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Accountants Archives | Direct Peak

What Does Making Tax Digital Mean For My Business

What Does Making Tax Digital Mean For My Business?

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Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard about Making Tax Digital by now. From April this year the government has begun live testing of the system and from April 2019 Making Tax Digital will force businesses, which are above the £85,000 VAT registration, threshold to keep all records necessary for VAT purposes online.

So what does Making Tax Digital mean for your business?

Making Tax Digital allows small to medium business owners to keep online records of their income and expenditure for Income Tax purposes and send quarterly updates of this to HMRC via their payment software app.

If you are a business that is currently keeping your records in a cashbook, on a spreadsheet or on non-Making Tax Digital-compliant software then you will need to make changes. As of April 2019 you will need to change your systems and processes because you will no longer be able to log-in to HMRCs website and key in your VAT return figures.

When should I get everything in place for Making Tax Digital?

While many businesses are holding out until the last minute, we would highly recommend that you do not wait for Making Tax Digital to apply legally for your business, but instead voluntarily comply with Making Tax Digital for your VAT so you are ready and prepared for when it does become a legal requirement for your business.

By getting ahead of the Making Tax Digital deadlines you have the time to change your bookkeeping processes and also get to grips with using the new software. If you choose to change to Xero we would be happy to help you move the business across and we can train you and your team so you can get the most from the Xero system.

Changing accounting software can be tricky so to avoid last minute rushes, panics and headaches we would recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to plan for Making Tax Digital, because April 2019 will be here before you know it.

For a free report on what you need to do to comply with Making Tax Digital rules, please click the button below to get a free report.

Get Your Accounts In Shape For 2018

Get Your Accounts In Shape For 2018

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Get Your Accounts In Shape For 2018

As the year draws to a close it is a great time for you to focus on the previous year and plan for the year ahead, but unless you have a good grasp of your accounts how do you even know what you are looking at or where you should be spending more or less money?

As Xero Accounts in Peterborough we like to help business owners make the most of their business and their money, so we thought we would share these top tips to help business owners get their accounts in shape for 2018;

  • While it may not yet be financial year end, it does quickly come round, so take the time to go through those sales receipts and invoices while your business is quiet, check them with your bank account to make sure it all matches up. If you have a quality accounting software like Xero you’ll be feeling very pleased with yourself right now as this is already done for you so you’re already a step ahead of the game.
  • Talk to your accountant; as a Xero Accountant in Peterborough myself, I can assure you that we are not scary and we will happy to talk through your accounts with you to give you a rough idea of what your tax may be, any areas for improvement or things to be aware of. We can also prepare to help you save the right amount of money, but also avoid any big and unpleasant surprises.
  • Take the time to look at how far you have come over the last year; has the business grown, how do your revenues and profits look when compared to the year before, are your sales trending up (if you’re using Xero Accounting you can see this on your sales graphs), did your sales expenditure give you any cause for concern and perhaps most importantly; did you achieve your goals set at the beginning of the year?
  • Tax laws and regulations are always changing so now is a good time to see what has changed in the past year and what is expected to change in the upcoming year; give your accountant in Peterborough a call and they will be able to send you links to articles you need to be aware of for your business or industry.
  • The end of the year is also a good time to update your payroll and do things like hand out bonuses, save time by paying employees electronically and review employee status; remember if you get your employee status wrong this can cost you money as you may be penalised by the government.

If you would like to start the New Year with a new Xero Accountant in Peterborough then why not give us a call; we would be happy to have a chat with you about how we can help, what we can offer and why Xero could save you time and money!

When Does My Start-Up Need To Start Paying VAT

When Does My Start-Up Need To Start Paying VAT?

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When Does My Start-Up Need To Start Paying VAT?

As accountants in Peterborough we meet lots of new and start-up business owners that have set up their own business through a passion or a desire; they are amazing at the business services or products they offer, but when it comes to all the other ‘business bits’ there is some confusion.

One of the most common questions we are asked by start-ups is when their business needs to start paying VAT, so we thought we would answer the question in this blog post;

The magic number for VAT is £83k; this means that when your business gets close to a turnover of £83,000 you need to register for VAT with HMRC and begin collecting and paying tax on your eligible products or services.

As a start-up business, a turnover of £83k may seem like a million miles away, but here are some top tips to help you make sure your business is ready for VAT when the time comes.

