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June 2019

June 2019 Newsletter

So we covered accountability last month and have mentioned ways in month’s prior to earn more from what you already have but how can we measure this easily.

Yes we could take some cash out for a night out and know what we’ve come back with but rarely in the business world is it so straight forward when it comes to measuring and managing a businesses cash flow.

Even after putting in place the strategies previously discussed, how best do we measure the complexities around cash flow and build in the experiences we’ve had historically?

After all, as we all know by now; it is not what we have in cash form and what is in the bank that accurately reflects our cash flow position but instead we must also factor in what is also owed out and still owed in.

We; on top of this, have to try and work with uncertain timescales for money coming in before then planning money going out.

Not quite so straight forward then managing it from time to time is it?

Well we have a fantastic bit of software which our Xero customers will love which after our input and modelling builds on historical trends to project this moving forward so that it can be reported on a monthly basis how close or far away you are from projections and why. Plans can then be put in place to better manage issues or even avoid issues prior to them happening.

Interested? Well why not get in touch for a personal demonstration and we’ll walk you through this.

We’ve also just recently done a joint webinar with the software guys covering this subject that you might have seen mentioned across social media earlier this month but if you missed this let us know and we’ll send you a recording.

Are debtors the reason for your cash flow issues?

If so get in touch with us today and we may have just a separate tool for you to help and we’ll be covering this in more detail in future months.

If time is of the essence though e-mail us for a personal demo of this today.

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May 2019 Newsletter

Have you heard that one about the accountant that makes you accountable?

Unfortunately there is no joke but us accountants are hardly known for our sense of humour so you haven’t missed out on much.

Typically accountants and accountancy generally is about reporting what has been and we as a firm try to influence that the best we can alongside you during the course of the financial year.

However, we have recognised that this isn’t enough in all cases as what targets are you necessarily holding yourself accountable against and who are you reporting these to. I’m not just talking turnover and profit targets but what about sales targets, margins etc?

We will soon be launching our accountability programme as we recognise that typically clients will be after one of three broad types of support packages from us:

PACKAGE 1 – steady ME (this is all about compliance and doesn’t include any sort of accountability within it and for some may be more than adequate)

PACKAGE 2 – grow ME (this is more aimed at bringing a degree of accountability into your business that is not there already to overcome current difficulties and help you move forward such as by specifically focusing on cash flow and the management thereof)

PACKAGE 3 – WOW ME (this is aimed at bringing a strategic level of scrutiny into your business at a level which will do everything possible to achieve everything you are after such as looking at forecasting, access to finance tools, marketing expertise and so much more but would be tailored around your own needs and requirements)

We’ll be talking about these packages in a lot more detail over the coming months along with demonstrating the benefits of bringing these extra levels of accountability into your business.

If this is of interest to you then just get in touch and we’ll keep you up date leading up to its launch.

Some clients have already been involved in the pilot and have seen amazing results which you’ll hear about in due course.

START WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS USING RESPONSESUITE
The first person that is often going to hold you responsible; other than yourself, are your clients.

We have recently teamed up with the guys at responsesuite who have a fantastic tool to get feedback in such creative ways that we haven’t seen before and can even set this all up for you.

If you want to know more get in touch with us and as affiliates we can help you take things from there.

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April 2019 Newsletter

Happy new tax year everybody. I hope you celebrated it in style …

We thought we’d start the new tax year with some simple ways to improve your financial position overall:

Increasing sales
There are two simple ways of increasing sales:

1. Attract new customers

Naturally the first takes longer and can cost more but do you even know who your ideal customer is?

Once you do you can then focus on what they need and where they are to focus on how best you attract them.

Now this all seems very obvious and I agree but the most common error we find here is that clients look to attract those customers who they invoice the most to. However, do you know what they cost you in terms of time and directly attributable cost. Do you even measure whether they regularly pay within the credit terms agreed?

Alongside Xero and other software we can help you here so that you focus your efforts in the correct areas moving forward.

2. Earn more from existing customers

Have you ever heard the term ‘never leave anything on the table?’

Clients don’t know what they don’t know; or in short, do clients know everything that you do. If not, tell them! Do contacts of your clients know what you do?

The easiest people to attract to your business for additional services or who can promote your work to other people are those that know and trust you already.

