Member Since: 17th Dec 2009
22nd Sep 2016
I don't know what happened to the first part of the question but it should read: I have a client who is a UK VAT Registered company distance selling goods to individuals in the UK and various other countries across the EU.
17th Mar 2016
Monthly salaries are a nightmare
We use Sage and it gives a NMW warning.
However having looked at this in detail there are real practical problems with the application of NMW regulations. Basically, you can't pay staff monthly under NMW unless they have lying time. Telling the poorest paid that they are going to have to have one or two weeks unpaid as lying time seems daft to me.
If staff work 40hrs a week at NMW, you cannot give them a monthly salary of 40hrs x NMW x 52 weeks divided by 12 because in the pay period (the month) they will have been paid less than NMW for some months when there are 31 days and each pay period needs to be viewed on its own.
You also can't prepare salaries monthly, using the actual hours for the first 3 weeks of the month and an assumption that the staff will appear as normal in the last week - usually any days of absence in the last week would be deducted in the next month but under NMW regulations that would be deemed to be an underpayment for the following month.
It is of course all bureaucratic nonsense which increases costs and complexity for small businesses who are supposed to be getting simplification. The reality is that the staff are getting paid NMW for every hour they work, it's just the timing of the wages payments which is slightly different. Throw in AE and you can see why small businesses are stressed.
24th Feb 2016
Anything served to eat on the premises is standard rated. Only carryout cakes are zero rated.
Staff training and a good till are essential.
1st May 2015
Limited company accounts, payroll and everything else for £60 to £70/mth - no chance. It's simply not worth the hassle and I think your original fee quote is quite reasonable. We focus on quality service and regular contact and information flow to the clients. We are told they value and appreciate it and they are prepared to pay for it.
A good level of service makes me happy at my work and given the tiny number of clients we lose, it seems to be what the clients want too.
1st May 2015
As things are now annual accounts may be prepared & filed at Companies House without the involvement of anyone with accounting / company law / tax knowledge or skill.
As a result such accounts are utterly unreliable.
We have seen on Any Answers questions from non-accountants which reveal a complete lack of understanding of accounts which are being prepared by them.
That's bad for business & bad for HM Government because the right amount of tax is not being paid.
The difficult bit is working out what can be done to improve matters - especially when there is no generally accepted method of determining whether an 'accountant' has adequate knowledge & skill to prepare annual accounts for small businesses.
But I agree that reimposing a statutory audit on all companies would be overkill.
This surely just adds strength to the argument that only suitably qualified members of specified accounting bodies should be allowed to call themselves accountants. It would also make sense that there should be a requirement to have an accountants report of some sort on the abbreviated accounts lodged at Co's House (although Abb A/Cs are going to become a thing of the past soon), so that it can be seen who produced the accounts.
As for small company audits, they are largely a waste of time. Clients of mine, up to £5/£6m turnover are still run and managed by the owners, who are involved in most aspects of the business. If there were to be anything wrong in the business it would be very likely to involve a member(s) of management which tends to mean it would be buried and hidden from an auditor, whose small number of samples would require a massive stroke of luck to find anything. In small businesses like this, systems and internal controls rarely exist in a manner which is formal enough to test with any certainty.
1st May 2015
I have never understood why subbies should be any different from other self employed individuals and why they think it is acceptable to "make up" their expenses each year. I have already turned away 2 enquiries since 5th April because that's the approach they wanted to take. Their indignation that they might need to keep contemporaneous records of "real" expenses just increases my resolve that I want nothing to do with them.
In any case I reckon a 10% deduction is probably generous.
29th Apr 2015
The guidance I referred to was just the guidance on HMRC's website relating to eligibility to claim Employment Allowance. Your thoughts just confirm what I thought but contradict the actions of the payroll departments of at least two other firms of accountants I know (and those nursing homes receive more than 50% of their fees from the local authority).
29th Apr 2015
I'm not sure how you manage to get a repayment of er's NI in month 12 because as far as I am aware, that's not the way NI works - it is calculated on pay periods i.e. weeks or months with no cumulative calculations, so no refunds (Directors can use an alternative method but that doesn't give refunds either)
Did they change the calculation method to Director's method in Mth 12?
Basically the Employment Allowance is a maximum of the Er's NI paid up to £2,000.
29th Apr 2015
Likely to lead to more hassle
I don't see this being a priority for 3rd party accounting/tax software producers and obviously HMRC don't care what havoc it reaps. I can only see this leading to more hassle for us in providing lenders with information which is reviewed by those that don't have a clue what they are looking at.
Why accountants can't get a copy of an SA302 from HMRC's website (in the same way we can't see PAYE payments etc) is beyond me and it would save everyone lots of time and trouble if we could see the same as someone who logs in directly to HMRC's portal.
15th Jul 2014
Buy some each year
If you think you are worth more then why not agree with your partner that you receive a bonus each year (if you bring in more than an agreed amount) which you can then use to buy more of his shares. If the bonus is less than £11K net and your partner doesn't have any other capital gains then he will receive the proceeds tax free. There will be an NI cost but you will take ownership of a bit more of the company each year.
It is all about negotiation but remember that this was his practice built up by him at what was probably significant personal and financial cost. You don't have those worries because of the costs he has borne and as such you should pay a premium to take ownership - that is effectively what your arrangement is doing.
Just remember that he is inviting you into his firm and like he did when he started, you are going to have to put much more in than you get out in the early stages. I've been there and done it - just don't fall out about it and don't make him feel you are trying to steal it from him.
The next thing you need to think about is how are you going to manage one he has retired. Do you need to bring in someone like yourself further down the line?