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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.

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.

Hiring A Bookkeeper In Peterborough Will Benefit Your Business

Hiring A Bookkeeper In Peterborough Will Benefit Your Business

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Hiring A Bookkeeper in Peterborough Will Benefit Your Business

Have you ever wondered why there are so many bookkeepers in Peterborough running successful businesses? The reason is very simple; lots of small to medium sized businesses understand the wisdom of employing a qualified bookkeeper to help them survive those tricky early years in business that can be a minefield, but they also understand how a bookkeeper in Peterborough can help them flourish and grow in later years of their business.

There are many reasons that hiring a bookkeeper in Peterborough will benefit your business; for example small businesses find admin a struggle and another job that stays on the list but doesn’t quite get completed. Business owners and entrepreneurs are creative people so routine admin chores aren’t something they enjoy. Meanwhile a bookkeeper in Peterborough enjoys the admin of bookkeeping and will complete these less exciting jobs for businesses so they can get on with what they enjoy and what they’re good at.

Stay on top of the key financials

Turnover and cash flow are the two things that will either make or break a business; if there are no sales your business will be stillborn, yet if your cash flow is not managed correctly you will also find your business just won’t survive. Bookkeeping services in Peterborough allow you to concentrate on generating turnover while your bookkeeper can manage your cash flow for you, and chase late payers too.

Successful entrepreneurs and business owners are aware that they know everything there is to know about their business or industry; but when it comes to accounts and bookkeeping it is often a different story. This is why they employ the services of a bookkeeper in Peterborough to ensure their accounts are kept up to date and the taxman is kept happy!

Can’t accounting software do this for me?

While accounting software can be an amazing time saving tool for businesses; the accounting software cannot do everything- somebody still needs to enter the data so timely management and financial control of tax and cash flow can be completed. Again this is something that you can employ the services of a bookkeeper in Peterborough for and will benefit your business greatly.

Using a bookkeeper in Peterborough will not cost you a small fortune; but the expertise and advice that a professional bookkeeper can offer may actually save you a small fortune as well as providing numerous benefits to you business.

If you would like to know more about how a bookkeeper can benefit your business then please contact the friendly and professional team at Direct Peak.

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.

Business Bookkeeping

Business bookkeeping – Tips for entrepreneurs

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Business bookkeeping – Tips for entrepreneurs

In the surge and energy of beginning a new venture, it’s easy to forget the significance of good business bookkeeping.

At the point when this happens, entrepreneurs regularly get a reality check in the later days of the business. This can arrive in an assortment of ways, including:

You get an expensive surprise at tax time,
Inventory has been “vanishing” without you knowing,
Employees are miss-categorising transactions,
Your costly accountant sends you a weighty bill for the time required to “tidy up” your books.

At the point when issues happen, it isn’t so much that you set out to do things wrong; it normally simply “happens” in light of the way your business has developed. Frequently personal money and business money gets intermixed. This can be hard to deal with. A friend of mine is right now looking at a screen on his accounting application that is requesting that he classify more than 800 transactions since he utilises his own bank account for business.

Accounting software

There are numerous great internet accounting software services you can utilise. However, the question is which transactions are we discussing? Personal or business? As it were, will you be setting up categories and entering in every one of the transactions, or will you have a business bookkeeper do it for you?

Consider these fundamental territories that fall into the domain of independent business bookkeeping:

Accounts receivable and payable,

What number of those does your business have? The more that depict your operation, the more prominent your requirement for an expert business bookkeeping service. Sage, Quickbooks, Kashflow and our favourite Xero are all great options for a business bookkeeping software. However, if you outsource your business bookkeeping, it’s likely your bookkeeper will give you a recommendation.

Similarly as with everything, business bookkeeping is a feature of your business that you need to set up appropriately from day one. However, in the event that you missed that open door, consider bringing a bookkeeper on board ASAP and have that expert settle the issues and get your bookkeeping running smoothly.

It will cost you somewhat more initially, yet in the long run the investment will be justified. Your stresses, and potential risk will be significantly decreased.

Why hire a bookkeeper?

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Most small business owners believe they don’t need a bookkeeper as they can do the books themselves and save some money. In reality, not all business owners are interested in maintaining the books for their business. Ultimately, they then get left for “a later date”.

The problem with this is that the workload builds up and often gets squeezed in on a late night or weekend and this is the organised business owners! Others leave it until their tax return is almost due to sit down and do the books quickly.

What are the issues with leaving your books until a few weeks before the tax return is due?

  1. A whole year’s work in one go! Taking time away from what you should be doing – running your business. In many trades, this will mean a loss of income for the time taken off.
  2. Mistakes could be made. If HMRC decided to do an audit of your company, there could be potential fines payable.
  3. If you run over the deadline, you will receive a late filing penalty.

What if you are on top of everything, is there still need to hire a bookkeeper?

Yes, there are many reasons why you should still hire a bookkeeper:

  1. They have studied for many years to get qualifications and experience, just as a business owner has done in their trade. This means all the transactions, receipts and invoices will be posted correctly. A business owner who hasn’t studied bookkeeping, would not know all the correct way to record transactions, which could end up in incorrect accounts being filed and ultimately a fine from HMRC.
  2. The work will get done whilst you are getting on with running your business, so you don’t have the hassle and your books are always up to date.
  3. Value will be added by preparing reports on a regular basis showing who owes you money, who you owe money to, turnover and profit.
  4. The correct business expenses will be put through to maximise your tax deductions.

This all sounds great, but aren’t bookkeepers expensive?

Bookkeepers vary in price depending on the services offered, but based on the above, surely it’s more costly not to have a bookkeeper? Below is an example of a sole trader:

Phil is a self employed plumber. He turns over £40K per year. He doesn’t have time to keep on top of his books, so needs to take time off in January each year to complete his books and submit his tax return:


Phil’s accounts costs doing it himself compared to a bookkeeper

Phil’s costs – doing it himself:

8 working days at £200 per day of lost income: £1,600
Tax Total owed: £8,000
Total tax return costs: £9,600

Phil’s costs – using a bookkeeper:

40 hours at £25 per hour: £1000
Tax Total Owed: £6,500
Total tax return costs: £7,500

A bookkeeper will complete the accounts a lot quicker than someone unqualified and maximise the tax deductions. In this example, there is a saving of £2,100 by paying for a bookkeeper to do the work for you. Direct Peak prefer to offer a fixed price so the hourly rate is not necessarily based on Direct Peak’s rate.

If you are interested in hiring a bookkeeper to help your business, you can contact Direct Peak on any of the below contact details:

01778 481044
Or visit www.directpeak.co.uk for more information.

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