How a bookkeeping service will grow your business in 2016

Many entrepreneurs think they can do it all when they first start their business. In the beginning, doing everything from administrative tasks, marketing, and bookkeeping might not be a choice but necessity, since funds are strapped and there is barely any cash flow. There comes a time when delegating certain aspects can actually help your business, even if it costs money. One of those tasks is bookkeeping. Here are some ways a bookkeeping service will help grow your business in 2016. Free Up Time If you can choose only reason to hire a bookkeeper, this would be it. Keeping track of all your records and receipts is a lot of work. The longer you stay in business, the higher your chance of tax investigation. If you don’t have up-to-date financials, you’ll get fined. Even with DIY software, to stay on top of all this takes time out of your business; that’s time you can use to dream up more ventures, network with others, or even take some time off to recharge. So this is one area of your business you don’t want to skimp on. Spot Trends or Catch Errors When you’re doing your own bookkeeping, it’s easy to become myopic. Your cash book might be up-to-date and you might have a paper trail for everything, but what does that actually mean? Can you analyse your financial data and see exactly where your business is going, or uncover new opportunities? A bookkeeping service helps spot trends in your financials or catches errors that will likely be problematic. Tax Preparation It’s hard to find anyone who’s terribly excited about filing... read more

Changes to Non-Dom Status in the UK

A person with non-domicile status is someone whose permanent home is located outside of the UK. It has been a system integrated into British law for over 200 years and allows people to reduce the tax they pay from overseas earnings. The non-dom ruling has gained controversy over recent years as the wealthiest seek to take advantage of the loophole. The law has been open to criticism due to certain clauses that allowed even lifelong residents of the UK to still claim tax relief. For example, the non-domicile status was received if your father considered his permanent home to be in a different country at your birth, even if you had never stepped outside the country. Furthermore, simply moving your assets and residence abroad would also generate non-dom status, meaning that foreign income wasn’t taxable. In 2013, a report by the Independent newspaper claimed that there was around 116,000 people with non-domiciled status in the UK. Notable examples include Roman Abramovich, Lewis Hamilton, Sir Philip Green and James Caan. July 2015 Budget Changes The Summer Budget saw George Osbourne announce a change in the non-dom ruling, essentially ending the permanent entitlement of some wealthy families who have been exposing the loophole for many years and over multiple generations. Anyone who has lived in the UK for 15 of the last 20 years will now be exempt from the overseas tax breaks. In addition, Britons who have relocated their residence abroad will also have their non-dom status removed in a bid to make the system fairer and effectively raise more money for the cabinet. Another way for avoiding tax payments... read more

Avoiding financial issues when running your own business

As an accounting firm, we were horrified to learn that more than half of businesses don’t survive past their fifth year. Without proper budgeting, a decent ‘’cash in, cash out’’ log and well-kept books, it’s easy to trap yourself- and your business- in the black holes of disorganisation and loss, with nothing but empty accounts and upset clients to show for your hard work and investments. Accounts forecast First of all, get your cash flow in check! Hundreds of businesses flounder due to a cash deficit and we would always advise to plan ahead. When is the money coming in and why? Sales forecasts and business expenditure- stock, materials, operating expenses and yes, dividend and loan (re) payments all need to be kept on top of and updated. And don’t forget tax, whether it’s corporation, income or VAT! Debts A well-organised debit/credit control system marks out looming debts- and can even help avoid them. Write down and organise anything you/anyone else owes. Partial invoices for customers facilitate business/client relations- even the best of us can benefit from paying in instalments. Service Purchase Orders (www.sap.com) makes both external and internal invoicing quick and easy. And watch ALL your business accounts have the correct money coming out and in- keep track of every deposit/outgoing amount, no matter how small! HMRC has a special advice page for companies, whether small or limited. Misunderstood credit terms Negotiation is key. Before you start refinancing or changing interest rates on your accounts, check they’re doing the best for your business. Whether it’s you who hasn’t engaged with stray interest or taxes or your client who... read more

Pension Auto Enrolment

Here at West London Accountants, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from employers about Pension Auto Enrolment. Pension Auto Enrolment, AKA Automatic Enrolment, is a law which means all employers must automatically enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme. While your employees do not have to do anything (hence the “auto”), it certainly does not mean that you, the employer, don’t have to do anything: there are certain actions that need to be carried out to make sure your staff are enrolled. Every employer must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they: are aged between 22 and State Pension age earn more than £10,000 a year work in the UK Every company with employees has a date by they have to join by, called the staging date. Once you know this, you need to let the regulator know who in your company will be the person managing the process / the main point of contact. Once you have completed the above, you’ll need to carry out quite a few steps before your staging date. These range from working out who is and isn’t qualified for the scheme to actually making sure you communicate all the information to your employees. If all this sounds a bit daunting, worry not, The Pensions Regulator has prepared this action plan. Once done, your work isn’t complete (we’re afraid it will never be complete if you’re in the lucky position of having a growing business!). You’ll obviously need to make sure that your company is making the appropriate contributions to the scheme, keep detailed records for the authorities and remember to... read more

Start-up financing mistakes: Part two

Welcome back for the second part of our start-up financing mistakes blog. We know you’ve been waiting, so without further delay… Not Doing Anything About Your Credit This one is serious. You’ve jumped through a myriad of hoops to get your business off the ground – forming an entity, pouring hours into deciding whether to have a C-Corp or an LLC, come up with a great business plan, and many more. Yet, when it comes to your credit, absolutely nothing was done about it Really? How did you think that business loan application was going to work out for you? In the early stages of your business your character and credit might be the only thing a lender can look at or cling to. Don’t strike out before you get to take a few whacks at it. Learn about treating your credit as an asset. It’s okay if you don’t understand credit. It can be intimidating but it’s really not rocket science. Remember this, there’s only two ways you can improve a credit profile. You can add some good stuff or correct and remove some bad stuff. There’s a lot that goes with each of those but don’t let it become more complex than it is. If you learn the basic differences between FICO scores and FAKO scores you’re on the right track! Know The Best Start-up Financing Options We end with a very simple premise – know your options! Blindly muddling from one mistake to the next, or knowing what’s out there and making a clear plan around those options. Which one sounds more enticing? The famous Theodore... read more

Start-up financing mistakes: Part one

The first twelve months are key. You’re against the clock, and many other metrics, to succeed. As we’ve helped literally thousands of entrepreneurs overcome their initial financing difficulties, we’ve seen a lot of problems that could be easily avoided. Here’s the first in a series on blogs discussing the most common start-up financing mistakes, and how to give yourself a fighting chance. Forming an entity & establishing ownership percentages There’s a fair chance you started your business with either a business partner or a spouse. Did you think about their credit profiles when deciding who the owners would be, and how much of the business they would own? As per a study done by Lendio (a SME loan provider), 59% of visitors to their site required $50,000 or less to start their business. Despite not being exorbitant amounts, you still need to bear in mind the credit ratings of the majority owner and the business partner/spouse. If one has great credit, and the other, not so, then these are aspects you need to consider (or speak about with your attorney) when forming your entity. Many business loans require anyone who owns more than 20% to be included in the credit check, and to be able to personally make sure they can make the repayment of the loan that is being applied for. Is your business partner/spouse willing to take advantage of their superb credit rating to help get the business started? If you are one of the many entrepreneurs who only need $50,000 (or less) to start your business, then it is possible to obtain all of this with a... read more