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Putting your accounts on Debitoor

Debitoor

I have just signed up to the Premium Pro Debitoor Account, I wanted to have online access and did a comparison to Xero, Sage, Kashflow and Free Agent. I thought Debitoor was excellent value for money (£9/mth for Premium Pro) and I have long been a fan of their online invoicing.

Debitoor is an easy-to-use invoicing and accounting software which helps freelancers and small businesses produce nice-looking, professional invoices in a matter of seconds and assists them in their accounting.

Debitoor is designed for straight forward businesses so if your business is complicated then its probably not the best option for you.

So this is how you get started:

  1. Create your contacts – Clients and Suppliers
  2. Create your Products
  3. Enter the opening balances on the balance sheet (reports) – Debitoor currently only works in calendar years (Jan to Dec) so if like me your year end falls on a different date you will need to enter the balances in the previous year, in my case my year end is March so I entered the balances in 2014 I will then do a year end and they will become the 2015 opening balances and I started entering invoices and expenses in April. I know that’s not ideal and Debitoor are constantly working on improvements, so its compromise for now.
  4. I then created multiple bank accounts – Lloyds, Directors, PayPal
  5. For expenses that I had invoices and I uploaded the PDFs of the expenses
  6. I then uploaded the bank statements for Lloyds and PayPal and reconciled and posted them

steve@bicknells.net

FILING CIC (COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY) ANNUAL ACCOUNTS

If you have not yet filed Annual Accounts for a CIC (Community Interest Company), then please be aware that the process and procedures for filing the Annual Accounts at Companies House is different from normal electronic filings.

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Firstly you cannot file electronic Annual Accounts.

Guidance is published here at the Companies House web site (or click the Companies House logo below).

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In order to file the Annual Accounts you will need to prepare a form CIC 34 which can be downloaded from the link.

The completed and signed (by a director or company secretary) CIC 34 form, together with a printed copy of the Annual Accounts and a £15 filing fee must be sent to Companies House well in advance of the filing deadline.  This is to avoid any late filing penalties, should Companies House reject the initial filing and you need to make any amendments that might be necessary in order to re-file the Annual Accounts.

Companies House officials were not yet able (during April 2015) to provide us with information as to when the electronic filing of CIC Annual Accounts will be possible.


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Hence, just like filing Limited Liability Partnership Annual Accounts, the traditional hard copy and postage paid (preferably recorded delivery) or handing in the documents at a Companies House official Contact Centre office location, is still the only way to get the Annual Accounts filing compliance check done, for the time being.

©3resource – 2015

Rohan Badenhorst

business.partner@3resource.com

 

MOTHER’S DAY OR ANY OTHER “HOLIDAY” – HOW YOUR BUSINESS CAN HAVE THE ADVANTAGE!

How many businesses do you know that really take advantage of those one off “holiday” days throughout the year like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Bonfire night etc.  I hear what you are saying , Valentine’s is only for florists and chocolatiers and maybe lingerie shops, but think again……..you could be missing a trick.  Have you thought about how you could stand out from the crowd in your industry sector and steal an advantage using the “holiday” theme?

Mother’s Day

Let’s think about Mother’s Day for a minute, how could your business benefit and use this event in its marketing.  If you’re a florist, chocolatier it’s very easy to use the theme, and let’s be honest, most mums are relatively easy to buy for on Mother’s Day, beauty treatments, clothes and other gift items, but what if your business is less obviously associated with a holiday, for example if you are a “Boot camp” fitness company, which runs fitness and weight loss camps?

One way would be to run special mother and daughter camps for Mother’s Day and maybe father and son ones for Father’s Day.  This is exactly what the New You Boot camp have done with great success.  Their M.D Jacqui Cleaver thinks outside the box and uses holidays to promote offers and mailings.  Easter last year they sent out mouth-watering high-cocoa chocolate recipes and healthy recipes and as a result saw a boost to bookings.  People saw the value in the recipes, printed them off, put them on the fridge and when friends came round, it started a conversation and word of mouth referrals flowed!  It’s not rocket science, but it does take some thought, imagination and effort.

