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GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations

GDPR will come into force on 25th May 2018. It is the responsibility of Companies to respect the rights of Individuals when processing personal information. It is about the rights of privacy of information. AK Book-keeping are fully compliant with the new regulations with regard to our current customers and ongoing processes.

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

Email: Les@akbook-keeping.co.uk

www.akbook-keeping.co.uk

Please share this information with other business owners if you found it helpful.

 

Cutting Costs: Big Savings for Small Businesses

Is your business facing cash flow problems?

Are you looking for ways to bring down your operational costs?

Here are 4 tips to help you get there:

Track Your Inventory

Stocking inventory ( more than is actually needed) is a common mistake almost all small businesses make. Hoarding inventory ties up your working capital in addition to increasing your storage and holding costs.   The results of this? Cash flow crisis and an ever increasing amount of operational costs.

What do you do about it? Exercise the principles of Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) to minimize your inventory costs. Also, keep an eye on the slow moving and/or dead stock. It is often better to sell them off at discounted or scrap prices rather have them dumped in the warehouse for nothing. As they say: Something is better than nothing!

Think Green

Yes the environment needs your business to be friendly with it, but it’s your business that benefits more when you go green. Using recycled products, energy efficient lights and fixtures, and turning off all equipment at the end of the workday can save your business a lot of money in a year’s time. Also, try creating a paperless work environment. It will give the trees another day to live and help you streamline your cost-cutting process better.

Make the Most of Your Credit

Most small businesses use corporate credit cards for business transactions. This is where choosing the right type of business card can cut down major costs by a margin. For example if you have to travel frequently for your business, a corporate credit card that offers frequent flyer miles will save you airfare costs. Pick a credit card that offers reward points for cash back or discounts relevant to your business to save money.

Keep an Eye on the Accounts Receivables

If you allow credit sales, there’s a fair chance that a good amount of your working capital is tied up in unpaid invoices. This may lead to cash flow problems if you do not devise a system that helps you collect timely payments from customers against your outstanding invoices. The ideal situation would be not to offer credit sales, but if you do, you need to make sure you have a proper debt collection process that keeps the cash coming in. This will save you the need to apply for working capital credit or loans, which bring additional finance costs along with them.

Even if you choose only a couple of methods out of these, you can give a substantial money makeover to your small business. These tips can help you make your business more profitable and efficient in the long run.

For professional help with handling accounts and taxation, get in touch.

If you found this information useful, let us know! Feel free to share it so others can benefit too.

Click the video link below to meet Les Wells of AK Book-Keeping

Video of Les

 Email: les@akbook-keeping.co.uk

 

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, les@akbook-keeping.co.uk.

Startup Finance – 5 Fantastic Alternatives to Bank Loans

 

 

Have you considered these options for financing your business?

loans

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, les@akbook-keeping.co.uk.

 

Auto Enrolment – Work Based Pensions

If you are an employer with just one member of staff you will be required by law to offer a work based pension. Whilst there are rules for delaying and opting out, the majority of employers will need to set up a scheme within the next year. As most small companies are finding out, this is a complex process with some strict deadlines set by the Pensions Regulator. There are initial fines for missing the date set for your scheme to commence, known as the “Staging Date.”

I have been astounded by some fees being charged by Accountants and Brokers for providing a service to set up a Pension based scheme. A leading payroll provider is charging a flat fee of £1,500 and I know of clients that have been approached with fees of £1,000+. In addition the regular payroll costs are also being increased significantly. The best advice if you know your staging date is to allow sometime to obtain quotes from various sources and avoid a costly, last minute panic.

We are taking a sensible approach to help our customers with fees significantly less than the market rates. Providing good service, meeting deadlines and taking away the headache from the employer. If you have been advised of your staging date and require help, then please get in touch.

New website for AK Book-keeping.

Today we are launching the new website after many weeks of development from Chadwick Design and ourselves.

Also special mention for Nikki Hassock in creating our new, innovative and fresh logo.

A big thank you to everyone that has contributed to the design.