Teri Cotta walks you through the A-X of Xero.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work closely with our friends and partners at Xero to help our clients get to grips with their bookkeeping.

And there is still a lot to get to grips with.

That’s why our accounting crackpot, Teri Cotta, has been working hard to bring you the top tips to be a Xero whiz and understand its processes, from the terribly simple to the terrifically complex.

In today’s Teri Tips, you’ll discover the cloud and explore how cloud accounting software like Xero can help your business.

We’ll look at the main features of Xero and give you some helpful tips to get you started.

And if you’re a visual learner, don’t worry… a full video showing each of these points step by step can be found on our YouTube channel.


What is the cloud?

First things first… what is the cloud?

The cloud lets you store and access your data over the internet through a network of servers.

Instead of a computer drive, you can use software in the cloud from any device with an internet connection.

The cloud is changing how we work, bank communicate, buy and sell.

You might be using the cloud already without knowing it.


What platforms use the cloud?

Let’s look at some common scenarios you might have experienced using the cloud.

Account information only used to be available during bank opening hours, but online banking stores your financial data securely in the cloud to access 24/7.

  • Online communication software (like Skype and Slack): Video chat functions that use the cloud
  • Calls and instant messaging services: These use the cloud so that conversation lines are available whenever you’re online
  • Streaming services (like Netflix and Spotify): Use the cloud to watch films, listen to music and view live events.

Xero is cloud accounting software that lets you access your financial data anytime, anywhere, and on any device with an internet connection.


Cloud-based software – The Pros

Businesses can benefit significantly from using cloud-based software like Xero.

Accessing cloud software through a web browser or mobile app means you can always retrieve your financial information.

  1. Multi-access

Cloud software lets all users work from the same information simultaneously.

  1. Changes are made immediately

There are no discrepancies, and every Xero user has a unique login, so you can easily track who carries out each task.

  1. Cloud software updates are automatic

You’ll never lose time or money to software upgrades.

  1. Automatic version updates

When you log in to Xero, you always use the most up-to-date version.

Data stored locally on a computer risks being corrupted, stolen, or lost.

But cloud software is stored securely and backed up automatically.

If something unexpected happens to your office equipment, you can get a new laptop and be back on the job straight away.

  1. Secure connection

Cloud software connects securely to organisations like banks, bringing the information directly into the software.

Data flow between software applications means reduced processing time and data entry errors.

  1. Automates labour-intensive tasks

Reconciling accounts and chasing overdue invoices are done automatically, freeing up your time to work on your business.

The long and short of it is, that Xero is a complete platform with all the features you need to run every part of your business, depending on your region and subscription.

Xero can even include payroll, expenses or projects.


The main features of Xero

So, let’s do a quick tour of Xero’s main features.

The navigation bar lets you move easily and quickly around Xero.

Create new or find other transactions

Use the ‘Plus Icon’ to create new transactions like invoices or bills directly from the navigation bar.

Search for contacts or transactions like quotes and view notifications to keep up to date with all things Xero.

Custom Dashboard

The custom dashboard shows key business metrics like your cash flow position, outstanding items to reconcile, and upcoming invoices and bills payable.

It also gives you an up-to-date picture of how your business is performing at any time.

Bank Feeds

Bank Feeds’ automatically import transactions from your bank or financial institution directly into your Xero organisation.

Thus, removing the need for a manual import.

It helps keep your account current and gives an accurate view of your business’s performance.

Here, Xero shows bank statement lines on the left with suggested matches on the right.

Suggestions are based on existing transactions like invoices and bills, bank rules or previously reconciled transactions.

Click ‘OK’ to quickly reconcile the transactions and update your cash flow.

Invoices

Another way to keep on top of cash flow is to send online invoices with online payment options.

Create professional-looking quotes and invoices and send them when you’re still with the customer.

If you register for your Xero organisation with the global E-invoicing network, you can also send and receive an invoice.

Add your logo and payment details to promote your business brand.

And send the invoice with just a couple of clicks.

Xero lets you know when online invoices are sent, viewed or paid.

Let Xero do the hard work and get paid faster with automatic reminders to help manage overdue invoices.

Just decide when and how often you want to send them.

The more ways and the easier you make it for the customers to pay, the less time you’ll spend chasing payments.

Xero research shows that invoices are paid 50% faster when the business connects to a payment service.

They let customers make secure payments directly from online invoices in just a few clicks.

Collated client details

Add all your business contacts to Xero and keep your supplier and client details in one place.

Create groups to manage your contacts and use smart lists to target clients.

Go paperless and store important documents and business information online in the Xero files library.

With automatic backups, you don’t need to worry about ever losing financial data.

You can even send documents directly to your Xero file library using a unique email address.

Templates and reporting

Every Xero subscription comes with financial and accounting reports and budget templates.

Customise them to show what matters most to your business.

Set the date range, compare periods, and modify the columns to change the layout of a report and then save it as a custom report to reuse later.

Staying on top of cash flow is essential for a business to survive.

Many business functions rely heavily on cash, like paying staff and buying supplies.

Xero analytics makes it easier to make the right decisions for your business.

It has two easy-to-read dashboards.

Use short-term cash flow to spot opportunities and risks ahead so you can act immediately.

Use the business snapshot to track key performance indicators like income and expenses and see how quickly your customers pay you.


What Xero does for you

You’re probably already using software in the cloud, and now it’s time to get the benefits of cloud software for your small business.

Xero affords you:

  • A full picture of your business’s financial information is accessible anywhere, anytime from any device with an internet connection.
  • All the tools you need to run and grow a successful business.
  • Direct bank saves and daily reconciliations for the most up-to-date financial data.
  • Online invoicing and payment services to help you get paid faster and improve cash flow.
  • Insightful reporting that leads to better business decisions.
  • Collaboration with unlimited users, all with a unique and secure login and access.

Need help with Xero?

Teri Cotta is joined worldwide by Rosemary Bookkeeping’s network of Xero-certified bookkeepers.

So, whether you need help choosing the right software for you, using Xero or outsourcing your books, our experts can help.

Take the hassle out of your bookkeeping by contacting your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper for expert bookkeeping and software support today.

Teri Cotta walks you through how to reconcile a bank statement on Xero.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work closely with our friends and partners at Xero to help our clients get to grips with their bookkeeping.

Reconciling your bank account regularly using software like Xero means your records are accurate and up to date.

Reconciling your bank accounts means matching your bank statement lines to transactions in Xero, such as invoices, bills, or other payments.

That’s why our accounting crackpot, Teri Cotta, has been working hard to bring you the top tips to be a Xero whiz and understand its processes, from the terribly simple to the terrifically complex.

Specifically, in today’s Teri Tips, we’re walking you through how to reconcile a bank statement on Xero for some common payment types.

And if you’re a visual learner, don’t worry… a full video showing each of these points step by step can be found on our YouTube channel.


How to start reconciling bank statements in Xero

From your ‘Business Bank Account”, click the reconcile button to begin.

Here, Xero suggests matches by comparing information in the statement line, such as the amount and contact name within the Xero transaction.

Suggested matches are highlighted in green.

Click okay to accept a match.

Xero reconciles the statement line and marks the invoice or bill as paid.

When there’s no suggested match, but you know the transaction is in Xero, you can search for it, click find and match and search for transactions by name, reference or amount.


How to reconcile multiple bills at once

You might have paid multiple bills in one go.

When we select these two bills, the total matches our statement line.

So, click reconcile.


How to reconcile incorrect payments

You might have invoiced a customer, but when you search for the transaction, you see the customer has paid the wrong amount.

You can easily account for these situations when you reconcile.

In the example on our YouTube channel, we recorded an overpayment.

In this scenario, click new transaction.

This is a receive money transaction as it’s money coming in.

Select overpayment and click “save transaction”.

The total of these two transactions matches the statement line.

So, click reconcile. Sometimes you might pay for something on the spot like office supplies or parking, so there isn’t a transaction in Xero.

Here, you create a new spend or receive money transaction to reconcile.

Enter the who, what and why and click okay.


Need expert support?

Teri Cotta is joined worldwide by Rosemary Bookkeeping’s network of Xero-certified bookkeepers.

So, whether you need help choosing the right software for you, using Xero or outsourcing your books, our experts can help.

Take the hassle out of your bookkeeping and get the time back to focus on what matters most by contacting your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Teri Cotta shows you how to create an invoice in Xero in just two steps.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work closely with our friends and partners at Xero to help our clients get to grips with their bookkeeping.

But creating new invoices can be a big hurdle when you don’t know how – especially on potentially alien software.

That’s why our accounting crackpot, Teri Cotta, has been working hard to bring you the top tips to be a Xero whiz and understand its processes, from the terribly simple to the terrifically complex.

Specifically, in today’s Teri Tips, we’re walking you through “How to create a new invoice”.

And if you’re a visual learner, don’t worry… a full video showing each of these points step by step can be found on our YouTube channel.


Benefits of invoicing with Xero

Put simply, invoicing in Xero helps you get paid faster.

You know when customers have seen your invoices, and it’s easy to chase overdue invoices.

And you can create and send invoices in Xero in two simple steps.


  1. Create Your New Invoice

In the business menu, select invoices.

Then click ‘New Invoice.’

Or from anywhere in Xero, click the plus icon and select invoice.

Enter the business name.

Either create a new contact or choose from one of the lists.

Xero automatically assigns the invoice number and dates.

Check the default due date is correct and change it if you like.

Enter details in the description, quantity, and price fields.

Be specific so the customer knows what they’re paying for.

Ensure the account and tax rates are correct so Xero can categorise the transaction accurately.

Or, if you’ve set up products and services in Xero, you can choose them in the item menu, and Xero will populate the fields for you.


  1. Send the Invoice to Your Customer

First, preview your invoice to see how it looks for your customer.

Click ‘X’ to close the preview and make any changes if you need to.

Once you’re happy with the invoice, click approve and email.

Confirm the customer’s name and email address and click ‘Send’.

Xero sends the invoice and marks it as awaiting payment. And that’s it.

You’ve created an invoice and sent it to the customer.

Now, you’re ready to tackle the world!


Need extra expert support?

Teri Cotta is joined worldwide by Rosemary Bookkeeping’s network of Xero-certified bookkeepers.

So, whether you need help choosing the right software for you, using Xero, or outsourcing your books, our experts can help.

Take the hassle out of your bookkeeping and get the time back to focus on what matters most by contacting your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

 Teri Cotta walks you through the Xero Business Account setup process.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work closely with our friends and partners at Xero to help our clients get to grips with their bookkeeping.

Starting things is hard, and there is a lot of merit in that adage of nothing being scarier than a blank slate.

That’s why our accounting crackpot, Teri Cotta, has been working hard to bring you the top tips to be a Xero whiz and understand its processes, from the terribly simple to the terrifically complex.

Specifically, in today’s Teri Tips, we’re walking you through how to get started with Xero by setting up your Xero Business Account.

And if you’re a visual learner, don’t worry… a full video showing each of these points step by step can be found on our YouTube channel.


  1. Getting Started – Confirm your details via email

To start, go to Xero.com and try it for free.

Enter your details, agree to the terms and conditions, and click “Get Started”.

Then, Xero should send you an email to confirm your details.

Go to your inbox, find the email, and click the link to get started.


  1. Activate your account with a password and details of your business

Next, enter a secure Password and then click activate your account.

Xero needs a few more details to complete the initial setup.

Begin by entering your organisation name, which Xero will display on your invoices.

Then, check that your country and currency are correct, as once you start the trial, you won’t be able to change this information.

Next, enter what your organisation does.

Start typing your industry and select the best option that applies to your business from a dropdown.

Xero will use this information to recommend connected apps for your business.

Set your financial year-end, which feeds into your reporting.

And finally, select your current accounting solution.

When you’re done, click “Start Trial”.


  1. Navigating the Xero Dashboard

Once you have completed the above, the first thing you’ll see is the Xero dashboard.

First, watch the introduction video to get an overview of the setup process.

As you start to use Xero, you’ll see more information on this dashboard—for example, invoices owed to you.

To manage your trial account, click on the organisation name and select my Xero.

There are a few things you can do here when you’re ready to convert your trial account. Click pay now and follow the steps to buy a subscription.

If you run multiple businesses, you can click “Add an Organisation” to create another Xero account for the same login.

Xero provides each user with their own demo company.

You can use this to practice new skills and try new features.

It consists of test data that resets automatically every 28 days.

It’s also handy to know that you can also manually reset it any time you want.


