Member Since: 11th Aug 2011
22nd Feb 2020
Makes electric cars very attractive compared to petrol and diesel which can be up to 37% of the list price and thats before taking into account the fuel benefit charge.
You can also get grants for installing electric charging units at home as well as possibly being able to put them through business and getting tax relief.
I'm certainly going to look at when current car lease ends in April.
16th Feb 2020
We currently use Glide. Great for workflow, automated emails and texts and timesheet recording.
We are however also looking to move to Senta as will do all the above (except timesheet recording) but also have the added facility of client portal, electronic signature, document management (we currently use Docusoft which is similar to Virtual Cabinet but as all emails in and out are saved to Senta you could do away with Virtual Cabinet if using Senta). Plus few other bits and pieces eg structured folders which means we could save everything in Senta rather than on server.
Takes a bit understanding how to set up Senta and the relationship between services, jobs, tasks etc. Currently in the stage of testing Senta and trialling with a few clients.
11th Feb 2020
That the rental income from the property that he owned wasnt taxable as he had already paid tax on the money earned he used to buy the property. So he was being taxed twice.
I suppose logically it makes but then tax is never logical.
11th Feb 2020
The staff in the office all have 2 screens.
I have had 3 screens for about 5 years now and couldnt go back to working with 2 screens.
12th Jan 2020
What we do
1. Send out checklist in April (we use taxcalc so use their checklist but similar to IRIS in that it has the previous year's figures and boxes to complete this years). It a paper form and not electronic like IRIS. Though we do upload it as a PDF to our client portal.
2. We chase them monthly thereafter (by automated email one month and text the next) chasing them for their info until they hand in. As it is automated it doesnt take us any time to do this once set up and it resulted in a lot more people handing in earlier that before this year.
3. Use the carrot/stick approach. We give a 10% discount on fee if all info in by end of July. We add 10%, 25% and 33% onto fee if info not handed in until Nov, Dec and Jan respectively. Remind them of these discounts/uplifts at the appropriate time.
4. For regular offenders just let them get the penalty. If you always pull out the stops and get it done in time they wont change. Sometimes a penalty is the jolt they need for the next year.
5. For regular offenders when quoting for next year increase their fee to compensate.
12th Jan 2020
There is loads of things you can do but is either going to take time or money (or both !!!!)
Accountants are no different from any other business. The key to running a business is 2 things
1. Finding customers
2. Keeping customers
Fortunately for accountants given the nature of the business number 2 is relatively easy compared to other sectors as due to the nature of the work (unless you balls up) clients will come back year on year to you. So the only thing you need to concentrate on is finding customers.
There isnt any silver bullet so try different things and see what gets you the best ROI.
As with any marketing it is all about knowing your numbers. What is your spending generating.
Areas you could concentrate on (in no particular order)
3. Google Ads
4. Social media posting on a regular basis
5. Facebook ads
6. LinkedIn ads
7. Direct Mail to new and/or existing businesses
8. Email marketing
9. Leaflet drops in business centres
11. Run an event/workshop
Over this year we are going to concentrate on a few marketing pillars
1. Getting new website done
2. Google Ads (we currently spend about £150 per month)
3. Facebook Ads (going to test with spend of about £150 per month)
4. Growing our connections on Linkedin and posting on a daily basis including a video once a week and provide valuable free content via downloads to capture email addresses and put in nuture campaign to build relationship.
5. Direct mail to newly incorporated companies within 10 miles of our 3 registered office each month (as well as follow up letter after they have been in business a year).
Between the above for costs and having someone to manage it we will be spending about £1k + VAT per month and looking to generate fees of £5k + VAT per month (so ROI of 5x).
23rd Dec 2019
Hubdoc from what I have seen isnt very good. Sure Xero will invest in it over the next few years but Receipt Bank is miles ahead of it of what it can do from a functionality viewpoint.
Regarding your comments in order
1. Difficulty will be getting clients to use it
2. Yes cost would be avoided if not using Xero and Autoentry but if using Autoentry is the cost not factored into your bookkeeping charges?
3. We only use Xero where we do the bookkeeping so doesnt affect us.
4. Again will be ensuring clients upload all the receipts
5. Hubdoc I dont believe does bank statements like Autoentry and RB does
1. Although cloud accounting and receipt processing software makes things more efficient clients still need to know what they are doing and how to sort things when it is done wrong. Most people dont or are not interested in learning. That why they pay an accountant/bookkeeper.
2. Cloud accounting is make processing more efficient that it used to be 20 years ago but then enables you to spend your time in other areas helping your client rather than just being a bookkeeper. If you dont show them the benefits of using software someone else will at some point and pinch your client.
3. Quickbooks has its own receipt processing software and SAGE bought Autoentry a couple of months ago. Expect that in the next year or so Autoentry will be rebranded as SAGE's own receipt processing software and only be able to be used by SAGE users.
23rd Dec 2019
We have been using Taxcalc for 18 months having previously been with IRIS.
Taxcalc is much better than IRIS and is cheaper. More intuitive to use and can have multiple clients and years open in each module at any time. Only downside is doesnt have a charities module but we only have a couple and looking to see what else we can use for them.
We just use Taxcalc for accounts, tax (corporate and personal), automail letters.
We use other software for other things eg inform direct for co sec, glide for job workflow/time recording/automated emails and text chasing info.
I know that taxcalc has recently introduced workflow and time recording but not looked at either and if was going to switch would probably move to something like Senta that as well as doing job workflow can do other things such as client portal, save documents against client, electronic signature etc.
On the odd occasion had to use support in the last 18 months (probably used just a few times) it has been excellent.
17th Dec 2019
I use Acuity Scheduling which sends an email and text reminder 3 days and 1 day before the meeting to the client/prospect.
Now have very little no shows.
Value your time. It is your business and your rules so if you want to set meetings to just normal business hours you can. If you want to have a free for all and let clients/prospects book meetings at any time of the day/night then you can as it is your business. There isnt a right and wrong. What works for one person wont work for another.
29th Nov 2019
Did some planning today around dividend advice.
Potentially saved the client £4k.
Took about a 3 minutes to do the calculations.