It is also the quickest and cheapest way so why do people always tend to focus more on attracting new customers rather than building relationships with existing one’s?

Again, building on Xero and other pieces of software we have here we can help you do this.

Reducing costs/making more from your costs
Yes you can reduce costs and then that earns you more money; or so you thought it did.

We’ve all had that experience of going with a cheaper supplier which in turn cost us more money in the long run and whilst I’m not discounting that cost isn’t important, we need to consider the bigger picture and those costs not quantifiable. For example, what figure do you put on that stationery supplier who got you something at the drop of a hat because nobody had ordered in something that was needed the following day? What figure do you put on that supplier who is always at the end of the phone and goes that extra mile when an issue arises?

Look at the long-term costs not just the short-term one’s.

You might then be thinking what do I mean by making more of your costs. Well let’s take your mobile phone as an example; does anybody know all of the features that it has? I certainly don’t and I would even go so far as to say that might consider switching phone to one that has a bright new shiny feature whilst being ignorant to the fact that my current one might already have that feature.

Take your time to build and maintain relationships with businesses that you already work with as the benefit and overall value that you subsequently then receive will actually mean you maximise the return on your costs.

Reducing the costs of financing/recognising opportunity costs
Finally the costs of financing and opportunity costs are so often neglected as people focus on the first two items.

Let’s start with the dreaded word of ‘debt’ or more specifically ‘leasing’ and consider if you’ve just had that shiver down your spine.

Not many people like debt nor do many people like the idea of having something which they don’t own as I used to be like this.

However, let’s consider two scenario’s:
1. You need some new machinery but simply cannot afford to buy it outright. You can either wait until you do have the money or you could lend the money or even lease the equipment.

You need to balance this off against the ‘opportunity cost’ of perhaps losing that customer if you don’t have that machinery.

2. In this second scenario let’s assume you can afford to buy this equipment outright to service this customer or you can finance it or even lease it and never own it.

If you buy it outright that is a lot of money to pay up-front which might mean the opportunity cost is that you cannot then recruit that new member of staff. That new member of staff might; and should I’d hope, generate more money than the cost of financing.

You then think do I own the asset through a finance agreement or do I lease it and again consider the figures but also consider what is the end market like for this should you then have to sell it on at the end of the agreement if you took ownership.

We have the software here that can identify cash-flow issues before they become issues and even plan for what opportunities exist in advance of such issues happening.

Summary

I don’t deny lot’s of simple tips here but we often struggle with the time to take a step back and evaluate things to make the best decision.

With ourselves and alongside technology we can help you to make the right decisions first time to ultimately put more money back into your business and subsequently your pocket.

For more information contact us today.

October 2018

March 2019 Newsletter

As with Brexit; nothing has really changed since the latest budget announcements, so we thought we’d maintain the image we used last month as well given that the Government continues to be our main point of focus this month.

We’re also going to keep it short and snappy this month; like our comment on Brexit.

Making tax digital
First let’s focus on MTD and the step by step guidance HMRC has not long since released; weeks before it comes in:

http://www.gov.uk/guidance/sign-up-for-making-tax-digital-for-vat

For those of you where we do your VAT returns and where MTD applies we’ll be working with you here to finalise everything if it hasn’t been already.

Digitalisation
You might not have noticed but we’ve recently upgraded the Receipt Bank package that we give to all clients free of charge.

Any queries reference this please let us know.

End of tax year
Whilst throughout the course of the current tax year we do your tax planning on ongoing basis and we finalise arrangements prior to 5 April 2019; we do however appreciate that some things such as investments are outside of our control hence we have created a checklist

If you would like a copy just let us know if we haven’t mentioned this to you already.

Brexit
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Watch this space.

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February 2019 Newsletter

Well the time is nearly here for … making tax digital! Yes Brexit is happening at pretty much the same time as well but we cannot help much on this.

This month we’re going to do some quick fire questions and answers for those of you still unsure on making tax digital:

What is it?
HMRC are introducing a new way in which VAT returns are going to be filed for those impacted meaning that traditional methods of submitting through the HMRC portal as you may have done previously will be removed.

When does it come in?
It comes in for VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2019.

Who does it impact?
It impacts all VAT-registered businesses whose turnover exceeds the current VAT registration threshold of £85,000.

