Book-keeping

Should You Apply For The Fifth SEISS Grant?

Should You Apply For The Fifth SEISS Grant?

You may have already received an email from HMRC about the fifth SEISS grant that will be available to apply for later this month. You may feel that business is on the up, but could this extra bit of money could really help the business? Maybe business is down, but not as badly as it was? So, should you apply for the fifth SEISS grant?

The criteria to be eligible for this grant is pretty much the same as the fourth grant. Your self-employed profits, for 2019 / 2020 need to be lower than £50,000 and they cannot exceed 50% of your total income. Alternatively, the same £50,000 and 50% tests can be applied against your average profits and total income over the four fiscal years up until 2019 / 2020.

You don’t need to have applied for the previous four grants to be able to apply for the fifth SEISS grant. However, you will be required to confirm that your business has continued to be negatively adversely affected by Covid-19.

The amount that you can claim with the grant, depends on how much your turnover has been affected by. If business has been affected and reduced your sales by more than 30% then the grant will be 80% of the average profits of the business. However, this is capped at £7,500.

If your business has been affected negatively by less than 30% then the grant will cover 30% of your average profits. This will be capped at £2,850.

If you are not sure if you should apply for the fifth SEISS grant, then why not call our team of local accountants. Applying for this grant should only be done if you have noticed that business has been significantly down on previous months or years.

It is important to note that acceptance of this grant could make applying for a mortgage or other funding harder in the future and do not overlook that the SEISS grants that you have applied for will also be included in your next accounts and will be part of your taxable income. HMRC may seek a repayment of all or part of the SEISS grants if they assess that you did not meet eligibility at the time you claim each tranche of funding, and may therefore need to be repaid at a later date.

Here at AK Bookkeeping we are here to help you. If you are self-employed and not sure if you should apply for the fifth and final grant, let’s have a chat. We can talk through the pros and cons of applying for the grant and look at other finance options too.

For more information contact our friendly accountants now; we are here to help.

Five Improvements For Your Business Cash Flow

Five Improvements For Your Business Cash Flow

Good control of your cash flow is essential for the successful growth of your business. It’s important, as a business owner, that you understand how much cash is going in and out of your business. However, it is also important that you make improvements where you can that will help improve your cash flow.

We have put together five improvements for your business cash flow below. Have a look at our ideas and give them a go. See how much they can help you improve your cash flow, if even in the short term.

  1. Accurate & Timely Invoices

Everyone makes mistakes, however even the smallest mistake on an invoice can be used as an excuse by a client to delay payment of the invoice. Make sure that your invoices are sent on time and double check that they are correct, so your clients have to pay on time.

  1. Speed Up Payments

It’s possible to cut down the amount of time you spend waiting for payment, by offering an incentive. A discount as small as 1% or 2% for clients that pay within 2 days of receiving the invoice increases the chances of speedier payments and money in your business account sooner.

  1. Review Your Assets

Look at the assets in your business. Are they all being used? Do you have a large printer with all the bells and whistles that is just not being used? Then why keep it where it takes up space and gathers dust? There could be another business down the road that are willing to pay good money to take it off your hands.

  1. Chase Outstanding Invoices

Many business owners are scared to chase for money they are owed for outstanding invoices, for fear of causing client upset. Make sure you put time aside to chase your debts regularly. But make sure you keep it friendly and polite too. That way you’ll get paid and keep the client.

  1. Understand Clients Payments

Ask clients when they expect to pay your invoice. Then use this information to manage your own credit control function. For example, if a client pays all invoices on 30 day terms, there is no point chasing for payment after 7 days. It also means you can work your invoices around the time they do their payment runs.

 

If you are concerned about the cash flow of your business, then please call our team of accountants in Peterborough, where we can discuss your requirements and suggest suitable recommendations for your business.

What You Need To Know Before You Go Limited

What You Need To Know Before You Go Limited

Have you been thinking of going limited for your business? It’s easy to set up a limited company with Companies House and the cost is minimal too. The limited liability and lower tax could make a huge difference to your business too. However, there are things you need to know before you go limited.

If you’re the sort of person that hates rules and regulations and you’re not working with a trusted accountant, then going limited may not be the best option for you. Below we have listed some of the main things you need to before you go limited with your business.

