Member Since: 17th Jun 2004
27th Oct 2021
I got a sit/stand desk a few years ago and it's literally (honestly) changed my life. It made me a lot more active. I.e. instead of waiting for a few things to do before I got up out of my seat (i.e. going to get a file at the same time as going to the loo or to make a coffee), it was easier just to go and do it. My step counter went up from a couple of thousand per day to 7 or 8 thousand, just by walking around the office more. It helped me lose a couple of stone in weight too. I also think it made my mind less sluggish, i.e. better blood flow. I'd very strongly recommend one. Just don't spend all day standing as it can lead to back/leg/ankle pain, especially if you're on a hard floor (I got a thick rubber mat to stand on), so do maybe a couple of hours standing then an hour sitting, then standing again, etc. I've not tried a treadmill with it, so can't comment on that.
12th Sep 2021
Red Leader wrote:
It's generally the case. Sector specific software whose main aim is whatever is specific to that sector, often has [email protected] accounting functionality. The non-accountants like it but they don't have to deal with the accounting consequences.
I agree. I have a convenience store client who is part of one of the big chain buying groups and is virtually forced to use their stock control and till system. The till system doesn't have any functionality at all for remote access nor any ability to export/produce reports in csv nor pdf format - all it can do it print paper reports. So it's not MTD compatible, yet the "big name" buying group aren't interested in improving it. So, despite MTD rules, we have to take paper reports and enter them into a suitable book-keeping system for the VAT returns. There are hundreds of convenience stores using this system which are falling foul of MTD. But it's not just that, the system is poor anyway - it records "account sales" as deductions from cash sales in the cash control section, which is OK, but doesn't show payments by account customers anywhere on the reports, so the cash control can never balance. That's just one example. The till/stock side of it is fine, but the financial reporting and controls are awful.
22nd Jun 2021
About 25 years ago, I was using Pegasus DOS desktop software (not Opera, it was the more basic version, can't remember it's name, was it Pegasus Senior?)), for a manufacturing company with a 30 million turnover. It actually did the job remarkably well considering, but we had relatively few customers with generally very large invoices, so the sales ledger was pretty small/simple. It did struggle with the purchase ledger and stock, and we used spreadsheets for job costing. It was ridiculously slow though.
7th May 2021
I'm more concerned about all the qualified/chartered accountants plying their trade on internet sites such as people per hour and fivvr who don't have practising certificates nor insurance. They're typically employees of accountancy practices doing moonlighting on the side for ridiculously cheap fees.
30th Apr 2021
Never had an issue other than laziness and I don't want those clients anyway.
if they are not IT savvy, then I tell 'em to get a friend to help.
Surely they know SOMONE who has a smart phone and can photograph their ID and email it over so you can run the checks on a third party software. I use verpihy you dont have to buy a bundle upfront.
I'd agree with that. I once had a muppet of a client who sent me a photo of the front cover of his passport when I asked him to send me a photo of his passport. I think he thought it was funny. He wasn't laughing when I sacked him for wasting my time!
30th Apr 2021
I think the death of the "High Street" and WFH working is being over-exaggerated. I suspect there'll be a pretty fast return to the old F2F ways. Probably not to the same extent as pre-covid times, but certainly enough to warrant a "shop front" post covid if you "needed" a shop front pre covid.
WFH has been a very necessary sticking plaster to keep things moving over the lockdowns/restrictions, etc., and I fully appreciate that a lot of people prefer it, but likewise there are also a lot of people who prefer F2F.
Remote working was possible for years before covid. I was using the first "cloud" book-keeping systems and had clients all over the country back as far as 2000 when I set up my practice. I have lots of clients who could easily manage fully online, but they prefer F2F meetings and being able to drop off their paperwork in person. I originally started working from home but saw a massive influx of new business when I got my first "shop front", and then when I moved away from the High Street and into a "back street" office, the drop off in new clients was very noticeable.
I've lost a lot of clients over the past year due to covid, so am planning to give up my back street office and move into another "shop front" this Summer to try to get plenty of new business to build the practice up again.
26th Mar 2021
I havn't charged until now. I've emailed clients this month saying I'll be charging £25 per claim from now on. All have since replied saying that's fine and they understand. I was losing 3 or 4 days per month of chargeable time to do the furlough claims and that's not sustainable for more than a year.
24th Mar 2021
Paul Crowley wrote:
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.
24th Mar 2021
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!
1st Mar 2021
I wouldn't find it hard at all. The Amazon and Hermes vans who come onto our road seem to be stop/starting every few houses, and usually do a couple of different houses every time they stop. They won't get far in a day if they're doing that on every road in their "round". With Amazon, I get an update as they're getting closer - "9 stops away" etc. They're usually already on our road (or pretty close) as per the tracker when we get that message and it can still take half an hour or so for them to actually arrive at our door sometimes.
I think we need to be mindful of modern times, especially with the massive increase in online shopping due to covid. A year ago, a delivery van would typically race up our road, deliver to us or a neighbour and race off again to the next road. Now, as I say, it's constant stop/start up the road.
The OP raises a very valid point about the accountancy profession's historic treatment of private use adjustments. Covid has been a game-changer in so many ways and we really need to start thinking outside the box to properly account for the change in trading patterns etc.
I've got a few small B&Bs and guest houses and am very mindful of what private use add backs I'm going to be using for their 20/21 tax returns as most have had few guests over the year, so our usual percentage add backs may not produce sensible results. I certainly don't intend to use the same percentages as prior years as the usage proportions will be very different, as will the actual costs, i.e. I'll need to look at fixed costs as opposed to variable costs.