Bookkeepers Peterborough

What Is Working From Home Relief?

What Is Working From Home Relief?

During the pandemic and lockdown, with the coronavirus restrictions, many of us found we were working from home. While this may have meant saving on transport and fuel to get to and from work, costs did add up elsewhere. For example, many households found that their utility bills were rising as a home that was previously empty during the day now needed heating and computers/laptops were running throughout the working day.

If you have been working from home during the pandemic, you may be entitled to a small amount of relief for these additional household costs. This is known as the working from home relief.

HMRC have stated that additional costs such as heating, metered water bills, house insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection could be included in the working from home relief. However, other household costs which remained the same, such as: mortgage interest, council tax or rent, could not be covered by the working from home relief.

How Does The Working From Home Relief Work?

If you have regularly worked from home during the pandemic, then you can claim for each applicable week. There are two ways in which you can do this. It is possible to claim £6 per week, from 6th April 2020. This can be done without any evidence of these extra costs.

However, if you know that the additional weekly costs are over £6 a week, it is possible to claim for the exact amount of extra costs. To do this, you will need evidence for these figures. This could include bills or receipts.

What Does The Working From Home Relief Mean For You?

The working from home relief will reduce the amount of tax that you have to pay. It’s important to note that the amount of relief you receive will be the based on your tax banding.

For example, if you are on the Basic Tax Rate of 20% you will get a weekly relief of £1.20 for every £6 claimed. For those of the Higher Tax Rate of 40% you will get a £2.40 weekly relief on the £6 claimed per week. Those on the Additional Tax Rate of 45% will get a £2.70 weekly relief on the £6 claimed, for each week it is claimed. Of course, if you need to claim more than £6 a week, the weekly relief will change accordingly.


If you want to know more about the working from home relief and how you can claim for it. Call our team of friendly Peterborough accountants now.

Bookkeeping Tips For A Successful 2022

Bookkeeping Tips For A Successful 2022

As we come to the end of 2021, we are already looking forward to the next year and what steps we need to consider to make it successful. For many businesses, finances are inherently linked with levels of success, and whilst there is always more to life than profits, having a stable framework and plan relieves a huge amount of pressure. Maybe you have no idea what’s going on with your accounts and you close your eyes in fear when the tax bill comes through as you have no idea what to expect?

One of the best ways to get your finances in order is to improve your bookkeeping skills. If you really want a great start to the new year, then have a look at our bookkeeping tips for a successful 2022. Don’t forget, if you do need any help with your bookkeeping business accounts then give us a call. Our team of professional and experienced accountants in Peterborough are ready and willing to help you.

So, here are our bookkeeping tips for a financially successful 2022.

  • Prepare To Organise

Getting organised in business isn’t as easy as you might think. You need to prepare how you will organise your business records, so you can get start the year on a sound footing. This can actually be a really exciting and rewarding thing to do. We all feel  proud when we successfully introduce steps to be more organised. The more organisation of your business or personal accounts, the easier it will be to keep on top of your cash flow and feel in control Think about folders, files or filing cabinets. Have somewhere to store invoices, receipts, documents, suppliers and more. Everything in your business that involves money, needs to be organised in a place that you can easily find. It is perfectly acceptable in our digital age to keep electronic records, along as they are readily available and retained for 6 years following the respective tax year end.

  • Work / Life Balance Financially

Many of us set New Years Resolutions for a better work life balance, but you need to balance the work finances and personal finances too. Separate your work finances from your personal finances. Keeping finances separated reduce the risk of losing track of where you money is going and reduces the risk of mistakes and confusions in your financial records and Tax Returns too.

  • Use Software

Trying to do all your own bookkeeping can be tricky and leaves room for mistakes. You are great at your skill and sometimes we have to think in a relative way and a task that you find really frustrating can often be handled really effectively by your trained advisor. HMRC has pushed more and more businesses into Making Tax Digital, we must embrace the benefits of the technologies and that they potentially save you time and deliver higher quality information when you really need it.  Bookkeeping software can make things a lot easier. You are able to streamline your bookkeeping process, and this will reduce the risk of making mistakes with your accounts too, and your financial records are now typically available to you through web based solutions anywhere you are and at any time of day or night.