  1. Accessing Xero Support Features

If you have a question or need support, click the help icon and click any of the links provided.

For example, go to Xero Central to explore help articles.

Alternatively, enter a search criteria and press enter.

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, scroll down and click “Contact Xero support”.

This takes you to Xero Central, where you can submit a query, enter detailed information, and click Send.

Xero guarantees that a support specialist will contact you within 24 hours.

And with that, you’re all done.


Need expert bookkeeping support?

Teri Cotta is joined worldwide by Rosemary Bookkeeping’s network of Xero-certified bookkeepers.

So, whether you need help choosing the right software for you, using Xero or outsourcing your books, our experts will be able to help.

Take the hassle out of your bookkeeping and get the time back to focus on what matters most by contacting your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Hanaa Raydan from Rosemary Bookkeeping Wembley becomes a Xero silver partner. 

The new owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping Wembley, experienced bookkeeper Hanaa Raydan has become a Xero silver partner, allowing her to provide even better bookkeeping services to her clients using Xero.

As a Xero silver partner, Hanaa can provide expert bookkeeping support to small businesses using Xero, allowing them to focus on what matters most (doing business) and not worry about their bookkeeping.

She is also able to:

  • Utilise expert assistance with conversions of 10 to 100+ clients
  • Receive consulting and project support for Xero practice solutions.

How Rosemary Bookkeeping works with Xero

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work closely with our friends and partners at Xero to help our clients get to grips with their bookkeeping.

All Rosemary Bookkeepers are Xero partners who use their accounting software to help clients manage their cash flow, get paid faster and streamline their everyday business tasks.

While the software is usually accessible, our bookkeepers make it easy – by supporting clients with expert advice and practice or using Xero to help outsource their books.

And, for all areas of Xero support, our brand mascot Teri Cotta has been growing her library of top tips and tricks for using Xero, from setting up your account to creating an invoice and more.


Need a Xero-certified bookkeeper?

If you’re in Wembley and the surrounding areas and need a professional bookkeeper, you can contact Hanaa on 0208 5750286 or, nationwide, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Essential small business support from Rosemary Bookkeeping. 

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with our clients and help them make the best of their business.

If you want to start your own small business, we’ve put together some top tips for small businesses you might not have thought about to help you succeed.


1. Address your excuses

The Nike slogan: ‘Just Do It’ is a good mantra when starting a business.

The first step to starting a business is often to overcome your self-imposed blockages.

Address the excuses as to why you have not started.

Being personally responsible for your employment successes and failures is scary.

We understand that, and in most circumstances, business owners initially have doubts.

Worrying about your business is natural, and failing is natural, but if you have a great idea that you believe in, chances are that you are on the precipice of something great.

Find a solution to your excuses instead of letting them get the better of you.


2. Absorb knowledge

Listening is learning when running a business. Be it from friends, family, experts and even yourself.

Be like a sponge and absorb everything regarding your business and industry.

Get yourself a few notepads and write down all of this vital information.

Encourage those you tell about your business idea to give honest feedback and again write down everything they say and implement changes to improve your business.

The opinion of your peers is most likely the reflection of how your consumers will react to your business.

Watch YouTube videos, read blogs and ask experts for advice.

These people have been through it, made mistakes and come out of it better for it.


3. Ensure your business is a solution

Instead of starting with an idea of what to sell, be it a service or product, consider what problems you can solve with your business.

Find a niche in a market, grab the opportunity and find a solution to that specific gap in the market.

Ask yourself a few questions and do market research via this method:

  • Why are you starting your business?
  • What are your motives?
  • What problems do your target customers face, and how can you solve them?

An early hurdle to jump when starting a business is having a plan.

This is often difficult to compile by yourself, which is why our experts have made a guide to writing a great business plan.


4. Count your costs

Once you have your idea and are ready to develop it, it is time to calculate the cost.

Factor in every business expense needed to launch and run your business.

You are bound to experience unexpected costs while running a business.

That is just the nature of it, unfortunately.

Therefore, come up with the most educated number you can for your expenses and double it, as it is always better to be over-prepared than be short on cash when the bills come.

Separate your business and personal expenses from the start.

This way, you will not get confused (and budgeting will be much easier!)


5. Know all legal requirements for starting a small business

We can understand the excitement of starting a business, and then you look at the legal side of it and become worried.

Read all about the laws of starting a business.

Failure to follow government regulations could mean you face penalties.

Register your business with the UK Government and organise all business-specific tax liabilities.

As you hire, you will need to follow the employment laws.

Speak again to experts, accountants and bookkeepers who understand these laws.

Remember, you are never alone.


6. Outsource your bookkeeping

Outsourcing your bookkeeping from the beginning can help put you on the right track to success, and give you more time to concentrate on growing and improving your business.

For all your bookkeeping needs, locate your nearest Rosemary bookkeeper today to see how we can help you.

How Rosemary Bookkeeping takes the fright out of your bookkeeping

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we know that your bookkeeping can be scary.

There’s the pressure to avoid mistakes, coupled with anxiety around your technical know-how, plus frequently changing or appearing legislation that feels like it’s out to trick you.

As experts in bookkeeping for over 20 years, we provide expert bookkeeping services to small businesses across the UK so they can focus on what matters to them and not their books.

This Halloween, we’re here with one piece of guidance: your bookkeeping doesn’t have to be frightening.

How a bookkeeper can help you

Bookkeepers like Rosemary Bookkeeping can help with all aspects of your bookkeeping and finances.

This includes:
  • Taking the hassle out of sorting all your invoices, receipts and bank statements
  • Having your VAT return prepared for you in good time
  • Liaising directly with your accountant
  • Having reports and figures every month that help you make decisions on your business growth
  • 121 bookkeeping support

Maximising your time by outsourcing

Most business owners don’t maximise the impact of their time.

Consider what activities you do that generate the most revenue.

It’s probably not the bookkeeping.

Although it is vital to keep track of cash flow and understand where the most profitable parts (or not) of your business are.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping to us means it is in safe hands.

We focus on your books while you focus on your business.

The benefits of the Rosemary System

There are many benefits to choosing to work with your local Rosemary Bookkeeper.

Transparency

Our charging system is transparent, so you always know exactly what you are paying for.

Standardised Paperwork

We standardise the paperwork, ensuring you and your accountant receive the paperwork in the same way.

Safeguarding

Safeguard your business using our Rosemary System®, which delivers systemised efficient processing – this means ANY of our bookkeepers can complete your bookkeeping should your usual bookkeeper be ill or on holiday.

Local knowledge, national brand

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we operate as part of a nationwide franchise network, with our business owners working locally.

This means you benefit from a winning formula of local knowledge combined with the expertise and experience of a national brand and nationwide systems and processes for success.

Contact us

Take the hassle out of your business and give yourself the time to focus on what matters by finding your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business or calling 0345 862 0072 to see how we can help you today.

The great value a bookkeeper can bring to an accountant.

While there is overlap in their work, meaning the two often get confused, bookkeepers and accountants have distinct roles and responsibilities.

They often work well together, as the work of a bookkeeper plays a part in supporting the work of an accountant.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we are experts in bookkeeping, supporting clients across the UK, from small businesses to accountants with bookkeeping and finances.

But what can a bookkeeper do for an accountant?

How bookkeepers help accountants

Bespoke client support

The work of a bookkeeper is to understand the needs of their clients.

Our work is personal and bespoke as we tailor our services to work around what you need.

The relationships we build with our clients can also help us to be the bridge between the small businesses we serve and accountants.

Support with existing clients and workload

It’s not just new clients that a bookkeeper can support accountants with.

A bookkeeper can also help accountants with their existing clients.

If accountants recommend their ‘troubled’ or tricky customers to a bookkeeper like Rosemary Bookkeeping, we can support them with their accounts.

Furthermore, during busy periods like the new tax year, we can support accountants and help with capacity.

Streamlined and easy processes

Bookkeepers also work to tight deadlines and work with accuracy, minimising the back and forth to get things done correctly ahead of deadlines.

Rosemary bookkeepers can do all the monthly and quarterly chasing to ensure the experience is stress-free and smooth for everyone involved.

All Rosemary reports and documents are uniformly formatted, making life a breeze for accountants.

See how a Rosemary Bookkeeper can help you

These are just some ways a bookkeeper can help an accountant derive a higher value from their time and services.

Whether you’re an accountant or a small business, a bookkeeper can help streamline your financial processes.

By contacting the professionals at Rosemary Bookkeeping, you receive personal and expert support on all aspects of bookkeeping.

Find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business to see how we can support you today.

How is a bookkeeper different to an accountant?

Often bookkeeping and accounting are considered to be the same profession.

Although they seem to have very similar roles and work there are some major differences between the two.

The real value of any business is achieved when both work closely together.

What is the difference between Accounting and Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the day-to-day process of accumulating, categorizing, and recording financial transactions.

Bookkeeping is a foundation of your finances, providing vital information for reports, financial statements and tax returns.

The main objective of bookkeeping is to keep all financial transaction records up to date in a proper and systematic manner.

Bookkeepers are often responsible for:
  • Data entry
  • Balancing bank ledgers
  • Preparing bank reconciliations
  • Tracking income and expenses
  • VAT returns
  • Maintaining the general ledger
  • Completing payroll
  • Producing monthly financial statements and reports (e.g. profit and loss reports)
Accounting is the process of:
  • Recording
  • Measuring
  • Classifying
  • Verifying
  • Summarising
  • Analysing
  • Interpreting

And communicating financial information compiled during the bookkeeping process.

Accounting produces:
  • Conclusions
  • Reports
  • Forecasts
  • Financial statements
  • Tax returns

Strategies and models that can be used by business managers to make key business decisions.

As a result, it provides a picture of the actual profitability, trends, cash flow and other key financial indicators.

Put simply: Bookkeepers produce the data, while accountants review and interpret reports, providing insights into the business.

Similarities

  • Bookkeepers and accountants both work with financial data.
  • Working with small businesses bookkeepers’ and accountants’ roles sometimes overlap, as bookkeepers can generate financial reports through bookkeeping software.
  • Both are tax-compliant.
  • Both share a goal of improving your business’s financial health.

Differences

Bookkeeper:

  • Records and classifies all financial transactions
  • Processes receipts, payments and other financial transactions
  • Processes sales and purchase invoices
  • Maintains and balances subsidiaries, general ledger and historical accounts
  • Reconciles bank statements
  • Track income and expenses for the tax periods
  • Prepares initial financial statements
  • Manages accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Prepares and files VAT returns
  • Can also facilitate payroll

Accountant:

  • Analyses/interprets, and provides subjective advice based on data from the bookkeeper
  • Adjusts entries
  • Generates financial statements and reports
  • Files income tax returns
  • Submits annual accounts
  • Advises on tax strategy and tax planning
  • Prepares financial forecasts
  • Analyses business performance
  • Prepares budgets, business plans and cash flow forecasts
  • Provides financial management advice
  • Audits

A bookkeeper’s and accountant’s work can overlap.

But in general, a bookkeeper’s priority is to record transactions and keep them organised whilst accountants provide consultation and analysis, and often are more qualified to advise on tax matters.

When deciding if you need a bookkeeper you’ll need to review the benefits, as it might be more beneficial for you to concentrate on your business and hire a bookkeeper to look after your day-to-day finances.

A bookkeeper can also liaise with the accountant for you to allow you to focus even more on your business.

In summary, bookkeeping is the completing of day-to-day financial tasks and accounting is the analysing and summarising of information produced by a bookkeeper.

Both have a big role to play in the business and together bookkeepers and accountants can help you better understand your business and take it to the next level.

Find out more

Ensure your business is in safe hands by leaving your bookkeeping to your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping expert.

Whether you want a helping hand and advice or to outsource your books, your local professional can help.

To learn more about how we can help you manage your finances and avoid bookkeeping woes, call 0345 862 0072 today.

Mental health means different things to different people.

And because the impacts can be invisible, it is often not taken as seriously as physical health.

However, the impacts of mental health are more widespread than you think.

According to NHS England, one in four adults and one in ten children experience mental illness during their lifetime.

That’s why the World Health Organisation aims to make mental health a global priority for all this year by recognising 10th October as World Mental Health Day.

Lots of factors can impact your mental health.

From the ins and outs of your daily routine to external factors like the cost of living crisis.

The latter of which is currently having a sizeable impact on the mental health of UK citizens, as many of us brace for the uncertainty of the next few months.

