for Making Tax Digital

It’s taking years to debate, much less implement. It’s got the small business community in a lather as everyone tries to figure out what it means for them. And depending on who you listen to, it’s either going to make filing your tax as easy as pressing a few buttons, or it’s going to require you to file miles of data five times a year. Making Tax Digital (MTD) has certainly got small business owners talking … and many are asking, why go digital at all? What’s the point of implementing MTD?...

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When is an expense not an expense?

When is an expense not an expense? When it’s a disbursement. But what is that, and why should you care?

The big difference between an expense and a disbursement is how it’s treated for VAT. A disbursement is a payment you make to a third party supplier on your clients behalf. It’s outwith the scope of VAT. This means you neither charge, nor reclaim VAT on it.

The simple reason behind this is that you’re not the customer. It’s your client who buys and receives the goods or services, you are only...

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Develop an effective employment engagement strategy

We all want our employees to be happy. An engaged, satisfied workforce results in a productive and profitable company. Yet research reveals only 15% of UK employees consider themselves as ‘highly motivated’, with low engagement negatively impacting productivity, resulting in a combined 340bn in missed output per year.

Finance and accountancy professionals are now among the most in-demand across sectors, in part due to economic uncertainty following recent political events. These employees...

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