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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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7 Ways Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Help a Busy Bookkeeper



Time is our most valuable commodity (even though we should charge using it!) and as a self employed bookkeeper, you’ll know that there never seems to be enough of it. Being self-employed means you have to wear all of the hats; you’re in charge of customer service, you’re an administrator, a marketer, and so much more. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed.

An endless amount of administration, emails to answer, and seemingly mundane tasks can leave you feeling like you’ve got a mountain to climb,...

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Clocks Go Back For HMRC

HMRC have admitted that software and coding glitches mean that some taxpayers may be unable to file their self assessment online for the 2016/17 tax year. Software developers are struggling to keep up with the increasingly complex tax systems.

Experts say the problems have been caused with the new tax free allowances for Dividends and savings and how these interact with the zero rate savings band.

This has become such a big issue that HMRC has updated it's list of those who can file paper...

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Are you REALLY listening

Four in a Bed is probably one of my favourite programmes right now. Anything with Alex Polizzi and Mary Portas are really great too. I love shows that show the human side of business, and that anyone can do it.

One thing that really frustrates me, though, is when something simple is suggested and met with the response "No one's ever complained about that before!" I could scream at the TV. Most of us don't really like confrontation. We generally don't complain when we get poor service. We...

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At a crossroads: Choosing technology or outsourcing for your practice

Technology is transforming the way that accounting firms do business. The emergence of cloud-based computing, the growth of mobile, and advances in intelligent data management mean that accounting firms have a new set of tools available that can automate and streamline tasks. Industry leaders expect the shift to mobile and cloud-based accounting to not only continue, but to accelerate, and for good reason. The results are in and technology has come up trumps. More than ever, it is essential...

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Increase Your Prices

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Every bookkeeper knows that from time to time we must increase our prices.  So why does this simple but essential task fill us with fear? When I started my bookkeeping practice so terrified was I to increase my prices that I never did it for the first few years.   What if all my clients abandoned me at once? What if I wasn't worth the increased price? Looking back on it these fears were irrational but felt so real at the time.  By not regularly increasing my prices I was...

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My area is really price sensitive

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Quite often, when I talk about pricing, bookkeepers tell me “my area is quite price sensitive. I can't charge that much.”

In the last few years I've heard this about Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Midlands and almost every other part of the UK. I'm never really sure where this idea comes from, but it's demonstrably untrue. Clients are not price sensitive, they're value sensitive.

 

If we look at the reality of this comment we can see how untrue it is. Go...

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Selling is a Rollercoaster

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Sometimes the best inspiration comes from somewhere totally different from our profession. By looking at what other sectors do well, we can take their ideas and adapt them to suit our business.

One of the businesses I've been noticing recently that can teach us a lot about pricing is Merlin. Their pricing strategies are amazing and employ every trick in the book.

If you've not heard of Merlin, they are the people who own the attractions like Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and the London Eye.

Want...

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Absolute or Relative

As humans, we’re not good at absolutes.  We can’t look at a colour and tell the exact hue.  We can’t life a bag and say exactly how heavy it is.  We can’t hear a sound and tell how loud it is. Our brains are just not programmed to allow us to do that. We are experts at comparisons though.  We can see two colours and say which is the most red.  We can lift two bags and say easily which is the heaviest.  We can hear two sounds and...

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