A Separate Company

When you become limited your company is separate from the owners or shareholders. This means that if your company goes bust the shareholders will just lose whatever their shares cost them. However, as a sole trader, shareholders are personally liable for the debts of the business. When someone lends a limited company money, they will be likely to ask for a personal guarantee from the directors, so their money is safe.

Separate Bank Account

As a limited company the company will need its own bank account as it’s classed as a legal ‘person’. The company’s money is not your money. To get money out of the company it would be classed as dividends. However, dividends are only payable from net profit after corporation tax. As a limited company owner, you will not be able to take money from the bank account anytime as you would a sole trader, whether you have made profit or not.

Getting Paid

A director runs a limited company on behalf of the shareholders. You may earn a salary from the company and then dividends on top of this, if you are a shareholder. You are entitled to any expenses, as long as they are genuine business expenses. If you take money out of the company that is not a refund on expenses, salary or dividends this is classed as a director’s loan.

Things To Do

Every year you must file a confirmation statement that states any changes in capital, shareholders or persons of significant control. You must file accounts no later than 9 months after year end. A corporation tax return must be submitted to HMRC. If you have an accountant, you will find their fees are higher for your business as a limited company than a sole trader. This is because more work needs to be completed.

 

If you do not have an accountancy background and do not have a reliable accountant in Peterborough to turn to, it may not be right to become a limited company. However, if you are keen to go limited for your business, then call our team for advice specific to your circumstances. We can help set up a limited company and work with you through all the financial and legal regulations.

Your Guide To The Final SEISS Grants

Your Guide To The Final SEISS Grants

Additional help for the self employed across the UK has been announced. These will be the  4th and 5th SEISS grant. The financial support from these grants will be available until September 2021. They follow the first three SEISS grants that came into place to offer additional financial help and support for self employed people across England and some parts of the UK.

The fourth SEISS grant will be available from 22nd April 2021. It will cover a three-month period from 1st February until 30th April this year. As with the previous self-employed income support schemes, the fourth grant will be worth up to 80% of three months’ average trading profits. This will be paid out in a single instalment, up to the value of £7,500.

A fifth grant will then cover 1st May until 30th September 2021. However, this final SEISS grant will work slightly differently. The grant amount available depends on the loss of income. If you are self-employed and your turnover has fallen by at least 30% you can still apply for the grant for up to 80% of profits. Again, this is up to the value of £7,500.

However, and this is where the change comes in, if your income has fallen by less than 80% but more than 30% you can apply for a grant of 30% of your trading profits. You can claim up to the value of £2,850. The claims for the 5th SEISS grant will open in July and be available until September.

It was reported that around 600,000 people missed out on previous SEISS grants. This was because they had recently started working for themselves. As they had not filed a tax return, there was no way to prove their income status. Therefore, these people were unable to apply for the SEISS grant.

Those that have filed a 2019/20 tax return via self-assessment on or before the extended deadline of 2nd March 2021 will be eligible for the 4th and 5th SEISS grants.

If you need financial help for your business, whether you are self-employed or not, call our team. As local accountants in Peterborough we can check if you are eligible for a grant through the self-employed income support scheme. We will also see if there are any other grants or funding that you are eligible for.

Do You Know Where Your Limited Company Registered Office Details Need To Be?

Do You Know Where Your Limited Company Registered Office Details Need To Be?

When you become a limited company, you need a registered address for your business. In this blog post we look at what a registered address needs to be. We also look at where you need to display your company address, as a legal requirement.

The Elements Of A Registered Address

There are three elements that make up your registered address as a limited company. Firstly, your company number. This is the number you are given when you register at Companies House. Secondly, your address. This is your registered business address for your limited company. And finally, the place. By this we mean England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, if you are a UK limited company.

Your registered office address is the address that is used for all correspondence from Companies House and HMRC. It is also the address used for serving any legal notices and similar. That statutory registers and records are also kept there for inspection.

How To Stay Compliant With Your Limited Company Registered Address

While this all may sound relatively straightforward, there are things you need to do to stay compliant with your limited company registered address. We have listed some of these below for you. However, if you do have concerns about the registered address for your limited company, give us a call.

  • The registered address of your limited company doesn’t have to be the principle place of your business. Some business owners prefer to use a local accountants office address as their limited company registered address. This is a service we can offer here at AK Bookkeeping.
  • If you move location, then you need to inform Companies House. This will ensure that your records can be updated.

