Member Since: 26th Sep 2017
24th Aug 2018
As I have my own practice, there are two golden rules. Never work Sundays with at least two Saturdays off per month: being with family and recharging your batteries are important. Secondly, my working days are geared towards my clients who mostly work flat out in their own businesses... 9 to 5 (at least). Within reason, I schedule meetings to suit them and flex my working hours around them. The first challenges them not to work all hours to death; the second gives them respect and the wow factor of my practice
14th Aug 2018
If it helps, I find this regime works very well
1) Use Sanebox (sanebox.com) to sort out incoming mail, binning spam and the like, and putting emails into folders like "Read Later", "News", etc
2) Use Postbox (postbox-inc.com) as your mail client using features like organising incoming emails by moving them to special folders, or putting as high priority emails marked as "URGENT", and so on
3) Be ultra disciplined, even when you are on your own in the office, and pick up emails at set times during work hours
As an example, of how 1) and 2) work, my Sanebox has been trained for all client emails to stay in the inbox; Postbox then moves them into the relevant client folders. Thus, when I do read my mail, I can quickly and easily focus on the clients' correspondence first, then the rest follows as time allows - usually about 50 emails in less than five minutes, highlighting the ones I should read for when I have quality time to do so.
6th Jul 2018
I've been following posts like this and using spreadsheets for MTD with puzzlement.
My thought process is this: do we as a profession still use quill pens, ink and ledger books? No! Thus the question should be, rather, what tools do I need to run my practice in this century, not the last one? Accordingly, at Accountex if any vendor offered a desktop-only version of their wares, I walked away. "Desktop applications are last century's quill pens: what is there in the cloud for this century?" is our approach and it serves us well. Alongside this is the recognition that many offerings (desktop and cloud) are bloated and it is very easy to over-complicate matters using all the fancy tools at your disposal. What is really needed?
Going, now, to the original question. PCs versus Macs is an age-old chestnut. In many cases it goes down to personal choice, but for us the return on investment means Apple products win every time. The longevity of Macs are simply amazing. In the office we have a ten year old iMac desktop still going strong and on the road an eight year old Macbook Pro. No PC-based technology matches that, hence the ROI we get with the Macs.
Keeping things simple, while perfectly possible, neither of the Macs run Windows. On the road, the Pro hooks into our data server which is mirrored in the cloud. Libre Office is the workhorse for documents and spreadsheets; sync.com for encrypted cloud access for our clients; Xero for accounts, etc, etc.
The clear-out we had a few years ago on all the "stuff" we use, and how, has meant we are leaner and more efficient in our daily tasks with increased productivity, less on-costs and higher ROI.
28th Jun 2018
The simple answer is to sign up to Xero. They've got plenty of online demos to train you up. You're ahead of the game as you already understand double entry etc.
Sign up for a demo and do a little bit of home work each night using a client's data to see how it works.
If you were to go ahead, Xero would cost you nothing but your clients would have to pay for their own company's version. There aren't any small businesses I can think of that couldn't fit onto Xero.
It's less hassle for you, as Xero have worked out exactly what needs to be done already.
Thoroughly agree. As a Xero Partner there are versions of Xero which are not available publicly and which may be better suited for some of your clients' needs. Products like Xero already file VAT returns direct into HMRC, so they are currently developing a proven system into a MTD compliant one. While spreadsheets are all well and good, they are fraught with danger (eg incorrect formula). Also, thinking out loud, what is the point of learning spreadsheets and then having to rely on somebody to create compliant software to bridge spreadsheets (Excel, Libra, etc), getting that approved and, crucially, updating it as new versions of spreadsheets and MTD compliance come along??
8th Mar 2018
We use sync.com for all our client files - it works like Dropbox, but has the advantage of being far more secure with options for encryption. While we are on the business package there is a free-for-ever starter package. A further advantage is that it can be installed on a PC or Mac as a folder and we get our clients to work there so there is no need to transfer files. And, in the event of that PC or Mac gets lost or stolen, it can remotely deactivated from sync.com
15th Feb 2018
We use sync.com, a cloud-based storage, which is very secure with various levels of encryption; for more details see https://www.sync.com/your-privacy One other advantage is that files can easily be updated - when mailing files which subsequently get changed, there is always the risk clients will open an old mail and go from there, creating hassle and extra work