Valentine’s Day

I’m sure you can think of lots of companies doing special promotions for Valentine’s Day.  Not least the card shops with all those cards gushing with “love” messages and then of course there the usual chocolate hearts and other heart shaped gifts you see in the shops but what about the humble sausage, not something you would automatically associate with Valentine’s Day.  Heck, a family-run business making sausages, is really good at reworking its product.  This year for Valentine’s Day it created a sausage they called “PECK”, which of course was heart shaped and they managed to get it stocked by Waitrose and Tesco and as a result the MD and founder Andrew Keeble said resulted in rocketing sales.  You may remember this company if you watched the Alex Polizzi program a while back when she went in to help turn the fortunes round for the family run business.

Other “Holiday”  Days

Heck amongst others are thinking about their businesses differently, they are taking advantage of other days throughout the year to develop products on a particular theme.  Heck will be bringing out a star shaped sausage for Halloween and bonfire night.

New You Boot camp runs a fitness day in Richmond Park to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month and donate the proceeds to cancer charities.

What offers could you introduce for your business for the many “holidays” we have throughout the year like Christmas, Easter, even Wimbledon or rugby world cup.  There are so many events, days and “holidays” that your business could take the lead on and stand out from the crowd.  Even if you are strapped for cash, just repackage an existing product or service offering and just be a little creative.  Most businesses don’t have to do much to stand out from the crowd.

For other great tips and tools to use to make your business the business you always dreamed of grab a free download in pdf form of our book.  “Whats stopping you making your first £million profit?  Grab your copy here

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For more information, blog posts and guides vist our website @  www.kmaaccountancy.co.uk

Enjoy mothers day!!!

Kim

Why working with accounting is about to get so much better

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Anyone who works with businesses is fully aware of how important accounting is for the success of a company. Yet many business owners have a negative attitude towards accounting. A high percentage of entrepreneurs see accounting as a necessary evil and often a hindrance to starting a new company.

How is that possible? Wasn’t accounting invented to help companies manage their business?

The IT industry has brought us computers and the ability to create software to automate bookkeeping. While there is no doubt that accounting software has been a great help, when we look at the usage of it, something is wrong. More than half of the businesses in the UK keep track of their finances by using a combination of spreadsheets and word processors rather than using accounting software. In an age where computing power is ubiquitous and virtually never too far from our pocket, we should be able to do better than this.

In 2013, international accounting software provider e-conomic was considering what its next generation accounting software should look like. And decided to take a different approach. What would happen if we created a piece of accounting software for people who had no knowledge of accounting? And what if we made the basic functions free for people to use? We hoped that it would make accounting approachable by virtually anybody.

That’s how the Debitoor invoicing and accounting software was born.

Introducing simple accounting to the world

Today, more than 33,000 people in the UK and almost 300,000 people worldwide have signed up for Debitoor and have given us the privilege of approaching accounting in a different way. Debitoor is used in more than 30 countries, from the UK to South Africa, from Colombia to Australia and New Zealand.

Debitoor is an accounting package for very small businesses. It allows them to manage their customers, create quotes and invoices. It allows them to register their purchases, deal with bank and payments and helps them report their VAT directly to HMRC at the click of a button. Debitoor helps those small companies manage their assets and keep track of what’s on their balance sheet in a very simple manner. Finally, Debitoor helps business owners collaborate with their accountants by allowing them to share their data with them.

Debitoor’s mission is to make accounting cool to work with. Two years after we started, the typical reaction we get from accountants is: “Wow, convincing my clients to use this is going to be super easy!”. We have captured the essence of Debitoor in this video.

Letting users shape accounting software

But what have we done to make this possible? The most important ingredient has been a clear focus. Our mission has always been to make accounting easy for small business owners who know very little about accounting.

