Avoid These 5 Costly Accounting Mistakes

A Canadian bank surveyed over 500 small business owners about what they love and hate most about owning their own business.   Unsurprisingly, flexibility and feeling in control ranked first in the “love” category. Meanwhile, almost 60% said bookkeeping was hands-down their most hated task. Most business owners understand that effective financial management is key to their success. But lack of knowledge, frustration, and even avoidance can add up to accounting…  Read more

You should be using two factor authentication

For small business owners, the risk of data breaches and fraud is high, so taking all the necessary steps to protect your sensitive data is a must. Unfortunately for many entrepreneurs the decision to increase their company’s data protection comes too late – after they’ve been victimized by a malicious hacker. The good news is, simple and inexpensive steps can be taken to avoid being hacked. According to a recent…  Read more

Efficient business systems really pay off

Too many businesses fall over because the owner has not established efficient business systems. This typically happens because the business owner is so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that the fundamentals of good business management get forgotten. Often too it must be said that the owner simply doesn’t like bookkeeping or other administrative tasks, so these get put on the back burner. The symptoms are familiar,…  Read more

Using KPIs to monitor and improve business performance

The key performance indicators (KPIs) for one company will invariably be different from the KPIs of another firm.  What both hypothetical companies share, however, is the challenge of selecting which KPIs are best suited for measuring the goals and progress of their particular business model. Indeed, entrepreneurs have a vast array of reports and data sets from which to choose and select from, but that data needs to target those…  Read more

Improving your business with better time management

When things are hectic, most small business owners wish they could find a way to get more than 24 hours into a day. Often, your ‘to-do’ list can get so long that you feel you never get to put as much attention into every task as you would like. It can also mean more time in the office or dealing with work issues after-hours – cutting into your free time…  Read more

Identify your break-even point

Without knowing your break-even point, you can’t make informed business decisions. To cover the costs of your business you need to sell enough goods or services to reach your break-even point. Knowing where that point is, and how long it will take you to reach it, can be fundamental to your success. This especially true if you’re thinking about starting or buying a business. Calculate fixed and variable costs The…  Read more

Building a Data-Led Strategy

Businesses are capturing more information than ever before. The most successful firms are analysing that information and are focused on building their strategy around customer and market data. Data management strategy To create a data-driven business, you need to have a data management strategy. This needs to start with your culture and people. You need to encourage the right behaviours among your staff. It might help to create a training…  Read more

Remaining productive when you are traveling

In theory, when you travel with work, you should have time to focus on getting a few things done. In reality, it can be almost impossible to work in a busy airport or on a busy flight. Here are a few tips to help you to be more productive when you are on the road. Plan ahead There is nothing worse than starting a piece of work and realising that…  Read more

Creating a high performance organisation

High performance organisations stimulate more effective employee involvement and commitment in order to achieve increased profits, improved productivity and higher levels of customer loyalty. We are living in uncertain times. The highest performing businesses will, by their very nature, ride out the storm more effectively than their competitors. So how do you create a high performance organisation? A truly high performance business will deliver higher levels of productivity, customer satisfaction,…  Read more

Using Snapchat as a Marketing Tool

Snapchat is a popular video and image sharing app. It has become one of the most popular social media platforms but can it be used by businesses as a marketing tool? Originally, Snapchat allowed Android and iOS smart-phone users to send and receive images that could only be kept for a short time, once received. However, Snapchat has evolved and users can now use the ‘story’ function where your photos…  Read more

Funding is the Key to your Growth Plans

Sourcing the right funding for your business can be the first step in achieving your growth goals, or the helping hand you need when you’re in a cash flow hole. Cash is king when it comes to funding your growth plan. But with the funding market now bursting with a huge choice of traditional and alternative finance providers, knowing what type of finance to opt for, and from which provider,…  Read more

Six things to consider for online accounting software in your retail business

A lot of retailers are now using online accounting software for their businesses. There’s a good reason for that – it can make all the difference when it comes to managing your retail business. But you’ve got to make sure that you choose the software that’s right for you. Here’s a quick checklist of recommendations, to make sure you’ve got the right accounting software when it counts. Does the software…  Read more

Personal Service Company Changes From April 2020

In the Autumn Budget the Chancellor announced that the “off payroll” workers rules that currently apply in the public sector would be rolled out to the private sector in 2020. The government have now issued a consultation paper that sets out proposed tax and national insurance changes that will impact on those supplying their services through personal service companies. End users will be required to determine whether the rules apply…  Read more

Advisory Fuel Rate for Company Cars

In line with recent reductions in fuel prices, HMRC have reduced their suggested reimbursement rates for employees’ private mileage using their company car from 1 March 2019. Where there has been a change the previous rate is shown in brackets.    Engine Size  Petrol  Diesel  LPG  1400cc or less  11p (12p)  7p (8p)  1600cc or less  10p  1401cc to 2000cc  14p (15p)  8p (10p)  1601 to 2000cc  11p (12p)  Over…  Read more

Disguised Remuneration Loan Charge Starts April 2019

This new charge will apply to certain loans to directors and employees that are still outstanding at 5 April 2019 and new arrangements put in place after that date. The charge affects arrangements involving loans made via Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) and similar disguised remuneration schemes adjudged by HMRC and the courts to be tax avoidance and liable to PAYE and National Insurance Contributions. There are new reporting and payment…  Read more

Land And Building Transactions Tax

Land and Buildings Transactions Tax is the Scottish equivalent of Stamp Duty Land Tax. For residential properties, the rates and bands for land and buildings transactions tax (“LBTT”) will be unchanged for 2019/20, although the additional dwelling supplement will be increased from 3% to 4%. The lower rate for non-residential properties will be reduced from 3% to 1%, and the upper rate increased from 4.5% to 5%. The upper rate…  Read more

Self Employed Pensions

When you’re employed, your employer makes compulsory contributions to your pension via auto enrolment (unless you opt out). When you work for yourself as a sole trader, or you’re in a partnership, making pension payments isn’t mandatory. But, it’s still an important thing to consider. It is especially worrying that studies have found that 45% of self employed workers between 35 and 55 have no pension. Retirement savings contributions are…  Read more

Remote Working is On the Rise

Remote working has become more and more common as developments in technology have allowed us to communicate and collaborate no matter where we are. In fact, most of us are already logging on from home or holiday already. In May 2018, Swiss serviced office provider IWG released a study that found that 70% of professionals work remotely at least once a week. Sometimes called ‘telecommuting’, remote work is on the…  Read more

Invest in your People with a Wellness Programme

Your people are your business’s most important asset. As such, it is important to invest in their wellbeing. As global technology develops and demands on employees increase, it is not surprising that the terms ‘burnout’, ‘dissatisfaction’ and ‘distress’ are being increasingly reported across the developed business world. With increased absence, pressure is put on the rest of the team to meet deliverables, which can negatively impact team morale and increase…  Read more

Obvious Innovation

Innovation can be driven by taking an ‘obvious’ idea from one context and applying it in another The successful development and implementation of new, innovative ideas is crucial in business. Your innovation could focus on improving business processes, bringing new and improved products and services to market, increasing efficiency or, most importantly, improving profitability. Being innovative in business isn’t all about being the next Steve Jobs or inventing the light…  Read more

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