Member Since: 14th Feb 2009
8th Mar 2018
I don't keep any paper docs, with the occasional exception for some original government/official things. Scan, save, shred, and have a robust back-up strategy. Only for my own stuff though, clients manage their own.
22nd Dec 2016
A client of mine uses Click Dealer, which is cloud based, and free for me to log in and use. They got my client up and running, and have been very helpful. Another client in the past used Ginger Cat. Both are industry specific and are great for the margin scheme and managing VAT/cash, with bank reconciliation and debtor/credit accounts. I'm planning to extract the year-end reports from Click Dealer, as soon as I find out where the trial balance is hiding...
25th Mar 2015
Check the grant
You may already know this, but the key word is 'notified'. Not all grants are notified state aid, especially small-value ones. You may need to check the grant document, or check with the provider of the grant. Most of the grants I've seen have been de-minimis, and we've successfully claimed R&D tax credits. De-minimis funding doesn't prevent you claiming R&D tax credits, as long as the total received, including the R&D tax credit claim, is within the de-minimis limit.
17th Mar 2015
After a discussion with one client, when I asked him to keep ALL receipts. He provided me with an invoice for a grave plot he'd purchased for himself. I did, of course, explain that death is not a normal business activity for a plumber.
27th Feb 2015
I've done it
I worked in industry before starting to carry out bookkeeping, and straightforward SATRs, CT600s, VAT returns and payroll work for micro businesses. It was all work I'd had experience in, but the change was still a huge learning curve. I probably did more CPD than work in the first year. It's not difficult for an intelligent person to know their own boundaries.
I could have obtained an ACCA practising certificate, but chose not to for various reasons, and resigned my membership. I don't miss it at all. I became a member of AAT, got a MIP licence from them, and am more than happy with their CPD provision, and the support available to MIPs. Especially as it's UK focused. I found with ACCA I was filtering out a lot of information relevant to auditors and ACCA's global interests etc. I maintain my CPD records so that they meet ACCA's requirements as well as AAT's.
The last time I checked, it was possible to renew my ACCA membership by paying subs for each year of absence, and providing full CPD records for those years. Probably best to check this yourself, in case they've changed the rules.
AAT members also have the option to attend local ACCA and CIMA CPD events free of charge. You can still attend the paid-for ACCA courses, you just have to pay a bit more. The local events give you chance to meet other accountants to bounce ideas/grumbles off, and working alone can feel a bit isolating sometimes, so it helps to get out.
3rd Mar 2014
Try Cute PDF
There's a free version, which will probably be enough, or the professional version is a cheap on-off payment. I've been using it for 4 years, never needed support so don't know what it's like, and have reinstalled it to new PCs twice without any trouble.
13th Jun 2013
The only thing I've seen work in the past was addressing the underlying cash flow problem. In my employer's case, cash flow difficulties were caused by a significant and unexpected (and uninsured) bad debt. Our company contacted suppliers to requested extended payment terms on a temporary basis, including HMRC. HMRC were helpful as we had a clean record up to that point, and we provided them with a payment plan, and stuck to it. (It was a few years ago, and I don't know if things have changed.) We spent a lot of time working on a cash flow forecast, which was closely monitored throughout the difficult patch. The business itself was in a strong position politically, and had the staff, equipment and goodwill needed to survive. Your company may not be so lucky, but maybe all is not lost. If I were you I'd be looking at the cause of the cash flow problem and re-doing my forecasts. Then work out if it can be overcome, and speak to your employer to plan a way out of trouble. If the company seems to be insolvent, that's a different conversation altogether. It's hard work sometimes, good luck.
6th Jun 2013
It's what you make it
It's best to be careful not to follow people whose tweets are (in my opinion) utter nonsense, rude or offensive. To learn Twitter I set up an account in my dogs' names (a joint one for them to share), and I have great fun with that, they have a lot of Tweeting pet friends. As an accountant, I don't use it much but it's good for picking up the odd bit of news. Most of my followers have been SEO and PR companies of some description. The main things are not to expect too much of Twitter, don't spend too much time on it, join in with relevant hashtag discussions, don't take it seriously and never, ever click on a link to a Daily Mail article.
3rd Jun 2013
A payment needs to be made to HMRC with the correct VAT reference number, before the payment deadline to avoid surcharge notices and penalties being sent to client A. If client A's VAT liability is paid on time, you've met your obligation to them so they may not need to know. Then you need to request a refund of the incorrect payment from HMRC. Phone HMRC giving client B's details, they will be able to see that client B's payment exceeds their box 5 figure. Don't expect to receive the refund quick enough to pay client A's liability. Contact client B, as HMRC will most likely refund the money to their bank account (or whichever account is set up on client B's VAT record). The DD option makes things much simpler.
18th Apr 2013
Had a very similar situation to yours about 10 years ago. HMRC carried out routine PAYE audit, the only thing the inspectors didn't like was the non-exec being paid via invoice. Had to put him on payroll and pay backdated tax and interest.
He was very much part time (an hour's meeting once a quarter), with many different business interests. So while he was genuinely self-employed, in our company he was deemed an employee. There was some grumbling at the time. The rules haven't changed since then, as far as I know.