Here are some of the key principles we followed to build the Debitoor invoicing and accounting software:
Approachable: We have removed any obstacles to getting started. There is no setup needed, we do not ask questions, users can start on the free package, the program is ready to go.
Natural: We have eliminated all technical lingo. You will not find the words “debit” and “credit” in Debitoor. The workflows in the program follow the natural flows of a user with no accounting knowledge and the program uses the typical words he’d use.
Forgiving: People make mistakes; and accounting systems typically make it quite complicated to correct mistakes. In Debitoor, actions can be undone and mistakes can easily be corrected.
Instructive: We assume people do not know much about accounting, so we have structured the entire program to let users learn along the way. This is not just functionality but it encompasses the entire packaging of the product.
User-driven: In an open forum, users can give their feedback and suggest new features, vote for their own or others’ suggestions and influence the further development of the software. This transparency is super important for us to develop a truly user-driven program.
Collaborative: Most of our users share their data with their accountants in order to get help with taxes, reporting and ensuring quality.

We also had the privilege of building the product with the technology which was available in 2013. This has huge benefits for our users because it allows us to provide them with a service which is reliable, improving at a fast pace and very secure. Having a modern architecture also ensures that Debitoor is very easy to connect to other popular cloud services.

Debitoor’s user base is very diverse as its appeal is quite broad. Many of our users are freelancers, artists, consultants, designers or other creative people, but we have also small artisans and shop keepers or owners of clinics and small distributors. They all have missions and purposes in their lives and we try to help them with their accounting.

Check out the stories of Felicia Matheson from Prohibition Drinks in Newscastle, Northern Ireland and the story of Esther from The Roasting Shed in London.

Changing how an industry works

As with any change in technology, this brings great opportunities to the industry it affects. The introduction of new technology, however, takes a bit of time to mature. When television started to gain mass adoption in the 1950s, broadcasters used it as it was radio. The first shows had older men with glasses reading papers in front of a microphone. This was how it used to be with radio programs.

The availability of cloud software has created a set of providers who simply made traditional accounting software available on the internet. This, we believe, will change and we will see more and more software which is transformational in nature. That is what we are trying to do with Debitoor.

We are only at the beginning of this journey. The roadmap for Debitoor will focus on three main aspects:

1. Continue to add simple flows to support what today are very difficult accounting scenarios
2. Introduce more and more automation and intelligence to enable our users to do more with less knowledge
3. Strengthen the collaboration between users and their accountants by facilitating the sharing of data between them.

What will this mean for accountants and the accounting industry? This is what our users are telling us: They love doing their invoices and keeping track of their costs in Debitoor. It gives the nice feeling of being in control, it keeps them organized and allows them to focus on their business going forward.

At the same time, they also tell us that they need help from their accountants. They need help with taxes, they need help with reporting to authorities and a lot of them need a quality check from the experts. In addition, most of them need legal and financial advice on ad hoc issues they encounter in their life as entrepreneurs.

The biggest change for accountants is to be prepared to embrace the possibilities that technology gives us. Things like cloud storage and online applications will substitute manual processes, paper and data disks. Everything is now available via a web browser on your computer or on your phone.

In order to be successful, accountants will have focus on services that draw on their knowledge and experience and they will need to be prepared to serve their customers as they move towards those new technologies.

Increased access will not be limited to technology but also to services. This will also mean increased competition. The best thing an accountant can do is embrace change and be ahead of the curve, start small but start early. The customers are already going there.

 

How to Get Paid – Part 1!

getting paid

I often come across service providers who are finding it difficult to get paid. This got me thinking about the psychology of payment.

There are clearly two sides to this particular coin – us and the client. We can be as much, or more, to blame as our customers for not getting paid, because of the way we think and act.

Firstly, as Brits we are sometimes embarrassed to talk to clients about fees and payment. Some business owners hide behind hourly rates, which means there is no upfront agreement about exactly what the client will be expected to pay. This means it is highly likely there will be disagreement and therefore delay in payment. Not only that, but disagreement about fees can leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

Secondly, many service providers are slow to invoice, which means clients receive bills quite a long time after they have had the service. This sends a message to the client that the supplier is probably pretty well off and so doesn’t need the cash quickly (or the invoice would have been sent more promptly). Consequently it is more likely that payment will need to be chased.

Other suppliers do not make it clear what their payment terms are. Now, it is in clients interests to delay payment as long as they can (especially at the moment when many businesses are finding cash flow difficult) so if you are not clear on payment terms you cannot be surprised when payments don’t come through. Make sure your letter of engagement clearly states what your payment terms are and re-iterate these terms on your invoice.

