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october 2

What is cash and how can it better be managed?

Most of us; if we’re honest, would say we could do with a little more cash and could manage this better. Does this apply to you?

Do you even know what cash is? Cash isn’t just what is in the bank but also needs to be considered in the context of what is due in and what is due out in the future.

Similarly, the management of cash starts far sooner than the raising of an invoice and should not end once it hits your bank account.

In terms of cash coming in you should be fully understanding the associated costs and the time when these need to be paid in the context of when you can expect to receive payment from your customer. For example, if your customer is going to pay after 90 days but you need to pay your supplier after 60 days then you might have a problem.

Have you done a credit check on your customer though before ordering anything and have you even done a credit a check on your supplier so that they can deliver what they promised so you aren’t letting the end customer down.

Let’s assume everything went well; what can you look back on and learn? Were there any unexpected costs or just overall lessons learnt to take into the next piece of work.

Cash flow can be managed much better with the correct systems and processes built around it but don’t understimate the importance of this and do something today to improve it.

We can help so get in touch if wish to discuss further.
OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT
We now have a vacant office in our building available on flexible terms so if you or anybody know would be interested then please send them our way.

october 1

Let’s try and avoid any nasty surprises

As we approach Halloween we thought we’d jump on the bandwagon; or more appropriately the witches broom perhaps, and use this as an extremely loose connection to nasty surprises in business.

Now we all lead very busy day to day lives which means that things in business can easily be forgotten; and I’m talking about the less than obvious things but which could have a massive impact. For example, it would be very easy to not be aware that say a customer’s credit rating had decreased significantly overnight. You might; for example, not realise how heavily exposed you are to one supplier or customer meaning that should anything go wrong; as it did with Thomas Cook, you’re not prepared.

These examples are all too common with smaller businesses and the impact can be massive.

Even where we manage to avoid such pitfalls, the deluge of information around us can often mean that we lose focus and before long our businesses stagnate or even worse.

We have some great tools here and the team has experience of helping clients avoid issues such as above.

Above is just one example of what data we could make automatically available to you off the back of work you’re already doing on a day to day basis.

Want more information again? Well what about below where you basically just get the headlines from your accounting data and can delve deeper as and where you wish?

Having the correct infrastructure and management information around you means that nasty surprises can be avoided and you can keep you business on track and heading towards a very successful future.

For more information please get in touch.

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IR 35 Employed versus Self – employed argument

FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT BE IMPACTED BY THE IR 35 EMPLOYED VERSUS SELF-EMPLOYED ARGUMENT

We thought we’d get straight to the point; unlike this legislation as this might not impact you directly but could impact you indirectly or other people you know. We’ve summarised this below:
The way in which people are categorised as being either employed or self-employed and the obligation to make this assessment as well as potentially meet any costs of getting this wrong will extend from just the public sector to the private sector as of 6 April 2020. The one exception to this rule is where this applies to small companies for which all of our clients are, so it would be in respect of engagements where they are working for other companies that themselves are not small.

It is not currently expected to have the impact that the previously legislation back in 2017 had when it was first introduced to the public sector where; it is believed in many cases was out of fear, over 60,000 people were re-categorised as being employed rather than self-employed with limited challenge.

From this first batch of individuals that suffered at first hand there are six high profile cases that have went to court with two of these cases yet to reach a conclusion. For those four settled to date, HMRC has only won the one so it is expected that following the findings of the remaining two cases along with the dust settling over the coming months that further clarity will be forthcoming. The general consensus however is that the impact will be nowhere close when it hits the private sector; particularly given the findings and court cases that followed the initial introduction back in 2017.

We do however; as a firm, recommend that all clients seek legal/HR advice regarding this matter as this is outside our area of expertise and can only comment generally.

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Keeping the gold theme going

Now we could talk about awards but we focus on our efforts on the rewards our clients receive and that is how we measure our success.

Well we’re starting this month; for those who haven’t seen our various social media posts regarding the Great North Run, on the vein of what grips the North East for a good few weeks around August/September each year.