In times like this, we tend to worry only about the tangible factors of the situation and not how we’re affected mentally.

But, stress and other mental health issues can make matters worse and should be treated the same as any other physical condition.

Here’s why:

The value of your mental health

No matter your age or lifestyle, mental health plays a big role in your life and overall health.

The benefits of improved mental health are broad and include:

  • Improved physical health and life expectancy
  • Better educational achievement
  • Reduced health risk behaviours such as smoking and alcohol misuse
  • Reduced risk of mental health problems and suicide
  • Improved employment rates and productivity
  • Reduced anti-social behaviour and criminality
  • And higher levels of social interaction and participation.

So how can you improve your mental health?

Ways to improve your mental health

There are many ways to improve your mental health, particularly against stress and issues that can arise from isolation. The NHS recommends that you:

  1. Connect with other people

Maintaining good relationships with others can work wonders.

For example, the sense of belonging to a group can improve self-worth and provide emotional support.

Using technology as a crutch has become an easy habit to fall into in recent years, but the importance of connecting with people outside of your sphere cannot be underestimated.

  1. Be physically active

Similarly, remaining active causes chemical changes in your brain through the release of endorphins.

This can improve your mood and raise your self-esteem.

The nature of exercise also makes it a great way to improve your self-worth by setting and achieving regular goals and targets.

But, it’s not the only way to do this.

You can also receive the same effect through your work or by learning new skills.

  1. Learning new skills

This can be great for your self-esteem and self-worth by helping you build a sense of purpose in an activity and is another way to connect with others.

  1. Give to others

Exercising kindness day-to-day can be beneficial to you and the receiver.

The act of giving creates a positive feeling in your body through the sense of reward that comes from gratitude.

Being kind helps forge the right connections essential for prosperous human survival and is the cornerstone of building a healthy community.

Giving back is an essential tenant of mental health. Both in improving your own, and the mental health of those around you.

All of which feed into the spirit of World Mental Health Day.

  1. Pay attention to the present moment

This boils down to the practice of mindfulness, a familiar term to many.

But what does it mean?

Essentially, mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, including how you feel in your mind, body, feelings, and the world around you.

At an appropriate time, give it a try.

Sit with yourself and reflect on the world both inside and around you.

How does food taste, what sensations do you feel moving through the world, and what happens if you do something a little differently?

How Rosemary Bookkeeping can help

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, our priority is supporting you.

By outsourcing your bookkeeping to us, you’re letting go of all the stress and worry of managing your finances alone and leaving it in the hands of your financial experts.

We work with you to take the stress out of your bookkeeping so that you can focus on the things that matter to you.

Your local bookkeeper can help with more than the numbers and can give you advice on changes in the financial world and how to manage issues like the cost of living crisis.

Having regular meetings with a bookkeeper also helps you to make informed decisions about your business’s finances.

The economy is changeable, and with recent legislation like MTD, a well-informed bookkeeper can help you to know what is happening with your money.

All this benefits the health of your business and your mind, as you can put the proper plans in place and not spend your day agonising over making the right decisions.

One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to not suffer alone.

Seeking out the support available to you, particularly within your community, will make a massive difference.

Whether this is talking to loved ones, a mental health specialist, or getting the right help to tackle the problems you’re facing.

Contact your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper for a free quote on our services for the right support for your business.

Important bookkeeping dates for your diary for August 2023.

August is a busy month for us bookkeepers, with deadlines abounding everywhere you look.

As a small business owner, you must navigate the next few weeks properly and ensure any payments and returns you must adhere to are in hand.

Here are the essential dates you might need in your diary for the coming month.

3rd August 2023

P46 Submission

This is the final day to submit P46 for employees whose car/fuel benefits changed during the quarter to 5 July 2023

7th August 2023

VAT Returns

VAT returns and payments are due for the Accounting Quarter period ending 30 June.

19th August 2023

Deadline

Deadline for postal PAYE, NICs and CIS payment to HMRC.

22nd August 2023

Deadline

Deadline for electronic remittance of PAYE, NICs and CIS to HMRC.

30th August 2023

Deadline

Deadline for filing of accounts with Companies House for accounting

August 30th, 2023

Tax Return

Corporation Tax returns are due for accounting periods ending 31st August 2022.

30th August 2023

Tax Return

The Corporation tax return is due for payment for accounting periods ending 30th November 2022.

Need help with your bookkeeping?

If this seems like a lot of work to remember, leave your bookkeeping to the professionals.

Entrusting your bookkeeping to Rosemary means:

  • We keep track of your deadlines for you
  • We know when your Tax return needs to be filed by
  • We can keep track of your CIS payments

To learn more about our services and how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper or call 0345 862 0072 today.

Our 10 tips to bookkeeping like a pro.

Bookkeeping can be confusing.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we know that better than anyone.

So, sometimes you might need a helping hand.

Here are some top bookkeeping tips from our experts that’ll make your bookkeeping a breeze.

  1. Procrastinating is a no-no

Are you a procrastinator who leaves everything until the last minute?

Well, with bookkeeping, you can’t be!

It can quickly get out of hand and pile up on your desk.

As a small business, it is imperative that you keep to financial deadlines like Making Tax Digital (MTD).

If you don’t have time to do your bookkeeping while running your business, it might be time to outsource to help your capacity.

  1. Avoid bad filing systems

You must keep your old receipts and file them correctly alongside relevant paperwork.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh dear, I don’t keep my receipts,” – don’t worry.

There are plenty of business owners like this around the UK. Trust us!

Here’s a good habit to get yourself into:

When you get in the office every morning, pop your receipts in a folder.

Even if this is being filed correctly later that day, at least you’ve made a start.

Are all of your invoices and bills in sequential order?

If they aren’t, then they should be!

This will make life much easier when dealing with deadlines, audits etc.

  1. Don’t mix business and personal expenses

If you’re bookkeeping for yourself while mixing your business and personal expenses, you’re making your bookkeeping a lot harder.

You would have to sit and sift through hundreds of receipts and separate them into business and personal.

Keeping these expenses separate will spare you this headache and give you time to do other things.

When the tax return deadline comes around, if you’re organised and have split your business and personal expenses, you’re more likely to pay the right amount of tax for your business.

  1. Be consistent

Set a monthly date to sit down for a few hours to get your bookkeeping and accounts for the last calendar month.

If you feel like you’re bogged down with too many other tasks, you can always contact Rosemary Bookkeeping to take over the bookkeeping side of your business.

  1. Pay electronically

An easier way to keep an eye on and make your bookkeeping easier is to ensure all business transactions are paid on your business card and not with cash.

This is obviously, because of the information your bank would provide on a statement; amount, date and the recipients/company name.

  1. Have distinct employee classifications

Many businesses have different classifications of employees.

Be they full-time employees, part-time employees and independent contractors.

Keeping these separate and correctly classified is vital to avoid overpaying taxes or misfiling.

  1. Backup, backup, backup!

We all know what technology is like.

It can turn off or have an inconvenient error at any time.

This is why backing up your data securely on a cloud-based platform is extremely important.

You must ensure this is a secure platform that complies with GDPR to guarantee the safety of your data.

  1. Concentrate on a bit of light reading

You would be surprised how many business owners don’t read financial statements and add them to their procrastination pile.

There are plenty of reasons why financial statements can help with your business and avoid a financial breakdown.

Here are a few:

  • See current/upcoming financial trends within your business sector
  • Gain insight into maximising your tax deductions for the year
  • Share with existing/potential investors how your business is performing
  • Stay in control of all of your cash flow
  1. Choose the right bookkeeping software

It’s vital to choose the right bookkeeping software for your business.

There are many different types, from cashbook-only software to that that covers everything from ledgers to foreign currency transactions.

Here is our recent comparison of some of the different bookkeeping software.

  1. Outsource your bookkeeping

If you, the business owner, are also doubling as the office administrator/bookkeeper, you won’t have time to do the most crucial thing, grow your business.

That’s why outsourcing your bookkeeping can benefit you and your business.

Outsourcing is also cost-effective and more accurate.

You’ll only need to pay for the hours worked on your accounts rather than paying a monthly wage for an in-house bookkeeper.

You will also get the necessary work done on your accounts professionally, so you can be confident they are consistently correct.

If you are confused by the bookkeeping side of your business or don’t have time to dedicate to bookkeeping, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping expert to see how we can help you today.

Rosemary Bookkeeping’s guide to understanding cash flow and how it relates to your business.

Cash flow is a crucial aspect of managing a successful business.

It refers to the amount of money coming in and going out of a business over a specific period.

It can be positive or negative.

A positive flow means a business generates more money than it spends.

A negative flow means it spends more than it earns.

In this blog post, we discuss the importance of cash flow, how to manage it effectively, and provide tips for forecasting and improving it.

Importance

Cash flow is vital.

It impacts your ability to pay bills, invest in new projects, and meet financial obligations.

A positive flow is good.

It allows a business to expand, invest in new ventures, and pay its creditors.

On the other hand, a negative flow can spell trouble.

It can lead to missed payments, bad credit scores, and even bankruptcy.

Therefore, understanding and managing it is essential for every business owner.

And to understand cash flow, you should know how to forecast it.

Forecasting

Forecasting cash flow involves estimating the amount of cash coming in and going out of a business over a specific period.

This can help businesses plan for future expenses, investments, and cash shortages.

So, how do you do it?

To forecast, create a cash flow statement.

A good statement should outline your expected cash inflows and outflows.

This should include:

  • Projected sales
  • Expenses
  • Any outstanding debts or receivables.

Monitoring

Monitoring involves regularly reviewing business inflows and outflows to ensure they stay positive.

This can be done using specialist software or a simple spreadsheet.

By monitoring the flow of cash in your business, you can identify potential shortages and take appropriate action to address them.

Regular monitoring can also help identify areas where a business can improve its cash flow.

How?

Improvements

This involves increasing the amount of cash coming into a business while reducing the amount going out.

There are several ways to improve cash flow, including:

  1. Reducing expenses: This can be done by negotiating better rates with suppliers, lowering overhead costs, and cutting unnecessary expenses.
  2. Improving payment terms: Offering incentives for early payments, setting up automatic payments, and sending out regular reminders can help businesses receive payments faster.
  3. Increasing sales: This can be achieved by expanding the customer base, increasing marketing efforts, and introducing new products or services.
  4. Managing inventory: Controlling inventory levels and reducing excess inventory can help businesses save money and improve cash flow.

By forecasting, monitoring, and improving cash flow, business owners can ensure that their business remains financially healthy and can meet its financial obligations.

As a business owner, it’s vital to understand its importance and take steps to manage it effectively.

Need help with your finances?

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, our local experts are expertly placed to provide professional bookkeeping services, from support and guidance on legislation to outsourcing.

Our experts will liaise with you at your discretion to ensure you feel in control of your finances without worrying about doing the work yourself.

They can help you at every step, from creating statements to monitoring your inflows and outflows.

Whatever you need: we do the books, you do the business.

To see how we can help you, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business or call 0345 862 0072 today.

Why keeping accurate financial records is essential for your small business, and how to do it.

As a small business owner in the UK, you know that managing your finances carefully is crucial for the success of your business.

However, many small business owners overlook the importance of accurate record-keeping.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why accurate record-keeping is essential for small businesses in the UK and offer tips on how you can improve your record-keeping practices.

Accurate record-keeping means keeping detailed and organised records of your business’s financial transactions.

This includes things like sales, expenses, invoices, and receipts. But why is this so important for small businesses in the UK?

Legal Compliance

Accurate record-keeping is essential for complying with UK tax laws.

As a small business owner, you must keep accurate records of your financial transactions for at least six years.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may ask to see these records if they audit your business or review your tax returns.

Tax Benefits

Accurate record-keeping can also help you claim all the tax deductions and reliefs you’re entitled to.

By keeping detailed records of your expenses, you can claim tax deductions that can reduce your taxable income and save you money.

However, if you don’t keep accurate records, you may miss out on some deductions or reliefs.

Informed business decisions

Accurate record-keeping can help you make informed business decisions.

By regularly recording your income and expenses, you can accurately track how your business performs over time.

This information can help inform decisions about pricing, marketing, and other essential aspects of business.

How can you improve your record-keeping practices?

  • Use accounting software: Many affordable accounting software options are specifically designed for small businesses in the UK. These software options can help you manage your finances and keep accurate records.
  • Keep receipts organised: Categorise your expenses. (E.g. by office supplies, travel expenses), And keep them in a secure location.
  • Record transactions promptly: Ensure you record your income and expenses as soon as possible to avoid errors and ensure accuracy.
  • Reconcile accounts regularly: Reconciling your bank and credit card statements regularly can help you catch errors and ensure accuracy.

