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Do you wish payment cards hadn't been invented?

Endless small transactions that chart the sad lives of clients!

Didn't find your answer?

In the good old days they'd draw petty cash or claim on expenses, but now a seemingly endless stream of coffee purchases that lead to tedious conversations with clients about wholly and exclusively and whether that particular branch of Pret is more than 4 miles from your office and not near your home, and why a £100 meal in your local Wagamama's is unlikely to be client entertainment never mind subsistence ......

At least when its a credit card it can all be dealt with monthly but why do clients insist on putting all this rubbish on their debit card so you have to wade through it all when it comes in on the bank feed. And don't get me started on all the Amazon and Paypal purchases that rarely have proper receipts and mix up all manner of business and personal expenses .....

 

Replies (63)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
24th Mar 2021 17:59

But I have the receipt, it must be claimable....

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By Mr_awol
24th Mar 2021 18:16

To be fair if we assume the c/card is on a bank feed too, what's the difference.

I do agree on Paypal though. To me this was something other people used (people who use Ebay mainly, or juveniles who don't have proper bank accounts) but now all sorts of people seem to insist on paying with it. Why? Maybe its the kids that didnt have a bank account and are just used to doing it.......

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Truthsayer
24th Mar 2021 18:59

Paypal has additional buyer protection on top of that provided by cards linked to it. That's why people use it.

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Replying to Truthsayer:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
24th Mar 2021 20:28

Agreed, for online purchases from suppliers I am not totally comfortable/familiar with, especially say gardening stuff/DIY stuff which may be one off, Paypal is a useful, safer, fallback.

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Replying to Truthsayer:
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By Mr_awol
26th Mar 2021 10:30

Looking at their buyer protection I'm not convinced it adds anything that isn't already there on a credit card - particularly as i buy as much as i can on Amex, who are excellent if anything goes wrong and id rather deal with them than Paypal TBH.

In fact, having looked at a couple of sites it seems that PayPal will not refund your money if they cannot recover it from the seller, so in fact it offers far less protection. On the basis that Paypal is like a 'bank account' and offers no reward points etc on purchases, I'm not sure whether using Paypal and a credit card might invalidate the card cover (because you've effectively trf'd into you PayPal acc) but i don't know for sure.

DJKL makes a good point about if you're using 'unfamiliar' (i.e. potentially dodgy) websites and don't want to give them your card details.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
25th Mar 2021 10:47

The difference is that the credit card statement is separate, so you can ignore it until you are ready. If you use Xero with its archaic restriction of 10 transactions on the bank rec screen, and no way of filtering it to only show receipts for example, you have to wade through pages of dross to find incoming customer payments.

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
25th Mar 2021 16:55

Arthur Putey wrote:

The difference is that the credit card statement is separate, so you can ignore it until you are ready. If you use Xero with its archaic restriction of 10 transactions on the bank rec screen, and no way of filtering it to only show receipts for example, you have to wade through pages of dross to find incoming customer payments.

Why aren't you using cash coding? It is much easier!

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By Paul Crowley
24th Mar 2021 19:22

No
Just wish client could operate a pen when they get their paper bank statements.
I do not want to know who they paid, I want to know WHY they paid

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Ken Howard
24th Mar 2021 19:55

Paul Crowley wrote:

No
Just wish client could operate a pen when they get their paper bank statements.
I do not want to know who they paid, I want to know WHY they paid

Yes, that's been a bug-bear of mine for years. I do try to hammer it into clients that the "why" is more important than the "who" and we do manage to get the message through to most after a few years. For those who don't get the message, I make a pain of myself by insisting on them sending me the invoices.

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By Ken Howard
24th Mar 2021 19:53

I agree re Amazon purchases which lay bare the idea that "artificial intelligence" will take over the job of the book-keeper/accountant. Auto bank feeds with whichever form of "account guessing" the various software uses is a real nightmare.

Just because the first payment to Amazon was for stationery and was coded to stationery, doesn't mean that every subsequent Amazon payment was for stationery! I must spend hours trawling through lists of Amazon payments to try to find what they were really for so that they can be transferred to the right nominal account.

Same happens with Argos, supermarkets, Currys, etc. You end up with all kinds of things mis-categorised. I wonder how the likes of QB, Xero, etc can get away with claiming that bank feeds "automate" the book-keeping and make it quicker/simpler!