For those running though there is a lot of preparation beforehand but the rewards personally and for those charities you raise money for are tremendous but is really is a team effort with Andy in our office being a great example of having slowed down to get us all over the line to hit our targets.

Now from a business perspective we are your team and want you to hit your rewards so let’s recap some of the recent things you have access to as a client of ours:
1. You can download our app free of charge to get useful tax information wherever and whenever you like; subject to internet connection of course.
2. We offer accounting software that integrates with other tools that help you better monitor cash flow and improve the speed with which customers pay you, among other things.
3. We have recently just introduced; where clients request this, an accountability service where we look at where you are and where you want to be and help you get there.
4. We recognise that to be successful in business you need support outside of finance so have tie in’s with experts in other fields that work alongside you the client and us including areas such as marketing, investments, HR and so much more.

We could go on but if you’ve got this far down the newsletter we’ve probably done well.

In summary the right ‘TEAM (together everybody achieves more)’ around you; the rewards improve. Take advantage of our team as we are here to support you and help you achieve the rewards that you set out to achieve.

Naturally if there is ever anything we can do more then please feel free to let us know.
On a lighter note …
On a lighter note, a couple of clients are running a couple of fantastic events so why not book on and have a fantastic night out:

The show is coming to the Customs House in South Shields on Friday 18th October 2019 and tickets are £18 each.

This is a little video trailer, to give you an idea of what you’re letting yourself in for:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIa0AosJQn0

Rare Event… Kennedy almost never does public shows where friends can come see him perform his comedy psychological mind reading things… so take advantage of this.

He has cooked up a really special night at The Boatside Inn (Northumberland) on October 19th: https://lnkd.in/epFMwnp

Check it out.

Welcome our newest employee Harry Brown who joined us in September

 

Client Portal Changes

As of 30 September 2019 the client portal that you currently have access to will no longer be available.

This was initially introduced to tick the relevant GDPR boxes but we now have access to better technology that ticks the same boxes and more than ever so this will instead be replaced by the following:
1. All invoices previously uploaded; both sales and purchases should now be uploaded via Receipt Bank as this will be managed and integrated directly with your year-end accounts.
2. Any other information you previously uploaded through the portal should be uploaded through Iris OpenSpace which is our compliance software portal as this integrates across all of our platforms including tax and accounting software. Likewise where we have previously shared information with you this will now be shared through this same software.

This change will not come in until the end of next month so should you have any queries or concerns then please contact your account manager to discuss these further.

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Power in systems not in people

Why not register here for our second webinar on our journey to help you overcome your struggles with time, information and money by building a sound financial system quickly?

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Better information, in less time = more money

As we kick off our webinars we look at three of the most common struggles for all businesses; regardless of what stage they are at from start-up to high growth, being:

  1. Time – we never seem to have enough of this, though we all have the same amount in a working day
  2. Information – we either don’t have the correct information, have too much or maybe just don’t know what to do with it
  3. Money – we don’t have enough; or at least enough to solve the other two problems

Click here to access the recording of part 1 of 4 of our webinars.

Christmas 2018

Xero mistakes

We appreciate that some of these common mistakes may be more relevant to some than others.

With varying degrees of support provided by us to clients whereby some do their bookkeeping themselves and some we do it all for them; take from this document what you find useful and relevant.

Bank Feeds

In order to maximise the benefits of Xero; whether you maintain the bookkeeping or we do, is to ensure that the bank feed is working within the software.

With Open Banking now being here this should be easier than ever, but it might also mean some changes if you are already connected.

Click here for details of bank feeds affected by open banking.

Maintaining the bank

One of the most common mistakes we find are where clients add or delete transactions manually through the bank after a live bank feed has been setup.

It should be rare; if ever, where any manual intervention is needed when your bank has been connected correctly so if you suspect that some amendments are needed please get in touch with us first.