So, what’s the best way to keep accurate records?

Accurate record-keeping is essential for small businesses in the UK.

By keeping detailed and organised records of your financial transactions, you can comply with UK tax laws, claim all the tax deductions and reliefs you’re entitled to, and make informed business decisions.

By following these tips, you can improve your record-keeping practices and ensure the accuracy of your financial records.

However, the best way to ensure you keep up-to-date and accurate records of your accounts and transactions is by enlisting the help of a qualified expert.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, our local experts are expertly placed to provide professional booking services informed by your local market and community, backed by a national brand.

Whether you need regular support or to outsource your books to the expert, you can liaise with our experts at your discretion to ensure you feel in control of your finances without worrying about doing the work yourself.

To see how we can help you, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business or call 0345 862 0072 today.

Six ways outsourcing your bookkeeping can help your small business to flourish.

Small business owners wear many hats and take on multiple responsibilities.

This often includes doing your own bookkeeping above and beyond any sales, marketing and operational activities you do daily.

This can be time-consuming and complicated, taking away time and resources better spent on growing your business.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping means hiring an external bookkeeper or accounting firm to handle your financial records and transactions.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we deliver local bookkeeping services backed by the expertise of a national brand.

You benefit from the support of someone who knows your area and community, bolstered by a UK-wide network of bookkeeping experts.

In this blog post, we’re discussing the benefits of outsourcing bookkeeping for your small business.

  1. Saving you time

Outsourcing bookkeeping frees up your time so you can focus on running your business.

You needn’t worry about managing financial records or performing time-consuming tasks like data entry, reconciling bank statements or generating reports.

  1. Access to expertise

Professional bookkeepers have know-how and experience that are uncommon for the average person.

They are familiar with financial statements, tax laws and regulations like MTD and can offer valuable financial advice from a place of understanding and expertise.

  1. Cost saving

Outsourcing bookkeeping can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house bookkeeper or accounting team.

You can save money on salaries, benefits, and training costs.

As such, outsourcing generally saves between 30% and 75% of your current costs.

  1. Scalability

Outsourced bookkeeping services can scale to meet the needs of your growing business.

You can adjust the level of service you need as your business expands.

  1. Accuracy

Professional bookkeepers are less likely to make errors compared to non-professional bookkeepers.

This can help you avoid costly mistakes and penalties.

  1. Security

Outsourced bookkeeping services can offer greater security for your financial data.

They use secure online portals to share financial information and have security measures to prevent data breaches.

Outsource your books with Rosemary Bookkeeping

Outsourcing bookkeeping is an excellent option for small business owners who want to save time and money while ensuring accurate financial records.

By hiring an external bookkeeper or accounting firm, you can benefit from their expertise, reduce costs, and scale services as needed.

When outsourcing bookkeeping for your small business, choose a reputable provider with a proven track record of success, like Rosemary Bookkeeping.

Your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping expert can eliminate the stress and hassle of managing your books.

Through meetings scheduled at your discretion, receive 1-to-1 advice from a qualified professional who understands you, your business, and your community.

Take the hassle out of your business and give yourself the time to focus on what matters with Rosemary Bookkeeping.

Call 0345 862 0072 to see how we can help you today.

How to sidestep common bookkeeping pitfalls.

Bookkeeping is an essential part of running a small business.

It involves keeping accurate records of financial transactions and ensuring that all financial reports are up-to-date.

However, many small business owners make common bookkeeping mistakes that can lead to financial and legal problems.

Bookkeeping may not come naturally for many small business owners. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, it’s what we do.

Our network of experienced industry professionals provides localised and professional bookkeeping services across the UK, backed by the knowledge and support of a nationally recognised brand.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common bookkeeping mistakes small businesses often make and provide tips for avoiding them.

1.   Poor Data Entry

One of the most common bookkeeping mistakes is inaccurate data entry.

This can lead to incorrect financial statements, which can have grave consequences for a business.

To avoid this mistake, take your time entering financial data and double-check all entries for accuracy.

It’s also a good idea to use bookkeeping software that can help with data entry and automatically check for errors.

2.   Failure to Reconcile Accounts

Another common mistake is failing to reconcile accounts regularly.

Reconciliation involves comparing financial records to bank statements to ensure all transactions are recorded correctly.

Failing to reconcile accounts can lead to errors in financial reporting, missed transactions, and fraud.

To avoid this mistake, business owners should reconcile accounts at least once a month and ensure that all transactions are recorded accurately.

3.   Mixing Personal and Business Finances

Many small business owners make the mistake of mixing their personal and business finances.

This can lead to confusion when it comes to record-keeping and tax reporting.

To avoid this mistake, open a new bank account to ensure all business and personal transactions are separated.

This will make tracking business expenses and income easier and ensure accurate tax reporting.

4.   Poor Financial Reporting

Another common mistake is poor financial reporting.

This can include failing to produce financial reports regularly or inaccurate or incomplete fee reports.

Poor financial reporting can make it difficult for business owners to make informed financial decisions.

To avoid this mistake, business owners should ensure that financial reports are produced regularly and are accurate and complete.

Working with a professional bookkeeper or accountant is also a good idea to ensure that financial reporting is done correctly.

5.   Doing it alone

Bookkeeping mistakes can have severe consequences for small businesses, including financial problems and legal issues.

By avoiding these common mistakes, business owners can ensure that their financial records are accurate and up-to-date, making it easier to manage their finances and make informed decisions about their business.

By getting bookkeeping right, small business owners can set themselves up for success and avoid costly mistakes.

Ensure your business is in safe hands by leaving your bookkeeping to your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping expert.

Whether you want a helping hand and advice or to outsource your books, your local professional can help.

To learn more about how we can help you manage your finances and avoid bookkeeping woes, call 0345 862 0072 today.

Budgeting 101: A simple guide for small businesses.

There are many tools that small businesses need in their arsenal if they’re going to be a success.

One of the most vital is effective budgeting.

But it can also be one of the hardest to get right. At least, without help, that is

In this blog post, the bookkeeping experts at Rosemary Bookkeeping have compiled an essential guide for budgeting as a small business to help you budget like a pro.

Covered in this guide:

  • What is a budget?
  • How to set your budget
  • How to track your expenses
  • Adjusting your budget
  • Helpful budgeting tools

What is a budget?

A budget is a financial plan that helps businesses track expenses and revenue, set goals, and make informed financial decisions.

Having a budget:

  • Helps you set-long term financial goals – allowing for a clearer picture of your business’s future.
  • Keeps your spending in check and stop overspending
  • Stop you from getting into bad spending habits
  • Gives you an overview of your spending

How to set your budget

The first step in effective budgeting is setting a budget.

To do this, you should determine your expected revenue and expenses for the upcoming period, typically a month or a year.

You should then create a budget that allocates their expected revenue to cover your expected expenses.

It’s essential to be realistic when setting a budget and to consider unexpected expenses that may arise.

How to track your expenses

Once a budget is set, ensure you track expenses to stay within it.

As a business owner, you should keep detailed records of all expenses and regularly review them to ensure they stay on track.

This can be done through bookkeeping software or manually, but it’s vital to ensure that all expenses are recorded accurately.

Adjusting your budget

As a business grows and changes, its budget must adjust accordingly.

It’s imperative to review your budget regularly and adjust it as needed.

For example, if expenses are consistently higher than expected, your budget may need to be adjusted to allocate more funds to cover them.

Similarly, if revenue is higher than expected, the budget may need to be changed to allocate more funds to growth initiatives.

Helpful budgeting tools

There are many tools available to small businesses to help with budgeting.

These can include bookkeeping software, spreadsheets, and budgeting apps.

When deciding what to use to help your business, choose a tool that works best for your business.

And, importantly, ensure that all data is backed up regularly.

Need help making informed financial decisions?

By budgeting, you set your small business up for financial success.

Effective budgeting is essential for small businesses to track expenses, revenue, set goals, and make informed financial decisions.

By setting a budget, tracking expenses, and adjusting the budget as needed, business owners can ensure they are on track to achieve their financial goals.

With many budgeting tools available, choose what works for your business.

To set your business up for financial success, contact your local expert.

Whether you need advice from a trusted expert on setting your budget or someone to handle your bookkeeping, your local Rosemary bookkeeper is here to help.

We’ll do the books so you can do business.

For a free, no-obligation quotation on budgeting, software, and more, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Find out if you have what it takes!

Looking for ways to commemorate the coronation as a business? 

The Big Help Out is a coming together of thousands of organisations nationwide, uniting to support local communities.

What is The Big Help Out?

Organised in conjunction with celebrations for the upcoming coronation of King Charles III, starting on Monday 8th May, The Big Help Out is a voluntary initiative supported by some of the UK’s largest volunteer organisations, like the National Trust, Scouts and the RSPCA, to raise awareness of volunteering throughout the UK.

Activities throughout the day will provide opportunities for people to experience volunteering and make a difference in their communities.

How do I take part?

There are many ways to get involved in The Big Help Out.

If you are interested, you can participate as:

  1. An individual
  2. An organisation
  3. A business

To register as any of these participants, access the official app.

What can I do?

As Big Help Organisers state,

“There will be opportunities for everyone to join in. No matter what you are good at, there’ll be something to suit helping hands of all shapes and sizes! From checking in on someone who’d like a bit of company or volunteering for a charity. The more of us who join in, the bigger help we will be.”

Activities can include events benefitting:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Community
  • Crisis and Welfare
  • Health and Social Care
  • Older people
  • Sports, Arts, and Culture
  • Sustainability and the Environment
  • Young People and Children

There’s plenty to do, so get involved however you can.

We’ll see you there!

Give your business a royal treatment

Whatever the size of your business, having a good handle on your finances is vital.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, our dedicated experts can provide a range of support in your bookkeeping.

Whether you need support on processes and legislation like MTD and Advisory Fuel Rates or you want to outsource your books to a local professional, Rosemary Bookkeeping can provide the help you need.

Give yourself peace of mind and the time to focus on running your business by finding your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business or calling 0345 862 0072 today.

How a bookkeeper improves your health.

Mental health means different things to different people.

Because the impacts can be invisible, it is often not taken as seriously as physical health.

However, the impacts of mental health are widespread. Wider than you might think.

World Health Day

The World Health Organisation recognises 7th April as World Health Day, commemorating the anniversary of its founding in 1948.

When you think of the benefits of bookkeeping, you may not immediately think of the impact that managing your finances has on your health.

But according to NHS England, one-in-four adults and one-in-ten children experience mental illness during their lifetime, and many more of us know and care for people who do.

Lots of factors can impact your mental health. From the ins and outs of your daily routine to external factors like the cost of living crisis.

The latter of which is currently having a sizeable impact on the mental health of UK citizens, as many of us face increasingly stressful living conditions.

Stress and other mental health issues can make matters worse and should be treated the same as any other physical condition. Here’s why:

The value of your mental health

No matter your age or lifestyle, mental health plays a big role in your life and overall health. The benefits of improved mental health are broad, and include:

  • Improved physical health and life expectancy
  • Better educational achievement
  • Reduced health risk behaviours such as smoking and alcohol misuse
  • Reduced risk of mental health problems and suicide
  • Improved employment rates and productivity
  • Reduced anti-social behaviour and criminality
  • And higher levels of social interaction and participation.

So how can you improve your mental health?

In commemoration of World Health Day, we’re providing our top tips for improving your mental health, alongside getting a bookkeeper.

Ways to improve your mental health

There are many ways to improve your mental health, particularly against stress and issues that can arise from isolation.

The NHS recommends that you:

  1. Connect with other people

Maintaining good relationships with others can work wonders.

For example, the sense of belonging to a group can improve self-worth and provide emotional support.

Using technology as a crutch has become an easy habit to fall into in recent years.

But the importance of connecting with people outside of your sphere cannot be underestimated.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we believe in connection, as well as collaboration.

As your personal bookkeeper, your local expert will forge a connection with you to build a trusting and committed relationship as we support you in managing your finances.

Our services are bespoke, meaning you can see us as often as you need to feel comfortable.

That could be as regular as once a week or even just once a month.

  1. Be physically active

Similarly, remaining active causes chemical changes in your brain through the release of endorphins.

This can improve your mood and raise your self-esteem.