As your local Peterborough accountant, we can provide you with the registered address your limited company needs. This will ensure that all your statutory documents are dealt with promptly and professionally. By using our address, it also protects the confidentiality of your home address.

Do I Need An Accountant For My Limited Company?

Do I Need An Accountant For My Limited Company?

Businesses gain lots of benefits when they employ the services of an accountant to take care of their day to day accounting duties. However, as a limited company you will have far more accounting responsibilities than a sole trader. In turn, this means more benefits from the services of an accountant.

Owners of limited companies can become overwhelmed by their accounts very easily. This is even more so the case if the business owner has no accounting or bookkeeping skills. If you are looking to save time and money when it comes to handling the accounting aspects of business, you need an accountant for your limited company.

It’s worth noting that an accountant for a limited company is not a legal requirement. However, it will make life as a business owner easier. It frees up your time to do what you are best at, running a successful business.

What Do Accountants Do For Limited Companies?

The responsibilities of an accountant cover a wide range of different roles. What they do for one business will be different to what they do for another business. This is because what they do will vary dependent on the size of the company and the accounting needs of the business.

An accountant can help you and your business with the preparing and submitting of the annual accounts. They can also complete VAT returns, manage payroll runs and monitor the cash flow of your limited company. The support and services of an accountant can be invaluable to a limited company, in a whole host of ways.

Here at AK Bookkeeping we are more than happy to offer advice on any tax issues. We can also conduct annual reviews of your accounts too. Many clients like us to handle any HMRC correspondence too, which we can do for your limited company too. We will produce your end of year accounts too, so they can be submitted to Companies House annually.

 

While you may not feel you need an accountant for your limited company; it can certainly save you a lot of time and stress. As you can see, it certainly pays to hire a local accountant in Peterborough for your limited company to help support your financial business operations.

If you’d like to know more about what we can do your limited company; give us a call!

Accounting Tips For The New Year

Accounting Tips For The New Year

We all set ourselves goals, aims and resolutions for the new year. Some of these are losing weight, stopping smoking ands joining a gym. While other people, faced with the stress of tax returns, swear that this year will be the year they get better at looking after their accounts.

In this blog post we have put together some accounting tips for the new year and guidance to help you ensure that your accounts are in order and ready for the tax year. It’s important that your accounts are in order for your business and for HMRC. It will also help reduce your stress levels and help you sleep easier at night when you know your accounts are in order.

Separation

The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t done it already, is to separate your accounts. Your business accounts and personal accounts need to be separate. All outgoings and expenses that are business related need to go through the business account. Using the same accounts for business and personal muddies the waters and makes the end of year accounts really tricky for you, your bookkeeper or your accountant.

The Right Advice

Lots of people will be willing to give you their ideas and advice. However, when it comes to business and your accounts – you need to be sure you’re getting the right advice. Here at AK Bookkeeping we work hard to build a relationship with our clients. They know that if they have any queries, they just need to ask. We will always offer professional, informative and relevant advice that will help their business.

Invoices Are Important

It’s essential that you understand the importance of invoices. These need to be laid out in a set way and include multiple important details. The incorrect invoice, or an invoice sent late could result in hazardous accounts or non-payment from clients and customers. As your friendly local accountants in Peterborough we can recommend invoicing tools that will help invoicing become a smooth and easy to manage process.

 

These are just three tips that will really help get your accounts in order for the new year. If you’d like anymore advice or guidance, contact our team directly. We will happily discuss your business, listen to your concerns and offer personal advice to help.

Why A Peterborough Accountant For Your Tax Return Is A Good Investment

Why A Peterborough Accountant For Your Tax Return Is A Good Investment

The deadline for your tax returns is the 31st January. You need to have filed your tax returns by this date or you could get a hefty find. Now, you have some choices. Start it now and be ahead of the game. Pass it on to a Peterborough accountant who can manage all the stress and worry for you. Or, bury your head in the sand until the last minute, try to find an accountant in Peterborough that can help at short notice and risk getting a huge fine.

If you don’t already have an accountant to help you with your tax returns, now is the time to find one. Leaving it until the last minute could result in you not getting the best accountant for your business, or not getting any accountants at all. There are busy times of the year when accountants have to say no to taking on new clients – make sure you have made contact with an accountant before it’s too late.