Wages

When posting any wages related payments; being payments to staff, HMRC, pension companies etc do not post these against the profit and loss account.  These should always be posted against balance sheet codes which will typically be labelled ‘P.A.Y.E., National Insurance and Net wages’.

Mileage

If the mileage route is being adopted rather than posting fuel be sure not to post both.  If you are posting mileage, we would recommend that you explore the various apps that could help with recording this; one of which you can access through our Company App and there is also MileIQ that we use internally.

Getting more out of Xero

Managing debts

  1. To better monitor the credit position of your customers we have a separate piece of software that plugs into Xero and will generate automated e-mails that will be sent to you when the credit rating of any of your customers change.
  2. The time taken and impact of people paying late can be catastrophic to clients so there is also a tool that automates; whilst still personalising, the chasing process to give you a much better chance of clients paying on time or even early.

 

Costs

  1. We all get sick of those cold calls offering to reduce our utility bills down but wouldn’t it be nice for this to automatically be monitored and you get the results, savings and potential courses of action directly without being hounded? We have a piece of software that allows for this to happen.

Cash flow

  1. Cash is often the main reason why most businesses struggle so why not take advantage of the wealth of information at your hands now that you are utilising Xero fully to more closely monitor and manage this. You can even build in scenarios to test the financial impact of certain actions to develop a proactive rather than a reactive approach with maximise options at your disposal.
  2. In terms of options and say; for example, access to financial resources where you cash flow might be stretched; we have the facility to plug in; alongside Xero, a function that can take your data to market to then present financial options before there are even needs to give you the best chance to smooth any cash flow concerns before they even arise.

Driving the business forward

  1. There is now; potentially more than ever, so much relevant, reliable and timely information right at your fingertips. We can draw out the key points which require action aside from those areas mentioned above.  This can come through in a neat but regular and concise news feed to you so that you have an overview at any point of time and are better positioned than ever to drive your business forward alongside us.
  2. Want more than this again? Why not start building and incorporating forecast, key performance indicators and even e-mail notifications being sent to you so that you never been more in control of where your business is, what you’re doing and where it is going.

 

As ever if you are unsure as to any of the above points or ever in doubt please do get in touch prior to making any entries then we can advise.

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September 2019 Mid Month Newsletter

MORE TIME, EXTRA AND BETTER INFORMATION = MORE MONEY

Would you like some more time in your day to day working and personal lives?

Would you like more tailored, valuable information that is provided on a timely basis which can then be acted upon?

Would you like to be able to achieve the first two things without it costing the earth and it certainly costing less than what it would give back in terms of financially and personally?

Why not book onto our first of four webinars below:

Click here

Freebies …
For all Xero client’s you should have earlier this month received an e-mail that offered you free access to:
Cost management software that would look on a regular basis to manage and reduce your costs; one client alone has already seen savings of nearly £1,500 identified.
Credit management software that manages and monitors the credit rating of your customers and e-mails you when this changes so you are better prepared for any financial difficulties you may face as a result of getting paid.
We are offering these two pieces of software free of charge up until the 31 October 2019 but you must opt in if you are interested so that we can plug them in accordingly and share them with you.

Get in touch today if of interest.

Client Portal Changes
As of 30 September 2019 the client portal that you currently have access to will no longer be available.

This was initially introduced to tick the relevant GDPR boxes but we now have access to better technology that ticks the same boxes and more than ever so this will instead be replaced by the following:
All invoices previously uploaded; both sales and purchases should now be uploaded via Receipt Bank as this will be managed and integrated directly with your year-end accounts.
Any other information you previously uploaded through the portal should be uploaded through Iris OpenSpace which is our compliance software portal as this integrates across all of our platforms including tax and accounting software. Likewise where we have previously shared information with you this will now be shared through this same software.
This change will not come in until the end of next month so should you have any queries or concerns then please contact your account manager to discuss these further.

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August 2019 Newsletter – Receipt Bank

For those of you already using Receipt Bank I’m sure you’ll agree that it is already amazing and for those of you not using it; why aren’t you? If you still have any doubts this should help and if you want just some of the testimonials we’ve received so far then here is just a selection:

“This has reduced manually data entry time by more than a third!”