The nature of exercise also makes it a great way to improve your self-worth by setting and achieving regular goals and targets. But, it’s not the only way to do this.

You can also receive the same effect through your work or by learning new skills.

  1. Learn new skills

This can be great for your self-esteem and self-worth by helping you build a sense of purpose in an activity and is another way to connect with others.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with you to help you understand the processes behind your bookkeeping.

Should you wish, we don’t just outsource books, we also provide expert support, so you can work on mastering your bookkeeping for yourself.

  1. Give to others

Exercising kindness day-to-day can be beneficial to you and the receiver.

The act of giving creates a positive feeling in your body through the sense of reward that comes from gratitude.

Being kind helps forge the right connections essential for prosperous human survival and is the cornerstone of building a healthy community.

Giving back is an essential tenant of mental health.

Both in improving your own, and the mental health of those around you.

All of which feed into the spirit of World Health Day.

  1. Pay attention to the present moment

This boils down to the practice of mindfulness – a familiar term to many. But what does it mean?

Essentially, mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, including how you feel in your mind, body, feelings, and the world around you.

At an appropriate time, give it a try. Sit with yourself and reflect on the world both inside and around you.

How does food taste, what sensations do you feel moving through the world, and what happens if you do something a little differently?

How Rosemary Bookkeeping can help

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, our priority is supporting you.

By outsourcing your bookkeeping to us, you’re letting go of all the stress and worry of managing your finances alone and leaving it in the hands of your financial experts.

We work with you to take the stress out of your bookkeeping so that you can focus on the things that matter to you.

Your local bookkeeper can help with more than the numbers and can give you advice on changes in the financial world and how to manage issues like the cost of living crisis.

Having regular meetings with a bookkeeper also helps you to make informed decisions about your business’s finances.

The economy is changeable, and with recent legislation like MTD, a well-informed bookkeeper can help you to know what is happening with your money.

All this benefits the health of your business and your mind, as you can put the proper plans in place and not spend your day agonising over making the right decisions.

One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to not suffer alone.

Seeking out the support available to you, particularly within your community, will make a massive difference.

Whether this is talking to loved ones, a mental health specialist, or getting the right help to tackle the problems you’re facing.

Get in touch with your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper for a free quote on our services for the right support for your business.

How a bookkeeper can help you manage MTD.

MTD (Making Tax Digital) is a government initiative to digitalise the UK tax system.

Introduced in 2019, developments at the beginning of the 2022 tax year saw MTD extend to include VAT for businesses.

With VAT return deadlines looming, many businesses are having difficulty understanding MTD and its implications.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, our experts are well-versed in online systems and financial processes.

That’s why we’re here with everything you need to know about MTD for the new tax year.

Refresher: What is MTD?

MTD has two core components:

  1. Replacement of paper-based records

Requirement for businesses and organisations (including those with property-based incomes) to keep digital accounting records.

  1. Using compatible software to submit tax returns and updates to HMRC

The government will remove current online tax services when businesses register for MTD.

They will require businesses and organisations to use software compliant with their API (Application Program Interfaces) to submit relevant updates and returns to HMRC.

MTD Timeline

  • 1st April 2019: MTD has been in place since this date for the majority of VAT-registered businesses above the tax threshold of £85’000+ turnover.

These included partnerships, sole traders, limited companies, non-UK businesses registered for UK VAT, and charities and trusts.

  • 1st October 2019: There was a six-month deferred start date to support more complex businesses.
  • 1st April 2022: MTD became mandatory for all VAT-registered businesses and organisations.

Upcoming Implementations:

  • April 2024: MTD will become mandatory for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) for self-employed or those with a property-based income if they have self-employment or gross rental income of over £10’000.
  • April 2025: MTD ISTA becomes mandatory for general partnerships. It will apply to corporate or ‘non-natural’ and non-limited liability partnerships with a turnover above the £10’000 threshold.

How coming changes and how they affect your business

MTD legislation already means you should have completed your ITSA through MTD-compatible software.

Before April 2024, if you were not already doing so, you’ll be required to keep digital tax records and submit this information to HMRC through an MTD-compatible software when conducting your self-assessment tax returns.

Exceptions

If your business has received an MTD exemption, it will still be in effect.

These can be caused by factors such as:

  • Age, a disability or where you live
  • You object to using computers on religious grounds
  • Any other reason why it’s not reasonable or practical

To check if you are eligible or apply for exemption from MTD, you can find guidance on how to do so via the HMRC website.

If you’re concerned about the impact of MTD on your business, you can read more about its effects here.

MTD’s benefits:

  • It can reduce or even eliminate paper-based or manual tax processes.

This allows you greater accuracy in tax returns and reduces time spent on administration. It also gives you more time to maximise your business opportunities, productivity and profitability.

  • If you opt to use cloud-based software, you’ll see in real-time what is happening in your books and have better control over your finances, allowing you to stay up-to-date and make informed business decisions.
  • Using compliant digital software means submitting information to HMRC is far simpler and less stressful.
  • Some accounting software links directly to your bank account. Further reducing the ‘paperwork’ and time spent filing taxes.
  • Digital software provides you with real-time management information so you can see how your business is performing.

So, if you have not already done so, you need to start weighing your options for MTD-compliant software.

Why now?

The new financial year is the best time to reset how you manage your books.

This period is notably less disruptive, as things are changing already.

By introducing new systems to work smarter, you keep your business information secure and make things easier to manage going forward. 

How Rosemary Bookkeeping can help

We understand that making the jump to digital can be scary and daunting.

But, it’s not as bad as it seems – especially with the help of an expert bookkeeping service like Rosemary Bookkeeping.

The benefit of changing to MTD is that we’ve had around four years of experience working with it.

With a professional bookkeeper from Rosemary Bookkeeping to help you, making your tax digital is simple.

We have been operating MTD for VAT submissions since its inception in 2019 and know its processes inside and out.

Going digital may be a scary prospect. Using a bookkeeper, your tax may be digital but your bookkeeping experience isn’t.

We will assist if you need to acclimatise to the software or do the work for you.

We also send generated returns directly from the software, so you have a well-kept and organised backlog of your records.

Our bookkeeping experts are trained to work digitally using MTD-compliant software like Xero, QuickBooks and Sage and are a real-life human presence that can reassure and guide you through the process, so you’re not going it alone.

As Rosemary Bookkeeping is well-versed in MTD and online services, we can advise which software would be best for you and often offer competitive prices for software subscriptions.

Additionally, we offer an online exchange of documents, so you’ll be able to upload photos or scans of documents so that we can process them on the bookkeeping software.

We also use Apps like AutoEntry or Hubdoc, which not only attach documents directly to the record on the software but also automate some bookkeeping processes – saving you valuable time and money.

Struggling with your bookkeeping?

As bookkeepers, we know that the new tax year is a busy and stressful time, particularly hot on the heels of January Self-Assessment tax return deadlines.

We also know that keeping track of your finances isn’t easy, especially when also trying to figure out MTD legislation and new software.

If you had a stressful time sorting your ITSA, the new tax year that swiftly follows may be a real cause for concern.

By contacting the professionals, you receive personal and expert support on all aspects of bookkeeping.

We love bookkeeping, but we know it’s not for everyone. So, leave the stress behind by leaving your books to the experts today.

Find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business today to see how we can support you ahead of the new tax year.

Tools of the trade that will save you time and effort in bookkeeping.

As a small business owner, your time is gold dust.

And with so much to do, your bookkeeping is a chore that takes up that valuable time.

But bookkeeping is not something you can skip out on, particularly with the growing need to keep a digital record.

Luckily, there are many tools on hand that small business owners can use to make bookkeeping easier.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we know there’s a lot to consider. What works for one business may be the wrong fit for another.

That’s why we’re breaking down the tools of the trade so you can figure out what bookkeeping aids work for you.

Quickbooks

If you’re doing your research, you might’ve noticed that many small businesses use QuickBooks Online.

But what makes it so good?

Pros: 
  • Scalable
  • Commonly used by professionals (including us!)
  • Integrates with 3rd party systems and Quickbooks Payroll
  • Cloud-based and available on mobile
  • Easy to use: All features are accessible through a central dashboard
  • Has a plethora of online resources to give you the support you need
  • 30-day trial
  • 4 Subscription plans that vary in price for business size, but can be upgraded as your business grows
  • More advanced plans offer more advanced features – though most small businesses will find the Simple Start Programme (£14/m.o) will suffice
  • Customisable options with mobile app
Cons: 
  • Requires an upgrade for additional users
  • Can suffer from syncing problems with banks and credit cards

Xero

Another popular accounting tool, Xero is rapidly growing into a bookkeeping giant. And like QuickBook, Xero is that it is designed to grow with your business across its different subscription options.

It also integrates with hundreds of third-party business solutions, many of which you likely already use like Gusto for payroll.

Here’s the full lowdown:

Pros:
  • Cloud-based and available on mobile
  • 3rd party payroll integration through Gusto and app marketplace
  • Integration with 3rd party services allows online payment collection
  • Simple inventory management
Cons:
  • Limited customer service and reporting
  • Fees charged for ACH payments

FreeAgent

Another cloud-based software, as a FreeAgent partner, we recommend it for freelancers, consultants, and other project-based businesses.

Pros:
  • Cloud-based and available on mobile
  • Doesn’t limit transactions behind a paywall
  • Supports unlimited users, clients, invoices and transactions for one monthly price
  • Ideal for keeping track of billable hours and expenses
  • Runs fully RTI-compliant payroll
  • Allows you to create and send estimates and invoices
  • Uses personalised Tax Timeline of upcoming deadlines and amounts due, cash flow, and profitability
  • Files VAT, RTI payroll and Self Assessment tax returns directly to HMRC (ideal for sole traders and limited companies)
Cons:
  • App development and compatibility for Android is lacking, but underway
  • Tax Timeline doesn’t offer a comparison of year-on-year comparison

Sage

Sage is one of the bigger brands, and it’s been around a lot longer than most.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is specifically geared towards the needs of small to medium-sized corporations and offers two plans for small business owners.

However, it has been described as overly complex and difficult to use.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:
  • Cloud-based and available on mobile
  • Offers a free trial or demo before buying
  • Offers invoicing, expense management and reporting, as well as the creation of quotes, estimates, tracking, and inventory management
  • Provides monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports and reports. These include balance sheets and income/cash flow statements
  • Produces comparison of financial statements e.g. year-to-year.
  • Many features are preset  and ready for the user to make management streamlined but also offer multiple customisation opportunities
  • Offers capabilities for budgeting or cash flow forecasting, job costing, auditing, and automated workflows, as well as industry-specific features.
  • Uses a central dashboard to access information and data in one place
  • Link your credit cards and bank accounts
  • Integrates with third-party apps
Cons:
  • Difficult to use and set up. May need a Sage expert to support you (Luckily, we are!)
  • Features can be complicated to use and need expert support
  • Homepage can become cluttered if not customised
  • Geared towards larger businesses.
  • Lack of documentation and support, often necessitating further support

How Rosemary Bookkeeping helps your business

Each online bookkeeping aid offers something different, with both strengths and weaknesses.

And many can be difficult to use without the right support.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with accounting tools to offer you and your business bespoke support with getting the most out of each software.

By regularly consulting your local Rosemary bookkeeper, you’ll be able to receive support specially tailored to you and your business, and we can take care of your bookkeeping for you.

From helping you choose the right software to use, software supply, training and data migration to a complete outsourced bookkeeping service – we can help.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to hire a bookkeeper to support your growth, the best bookkeeping tool for any small business is still a Rosemary Bookkeeper.

To take your first step towards stress-free bookkeeping, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping branch to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with your local expert today.

With just over a month left to pay your self-assessment tax bill, here’s everything you need to know to get it sorted ASAP.

Self-Assessments are used by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to collect Income Tax.

For most, this is deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings. But people and businesses with other income must report said income in a tax return. This includes COVID-19 grants and support payments.

How do I know if I need to file a tax return?

By now, no matter the size of your business, you should have registered for your tax return self-assessment, if during the last tax year (6th April 2021 to 5th April 2022) you were self-employed as a sole trader that earned more than £1,000 (before subtracting tax-relief deductions) or if you were a partner in a business partnership.

If you’re unsure of whether this applies to you, HMRC provides a self-assessment eligibility calculator, so that you can see if you need to file a tax return for 2021-2022.

Why do I have to pay?

Tax returns are not voluntary, and have to be completed no matter what.