  • Monthly Checks

A monthly check is a great way of staying organised and keeping on top of your cashflow and business accounts. As you review your monthly business records double check for mistakes, and make sure you have completed all tasks It’s a really good idea to put time in your calendar to block out an hour to review your accounts at the end of each month. These monthly checks will save you time in the long run, and potentially a lot of stress too. Self-review is extremely valuable and business owners should allocate dedicated time in every week to work on their own business, it is quite common to keep delivering for others and not taking that time for you, but by reviewing your finances regularly you are able to influence decisions in your business far earlier than otherwise may be possible.


If you need any help with your bookkeeping or business accounts, then call our team. We are here to offer advice, guidance and wider financial support you might need.

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.

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.

What You Should Know About Your Taxes as a Business Owner

As a business owner, corporate tax issues will be part and parcel of your routine and one of the main  tasks that your accountant will have. If you are a director of a limited company, the tax issues responsibility falls on you. You have to make sure that the business’s tax issues are in order and that the tax liability is accurate. This also includes ensuring that HMRC is paid on time.

What is Corporation Tax?

Corporation tax is based on limited companies and their taxable income or the profits they make. As the owner of one you need to calculate this yourself and you need to pay the amount to the Inland Revenue without an assessment beforehand. The payment date is 9 months and 1 day after the due date of the business and this is usually the very last day of the accounting period itself.

The good news is that this tax rate will be cut from 20% to 17% come 2020 according to the government. The accounting period cannot be more than 12 months for this tax and it is usually the same financial year that your business’s annual accounts fall under. The duration also has an effect on your deadlines and filing your tax returns.

You can check your accounting period by logging onto the online service for HMRC and by checking the dates there. Once your business is registered for Corporation Tax, the HMRC will send you a letter for your exact accounting period.

What is Value Added Tax?

Value Added Tax or VAT is tax that is based on the consumption of certain services and goods that are accumulated through each stage of distribution and production. In other words, most services and products that come from a business will be accountable for this tax. The standard VAT rate is 20% but this can change according to the business you have. You should register for VAT if:

  • The total value of taxable supplies or services within 12 months is more than the registration threshold (which amounts to about £85,000).
  • If the forecast value of said supplies in the next 30 days or so may be more than the threshold.

The amount includes not only the profits you gain but also the amount that is being spent on the business and going through it. The returns have to be submitted online and the good news is that any and all liabilities can be settled electronically.

AK Book-keeping can help you with all of that and more.  We are based in Peterborough and have been in the book-keeping business for decades.

If your paperwork is taking you away from things that should have your undivided attention, then you know who to turn to. Allow us to manage your books so that you can manage your business with little or no distractions. Satisfaction guaranteed!


Call Les’ Hotline: 07732090847


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Payroll Management – Best Practices




The greatest asset for any organisation is its personnel or staff. This makes payroll management the most important task for Human Resources. However, it is also quite complex since it has to be completely accurate and efficient at the same time.

Besides ensuring each employee gets the exact amount they earned, payroll generation should also comply with employment regulations and help maintain morale at the same time. In order to ensure it is rolled out with minimum disruption, the following best practices should be considered:

Examine timekeeping protocols regularly

Paying employees overtime accurately is a legal obligation making classification crucial. In order to ensure no well-deserving worker is left out, you need to assign positions to all active employees as well as contractors and consultants, if applicable. These will help you manage payrolls efficiently, and that includes tax requirements.

This is necessary if your company gets audited in the future. If your employees are not classified properly or they were not paid the amount they were due, your business can incur costly financial penalties that may also land you in court. You can prevent this by ensuring that all of your employees account for the time they work and ensure changing job duties are also accounted for. Plus, if audits are not held regularly, you might end up overpaying some and underpaying other employees.

Outsource payroll

If you do not have the time or resources to take care of payroll matters yourself, engage someone who will. Rather than assigning it to someone in-house, you can offload all of that work by outsourcing it. That includes processing the pay period data and signing and printing paychecks, among other payroll tasks, all without disregarding taxes.

A payroll service that is outsourced keeps regular tabs on government rules and regulations that go into the payroll process. This includes keeping abreast of changes which a growing business might overlook for other, more important matters.