“Our office has never looked tidier and more organised.”

“No longer are weekends taken up sorting paperwork.”

The new feature means that the software can now handle sales invoices as well as purchase invoices so why not take advantage of this feature where you are still raising sales invoices manually or outside of accounting software?

Freebies …

For all Xero client’s you should have earlier this month received an e-mail that offered you free access to:
Cost management software that would look on a regular basis to manage and reduce your costs; one client alone has already seen savings of nearly £1,500 identified.
Credit management software that manages and monitors the credit rating of your customers and e-mails you when this changes so you are better prepared for any financial difficulties you may face as a result of getting paid.
We are offering these two pieces of software free of charge up until the 31 October 2019 but you must opt in if you are interested so that we can plug them in accordingly and share them with you.

Get in touch today if of interest.

Client Portal Changes
As of 30 September 2019 the client portal that you currently have access to will no longer be available.

This was initially introduced to tick the relevant GDPR boxes but we now have access to better technology that ticks the same boxes and more than ever so this will instead be replaced by the following:
All invoices previously uploaded; both sales and purchases should now be uploaded via Receipt Bank as this will be managed and integrated directly with your year-end accounts.
Any other information you previously uploaded through the portal should be uploaded through Iris OpenSpace which is our compliance software portal as this integrates across all of our platforms including tax and accounting software. Likewise where we have previously shared information with you this will now be shared through this same software.
This change will not come in until the end of next month so should you have any queries or concerns then please contact your account manager to discuss these further.

July 2019

July 2019 Newsletter

A bit of a different one this month and we’re all sending this out early with the Summer holidays fast approaching I thought it more important to share a message my wife recently put out on social media which as a family is something we want everybody to be aware of.

****WARNING**** PLEASE PLEASE READ AND SHARE**** ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN WITH HOLIDAY SEASON APPROACHING

After a five year old boy drowned in Greece recently my heart goes out to this family at this awful time.

Graeme and I really want to raise awareness as this could have happened to us while holidaying in Dominican Republic in May this year. We’ve been in touch with the hotel, travel agents, local paper, national newspaper, local TV, national TV, Good Morning Britain but heard nothing back.

Holly slept walk out the room during the night while we were sleeping, around 2.30am. The locks on the doors are a fire safety lock, but are not suitable for kids. You lock it and to unlock you pull the handle down and the door opens. Holly is 4 years old and she managed to open it in her sleep. She’s never done anything like this before so it’s never been a concern. When she wakes for a wee she says mummy and I wake instantly.

I woke up to find Holly wasn’t in her bed, checked the spare bed, she wasn’t there, by this point I was panicking and looked at the door and it was open. I was absolutely frantic, my stomach just dropped, I’ve never felt anything like that, I screamed at my husband Holly wasn’t in her bed and the door was wide open. I ran down the corridor shouting her name. Thankfully the hotel have security on and they picked her up crying for mammy and daddy and she was lost. This was all in the space of around 5 minutes of her leaving the room.

It could of been a way worse outcome for us and we’ve been so lucky. If we were on a higher floor, she could have fallen down the stairs, of she took a different turn she could have drowned in the pool, if security hadn’t seen her she might have got lost, been taken and never seen again.

The hotel were brilliant and the next day we complained as to how easy it was for a child to get out of the room, that’s just not right. We demanded a chain be fitted on the door, we got this fitted straight away. That easy.

All we want is for a chain to be fitted on EVERY hotel door so people have to option to use it. We understand the locks on the doors are for fire safety reasons but surely a chain lock on top can happen and save lives or even if the door handle was higher up on the door. We were told to put a chair in front of our door!! That’s even more of a fire risk and why should you do that just make it safe for children.

We really don’t want this to happen again.

Please share as far as you can as we want this picked up by the press and changes made as so far nobody is willing to take any permanent action and all parties contacted seem to be brushing it under the carpet.