As a new business and did not send an online return last year, allow extra time (up to 20 working days) as you’ll need to register first.

You’ll need to register through the HMRC website, but there are different ways to register if you’re:

Staying ahead

It makes much more sense to stay on top of these things as they go, so even if you don’t need to submit or pay for the last tax year, it makes sense to get registered now so you are prepared for next year.

Furthermore, you should keep records as current as you can. For self-employed business owners especially, if your books are up to date, you will have a better understanding of the financial standing of your business.

This means you will be able to put money away for the self-assessment at the end of the year.

‘Payments on Account’:

There is also usually a following secondary payment on 31st July to make advanced payments. These are known more commonly as ‘Payments on Account’, which are advance payments towards your tax bill that are made twice a year. Usually on 31st January and 31st July.

What are the deadlines I need to know?

The deadline to register for the last tax year passed on 5th October 2022, and paper tax returns should have been submitted by 31st October 2022.

However, if you haven’t done so already, you can still submit your tax return online and pay the tax you owe to HMRC, as the deadline for both of these requirements is midnight on the 31st of January 2023.

Instances in which the deadline is different:
  • HMRC may have written to you to give different deadlines. In this case, your assigned deadline applies.
  • If you are eligible, you may have submitted your return in time for 30th December 2022.

In such cases, HMRC will automatically collect tax from your wages and pension and must receive a paper tax return by 31st January 2023 if you are a trustee of a registered pension scheme or a non-resident company.

Please note that in this case, you cannot send a return online.

  • If your partnership’s accounting date is between 1st February and 5th April and one of your partners is a limited company, the deadline for returns is different.

Online: 12 months from the accounting date.

Paper: 9 months from the accounting date.

Late payment penalties

Perhaps the most obvious reason to stay on top of this process, is that there are fines for lack of payment.

If your tax return is up to three months late, you will have to pay a late filing penalty of £100. If it is later, or you pay your tax bill late, you will have to pay more and will be charged further interest on late payments.

This amount can be estimated on the HMRC website.

You can appeal these penalties if you have a reasonable excuse such as:

  • The death of a partner or close relative – provided this was shortly before the tax return or payment deadline.
  • Fire, flood or theft that prevented you from making the deadline.
  • Serious or life-threatening illness.
  • Postal delays that you could not have predicted.
  • Computer software failure just before the preparation of your online return.

It’s better to make your payments whilst you have time, rather than suddenly come to find you have to shell out even more for overdue tax returns in the new year.

How Rosemary Bookkeeping can help

There’s a lot to account for when figuring out your tax return payments, and not much time left to sort it before the new year. Your friendly, local Rosemary Bookkeeper can help.

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary means:
  • You receive expert help and support properly and promptly pay your tax return for January 2023
  • Your books are done regularly. So, you can see what is going on in your business
  • You don’t have to spend your valuable time doing the books, so you can do things more beneficial to your financial income
  • No additional staff. You only pay for the work done
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath

Want help with your January self-assessment tax return?

Leaving your assessment to Rosemary leaves you with a clear mind and the space to spend your holidays free of worry, and get on with doing the business you love.

If you think it’s time to outsource your bookkeeping, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business to see how we can help you today.

The cost of living crisis is affecting small businesses nationwide. We’re here to help.

Unfortunately, not only have small businesses had to recently combat working during COVID-19 but at the end of last year, there was a new looming threat: rising inflation rates. By the time we reached the new financial year in April 2022, inflation had reached a record high of 9%, the highest in 40 years. And now, business owners are also having to deal with the cost of living crisis.

We work closely with small businesses across the UK to help them manage their books, and there is one thing for certain: this is a difficult and scary time for many. But there is still hope. Our experts have put their heads together and compiled a list of resources and strategies to help small businesses manage the cost of living crisis.

What are the key issues being faced by small businesses?

A big factor in all of the issues being raised are rising prices across the board, from energy to fuel, to council tax, everything is going up.

This also impacts customers and their spending, giving your less business. But also, material costs are on the rise, and many businesses are finding it hard to recruit new staff to fill essential job roles in a tight labour market.

All this also has a physical and mental impact on business owners too, as the stress and worry of weathering this storm take their toll on the body and psyche. According to a survey by Newspage, 14% of the surveyed small business and charity owners said that the cost of living crisis has been having “a very negative effect” on their mental health.

Who can help?

One of the avenues you can go down for help and support is the government. During the more recent spring budget, the government announced that it will be increasing Employment Allowance from £4’000 to £5’000 to tackle the growing rise in inflation. For smaller businesses, this means you will therefore be able to claim up to £5,000 off of your employer’s National Insurance Contributions (NICs) bills, which has seen an increase of just above one per cent back in April.

There were other small changes made by the government as well, as fuel duty was also cut by 5p per litre as a way to help combat the rise in petrol prices.

However, many small business owners feel that this was too small a change or gesture for the size of the crisis they are facing, and still feel the need to make other changes to their business.

What changes can you make?

As many already have, small business owners may have to make changes to adapt to the growing difficulties. Here are some viable options for changes to save money:

Use accounting software

A great way to save money whilst you are getting an idea of your current financial situation is by using accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks to help you keep track of your finances. Making the transition can be tricky, but due to the government’s ongoing plan for MTD (Making Tax Digital), it is becoming a necessary one.

And there are ways to get support on using them. Your local Rosemary Bookkeeper can offer discounts on accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks, help you use it, if you need it, and also provide tutorials on operations, like how to create an invoice on Xero.

Remote working

If you are not already due to COVID-19, moving to remote work is a good option to save money during the cost of living crisis due to saving the cost of running an office space. And if you don’t want to lose out on your office space, there are flexible office space providers who offer hybrid solutions to providing a workspace. This all means you’re also not having to shell out further for extra running costs like office cleaners and are therefore offered a lot more financial flexibility.

Audit staff

Unfortunately, the rise in National Insurance rates and the national minimum wage may mean that keeping your current staff rates is not feasible. This does not mean that you have to make the undesirable choice to make redundancies, but you may be required to reduce staff hours or carry out reviews to better optimise productivity with your current staff levels.

Consider adjusting your prices

You may be able to make changes to things like your supply chain to make sure that you are saving money on the cost of your product orders for example. Or, rather than raise prices, you could apply optional service charges where you had not had one before. You may even choose to swap the products you use for cheaper alternatives.

Be more conservative by scaling back plans for growth

It is more viable in the current situation to be less optimistic about what may have been your prior growth plans for the year. By momentarily halting growth plans, you can conserve cash and increase your cash flow for when you need it.

In summary, this is going to continue to be a difficult time for many across the UK, and you may need to act to give yourself that little extra support.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we are experienced in supporting small businesses through thick and thin, and our financial experts can help offer you help when you need it most. Whether this is through helping you manage your books, or by giving you a helping hand in running online software, we are here for you.

To get in touch, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business today, or give us a call on 0345 862 0072.

How to choose the best accounting software for your business.

For any small business owner, keeping track of your incomings & outgoings is one of your most vital tasks.

Due to recent government initiatives around MTD (or Making Tax Digital), having a digital record of your finances is essential.

Thankfully, there is a wide range of online software options available. All of which claim to offer you the best possible service.

Some advertise more often and are more well-known, like QuickBooks and Xero.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we know businesses are as varied and unique as the people who run them.

What works for one person’s business doesn’t work the same for another.

To make the best move for your business, you need to look at what each service offers and figure out what works for you.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of factors you should consider when selecting your accounting software.

What are the costs?

One of the main things to think about is, of course, price. And the price for accounting software can vary considerably.

There are packages at the lower end of the price range, but these will often be a more basic package.

Think about your business requirements now and in the future. Will a basic package be enough, or will you need more features further down the line?

Usability

The size and structure of your business will affect how many users there will be accessing your accounting software. Do more users mean more cost? Is it scalable if needed later?

Do you want your accounting software to be installed on a particular desktop, for example?

Something like this considerably affects your pool of available choices, as most systems are now cloud-based.

Especially with the new MTD regulations, we recommend a cloud-based system that you can access anywhere, without limiting your number of users.

However, if your preference is a desktop, there are still some good options such as the free, open-source, desktop software GnuCash.

Features

Work out what you need from the accounting software and what you need it to do.

Do you need both accounts receivable and accounts payable tools? Which reports do you need it to generate?

Do you need it to track inventory? Do you need it to include ancillary services, like time tracking, project management, and payroll?

Which to choose?

Of course, as bookkeepers ourselves, we have our preferences when it comes to software.

We work with all sorts of platforms and packages but there are a few we see time and time again.

These are:

Xero

Widely acknowledged as one of the top pieces of accounting and bookkeeping software – especially if you’re working on a Mac.

Xero is great if you’re just starting, or if you need your accounting to be straightforward. Another plus of Xero is that it is designed to grow as your business does.

We like that it’s affordable, easy to use, offers a ton of add-on features and integrates with hundreds of third-party business solutions, many of which you likely already use.

There is also a 24-hour email and live chat support function, meaning there’s always someone there to help you whenever you need it.

FreeAgent

Unlike many bookkeeping and accounting software products that limit your transactions, unless you purchase a more expensive package, FreeAgent supports unlimited users, clients, invoices and transactions for one monthly price.

Like many of its competitors, it is cloud-based software, but it also comes with a built-in project management feature.

These make it ideal for keeping track of billable hours and expenses. As a FreeAgent partner, we recommend it for freelancers, consultants and other project-based businesses.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is another of the most popular accounting software packages out there (and for good reason).

QuickBooks works for all types of small businesses, with three different small business plans to choose from, plus a separate plan for the self-employed, freelancers and contractors: it’s got something for everyone.

Both new start-up businesses and bigger, established businesses have benefitted from its range of features, which cover basic bookkeeping to advanced accounting and business analytics.

Sage

Sage is one of the bigger brands, and it’s been around a lot longer than most.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting has two plans for small business owners, starting with invoicing, expense management and reporting, as well as the creation of quotes, estimates, tracking, and inventory management.

It’s most popular with retail-based businesses due to its ability to integrate with POS systems.

Sage also appeals to businesses with large finance departments thanks to its support for multiple users and payroll systems.

How Rosemary Bookkeeping helps your business

Each online bookkeeping aid offers something different, with both strengths and weaknesses.

This might make one a great fit for how you run your business or, by the same token, a terrible fit.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with you. We know that every business is different, and our bespoke service reflects this.

By regularly consulting your local Rosemary bookkeeper, you’ll be able to receive support specially tailored to you and your business, and we can take care of your bookkeeping for you.

From helping you choose the right software to use, software supply, training and data migration to a complete outsourced bookkeeping service – we can help.

Whether you’re just starting, or looking to hire a bookkeeper to support your growth, we’d love to help you on your journey to becoming the best business you can be.

To take your first step towards stress-free bookkeeping, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping branch to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Need help creating an invoice on Xero? We can help.

Xero can be a very useful tool when it comes to sorting out your finances but as with many of the accounting software options available, it has its shortcomings and should not be used as a substitute for a bookkeeper. One of these shortcomings is that they’re not always easy to use without help. That’s where we come in. Each of our Rosemary Bookkeeping business owners is trained on Xero and can provide you with any help you might need – including how to create an invoice.

One of the most crucial things to know about Xero is how to create an invoice. But this is not always easy if you don’t know how to. Luckily, our bookkeeping experts have put together this handy guide to walk you through creating an invoice on Xero, step by step.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKsKsuabKVs&t=3s

Where to start

Before you get to creating an invoice template on Xero, the first thing you need to do is check that your company details are all correct.

To do this, select the drop-down menu in the top right corner of the homepage by clicking on your company name and navigating to your settings, then Organisation Details. From here, you need to make sure that your name and logo are in the correct place under Basic Information. If it isn’t, don’t worry, you can simply upload it now using the links on this page, and by adding in details like your company address, website, and contact information yourself.

You will also need to ensure that the button at the very top of the page has the “On” option selected, to make sure that some of this information is included on your invoices.

Then, as you scroll down this page, you select which information you would like to include by ticking the boxes along the right-hand side. You can then save this information once you have confirmed that you have read the terms and conditions and community guidelines.

Creating a new invoice template

Now that you have confirmed that your company details are in order, you can go on to create a new invoice template.

To do this, use the drop-down menu in the top-left corner once again to access your settings. But this time, navigate over to the top of the right-hand column and click Invoice Settings.  Once here, you should be able to see the standard theme set up by Xero. You can make as many different themes as you like in Xero, so feel free to experiment with your options. For this tutorial, we are going to use the standard theme, but modify some of the finer details to fit our needs.