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By Hugo Fair
24th Mar 2021 22:01

Let's be honest, the last time everything was guaranteed to be identifiable was when you started from (paper) bank statements - and Debit cards hadn't been invented! If the payment was via cheque then you could look-up the stub - and if it was via anything else (standing order or whatever) then the payer would have (hopefully) used a sensible Reference which appeared on the Statement.

I know I'm showing my age, but for nearly 50 years I've encountered reconciliation problems because B'card (other credit/debit cards are available) only put whatever reference the seller has chosen. I won't quote 'live' examples, but I've had entries as clear as vutge uh8oioy £199.00 (where apparently vutge uh8oioy is used by a high street chain that trades under a wholly different name).
[Mind you, I suppose the downward slope started when B'card stopped giving the customer a punched-card stub for each transaction!]

My point being that each new technology promises much but forgets to mention any potential downsides ... and the accountant isn't the primary target market for vendors of payment systems. So we'll keep having to invent new forms of plasters (or poultices if you're as old as me) - but, although it offends our sense of efficiency, it guarantees work for us ... so long as the client is willing to pay (which is why the new it's-all-automated style of advertising is so invidious)!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
25th Mar 2021 08:59

Hugo Fair wrote:
If the payment was via cheque then you could look-up the stub
To find that they hadn't written on it, or what they had written was incomprehensible.

I knew they could not have purchased a "Travel Hero Cow", but I had to put that down in the records temporarily to have a narrative until I could find out what it really was.

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Replying to stepurhan:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 09:59

stepurhan wrote:
To find that they hadn't written on it, or what they had written was incomprehensible.

Ah yes. I once saw a stub written by a grumpy farmer who habitually paid his tax late marked "Interest for greedy bastards".

And I once questioned another fella about a blank stub. "Let me look at it", he said. After viewing it carefully from all angles, he came up with "Weh, it'll be fer summat."

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Open all hours
25th Mar 2021 19:43

Stakes and steaks used to be an agri favourite back in the days of eating out.

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Replying to stepurhan:
Routemaster image
By tom123
27th Mar 2021 12:51

I once made a sale to Steve Coogan's company.

I did wonder what "Baby Cow" was in the ledger (of a manufacturing firm).

Turned out we had rented out a bomb disposal robot for film use.

(Name might not be quite right, Cows definitely featured though)

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By New To Accountancy
24th Mar 2021 22:52

I come across a lot of receipts marked as cash when they're bank.
I don't separate the pile anymore.
I've given up on AutoEntry, too; AE are meant to cut admin by 80%, it increased it by that much for me. They were great at the beginning, whether their servers cannot manage demand, I don't know.
I'm going back to manually entering everything in and attaching an image; it's quicker.
Though, attaching an image is sometimes long-winded, too, depending on the document type.
I emailed Amazon a couple of days ago suggesting they had a search field, like PayPal.
Clients can easily type in the amount in Pay Pal and it immediately brings up the transactions with that total, so easy to see if the expense is business or personal, but with Amazon, you have to keep scrolling to the date. Every second counts when you have lots of receipts.

I'm in no rush for MTDfIT, 2023.

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Replying to New To Accountancy:
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By Lisa R
25th Mar 2021 16:04

Is this with a personal or business Amazon account? I have both but they are linked so I can use the same Amazon Prime on both.

If I go to "Your Orders" on the business account, there is a link at the top of the page to go to Business Analytics where I can view VAT invoices or download them in bulk. Still don't think you can search for a specific amount but it's a bit easier to scroll down through than the regular past orders page.

I'm sure there are other fancy features available with the business account like being able to limit purchases to only those that supply VAT invoices but I generally just use it the same as the regular account.

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Replying to Lisa R:
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By New To Accountancy
26th Mar 2021 10:19

Hi Lisa,

It is a personal account.
I only have 2 businesses (Ltd and VAT registered) that use an amazon business account (the rest are personal). Yes, you're right; it is much easier to see historical purchases via the business account.
For some reason, I assumed the business accounts were for VAT registered businesses only. Although I've still not read up on the business account criteria (if there is one), it may be a good idea to suggest a business account to individuals to save time when 2023 comes - whether they'll do this is another matter, but it is food for thought.
Thank you

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Replying to New To Accountancy:
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By Lisa R
26th Mar 2021 10:41

It was a couple of years ago that I set up the business account so can't remember all the details but I think you probably do need to be VAT registered and provide the VAT (& Company) number.
It's been so useful over the past year with everyone working from home, I can get smaller amounts of stationery and electrical items sent to individuals along with anything esle they might need rather than have to order in bulk to the office. We're definitely getting our money's worth from Prime!