  • Make sure you keep a close eye on your turnover and regularly check how close your sales are to bringing in the magic number of £83k. If you use cloud accounting or a XERO accountant in Peterborough this will be easy to keep an eye on, and when you are close you can start planning ahead for VAT.
  • Paying VAT for your start-up business will be much easier if your financial processes are working efficiently and giving you the numbers you need, so take the time to do some financial housekeeping, clean up any messy areas and you’ll be ready to roll.
  • While the registration process only takes around 2 weeks it is a good idea to register for VAT as soon as your business turnover is nearing £75 – £80k. The sooner you start with the preparation the sooner you’ll be ready for all the additional admin that comes with VAT requirements – remember that your accountant in Peterborough can help with this too!
  • Make sure you plan your quarterly VAT payments; many businesses opt for a separate account for VAT and then work these payments into the budgeting and cash flow for each quarter as it makes it easier to manage financially.

Some businesses choose to register for VAT as soon as they start up as this shows prospective customers and investors that they’re extremely serious about growth and they want to be a big player in the market – however this can have an effect on cash flow and margins.

If you are unsure if you want to register for VAT or not then give us a call; we would be more than happy to talk through the options that are best for you and your business.

Only Hire an Accountant When You're Ready to Delegate

Only Hire an Accountant When You’re Ready to Delegate

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Only Hire an Accountant When You’re Ready to Delegate

As a small business owner the best thing about running your own business will often be that you are in control, you are the boss and you are in charge of looking after the baby that is your business. By running your own business you have the ability to set your own working hours, create your own business strategy, regulate your workload and determine how much you will charge and how much you will earn.

When you run your own business you are the master of all these things and this can offer a very liberating and wonderful feeling.

However it can also be what stops you delegating and this can stop the growth of your business. We have come across new and small business owners who often feel overworked, tired and stressed and this tends to be down to the reluctance to delegate and allow others to help out in the business.

After all, who can possibly know your business as well as you do and be able to care for it and love it in the way you do?

The thing is the people that you can delegate work to don’t need to be able to know your business inside and out when they start; they just need to be skilled in their area of expertise. For example, you may not be able to design a website, but a website designer can understand your business and use their skills and expertise to create a first class website for you, allowing you to get on with what you are good at – running your business.

The same goes for an accountant; while an accountant may not understand your business as well as you do, they will get to know it better over time and they can bring a fresh pair of eyes to your business. They will also know things you can claim for and things you can do to make your business more financially stable and profitable – allowing you to get one with what you are good at!

You need to make sure you choose the right accountant for your business and your needs but once you have chosen your accountant and handed over your company’s finances to someone more experienced in accountancy you will be able to free up more time to concentrate on the other parts of your business.

Please take the time to consider some of our services and contact us if they are of interest.

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Choosing A Xero Accountant in Peterborough

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Choosing A Xero Accountant in Peterborough

When you run a small business you will make lots of decisions, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is choosing your accountant; it will need to be someone that is experienced and qualified; but you also want a Xero accountant in Peterborough that is approachable, highly personable and easy for you to relate with.

The first thing you need to do when choosing your Xero accountant in Peterborough is to write down what your business needs from an accountant. Do you need them to balance your books, offer tax advice, offer business advice or prepare your annual accounts for you? Different Xero accountants in Peterborough offer different services, so it is important you know what your business needs and if the accountant can help.

Also decide if you want your accountant to have experience of your industry or a specialist area which could help your business grow or mean your accountant could offer relevant business advice to help your business thrive.

Personal recommendations are a really good way of finding the best Xero accountants in Peterborough so take the time to ask friends, business contacts, networking buddies and even groups and organisations like Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce or Federation of Small Businesses who will be happy to help.

Create a shortlist of Xero accountants in Peterborough that you would like to work with and ask them questions about how you would work together, how often you’ll talk, if they do all the work or have a team that help with the day to day work, their fee structure and similar questions that will help you understand if the Xero accountant you are speaking to is best for you and your business.

When choosing to hire a Xero accountant in Peterborough you need to make sure it is someone you like and respect, you need to choose someone that is approachable and easy to talk to because your Xero accountant is pivotal in the success of your business.

Your Xero accountant will be your trusted adviser so make sure you take the time to find someone that is a really good fit for you and your business.

If you would like to approach Direct Peak about your Xero accountancy needs, please find all our contact details here.

Looking For A Xero Accountant in Peterborough

Looking For A Xero Accountant in Peterborough?

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Looking For A Xero Accountant in Peterborough?

Here at Direct Peak we know that there are so many cloud and online accounting systems available to businesses of all shapes and sizes; but here at Direct Peak we take pride in offering our services as a Xero Accountant in Peterborough because we feel that Xero is the most complete, all-round accounting product for our clients and small to medium businesses in Peterborough.

As a Xero accountant in Peterborough we find Xero accounting to be an excellent online product and could easily be the future of accounting for small businesses. While it is an easy and simple to use accounting tool we recommend that you enrol the services of a Xero accountant in Peterborough to help you get the most out of Xero and ensure you are using the tool to its full potential; and this is something we can help with.