Further to payment terms ask yourself the question ‘Am I a bank?’ If the answer is no (as I expect it is for anyone reading this blog) only give credit if it is absolutely necessary – and then ensure there is some allowance for interest in the price you are quoting! Otherwise, make your payment terms ‘payment on receipt of invoice’. You probably won’t get paid immediately but at least you can chase earlier.

I know business owners who don’t like chasing for payment, even if they have agreed a fixed price, invoiced promptly and have clear payment terms, because they think their good clients will think badly of them. This, in my opinion, is the worst ‘sin’ of all. Firstly, GOOD clients pay as agreed in the contract – a good client is not one who bitches about the agreed price and then fails to pay promptly. Secondly, we are business people who should expect to be paid for a good job done, so there is nothing to be coy about when it comes to asking for what you are legally and morally entitled to!

So, to recap:

1.  Agree clearly with your client the exact terms of the engagement both in terms of job to be done and fee to be paid.

2.  Bill as soon as the job is complete.

3.  Be clear on your payment terms and give as little credit as possible.

4.  Be professional! If money is owed to you do not be coy about chasing for it.

Fiona 🙂

Not all accounting is the same

Management accounting combines accounting, finance and management with the leading edge techniques needed to drive successful businesses.

What is management accounting table

In addition to strong accounting fundamentals, CIMA teaches strategic business and management skills:

  • Analysis – understanding the story behind the numbers and using it to make business decisions
  • Strategy – using the insight from analysis to help formulate business strategy to create wealth and shareholder value.
  • Risk – applying analytical skills to look at end-to-end business processes to identify and manage risk.
  • Planning – using accounting techniques to plan and budget.
  • Communication – knowing what information management needs and explaining the numbers to non-financial managers.

You can trust CIMA members

CIMA members and students are required to comply with the CIMA code of ethics and to adopt the fundamental principles to their working lives. CIMA members are at the heart of business as its conscience, adding judgment, independence and objectivity to their professional qualification.

Every year, CIMA audits its members to ensure they uphold these ethics and will take action if members have been less than true to them.

www.cimaglobal.com

Financial Reporting – Strategic Report – Part I

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In the excitement of an economic outlook rising like the incoming tide during the last quarter of 2013, together with the ‘silly season’ most of us would probably have missed Statutory Instrument No. 1970 – The Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013, and off course you would be forgiven for it.  This particular statutory instrument made the duty to provide a Strategic Report a part of UK financial reporting legislation.

To most us the update to the Companies Act 2006, Part 15 – Accounts and Reports, will not have any impact, if our our daily task is that of preparing annual statutory financial accounts for approval by the board of directors of a UK incorporated company.  This is because under section 414B of the Act, an exemption applies as follows:

414B Strategic report: small companies exemption
A company is entitled to small companies exemption
in relation to the strategic report for a financial year if—
(a) it is entitled to prepare accounts for the year
in accordance with the small companies regime, or
(b) it would be so entitled but for being or having
been a member of an ineligible group.
Financial Reporting (AICPA)
Therefore, if you prepare annual accounts based on the small companies exemption in section 477, namely:
477 Small companies: conditions for exemption from audit
(1) A company that meets the following conditions in respect of
a financial year is exempt from the requirements of this Act relating to the audit of accounts for that year.
(2) The conditions are—
(a) that the company qualifies as a small company in relation to that year,
(b) that its turnover in that year is not more than £5.6 million, and
(c) that its balance sheet total for that year is not more than £2.8 million;
then you do not have to be too concerned about the requirement to include a Strategic Report as part of the Annual Accounts ending on or after 30 September 2013.
If the answer is that you actually qualify, under the Act to include a Strategic Report, then in part II of this series of articles, we will set out the more detailed minimum requirements you will have to include, in order to stay compliant with the Financial Reporting requirements, as set out in the Companies Act 2006.
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©2014 – 3resource
* Quotes and references (sections) to the Companies Act 2006 available from Companies House
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