You can do this by selecting the Options tab in the top-right corner of the first menu box and clicking Edit. Doing this will open up a dialogue box titled Edit Branding Theme.

The first thing to come up is the name of your invoice, followed by its size. Normally, we would advise keeping this as the default A4 size, so that when it is saved as a PDF file, it remains A4. As a result, we would normally recommend leaving the margin sizes as they are as well.

However, we do recommend changing the information next to Approved Invoice title and Overdue Invoice title by changing both to simply say INVOICE. This is because the use of the title of “Tax Invoice” is an Americanism set as Xero’s default. In the UK, we are used to the title “Invoice”, so it’s better not to confuse matters and stick to what most people are familiar with. As for the rest of the information on the left-hand side, we are going to keep the default settings.

Moving over to the right, you will be able to see 10 checkboxes for various settings:

  • The first allows you to Show your tax number, which is important to include on your invoices.
  • You will also want to ensure that you have the second option of Show column headings selected as well, to allow quantities etc. to be easily identifiable.
  • The third option of Show item code can be checked in some circumstances, but you can leave it blank for now.
  • If your business involves supplying products in terms of numbers and price, then you may need to have the Show unit price & quantity box selected. But the choice is yours, depending on the setup of your business.
  • The Show payment advice cut-away is now quite old fashioned and antiquated as it would be the procedure for posting a check. Therefore, we advise leaving this box blank.
  • Leave the Show tax column on
  • Leave Show registered address on, as this is a required field
  • Leave Show logo selected
  • Have Hide discount deselected
  • Leave Show Contact Account Number deselected

You will then want to leave the default settings of Show tax subtotals by dropdown below at its default setting of tax rates and leave the default setting of Show currency conversion as on net amounts with tax totals. You can then leave each of the Payment Services dropdowns blank.

Then you will need to fill in the bank details that you want the payment to come out of in the Terms & Payment Advice (Invoice and Statement) box. This is the name of the bank, the sort code, and the account number. As well as the payment term – the date the payment is due. This serves as a reminder more than anything, as this is shown once the invoice is raised.

As a general rule of thumb, we advise also changing your logo alignment to Centre from the Logo Alignment column in the top-right corner if you have elected to display a logo on your invoices – which we also advise.

With that, your template is complete, and you can now Save it by clicking the button at the bottom of the dialogue box.

You can now Preview your invoice template from the Options dropdown menu, which shows you what your invoice will look like when displayed on both a computer and a mobile.

How to raise a new sales invoice

Now that your template is ready, click the Dashboard heading at the top of the page, and click New sales invoice under Invoices owed to you in the top right-hand dialogue box, which will now let you raise a new sales invoice. Congratulations, you have successfully generated your first invoice on Xero! This template can now be amended to fit any billing that you may need to send and can be a reference for you to come back to in generating different invoices.

Our bookkeeping experts know how difficult it is to run a small business and stay on top of your finances, and will be able to offer you expert support and advice wherever you need it most. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we help you with the books, so you can get on with the important bits.

For more help on online accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks, or any other help with your bookkeeping, get in touch with us by finding your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business today.

 

Mike Wallace, owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping in Reading has won the coveted PEOPLE Award for Bookkeeper of the Year.

Rosemary Bookkeeping Reading’s Mike Wallace has been awarded the prestigious PEOPLE Award for Bookkeeper of the Year. A highly desirable achievement for a bookkeeper, this award is based upon the nomination of their colleagues and is given to a bookkeeper who goes out of their way to support not just their clients, but their staff and peers.

Rosemary Bookkeeping Brand Leader Nina Skoczόłek says that Mike was a model candidate for such a distinguished award due to the depth of his support and expertise, describing him as, “A truly invaluable member of the Rosemary network.”

“Mike makes himself available to guide fellow franchisees, sharing a wealth of expertise, showing patience and willingness in doing so,” she says. “A key foundation of Rosemary is of supporting each other and [Mike] goes above and beyond in doing so.”

Rosemary Bookkeeping Marketing Manager Victoria Tayler echoes this, adding, “I was delighted that Mike was nominated for this award by one of his peers, Mike has always been exceptionally helpful to others within the network as well as the wider ServiceMaster brand. Mike is an invaluable member of the Rosemary Bookkeeping Network.”

Mike told us that he was especially humbled to win his award surrounded by the peers that nominated him at ServiceMaster Live. He says “As this was an award voted on by my fellow Rosemary Franchise Partners, I was particularly honoured & grateful to have received it. It was great that we were able to be presented with the awards at ServiceMaster Live, given the events of the last couple of years. To see & meet a number of fellow franchisees from the other ServiceMaster brands as well helped make it a really enjoyable and beneficial event.

We would like to once again extend our congratulations to Mike on his award. People are at the heart of franchising, and to be recognised by your peers for your hard work in such an environment is truly a special thing indeed.

If, you are in Reading and the surrounding areas and would like to receive expert help from a bookkeeper who always goes above and beyond for his peers and clients, give Mike a call on 0118 324 0322.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

Fiona Perks, the owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping in Wyre Forest has won the prestigious INVEST Award for Commitment and Dedication for her devotedness to providing bookkeeping services to those in need.

Fiona Perks from Rosemary Wyre Forest has been awarded the coveted Invest Award for Commitment and Dedication at ServiceMaster Live! A highly prestigious achievement, this award is given to a bookkeeper who is committed to giving back and raising awareness of the need for quality bookkeeping services. This year, Fiona won the award for her commitment and investment in the Rosemary Bookkeeping name through her continuing work on the development of her bookkeeping services. Since starting her business in 2019 Fiona has truly embodied the Rosemary ethos of creating a GREAT PLACE TO INVEST, and always goes above and beyond in the work that she does. To us, bookkeeping is all about people and community, and due to the nature of her work as a franchisee for Rosemary, Fiona can be engaged in more than just their own business. She can truly work at strengthening a whole community of businesses, helping both Rosemary clients and owners invest in a brighter future.

Rosemary Bookkeeping Marketing Manager Victoria Tayler describes Fiona as “A delight to have in the Rosemary Bookkeeping network. She works hard in her own business whilst also sharing contributions and ideas to develop and improve the whole Rosemary Network, it was wonderful for Fiona to recommend Rosemary as a great business opportunity and have a new business owner in our network.”

At ServiceMaster Live! Fiona was recognised for her work amongst the community of bookkeepers from our nationwide Rosemary network that she works so hard to strengthen. Fiona says that “It was amazing to win the award at the ServiceMaster Live, the other franchisees in the network are brilliant so it was a real honour to be chosen.”

She also describes her investment in Rosemary as the result of a lot of hard work and a labour of love. “I have been working hard for the 3 years I have been with Rosemary to build my client base whilst keeping the Rosemary Brand at the front of my mind,” she says. “I absolutely love being a part of the Rosemary and ServiceMaster family and will keep pushing myself to meet my goals!”

We would like to once again thoroughly congratulate Fiona on her award and thank her for all her hard work and investment into Rosemary over the years, and we look forward to working towards her goals with her.

If you are in the Wyre Forest area and would like help from a professional bookkeeper with the strength of an entire bookkeeping community behind her, get in touch with Fiona today by calling 01299 333134.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

The owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping in North Kent & Isle of Sheppey has won the North Star Award for Franchisee of the Year at ServiceMaster Live!

‘ServiceMaster Live!’, which took place this May, was a gathering of franchisees from across the ServiceMaster Ltd. franchise network, during which franchisees from each of our brand family members came together to learn from one another and celebrate each other’s successes over the past few years.

The awards ceremony, held at the close of the event saw many franchisees recognised for their excellent contributions to their respective franchise network, and the work they have done in the last 12 months. This included Rosemary Bookkeeping’s own Grant Dye from Rosemary North Kent & Isle of Sheppey, who was awarded the prestigious North Star Franchisee of the Year Award. The pinnacle of achievement for a franchise partner within the Rosemary network, this award is given to the franchisee that has truly embodied the ServiceMaster ethos of going above and beyond in all aspects of business ownership to deliver a truly first-class experience to both staff and customers.

This year the award goes to a Grant Dye, for his exceptional work in all areas of business management and development. Grant has fully embraced the Rosemary System, and been actively involved in the development of new solutions and services within the network, as well as new technologies. Chiefly, this has included working hard on automating their internal processes to constantly deliver a high level of customer service to their clients – as evidenced by the high volume of glowing reviews for his services.

Nina Skoczόłek, Brand Leader for Rosemary describes Grant as the perfect Rosemary franchisee “Grant is supportive and provides encouragement for growth towards other franchise partners in the network. He is a true Rosemary Bookkeeper – cut him in half – he’ll bleed orange,” she said, before presenting Grant with his award at ServiceMaster Live!

Rosemary Bookkeeping Marketing Manager Victoria Tayler added. “Grant thoroughly deserves this award. Grant truly embraces being part of the Rosemary Bookkeeping network and always is forthcoming with ideas, embraces the brand and the network as a whole and works hard to develop and grow his own business at the same time.”

Upon receiving his award, Grant says he was very particularly thankful to receive an award of such magnitude amongst his peers. “I was greatly humbled by receiving this prestigious award for Rosemary Bookkeeping franchisee of the year, as I was in the presence of great franchisee partners that I look up to,” he says.

He went on to thank his team and clients for all that they have done to aid him on his Rosemary journey. “I attribute my success to the great support and knowledge from the Rosemary franchise team and our family of franchisee partners; my fantastic clients who are a firm part of the current and future culture and a clear 3 years strategic and marketing plan that focuses my energies in the right direction, to achieving my objectives and goals.”

We would once again like to congratulate Grant on his award and look forward to seeing what he does next.

Grant covers the North Kent and Isle of Sheppey area, find out more about how Grant can help you here or give him a call on 07970 696391.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

The owner of Rosemary Bookkeeping in Stratford is celebrating after winning the award for Rookie of the Year at ServiceMaster Live!

‘ServiceMaster Live!’, which took place this May, was a gathering of franchisees from across the ServiceMaster Ltd. Franchise network that allowed franchisees to network and celebrate each other’s successes over the past few years.

Part of this was an awards ceremony, held at the close of the event which saw many franchisees recognised for their excellent work over the particularly difficult period since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of these franchisees was none other than Rosemary Bookkeeping’s own Mohammad Hossain, who began his Rosemary journey at the beginning of 2021 after the early lockdowns caused him to take a step back and reconsider his career. Up until this point, Mohammad had been amassing a plethora of skills and experience within the bookkeeping and accounts sector – but decided that it was finally time to put them to good use in running his own business.

When we interviewed Mohammad in early May he told us of his aspirations at this time to grow his business through franchising:

“I wanted to be independent and be out on my own as I was very confident in the skills, knowledge and expertise I had in accounting and services like payroll, VAT, and CIS. I was fully confident that I can run my own business. But I knew it would be difficult for me to do this on my own without any kind of support to help me strengthen and grow the business. So, I decided not to go alone and to go with a franchise that could give me all the support I needed to grow.”

And grow Mohammad has, as evidenced by his winning Rosemary Rookie of the Year at ServiceMaster Live! This award is given to a franchisee in a new business who has successfully implemented the Rosemary model to substantially grow their business, build their local reputation and constantly improve their skills.

As a shining star of our network and a newer franchisee, Mohammad was the perfect candidate for such an award. “It is no wonder Mohammad has won Rookie of the year,” says Rosemary Bookkeeping Marketing Manager Victoria Taylor. “He has so much energy and enthusiasm for growing his Rosemary Bookkeeping Business and providing a highly valuable service to his clients, I am sure this is just the start of what will be an outstanding journey.

His award has also galvanised Mohammad to keep growing and develop further. “It feels wonderful to win Rookie of the Year 2021,” he says. “I feel grateful and inspired. But I attribute this success to the whole Rosemary Team, who have worked work to help me achieve this honour. Having a great award like this award is now inspiring me to set a new ambitious target for the future, and a business plan to achieve it.”

We would once again like to congratulate Mohammad on his award and look forward to working towards what is sure to be a certain and bright future with him.

If, like Mohammad, you would like to begin a franchising journey with us to grow your very own successful bookkeeping business, give our friendly franchise sales team a call on 0116 275 9005, or fill out a contact form today.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

The effects of work-related stress and how having a bookkeeper could help.