Prevent employee time theft and hold regular audits

Even if you think that your employees are loyal, chances are some will try to fool the system by misusing work hours. An integrated attendance system that keeps track of their breaks and when they sign in or out at the end of the day can help prevent this. It will also calculate all of the hours worked for each employee and provide an accurate payroll.

All manual and automated processes such as the payroll management should also be audited on a regular basis, or at least once a year, to check for errors. Even a minor one can make your payroll askew and compromise final payments. Promotions and salary increments may also not be provided on time which can have a serious effect on employee morale.

The best way to ensure all of the best practices are observed during payroll preparation is to hire professionals who have years of experience in the matter. AK Book-keeping can guide you better and assign an accountant for you who will ensure your payroll is accurate and is deployed on time.


Call Les’ Hotline: 07732090847



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What Motivates Businesses to Seek Bookkeeping Services?


What is the final straw for business owners to seek bookkeeping services?

Businesses require book keeping services for a variety of reasons.  They start managing their accounts at home until they realise they need outside help.

Here are some reasons why businesses finally decide to give the responsibility of managing their books and payroll to a bookkeeping service:

The Mismanagement of Accounts

Do your books close on time?

Do your books close on the same date each month?

Would you know what to do if your in-house bookkeeper handed in his/her resignation?

Do your accounting personnel manually manage data using more than one system without synchronisation and integration?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you have real problems on your hands. You need to have all of your accounting processes automated, with your books done in a timely manner. If your accounting personnel lacks experience in managing accounting software and processes, your business is in deep trouble.

Unable to Forecast Budget

Is your accounts receivable aging (AR) report not updated?

Do you know what your annual business forecast looks like?

Can you predict what your business’s expected future sales will look like by looking at the revenue data?

If you answered “yes” to the first question and “no” to the subsequent questions, you are standing on thin ice. It is important for businesses to be able to forecast their budget and cash flow without hesitation. If you cannot answer the question with confidence, hiring a bookkeeper is one of the best decisions you could make for your business.

Accounting Systems Do Not Sync

Is your accounting system capable of executing a certain feature, but your team doesn’t know how to execute it?

Do you use Microsoft Excel to perform the majority of your bookkeeping?

Do you use paper to monitor time and expenses?

Do you encounter problems when performing time tracking, expense management, payroll, job costing, etc.?

If you answered “yes” to one or more aforementioned questions, your accounting processes are not synchronized with each other. It takes too much time to draw up reports and perform bookkeeping duties in general. Unsynchronized accounting systems may make you overlook an error.

A way around this is to outsource your business’s bookkeeping services.


Inaccurate Financial Report

Do you know the exact profit margin?

Have you been able to incorporate job costing?

Do you often find several errors on your profit and loss (P&L) statement?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to re-evaluate the direction your business is going in. This is especially true for business owners that do not know why their balance sheet is showing errors.

Did your business fit into any of these categories described above? If it did, you need to seek us out. We provide professional bookkeeping services to businesses in Stamford, Peterborough, Cambridge and Huntington and we can accommodate clients throughout the UK.


If you found this information useful, please share it with your friends.

Call Les’ Hotline:  07732090847 for help with sorting out the best system for your accounting and payroll operation.


Click here to learn more about our book keeping services or here to contact us.

Tips for Effective Payroll Management in Small Businesses





Are you tired of trying to effectively manage and streamline your payroll process?

Payroll is a complex task for any company, and for many small businesses owners it is probably something that takes up an inordinate amount of their time, yet still isn’t as good as they would like it to be. Here are 5 useful tips to help you deal with your payroll system better,:

Get Payroll Software

Probably one of the smartest things you can do is to invest in good payroll software. This will automate the entire process, and make managing payroll much less complicated for you. From generating pay slips to calculating taxes, these software and apps are smart enough to make your life easier.



Xero for Payroll Management in the UK


Details. Details. Details.

Whether you’re doing it manually or using payroll software, when managing payroll, you need to pay special attention to employee details. The process of collecting and recording employee details can be time-consuming and cumbersome – so you obviously want to get everything right in the first place.

From joining dates, to date of birth, and change of address – your record needs to be accurate. Sloppy errors in this process will create further trouble and waste a lot of time too.