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Replying to Lisa R:
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By New To Accountancy
26th Mar 2021 22:29

Yes, I don't know where I'd be without prime either.
Just be patient if you request any returns are collected, they take forever in my experience. I think this is to encourage people not to request collection?

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Replying to New To Accountancy:
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By rmiddleton
26th Mar 2021 11:29

Totally with you re AutoEntry, gave it up. Try BillBjorn, quicker and cheaper. But not if you capture invoices etc by mobile phone scanning, works better with scanner machines.

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Replying to rmiddleton:
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By New To Accountancy
26th Mar 2021 22:31

That's helpful thank you. All clients use their mobiles to capture invoices as it's quicker than using the scanner, even if it's next to them.

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By DaveyJonesLocker
24th Mar 2021 22:55

And this is why cloud software is the equivalent of The Emperor's New Clothes fable

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RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 06:50

Ah - folk coming round to my way of thinking at last!

It's not my problem any more, thank goodness.

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By Carole Baldwin
25th Mar 2021 08:03

I recently made a purchase in a local store. The cost was £4.95 and I offered them a £5 note, only to have it refused - "we no longer take cash". I didn't have my bank card with me so my response was "that's fine, I no longer shop here".
The pandemic is being used to drag us into a world of ID cards and a cashless society where HMRC will know every penny you spend the minute you spend it.

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 09:08

Interesting. Because only yesterday, I was in the anachronism that is Featherstone DIY and they would accept nothing but cash.

None of these new-fangled cards for them.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
25th Mar 2021 10:37

There are a number of nail bars in town and most have an A4 paper sign in the window saying CASH ONLY.

I wonder how their accountants get on ......

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
25th Mar 2021 10:44

Ask no questions, hear no lies.

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 10:46

Arthur Putey wrote:

There are a number of nail bars in town and most have an A4 paper sign in the window saying CASH ONLY.

I wonder how their accountants get on ......

Accountants ? They'll probably accept cards and bank transfers.

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By Ken Moorhouse
25th Mar 2021 15:02

Arthur Putey wrote:

There are a number of nail bars in town and most have an A4 paper sign in the window saying CASH ONLY.

I wonder how their accountants get on ......


Don't they ask for payment on the nail?
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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By Mr_awol
26th Mar 2021 12:11

Arthur Putey wrote:

There are a number of nail bars in town and most have an A4 paper sign in the window saying CASH ONLY.

I wonder how their accountants get on ......

Probably as well as my local curry house which has a weekly offer roughly equivalent to 40% of, but only takes cash for that offer. They are, however, more than happy to take card normally...............

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Carole Baldwin
25th Mar 2021 14:07

Why would I go into a DIY store? Isn't that what husbands are for.

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 14:15

Carole Baldwin wrote:

Why would I go into a DIY store? Isn't that what husbands are for.

They sell cleaning stuff too.

However, do you see where it says "Replying to Arthur" at the start of my post ?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Carole Baldwin
25th Mar 2021 20:10

Actually what I see is

"Replying to Carole Baldwin:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 09:08
Interesting. Because only yesterday, I was in the anachronism that is Featherstone DIY and they would accept nothing but cash.

None of these new-fangled cards for them."

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Mar 2021 12:46

Carole Baldwin wrote:

You're right. But the advice still stands.

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
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By Hugo Fair
25th Mar 2021 22:06

At the risk of going even further off piste ... sometimes the store won't accept ANY payment!
Before lockdown I visited my local Waterstones and picked up two books I wanted. But at the till I was told they couldn't process the sale because both books had a "3 for the price of 2" sticker ... so I needed to select a 3rd book!
Stunned, I pointed out that if I'd wanted a 3rd book I would have already picked it up - but no progress was made.
In exasperation I suggested that the till operator could select any book she liked and keep it for free - which generated an incredulous "but that would be fraud or theft or something".
I left without my books ... and Amazon Prime delivered them next day (for £less).

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
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By Mr_awol
26th Mar 2021 12:15

Carole Baldwin wrote:

I recently made a purchase in a local store. The cost was £4.95 and I offered them a £5 note, only to have it refused - "we no longer take cash". I didn't have my bank card with me so my response was "that's fine, I no longer shop here".
The pandemic is being used to drag us into a world of ID cards and a cashless society where HMRC will know every penny you spend the minute you spend it.

I dont see why people seem obsessed with passing dirty notes over and gettign dirty change in return. And that's pre-pandemic.