Accountants, like the team here at AK Bookkeeping, are used to working with a variety of businesses. We know how different businesses in different industries work. This means that we can be the perfect fit for your business and your company finances. We have handled hundreds and thousands of tax returns. Each one is different and comes with its own challenges. However, our experience and knowledge means that we can overcome these challenges.

The tax laws are changing all the time. When you’re running your own business, you don’t have time to keep on top of these changes. You’re too busy staying on top of industry changes, staff concerns, customer orders and running your business smoothly. Meanwhile, this is what an accountant does. They keep an eye on the changing tax laws to ensure you will always pay the right taxes for your business.

Did you know that if your tax returns are submitted late, even if it’s just by an hour or two, you will get a £100 late fee added to your tax return? It’s also worth noting that this can go up to £1,600 if your tax return is completed later or completely incorrectly.

If you’re still unsure about hiring a Peterborough accountant for your tax returns, think about your hourly rate. What do you charge your clients and customers by the hour? Now think about how long it will take you to do your tax returns yourself. This is how much it will cost you to do your tax returns. Now, give us a call for a quote. Not only will you save money and time, because our experience enables us to complete tax returns quickly and efficiently, we will also know of ways you can save money on your taxes that you may not have been aware of.

Love them or hate them, tax returns need to be done for your business – you just need top decide how they are done!

Why You Need A Local Accountant In Peterborough

Why You Need A Local Accountant In Peterborough

When you’re looking for a new accountant there is a lot to consider. With so many accountants out there, who is the best accountant for you. Here at AK Book-Keeping we would always recommend that you opt for a local accountant. There are so many benefits to having a local accountant in Peterborough to look after your finances.

We have listed some of these many benefits below for you;

  • Easy Research

Every local business community is like a village. It really can be a case of everyone knowing everyone. Ask around about a local accountant in Peterborough and you’ll quickly find out who the good ones are, as well as who to avoid. When you ask business contacts about an accountant that is based somewhere else it’s unlikely they will have heard of them. Therefore, you can’t get real feedback from people you trust.

  • Better Relationships

When you choose a local accountant in Peterborough to look after your business finances, you will build a better relationship. Instead of sending things via the post, you can drop in. If you have a question you can arrange to meet your accountant instead of doing it over the phone or via email. A face to face meeting is always more personal and when other matters or concerns arise these can be discussed too.

  • Door Opening

When you get to know your accountant, they can then recommend you to their clients. Your local accountant will work with other local businesses, in your area. Perhaps a client will go to your accountant and ask for a recommendation of the service or product you provide. They will quickly think of you and recommend your business. The other company chose a local accountant because they want to support the local business community, so they’ll be happy to meet and potentially work with you going forward.

  • Local Economy

By using local suppliers, you are helping to keep the money circulating in your local economy. This is a boost in terms of jobs and 0prosperity for all the local businesses in Peterborough. Peterborough is an incredible city with some amazing businesses. By supporting the local economy, you are helping to put Peterborough on the map for all the right reasons.

 

If you are looking for a local accountant in Peterborough, call our team. We would be happy to discuss your business and your accountancy needs.

Making Tax Digital – Are you ready?

VAT Registered Business from April 2019

The clock is ticking as VAT Registered Business i.e. Turnover in excess of £85,000 will need to submit their returns via MTD Compliant Software. The HMRC online portal currently used will no longer operate.

Therefore, if you currently process your Accounts on a spreadsheet or similar software then log onto HMRC to submit a VAT Return you will be affected.

AK Bookkeeping use SAGE and XERO Software for our clients and this is compliant with the MTD requirements from April 2019. Give us a call to arrange a meeting to discuss how we can help at a price significantly less than most Accountants.

Companies, Sole Traders, Partnerships currently not registered for VAT

Business under £85,000 turnover or Sole traders such as Plumbers, Builders, Retailers who currently submit their accounts at the end of the year have until April 2020 to get ready. Again compliant MTD Software is required but submissions will be quarterly.

If you currently drop a bag of receipts to your Accountant at the end of each year then you will be breaking the law and liable to penalties if you fail to change to quarterly accounts.

A big issue is the cost that an Accountant may charge for doing your accounts 4 times a year instead of 1. You should therefore find out what it is likely to cost. Call us for a competitive quotation.