What can I do about it/what is Graeme Tennick & Co Chartered Certified Accountants doing about it?
Well we’ve been working on this for over 12 months and the majority of our clients; bar a handful, are now already compliant.

We have and continue to assess those clients impacted by this and are putting in place tailored solutions along with training when required.

What is the cost of this?
The cost varies from client to client but based on some of the efficiencies we are seeing with the technology introduced so far; which we are passing on to clients, we are finding that it is less than most monthly mobile phone contracts.

Which software are we recommending to clients and can I move across from a different piece of software?
We are recommending Xero to the majority of our clients with odd exceptions and we can handle the transition as well from other software here in-house.

If I move from other software what happens with my data?
We can move the current and prior year financial data from most major accountancy software providers onto Xero as part of a tailored transition exercise. We can also upload customer and supplier information.

Is any training provided?
Yes we offer personalised and group training sessions on Xero.

Is there still time to put something in place if I haven’t yet done anything?
Yes there is still time but I wouldn’t hang on too long as 1 April 2019 is fast approaching.

Can I do this myself?
By all means yes you can do this yourself but we are given partner discounts on the software which we can pass on to you to save you money and time in implementing.

What are the penalties going to be of non-compliance?
We are advised that there will be a ‘soft’ implementation of this but there will be penalties for non-compliance for which we understand is still yet to be finalised.
To help you out with making tax digital why not come along to our free event at Gosforth Racecourse; the details of which are below:

Date: Wednesday 13th March
Venue: Newcastle Racecourse, High Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 5HP
Event: 9:30am – 12.30pm
Cost: FREE

To book just get in touch and even anybody else you know who might find this of interest is welcome to attend.

CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENT

Does This Sound Familiar:

Do you get fed up trying to find a regular stream of new clients so that it stands out from the crowd?

Does your marketing never work as well as you want it to?

Are you unsure how to market your business to get to the next level?

Does the thought of cold calling and selling send a shudder down your spine?

If you’re like many business owners, you are probably wondering how to market your business to find regular new customers and to increase sales.

Why not contact us today to book onto this free masterclass being ran on 28 March 2019. Limited spaces available.

January 2019

January 2019 Newsletter

So another year passes and what an exciting 2019 it could be for you as wouldn’t you like this year to stand out more than any year prior?

Our friends at Red Square Design focus on branding and this might be a great place to start for the new calendar year. Unfortunately creative skills are frowned upon in our profession but when it comes to branding these guys are well worth a conversation with.

Now once your business takes off and you have more money than you know what to do with it and with it being the most fun month of the year for us accountants having to get all of the personal tax returns filed we couldn’t help but put a tax spin on this month’s newsletter.

We thought we’d do things a bit differently though and focus on just a handful key points to consider which are not commonly mentioned in the press but could be very useful to yourself or somebody else that you know:

1. Did you know that you get a separate national insurance allowance in each employed position that you hold?

2. There are a lot of very successful start-up businesses out there that when invested in could lead to significant tax relief; though given their nature the investment itself is of course not free of risk. For example:
a) an investment in a venture capital trust could attract a tax refund of 30% on its investment
b) an investment in either an EIS/SEIS approved business could possibly attract tax relief both on the capital gains and income tax front

3. When it comes to property investments there are a few reliefs that some people might not be aware of:
a) If you don’t have much expenditure there is a relief that you can have that could easily wipe out your tax entirely
b) If your rental income is below a certain amount you might not even need to declare it
c) Lived in a property before renting it out? If so we can still reduce the capital gains tax down to reflect the period you lived there and there is also an additional allowance we could claim on top of this when you sell it.

All of this information is of course correct at the time of writing but with Brexit; in whatever shape it happens, looming we always suggest speaking with us first before taking action with regards to any of the points above.

When it comes to pensions and investments we work alongside our trusted partners to source the right package for you so again get in touch if anything ‘stands out’.

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018

What great timing it was that Xero sent us some goodies for the team with one of our own elves Kieran claiming most of them.

Alongside the rest of the team we have been working hard in 2018 to deliver the best service we could to you and in 2019 we’ll be aiming to do even more.

Our app is now live so just a quick reminder to take advantage of our final free gift of the year.