Follow Up With the Payroll Legislation

Payroll is regulated by law. Any changes in the payroll-related regulations may impact the way you calculate, process, and manage your payroll system. Hence, it is extremely important to stay updated about the major laws governing payroll.

You will also be required to keep abreast of taxation laws. These laws deal with the benefits and employee tax rates that change frequently. You may not have to get into the nitty-gritty of these laws, but it helps to be informed about them when managing payroll.

Train Your Payroll Staff

You can purchase sophisticated payroll software, but it won’t be of much use if your payroll staff don’t know how to use it.  Then what do you do? You invest in training your staff. Enroll them for short, flexible training courses that help them become familiar with and learn how to operate the software efficiently. This will save you a lot of time.

Plan for the Rainy Days

For small businesses, it is often difficult to keep the working capital flowing. Hence, it is important for you to stay on top of your credit control system. It becomes inconvenient when you have to chase customers for your payments that are already overdue, because you pay your employees when your customers pay you.

There are times when these things don’t go as planned. Your customers default or the payment gets delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. Save yourself the embarrassment and maintain a surplus fund to pay out salaries on time.

A great solution for small businesses to immediately take control of their disorganised payroll process is to consider outsourcing it to the professionals. They will make sure your payroll is processed timely and the necessary documentation is in place, without hampering the routine operations of the business.  It really can be false economy not to call in an experienced outsourcer.

For professional help, get in touch. If you found this information useful, let us know! Feel free to share it so others can benefit too.


 We can offer you more guidance on handling your payroll efficiently when you call Les’ Hotline:  07732090847,

Startup Finance – 5 Fantastic Alternatives to Bank Loans



Have you considered these options for financing your business?


For the majority of aspiring entrepreneurs, bank loans do not qualify as a feasible finance option simply because they do not offer enough to secure the borrowed amounts. With lack of initial capital to start a business, how are new entrepreneurs supposed to incubate their ideas and grow thriving businesses?

Here are 5 financing alternatives to bank loans that new entrepreneurs can look into.

1. Venture Capital

Venture capitalists usually invest in a particular industry. They put their money to help kick-start and boost new businesses that exhibit high-risk and high-growth potential. This channel of business finance is ideal for businesses that have a solid exit strategy with a fast-growth plan – these startups can obtain substantial amounts through venture capital to grow and network the business.

2. Invoice Factoring

Funding is not just required to start a business. One needs finance to keep the business running. Invoice factoring makes sure small businesses have the working capital they need to keep the business operations running smoothly. An invoice factoring service usually pays an upfront amount on billed out invoices. This amount can then be returned when the business actually receives payments for the same invoices from their customers. So even with the outstanding invoices, the business does not come to a halt.

3. Crowdfunding

Another interesting way to raise finance for your newly established business is through crowdfunding. Sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter pool small amounts contributed by various investors into an investment pool that can provide a boost to small businesses seeking finance. This ultimately eliminates the need for businesses to look for one single investor willing to invest a big amount of money in the venture.

When picking a crowdfunding site, make sure you thoroughly read their fine print and know the terms and conditions applicable to the arrangement.

4. Government Grants

Startup businesses can also explore the variety of government grants available for promoting small businesses. These are usually unsecured, cheap loans that don’t require payback. This makes them a great medium of raising finance for startup ventures. The only catch with these loans is that the qualification criteria are quite stringent. Since these grants are far and few in number, one needs a robust business plan to be eligible for one.

5. The Incubators

Incubators act like nurturers for small, newly established businesses. They provide businesses with necessary facilities and office space on a shared basis. Incubators are usually funded by a private equity fund. In addition to the office space, facilities, and monetary finance, incubators offer seasoned mentors (industry experts and entrepreneurs) to promote group communication and learning.

Normally, incubators continue to support small businesses for as long as they wish to stay in it. However, once a business grows enough to sustain and prosper on its own, they can move out and set a pace for a solo flight. Incubators can be great financing options for businesses looking to build networks, obtain finance, and jumpstart their enterprise.

Setting up a startup business can be challenging. However, once you have the finances sorted out, you could opt for professional help to make things easier for you.

For professional help, get in touch. If you found this information useful, let us know! Feel free to share it so others can benefit too.


We can offer you more guidance when you call Les’ Hotline:  07732090847,