Twickenham has been cashless for ages and i still manage to drink and eat more than i should. Makes it difficult to form a whip though, so we have to move to rounds instead or just have one 'treasurer' to pay for all the beers at the ground and reclaim it after.

If HMRC, Boris, Bill gates or anyone else wants to track me payign 80p for a pain au chocolate at saisburys on the way to work then good luck to them. Why are you so bothered?

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Replying to Mr_awol:
RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Mar 2021 12:49

Mr_awol wrote:

I dont see why people seem obsessed with passing dirty notes over and gettign dirty change in return. And that's pre-pandemic.

Twickenham has been cashless for ages and i still manage to drink and eat more than i should. Makes it difficult to form a whip though, so we have to move to rounds instead or just have one 'treasurer' to pay for all the beers at the ground and reclaim it after.

You eat a peck of muck before you die. Just think of all that windblown dust finding its way into the champers and smoked salmon in the back of the Range Rovers.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
By Charlie Carne
26th Mar 2021 13:26

I agree. I've not used cash for over a year and would be happy never to do so for the rest of my life. I use Apple Pay on my watch (it has a choice of three cards from which to make payment, chosen by a simple swipe on the watch screen).

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By OldParkAcct
25th Mar 2021 08:16

But surely using a bank feed to your software means you don't have to think about things like allowability any more, doesn't the software do all that for you?

The popularity of Paypal for some smaller businesses is that they think that HMRC do not require you to record transactions on Paypal, so they use it in the same way businesses 50 years ago used to use the 2nd cash drawer.

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By Duggimon
25th Mar 2021 09:37

I honestly can't remember the last time I touched actual physical money.

I don't even take my cards out the house anymore, I do it all with my phone.

As for client's bank accounts, I try to get my clients to do all the endless categorisation of their tiny payments, and if they've left it to us I point out to my clients it costs them more in fees than they save in tax by sticking it all in the bank account and they should instead pay for it themselves and just give me a list. That's how I do it with the office, I pay for every tiny thing with my phone tied to my personal account and file monthly expenses for reimbursement with everything nicely listed. It's deeply satisfying.

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Replying to Duggimon:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 09:47

Don't shop at Fev DIY, then.

You won't be welcome.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By littlerich
05th Apr 2021 12:33

Car parking!
Why should I pay an additional fee when paying by phone to save them time emptying the machines?
Madness!

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
25th Mar 2021 10:00

Bank rules to DLA to automate the process. Its the Xero version of giving the client the bird without using any energy.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
25th Mar 2021 10:41

I tend now to put all the Amazon/Paypal stuff to DLA to focus the client. What many VAT registered clients also don't realise is that many online merchants are either not VAT registered or the platform does not give them a VAT invoice.

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By Lisa R
26th Mar 2021 09:43

A lot of Amazon suppliers do issue VAT invoices, they're very easy to download. If you/they have a business Amazon account you can even limit it to only purchase from VAT registered companies.

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By 356B
25th Mar 2021 10:46

Many years ago, the real pain was Argos purchases. No clue as to what it was for just a product reference number. Plus ca change.

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Replying to 356B:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Mar 2021 12:47

356B wrote:

Many years ago, the real pain was Argos purchases. No clue as to what it was for just a product reference number. Plus ca change.

The place I worked at in the 1980s had a massive collection of Argos catalogues for this very purpose.

Nowadays, just Google it.

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By AdShawBPR
26th Mar 2021 09:47

This post has made my day. Was wondering recently whether it was just me having to wade through all this BS! One of my clients is a photographer who has been to Israel, Korea and other exotic locations. Uploading these piddling receipts in another currency, in a different script even, and not knowing whether they've been paid with the debit card or the credit card, or personally, has had me getting very cheesed off. Thank you!

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Replying to AdShawBPR:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
26th Mar 2021 12:28

Fifteen years ago we'd get clients to scan receipts to us, but it was ever the same even back then. Much of the time you'd have no idea whether those scanned receipts were business or personal expenditure. Then you'd have to figure out just how they'd been paid. Finally, you could be for ever matching invoices to purchase ledger accounts, and number-crunching against their eventual payment.

Clients manage to produce their own sales invoices; and they'd be quite capable of coding their purchase invoices (as to eg source of payment, whether business or personal, and anything bought on tick that belongs in the purchase ledger) if only someone would disrupt the market and explain to them the tax-reduction value of posting purchase invoices to their legitimate accounts (rather than have them defaulting to DLA).

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