Member Since: 20th Sep 1998
Stephen established his general accountancy practice in 1986 to help individuals and small businesses become more successful. Stephen is an Independent Certified Practising Accountant and Fellow member of The ICPA and member of the IAB. He was a TAS Software accounting partner and used TAS Software since 1995. In 2012 he became a Xero Certified Advisor with the strong belief that Xero Accounting software was changing the way accountants interact with businesses. Never looked back.
A visit to an Accountants' Exhibition in London's City area back in the 90's Stephen discovered a young Sift company promoting a new website called AccountingWeb. Since then he has been a regular subscriber.
1st Apr 2020
Just received an email from our local council inviting me to go online and enter my small business grant claim which I have now done. I've already had my 2020-21 rates bill which is nil again as I get small business rate relief. No surprise that they have had thousand's of applications so will just have to wait and see. I can't believe that we may get a grant of £10,000 for free. I expect the worst and hope for the best.
7th Nov 2019
" Xerocon UK has come a long way since the first event in 2012, when a small band of techie accountants turned up at Chartered Accountants Hall".
Yes, 2012 was a key year for me too. Having run my practice for 28 years I became a Xero Certified Advisor in 2012 after visiting their local roadshow in May and realising there was a better way of doing things. It made total sense to go to XeroCon in September but we had to pay for the privilege. I remember it was a small affair with only 3 (or was it 5?) app partners exhibiting. Amazing when you consider the hundreds of apps available now.
Then in November along came the first Accountex which was a one day event held at London's Olympia. That was free and Xero were there as well. Since then I've been to every Accountex (now at Excel) to date for the shear breadth of coverage of our fascinating industry, meeting the exhibitors, product demos and attending the valuable seminars. Both XeroCon and Accountex have grown incredibly fast over the last 8 years since then.
I shall continue to attend Accountex but one XeroCon was enough. I don't need all the razzamatazz that goes with it. As an advisor I maintain my Xero product knowledge through their excellent online training facility. Any apps I want to try or suppliers I want to talk to can be done over the internet. Being in rural Dorset my wisest investment was installing fibre broadband. Without that we just couldn't survive now.
29th Nov 2018
If you've reached retirement age and deferred your state pension your personal tax account won't give any indication of what you might receive at a future date. At least that's how it was last time I looked. You have to work it out yourself which can be a bit tricky. Shame as it might encourage more people to defer if they could see it was worth it and decide to keep on working.
18th May 2018
We have a couple of the TaxCalc insulated mugs with lids as pictured above. Great for keeping tea or coffee hot whilst gardening or out on a car trip. These are definitely very useful swag and still in use today.
28th Apr 2016
I'm sorry to hear about the train strikes during Accountex as I wasn't aware although Southern is not our region. Were coming up from the SW by coach and we have a hotel booked for a couple of nights so I'm hoping it won't affect us. Hope the buses, tube and DLR don't strike as well.
Can't understand how Receipt Bank get so much praise. We have a couple of clients using it and we were invited in as agents. Looks complicated. The transfers to Xero always have errors with the VAT. When I phoned Receipt Bank for guidance they refused to help us as we weren't paying customers - only agents. Such a terrible attitude that I will discredit them when ever I get the chance.
Looking forward to Accountex again. This year we'll be checking out add-on suppliers, alternatives to Xero and pensions for auto enrolment. Hey Ho, never a dull moment being an accountant :-).
12th Feb 2016
More like £500 and counting
Locutus wrote:... It's the thought of spending three whole days of your valuable time with a group of brainwashed happy-clappers. In spite of 3 days of "CPD" you would realise at the end, you didn't actually learn anything other than "Xero is really cool".
More like £500 or so when you add on hotel accommodation and meals as its a 200 mile round trip for me. I went to the first Xerocon which was only one day. It was ok but didn't really learn much. Now its 2 (or 3 days) - don't really care. Just so glad to get through the mad season and still going strong. Why would I want to pay out hard earned cash and lose days of valuable earning time as well?
On the other hand, and much better value, looking forward to Accountex again in May. Will see Xero and loads of other suppliers, attend interesting seminars and all for free. Except the accommodation.
31st Jan 2016
Just putting the finishing touches today. We've been using Iris Openspace again this year so clients don't have to visit to sign off. All records that were in by mid January were or will be done. Those that came in during the last two weeks we've told them will be February jobs although tomorrow we start the December vat returns. One deadline after another. Funny how its often the same late comers every year.
16th Nov 2015
Legitimise all businesses by compulsory VAT registration
as they do in Holland. If you are in business then you must be VAT registered. It provides a level playing field for all businesses. Make it illegal for anyone to engage a business and not pay vat so the dodgy businesses could not do "cash" jobs by not charging vat. They could but the engager would be culpable as well and by definiton this would apply to all "private" jobs such as paying someone to paint your house or sort your garden out. VAT on invoices and receipts and the provision of them to made a legal requirement without asking.
9th Nov 2015
Unacceptable Agent Status
HMRC want to split tax agents into four categories: Here are the suggested minimum fees for next year.
Assured Agents £50,000Good and Acceptable agents £25,000Poor agents £5,000Unacceptable agents FREE
Pay your fee to HMRC for the level of service that you expect or don't pay and receive Unacceptable Agent Status for FREE which means you will have great difficulty doing anything for your clients where HMRC are concerned. If you phone your call will go unanswered. If you submit online (if that's even possible) it will be rejected. If you write it will be put in the pile to be answered in 12 months time (but we might just ignore it and say it got lost in the post). Either way you won't know as we don't acknowledge anything anyway. Less work for us as your claim or election will be out of time by then.
The new fees are only suggested minimums but please give generously as we have a tax gap to fill.
Wait a minute! That's exactly the service we are getting now so HMRC are treating us as having Unacceptable Agent Status already!
19th Oct 2015
An interesting article by Rebecca but lets not lose sight of the fact that many people let residential property as an investment for their retirement. So Helen pays a bit of tax. The mortgage won't last forever. Come retirement she will own a substantial asset. To say "she has no option but to sell" assumes she has bought the property and financed it just to provide herself with a tax free income. I have many clients in retirement with no mortgages doing very nicely with their letting incomes and paying "their fair share" of tax and have done so for many years.