Member Since: 22nd Jan 2010
24th Nov 2020
I've always thought of rent as a marketing cost. I could have started in my bedroom at home, in a small village - good job I didn't! I knocked on doors to find somewhere in a town centre, which very quickly (about 10 mins of knocking doors) yielded the place I am still in 8 years later.
When I moved in (2012, when I "took the plunge"), I paid £500/month rent for a small room for 2 people (town centre, London Fringe location), with plenty of HNW individuals and business owners around. I took on my first employee after 12 months, so the small room was then fully occupied.
It took 2 years for me to be able to live off the income I was generating, having grown pretty much from nothing, to £100k turnover in that time. I did buy a small block of fees off a bedroom accountant, which took him 10 years to get to £27k turnover - it was more of a lifestyle retirement hobby for him I think, which goes with the having an office at home in my opinion: if you have an office home, you won't be taken seriously by larger clients, you will appear as a hobbyist, not someone serious in business.
Included in the rent was a weekly cleaner, shared toilets, kitchen and board room all within the cost of the rent.
Basically, it was a Regus without a receptionist run by the occupiers, each occupier has their own buzzer at the front outside the building, and the whole block is above an estate agent.
Unfortunately, no parking, but everyone is used to this ancient town-centre having no parking, except owned by the council. We don't have many clients dropping off records, but those that do are happy to chance a ticket, which hasn't happened in all the time we've been here. Those coming in for meetings use one of the many local car parks, and often use the occasion to get other town centre stuff done. We have had a few clients get a ticket, after parking outside the front for a meeting, but they half-expected that!
I later moved into bigger and bigger rooms in the same place, now with 6 desks and a lovely garden just for my team and I at the back, £1.5k/month.
It was a contract for the first 6 months, then monthly after that (there are no exit fees what-so-ever or dilpidations etc), never had any problems. The service company that runs the building is owned and controlled by the occupants, so we don't screw ourselves over!!! I just do the annual accounts and tax of the service company as my part of the deal. This place doesn't advertise, so I would never have found them had I not started knocking on doors.
I don't have a shop-frontage like TaxAssist, but I have a much nicer client base than they do. Your client type has more to do with your website and qualifications once you are not practising from home. Sizeable business owners aren't fooled into using a town accountant with no qualifications. Me, I am a chartered tax adviser and an FCA now, I regularly pick up multi-million turnover clients, which provide most of my income now. We have very few clients with a profit under £100k, as we would be too expensive for many of them, we focus on the tax value-added that the richer are more than happy to pay for.
21st Oct 2020
I think you only need a liquidator if you want a capital distribution tax treatment of the funds of more than >£25k. Some tax payers may not be entitled to that, eg: they are going to be involved with a similar trade within two years, or entrepreneur's relief isn't available and the funds are solely within basic rate band dividend tax so its more tax efficient to take dividends or a variety of other reasons.
10th Sep 2020
I've heard it only provides basic features, to just file a VAT Return, is that right? Others (eg: 123 sheets Ltd, but others as well like BTC), offer up-to-date info on VAT liabilities outstanding from HMRC's records, shows up-to-date data on what HMRC has for historic returns, it allows deadline management of VAT returns due across the client base etc.
Is Absolute just return filing only software?
30th Jul 2020
I imagine they can only have that up and running once the government's Budget has announced a confirmation of tax rates for the following tax year.
Budgets are now normally around November time, so I would imagine it would be available again Dec/Jan time.
Proposed tax rates can change, so you wouldn't want to tell a client "£X" amount is due on account Jan 2023 or later, if that later changes and the client gets annoyed...
Personally, I use my own spread sheet calculation, and only go through projections with clients in Feb - Mar, just ahead of what a tax year is about to start, not 9 months before a tax year starts, where there is little point.
2nd Jul 2020
To say Excel is dinosaur for bookkeeping, is to mis-understand excel.
If a user has poorly formed excel spreadsheets that aren't fit for purpose, then yes, Xero is better. But if you've got an excel spreadsheet that is designed for ease of use, entry speed, and produces all the main reports you'd expect from accounting software: P&L , B/S, aged debtor/creditor reports, VAT reports etc, then from a compliance point of view the bookkeeping takes 50% less time that using something like Xero in most cases. We only use Xero for clients that want more reporting, than what we need for year end compliance.
To talk about excel in general about being good or bad for accounting purposes, is to ask how long a piece of string is.
In the old 1997 version of Excel, there is a cell that, if you put the correct data in, turns excel into a flight simulator computer game. For later versions of Excel, Bill Gates asked the flight similuator code to be removed, as it used up too much space. That was in there just to show the power of Excel. It can basically do anything you want it to, that can be done on a computer.
So Excel is exceedingly powerful, but very few users know how to write proper spread sheets and do the necessary VBA coding.
I took two weeks to write my spreadsheet 1o years ago, that reaps dividends now, at we can do bookkeeping at £59/hour on, and be compareable in price to bookkeepers using Xero. Our year end accounts work is quicker too by about an hour (on say a 11 hour accounts prep job), as it was designed by us to make our lives easier, but Xero is about being "beautiful", not fast for the accountant or bookkeeper.
Not to mention of course all the xero fees that we have saved over the years. I think I paid £150 for MS Office on a few machines 5 years ago last time.
11th Jun 2020
I think the beauty of the 123 sheets Sage bridging option compared to others, is that it excepts the Sage VAT Return summary export without any template, manipulation or mapping, or even need to open excel. It also covers all versions of Sage 50/Instant/Profesional going back to 2007 odd (V.13), which I think is when Sage first started allowing to export the VAT Return Summary into Excel. They have a similar facility for QB as well going back to 2003 version it think it is.
28th May 2020
HMRC has rules on business splitting to stay under the VAT threshold, it has thought of that one before you were born.
The only way it can be done legitimately, is where are there separate businesses. That means: different website, separate advertising, separate assets, separate databases, separate logics, seperate expenses etc etc. There is no way it would work if you had one website for them all, or used the same systems.
28th May 2020
Yeah, but that is the paid ads at the top, which the majority of users scroll past.
I wouldn't really use the paid ads myself for accountancy advertising, as I reckon Google does very little to stop competitors and others who have no intention of buying just clicking your link and just cost you 50p or more a click!
30th Apr 2020
I see on Taxfiler's website, that its 10 clients for £10/month.
How is the 10 clients calculated?
Is that 3 clients (out of the 10) for say:
2 x owner-managers personal tax returns and Accs plus CT600 for their LTD company?
Or does each module ptax, ctax and Accs each have a total of 10 clients max, so you could have 30 clients (in theory)?
28th Apr 2020
When your taxes get jacked up to pay for the COVID-19 hand outs, you'll wonder why you didn't take the £10k, just to help pay the extra £20k COVID-19 tax bill you end up with in a couple of years time.
Why do you think Gordon Brown reduced VAT to 15%? It was just so that no-one would complain in a couple of years time when he stuck it up to 20% permanently thereafter as a quid pro quo.