To download this app onto your phone just go through the Play Store (for android users) or go to the App Store (for I Phone users) and search and download Accountant Go. Once download search for Graeme Tennick & Co Chartered Certified Accountants then you’re sorted.

Finally thank you for your support and custom during the year and have a fantastic Christmas everybody and all the very best for 2019.

CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS
Don’t forget that our final working day before the Christmas this year will be Friday 21 December but we will reopen on Thursday 27 December but it will very much be skeleton staff numbers operating otherwise the word Ebenezer Scrooge would be called round the office.

November 2018

November 2018

So we’ve been hinting at something coming for quite some time and finally we have had sign off on our very first purpose-built practice app for which we’re proud to announce and release here for clients, friends and family alike.

This will benefit you the client in the following ways:

1. With all of the technological changes we’ve introduced; and those still to come, you can access them via the click of a button rather than hunt round the internet for ‘that accounting software’.

2. You can book meetings direct through the app with any member of staff in the office.

3. We can communicate directly and personally with you via notifications and text messaging within the app to avoid adding to the endless amount of e-mails you already receive.

4. There are a number of other useful resources within the app including tax rates and information, help sheets etc.

There will also be more to come with us currently exploring the possible addition of a mileage tracker app being added within the app but don’t hold us to this one just yet.

To download this app onto your phone just go through the Play Store (for android users) or go to the App Store (for I Phone users) and search and download Accountant Go. Once download search for Graeme Tennick & Co Chartered Certified Accountants then you’re sorted.

As mentioned above the basic features of the app are available to anybody that downloads the app so feel free to share this with family or friends but they naturally wouldn’t have the full functionality that clients would.

Upcoming free event – Making Tax Digital and some free HR advice (strange combination but trust us it will work)

We would like to personally invite you to attend our unmissable event for local business owners at 9.30am on Tuesday 4th December 2018.

We will start by covering Making Tax Digital along with some of the exciting opportunities that this will being and the coming changes in 2019 and will demonstrate these right before your eyes.

Your staff are your most valuable asset and they need protecting – but so does your business. How do you ensure you have everything covered?

Join our expert HR and health & safety speaker from Peninsula at this brief but invaluable event, which will enhance the way you run your business by giving you the knowledge and advice to resolve any employee challenge.

Topics covered on the day will include:

Making Tax Digital – what to expect in April 2019
Staff behaviour – such as performance, attendance, attitude
Contracts & handbooks – reviewing your documents of employment
Dealing with – sick pay, maternity leave, harassment and discrimination
Health & safety – risk assessments, fire & safety policies and procedures

Book My Place

EVENT DETAILS

DATE: Tuesday 4th December 2018

9.30am | Welcome & refreshments
10.00am | Seminar
12.45pm | Finish

VENUE:
Newcastle Racecourse
High Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 5HP

TAX RETURN SEASON

As we enter the crazy season of tax returns; if you haven’t got yours in already then get it in as soon as possible to avoid any nasty surprises before or after Christmas when it comes to finding the money to pay any tax owed.

October 2018

October 2018

So we’ve recently heard that Brexit is being pushed back but that hasn’t stopped us so we thought we’d revisit everything we have done in advance of this and the impending making tax digital.

For those who weren’t aware, making tax digital comes in 1 April 2019 and is basically going to mean that if you are VAT-registered and your turnover exceeds the current VAT registration threshold of £85,000, you will no longer be able to submit your VAT returns through the HMRC portal. Instead, you will either need to use some accounting software or equivalent software to submit your VAT return.

Focusing first on making tax digital; we are now helping clients go digital with piece of mind and without fear through the following:

1. We introduced Receipt Bank that helps you maintain your receipts so much more easily and reduces the risk of losing them and subsequently any potential tax or VAT relief thereon where applicable.

2. We’ve partnered up with two of the biggest accounting software providers on the market – Xero and Sage, which subsequently now allows us to offer them both at prices that cannot be matched by going direct. These pieces of software; alongside ourselves, then help you control your finances and cash flow and plan for tax and VAT liabilities before they arise. We’re even offering free training to get to you set up at the minute.

3. We have introduced further partnerships; outside the world of accountancy, to support you in other day to struggles including experts in HR, branding, marketing, financial advisors, solicitors and many more.