If you are looking for a comprehensive online accounting solution that works for your business then our monthly Xero accounting packages are well worth considering; especially as they can be as flexible as you need to suit your business requirements and budget.

Our professional and experienced Xero accountants in Peterborough can even help with your bookkeeping if you want?

The benefits of Xero

With Xero accounting you can log in to your account at anytime from anywhere to stay up to date your cash flow in real time; you can also create and view up-to-date reports with quick links to all the original transactions allowing you to see exactly where your business is financially.

A Xero accountant in Peterborough can also show you how to automatically import your bank statements and allocate transactions as well as handling employee expenses with ease leaving you to review and approve claims from your employees.

Here at Direct Peak we feel that Xero Accounting can save you and your business so much time, energy, effort and money while offering some excellent additional solutions you may never realise you needed – we work hard to make your life as easy as possible and that is exactly what Xero Accounting does too.

Contact us now to see how we can help you achieve more for your business with Xero.

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Use Xero To See Your Business Now

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Use Xero To See Your Business Now

There are loads of desktop-based accounting packages, Sage being the best known, that are great at telling you how your business has been doing through a historic and backwards-looking view, but what if you want to know how your business is doing right now?

With desktop-based accounting packages you need to key in data manually and there is minimal automation available which means the business numbers you are looking at are likely to be days, weeks or even months out of date. This means you are basing important business decisions on past business numbers.

Sage is a popular and very good accounting package but with a new kid on the block users are quickly seeing that there are better accounting packages out there.

Making the switch to Xero

The biggest benefit of Xero is that you have access to real-time information and can see your current business numbers based on recent transactions.

As a Xero Accountant in Peterborough we have seen lots of benefits for our clients when using Xero for their business, such as having all the key numbers in one place including cash in, outstanding bills and invoices, cash out and profit and loss figures too.

On top of this you can also connect your bank account with Xero giving you a live view of your bank balance as it stands right now and it will also show all the incoming and outgoing transactions as they are processed to and from your bank allowing you to make informed financial and business decisions.

Many businesses struggle with keeping on top of their invoicing but with Xero this is covered too; you can process and email invoices straight to the customer. You can then easily monitor when payment is due, made or unpaid. As well as this you can download Xero Add-Ons that make your life even easier, such as Receipt Bank which will automatically take the details of the receipt and put them into your Xero data.

By far the biggest advantage of Xero accounting is that you have real-time reporting. If you need to make a large purchase you will know what your account looks like right now and you can also use real time reporting to see a cash report or a profit and loss statement with the peace of mind that the business numbers you see truly reflect the current financial position of your business.

Talk to a Xero Accountant

If you are looking for a Xero accountant in Peterborough or would like to know more about Xero Accounting please do not hesitate to contact me directly; I will be only too happy to answer any queries you may have.

Xero Accountants and Bookkeepers

How Can Cloud Accounting Benefit Your Business?

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How Can Cloud Accounting Benefit Your Business?

If you are unsure of the cloud and how trustworthy it is, then think about your internet banking. Every time you view your data via internet banking you are using the cloud and this is just one example; it is likely you use the cloud multiple times every day because cloud is a platform that allows data and software to be easily accessible online at anytime, anywhere and from any device.

There are five main ways that cloud accounting can really help your business and these are as follows;

Know Your Numbers

With cloud accounting systems like Xero you are on top of your numbers because you have a clear overview of the financial position of your company via your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desk-top computer.

Save Time

Cloud accounting software will save you lots of time because the software automatically downloads bank transactions and matches all of your invoices and receipts to payments so you don’t need to input data manually.

Easy Collaboration

If you have a team or other colleagues that need access to your accounts then this can be done on cloud computing too. Multiple users can log-in at the same time to get the information and data that they need to make important business decisions, check which invoices have been paid by clients and which bills are outgoing or processing.

It’s Online

There is no need to spend lots of time installing a new accounting system onto different computers and smart phones, all you need to do is log-in and all the details are there waiting for you; plus everything is backed up automatically. Upgrades and maintenance of your cloud accounting software is all completed automatically in the background, all for no additional cost.

No Upfront Fees

The huge upfront fees of accounting software is sometimes off-putting to small businesses but cloud accounting software has no expensive up-front costs instead you can pay for your cloud accounting software through affordable monthly subscription payments.

How Can Direct Peak Help Your Business With Cloud Accounting?

Here at Direct Peak we have many years’ experience of cloud accounting and we take pride in being highly recommended Xero Accountants and Bookkeepers in Peterborough. This means that we are ideally placed to advise business owners like you, of the specific benefits that Xero accounting will bring to your business.

If you would like to hear more about Xero cloud accounting software or want to arrange a meeting with us then please feel free to contact us directly; we look forward to hearing from you soon and help your business achieve more financially.