Member Since: 11th May 2009
I am Jessica Pillow, Director and owner of Pillow May. I'm passionate about cloud accounting software, process automation technology, and promoting the efficiency benefits of flexible & remote working practices. I am also an author for ICAEW, regular industry speaker, and cloud software innovator & development consultant.
Now is a really exciting time to work in the accountancy industry; technology advances and MTD is finally bolstering everyone into the digital era, so accountants need to really step up to stand out!
I set up Pillow May in 2009 to break free from industry stereotypes and as early adopters of cloud software, cloud bookkeeping and fixed-fee pricing, we were pioneering in offering our clients a dynamic & fresh approach.
Pillow May’s vision is to be “accountants for a better life”. A simple statement, representing a multitude of grand plans and ambitions. We recognise what a huge emotional and financial investment it is to start your own business and see it as our privilege, to help our clients cultivate a healthy financial environment - from which they can forge a better life.
To prove we are still getting it right, we were included as one of the world’s most inspiring accountants in the recent book of that name, the featured client case study demonstrated how offering personalised expert advice made a real difference to our client’s bottom line.
Director PIllow May Ltd
27th Jun 2015
Go back to the beginning
In order to get the system working, I think you need to look right at the start of the process before going any further - the hand over by the client of the information to you.
How does the client receive the receipts etc themselves? Presumably in this day and age, some of them will be emailed. Therefore, your client could give their supplier their Receipt Bank email address as well as their own email address so the supplier purchase invoices automatically arrive at Receipt Bank with no intervention.
If they purchase from the internet then they can just forward the emailed invoices as they arrive to Receipt Bank rather than print them out for you. If they regularly use their Paypal account then that can be integrated into Receipt Bank too so any transactions paid by Paypal appear in Receipt Bank.
If there are employee expenses, then we would set up an app on each employee's phone so they can photograph their own expenses into Receipt Bank. These receipts can then be authorised by the company accountant in Receipt Bank before they are added to the accounts software.
Any remaining receipts we would post into Receipt Bank using the envelope. These receipts would normally have been put in an intray prior to being sent to you so they should be placed directly into the Receipt Bank envelope instead with the envelope sent off once it is full. Multi page invoices are scanned as a single file provided the pages are stapled together.
Once everything is in the Receipt Bank intray then you can make use of all the great rules that can be set up to enter the data consistently into your accounts software. You will need a bit of training on the rules probably to make best use of them - a facility Receipt Bank are happy to offer by coming out to your office to train your team. Good use of the rules minimises manual review of the receipts prior to entry in the accounting software.
Whether the entries in your accounting software will match directly with your bank feed entries depends on the software that you use. Xero accounting software will directly match purchase invoices to the relevant bank entries.
If you do hit problems then you receive exceptional support from the Receipt Bank team. It is extremely unlikely that any data will get lost, it may just have gone to the wrong place. I`ve recently visited Receipt Bank's offices and seen the systems that they have in place to track the customer receipts and back-up the data. They are impressive and I know that Receipt Bank would welcome you to their offices to show you around their systems too.
If you would like to talk further about the use of Receipt Bank, please do drop me a line. We`ve been using Receipt Bank with our clients for the past three and a half years and they love it. But you do have to get the client involved!
7th Jun 2015
Massive problems with PAYE altogether!
Is anyone else having massive problems with PAYE altogether. We`ve got CIS repayments which we`re told will be repaid in September (that's assuming they are actually repaid). We`ve got PAYE problems with RTI submissions on around 25% of our clients with problems that HMRC seem unable to resolve and also unable to put the accounts on hold. So our clients are getting really threatening letters and calls now for PAYE that isn't even due. If they do pay the PAYE, the letters don`t stop as in many of the cases HMRC have set up duplicate PAYE schemes!!
It would be great to know whether we`re the only practice with major issues with RTI this year. I`m just about to ask my MP to raise the issues with the treasury as the problems are tying up so much of our time and causing massive badwill amongst our clients who think we`ve caused the problem! I`m hoping the agent account manager at HMRC can sort the mess out as we`re calling them in this week as we`re not getting anywhere with the normal employer's helpline.
11th Mar 2015
Tripcatcher is excellent and even calculates the VAT element of the mileage claim too - www.tripcatcherapp.com
22nd Jan 2015
Order Harmony are a UK inventory software add-on for Xero and their support is great and UK based.
Might be worth a chat with them to see if they are suitable.
23rd Sep 2014
Agree with cfield's answer above
I went back to my tax advice line today and asked them again about travel and subsistence for a temporary workplace for one-person limited companies. This time I was put through to a specialist who absolutely concurred with what cfield was saying in his answer above. So I am taking this and booklet 490 as gospel too!
22nd Sep 2014
My tax helpline advice just today!
Just asked my tax advice helpline the very same question today!
They advised that contractors can not claim subsistence at all if they are away from their home office habitually as this is normal state of play. They advised that subsistence can only be claimed if an employee is UNUSUALLY away from the office or away longer than usual.
Otherwise, they said that getting the meal falls into the need to be fed rather than an extra charge due to work.
Would also be interested in other people's views!
10th Jul 2014
Integral part of our offering
We`ve been using Receipt Bank for over two and a half years now and it is an integral part of our service offering. The majority of our clients (with the exception of the very smallest) use the software alongside either Xero or Freeagent. It allows us to offer a very flexible service offering to our client as we can either just do year-end accounts work (which is made much easier as you don`t have to request copy receipts) or we can do a full book-keeping service (where the client forwards their purchase invoices to Receipt Bank and normally enters their sales invoices directly on the accounting software). We can even be flexible over our service offering from one month to the next.
As for how it works, the best thing is to get the guys at Receipt Bank to show you as you really need to see it working to understand it fully. They are lovely people and the support is just great so if you do hit a problem (which obviously happens occasionally), you are fully supported to resolve it and don`t need to work it out yourself.
The software is very popular with clients and our practice has been growing to the tune of 2 new clients per week off the back of our cloud software offerings but most particularly Receipt Bank which just offers that little bit more than just Xero or Freeagent on their own.
2nd Jul 2014
We have just started outsourcing the calculation part of our payroll services using the same company that we use to do our accountancy work, as they are very accurate and operate well under a strong system. They have a special rate for small payroll schemes too. They use various different software systems for us - Paysuite and Freeagent mostly. They also transfer the payroll reports onto our client portal for us as they have access to our server so they are an integral part of our team. We use Sand Martin Outsourcing and have worked with them in accounting for 2.5 years.
15th May 2014
Receipt Bank - see it to believe it!
I would recommend you ask Receipt Bank guys for a demo (Nelson or Ella work with accountants). You really have to see it to believe it! We've been using it in our practice for over 2 years and it really is fantastic. The support is great too should you need any help using the software.
25th Feb 2014
Price list for compliance work
We use a price list for our compliance work so that I don`t get talked down on price and my staff can also price & invoice as easily as me. All our prices include unlimited day to day advice which is costly in the first year but then you get the returns in the future years. Clients love the simplicity and transparency.
See our website for the fee and services brochures for each service area - www.pillowmay.co.uk