All of the above will help make you compliant with making tax digital when it arrives 1 April 2019 with minimum fuss, time or effort and will make your lives easier. There will however be more newsletters focused on this over the coming months.

And there is more to come:

1. We will soon be introducing road maps for clients to better help them achieve those goals that they first set out to achieve i.e. retire at 55.

2. As we enter the crazy tax return season and the build up towards Christmas we will make it easier than ever to get your self-assessment tax return information to us and signed without ever having to set foot outside through Iris OpenSpace which is basically a further add-on to the benefits we already provided through the portal.

3. We will very soon be launching our own branded app which will bring all of these changes listed above under the one app so you can access everything in one place; all at the click of a button.

Now we might not know what changes Brexit will bring or when Brexit will even happen but we do know that we are helping our clients build stronger, sustainable and more resilient businesses in less time than ever to withstand such challenging economic conditions.

So who doesn’t want an easier life with better results?

Receipt Bank – Fetch

Don’t worry this section isn’t about dogs.

Did you know that through Receipt Bank you can have it ‘fetch’ invoices from other online accounts you have?

‘Wow’ I hear you say. All you do is click on add items when you are logged into your account then the fetch option will be on the screen then just follow the instructions.

Another step on the road to becoming digital and the management of paperwork is getting easier again.

Monthly offer – Xero

Xero rang us earlier the month and put two offers in front of us that we simply couldn’t refuse and which in turn we are sharing with you the customer.

If you know you want to use Xero but cost is the barrier then we have two affordable options:

1. If you only need read-only access we have a package that is comparable in price with Sage Business Cloud Accounting but significantly more comprehensive.

2. If you want the full package we have one that will again be comparable with Sage for the first 12 months but it has full functionality. After the first 12 months the price would rise but this is great opportunity to dip your toes in the water.

We only have limited packages with respect to these two offers and only 9 remaining for the second offer so get in touch as soon as possible if you want to take advantage. You are welcome to share these offers with friends and family who are not clients also.

Tax Return Season

As we enter the crazy season of tax returns; if you haven’t got yours in already then get it in as soon as possible to avoid any nasty surprises before or after Christmas when it comes to finding the money to pay any tax owed.

September 2018

Have you ever revisited why you first set up in business and assessed where you are today against this?

Have you ever considered where you on your business journey in the context of your retirement plans?

Well we’ve recently undertaken these two exercises as a firm and subsequently been on a bit of journey this year with the number of changes we’ve made; which to date have been:

1. We’ve given you access to documents anywhere in the world safely and securely through a personal client portal.
2. Reduce the fear of missing an important deadline by implementing a reminder system with regards to any filing deadlines as well as payment reminders.
3. Have improved the support and advice readily available to all clients having recruited a further three members of staff.
4. To ensure that levels of service don’t dip and are monitored on an ongoing basis we’ve introduced an internal service charter .
5. Provided an opportunity to access your financial information instantly and accurately at the touch of a button having chosen Xero and Sage Business Cloud Accounting as being packages that we would fully support and use to improve the lives of our clients.

Now we would like you to ask yourself these two questions that we started this newsletter with again and see how any of the above or what we cover below can help get you back on track.

And there is more to come …

 

FINANCIAL HEALTH CHECK

We all too often plan for the here and now or for perhaps the year ahead but what about the years ahead and the years when we’re not here and our children survive us?

We work alongside IFAs to do a financial health check on you and your business to not just make you tax efficient but also financially sound. After all, who went into business to save tax alone!

FINANCIAL HEALTH CHECK OF CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS
Did you know that we can offer a similar service for customers and suppliers before you engage with them?

 

LEGAL, MARKETING AND BRANDING HEALTH CHECK

Alright not so sexy as the first one but how legally sound is your business in the event of the unforeseen happening i.e. you are splitting up with wife or even your business partner, having a large contract challenged etc.

MARKETING AND BRANDING HEALTH CHECK

As a business we may from time to time struggle with both losing our identify from a branding perspective and getting enough work through the door. Let us arrange for a trusted third-party partner to sit down with you and help assess your business.

 

MONTHLY OFFER – Free accountancy software training

For all new clients that take on an accounting package through us in October will be provided with a free training session with us along with free set up.