Not only is April the start of springtime and a new tax year, but it is also International Stress Awareness Month. Held every April since 1992, this annual event is all about increasing public awareness of the causes and cures for stress.

This year the Stress Management Society, which heads the monthly initiative, is encouraging people to regain connection, certainty, and control in their lives through the use of daily challenges. They are encouraging members of the public to pick one action to benefit their physical, mental and emotional well-being and carry it out every day.

If you have a small business, you are probably no stranger to stress. There is a lot to remember and even more to juggle – especially if you are doing your own bookkeeping. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we understand that not everyone who starts their own business is well-versed in the challenging and complex work that is often required to stay on top of your finances. So, you might put it off, or spend a prolonged period just struggling on your own. As a result, all of this work can keep piling up, creating more and more stress, and taking a toll on your wellbeing. But what actions can you take to better it?

How stress can affect you

Stress can affect you in all sorts of ways. A moderate amount can be good. Without stress, our ancestors would not have been able to stay alert to potential dangers in their environment. The environment may have changed – we are no longer in caves – and so have the dangers – we are no longer worried about the potential of being attacked by a sabre-toothed tiger. But the response in the body has stayed the same. According to the Stress Management Society, when we are stressed, our bodies go into what you have probably heard referred to as ‘fight or flight mode’, releasing a mix of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine to prepare us for action. This was useful when we have to flee from or face up to real danger. The problem comes when our bodies enter this state in inappropriate situations such as at home or work, or in response to a looming deadline.

The bodies’ response to stress will differ from person to person and can be emotional, physical, or behavioural, but it often exacerbates pre-existing problems an individual can have. This makes it hard to pinpoint specific or universal effects of stress. However, the University of Cambridge has observed common effects of work-related stress, including:

Behavioural Effects:

Substance misuse
Isolation
Lack of punctuality
Situational displays of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Emotional Effects:

Depression
Anxiety
Irritability
Frequently fluctuating emotional state

Effects on the work organisation:

High absenteeism and labour turnover
Poor timekeeping, motivation, performance, and productivity
Low morale
Increased employee complaints, ill-health, and accident & incident reports

Physical Effects:

Sleep disturbances
Headaches
Gastrointestinal upset
Raised blood pressure

Prorogued stress can be especially bad for the body and, according to the Stress Management Society, can contribute to many serious health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, strokes, ulcers, diabetes, IBS, tooth loss, joint pain, miscarriage, allergies, and alopecia.

How a bookkeeper can help you

So, what can a bookkeeper do? If you run a small business and are finding the work of staying on top of your finances is causing you stress, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional bookkeeper.

This is different from the role of an accountant, whose job is to give you an overview of trends, profitability, cash flow, and other financial factors. A bookkeeper provides more hands-on support in taking care of your books through the regular recording, tracking and management of your business’s financial transactions and data. This will allow you to reliably measure your performance and help to formulate the proper strategies to better position your business within its market.

A professional bookkeeping business can help you with the job of managing your books by:

Carrying out data entry
Balancing bank ledgers
Preparing bank reconciliations
Tracking income and expenses
Carrying out VAT returns
Maintaining the general ledger
And sometimes even completing payroll and also producing monthly Profit & Loss reports.

Save yourself from the stress of bookkeeping by outsourcing to Rosemary Bookkeeping today. To find out more about our services, or to chat with our experts, give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business now.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

Everything you need to know about MTD and how having a bookkeeper helps.

Making Tax Digital (or MTD) is part of HMRC’s ongoing initiative that has been underway since April 2019 to digitalise the UK tax system. Currently, MTD is focused on VAT submission but is set to grow to include other types of tax, such as Income Tax and Corporation Tax. The most immediate of these extensions is coming up soon, when in April 2022, the current MTD VAT will become extended to include businesses.

So, what is MTD? When and how will MTD affect your business? And how should you go about paying it? We have all the answers. Getting in touch with your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business lets you directly contact your local bookkeeping experts, who will help support you with any bookkeeping query.

We’ve also put together a post to answer all of your most burning questions on MTD. Starting with:

What is MTD?

MTD has two core components:

  1. Replacement of paper-based records and a requirement for businesses and organisations (including those with property-based incomes) to keep digital accounting records.
  2. Using compatible software to submit tax returns and updates to HMRC – The government will be removing their current online tax services when a business registers for MTD and will require businesses and organisations to use software compliant with their API (Application Program Interfaces) to submit relevant updates and returns to HMRC instead.

MTD Timeline

  • 1st April 2019: MTD has been in place since this date for the majority of VAT-registered businesses that are above the tax threshold of an £85’000 turnover or above. These included partnerships, sole traders, limited companies, non-UK businesses registered for UK VAT, and charities and trusts.
  • 1st October 2019: There was a six-month deferred start date for more complex businesses.
  • 1st April 2022: MTD will be mandatory for all VAT-registered businesses and organisations.
  • April 2024: MTD will become mandatory for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) for those who are self-employed and/or with a property-based income if they have self-employment and/or gross rental income of over £10’000.
  • April 2025: MTD ISTA becomes mandatory for general partnerships. Meaning it will now apply to corporate or ‘non-natural’ and non-limited liability partnerships with a turnover above the £10’000 threshold.

The immediate changes and how they affect your business

If, before April 2022, you were not already under the current MTD legislation, you will be required to sign up to MTD, keep digital records of VAT and submit this information to HMRC through an MTD compatible software.

It’s important to note that if your business has received an MTD exemption, this will still be in effect beyond 1st April 2022. To check if you are eligible, or apply for exemption from MTD, you can find guidance on how to do so via the HMRC website. If you’re concerned about the impact of MTD on your business, you can read more about its effects here.

MTD’s benefits:

  • It can reduce or even eliminate paper-based or manual tax processes. This allows you greater accuracy in tax returns, reduces the time you spend on administration, and gives you more time to maximise your business opportunities, productivity and profitability.
  • In the case that you opt to use cloud-based software, you’ll be able to see in real-time what is happening in your books and have better control over your finances, allowing you to up-to-date and well-informed business decisions.
  • Using compliant digital software means that submitting information to HMRC is far simpler and less stressful.
  • Some accounting software link directly with your bank account, further reducing the ‘paperwork’ and time spent filing taxes.
  • Digital software provides you with real-time management information so you can see how your business is performing.

So, if you have not already done so, you need to start weighing your options for MTD compliant software.

How Rosemary Bookkeeping can help

We understand that making the jump to digital can be scary and daunting. But, it’s not as costly or difficult as it seems – especially with the help of an expert bookkeeping service like Rosemary Bookkeeping. The benefit of changing to MTD in April 2022 is that everybody else has already had around three years of experience working with it.

With a professional bookkeeper from Rosemary Bookkeeping to help you, making your tax digital is a very simple process. We have been operating MTD for VAT submissions since its inception in 2019 and know its processes inside and out. Going digital may be a scary prospect, but by using a bookkeeper, your tax may be going digital, but your bookkeeping experience isn’t. We will assist however you need to get accustomed to the software, or simply do the work for you and make the process of sending returns to HMRC straightforward. We will also send generated returns directly from the software so that you have a well-kept and organised backlog of your records.

The main drawback of digital services like Xero and QuickBooks is that they depend on your own financial knowledge and ability to work through MTD yourself. Our bookkeeping experts are trained to work digitally using MTD compliant software like Xero and QuickBooks and Sage, but are a real-life human presence that can reassure and guide you through the process, so you’re not going it alone. As Rosemary Bookkeeping is well-versed in MTD and online services, we can also offer advice on which software would be best for you, and often offer competitive prices for software subscriptions.

Additionally, we also offer an online exchange of documents, so you’ll be able to upload photos or scans of documents so that we can process them on the bookkeeping software. We also use Apps like AutoEntry or Hubdoc, which not only attach documents directly to the record on the software but also automate some bookkeeping processes – saving you valuable time and money.

To start receiving expert help and advice from your local bookkeeping experts, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business today.

You can’t leave it all to tech.

Bookkeeping is tricky. Especially for small businesses, when you are juggling a million other things. So, it’s understandable that you want to ease the burden of this task any way you can. Nowadays we can turn to technology to solve most of our problems, and bookkeeping is no exception. You may have even seen adverts praising digital bookkeeping aids. Popular software like Xero and Quickbooks promise to make bookkeeping easy, help you track and manage expenses and stay on top of taxes. But how true is this?

What bookkeeping software does

Quickbooks promises three major things:

  • The ability to stay on top of taxes
  • The ability to track and manage expenses
  • Keeping data that allows for ‘no-nonsense’ payroll

This technology is all designed around one central premise: streamlining your bookkeeping experience. Everything bookkeeping software do is about using technology to save you time.

The bottom line is, using online software depends on you. Your ability to use this software depends on how much you know about bookkeeping and how up to date you are with recent legislative changes etc. For example, Quickbooks and Xero both rely on the use of VAT codes. But they do not provide support on what these are, and how to use them. For all their data and efficiency, they do not help much if you don’t know a lot about bookkeeping. As a result, relying on this software means taking a big risk depending on how much you know. If you are not confident with your books, you would still be better off using a bookkeeper.

What a bookkeeper does better

Having a personal bookkeeper involves all the benefits of bookkeeping software and more. They help you keep on top of your VAT returns, payroll and tax obligations. A bookkeeper also helps you track and manage your expenses, produces debtor and creditor reports to help with your cash flow and daily management of your business. They provide you with industry-specific knowledge and help you make more educated business decisions. This means you receive support all year round with any bookkeeping queries you might have. With a bookkeeper, you are not reliant on technology. QuickBooks and Xero are fantastic tools that can automate a big part of the bookkeeping process, but when it comes to technology, errors made by automated systems cannot be avoided and need somebody with experience and knowledge to check if the entries and codes are correct. Using a bookkeeper allows you not to be reliant on the software and automatic data entry. A bookkeeper also assures that your business is compliant, you meet all the deadlines, and your information is archived properly. Thanks to this you can avoid costly mistakes, save time and money. knowing that your business finances are in good hands.

For a reliable and professional bookkeeping service, contact your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business today.

It’s a question often asked. Small businesses the world over find themselves struggling with their books, but don’t want any extra expenses. So; is it really necessary to outsource your bookkeeping?

The simple answer is: there is no simple answer. It really does depend on you, your time, and your business. You have a lot of options, including purchasing accounting software to make it easier for yourself. But even with the help of these tactics, doing your own books can be daunting, tricky and time consuming.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether it is easy for you to do your own bookkeeping.

Naturally, circumstances differ from business to business. In many cases, a sole trader or small business will start off doing their own bookkeeping and manage to keep on top of it. The problem is, when you start to get busier, time is precious, and you need to decide how productive it is to be spending your time sorting out your receipts and invoices rather than concentrating on the activities that drive your business.

Bookkeeping is also one of those tasks people tend to put off. Especially when trying to focus on everything else involved in running a business, it is easy to fall into the trap of putting it in the diary or setting time aside every month, and then having something come along that then takes precedence. It’s about priorities, and bookkeeping – more often than not – falls into that dreaded “to do list”.

This tends to cause small business owners much more stress in the long run. All of a sudden, that small pile of receipts and invoices can develop in to a messy pile of paperwork that will take hours to sort through.

Ultimately, it comes down to a personal decision about productivity. If you spent the time working on your business instead of doing your own books, what would that translate to in monetary terms? If it’s likely to be more than the fee you will pay a Bookkeeper then the answer to your question is yes, you probably do need a Bookkeeper.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we aim to take the fear out of your bookkeeping. Outsourcing is a very realistic option for business owners so don’t be scared. If you are unsure, we are more than happy to come and help you find out about making tax digital, or simply conduct a 1-2-1 health check to give you the opportunity to decide for yourself if you think you could benefit. To get in touch with a professional and expert Bookkeeper in your local area with no obligation, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Everything you need to know to get your head around the new off-payroll working legislation ahead of the new financial year.

The Intermediaries Legislation (or IR35) for off-payroll working came into full force in the private sector last year. However, it can be difficult to see the full effects of a new legislation after so little time has passed. So, as we approach a year of IR35 in the private sector, we’ve put together a blog post of everything you need to know about the legislation to get prepared for the new financial year in March.

On April 6th 2022, at the beginning of the 2022/23 financial year, HMRC will be fully integrating IR35 in the UK’s private sector. This date signals the end of a ‘soft-landing’ period that had allowed affected businesses a grace period over the last 12 months in which HMRC did not charge penalties for non-compliance.

What are the new rules?

The new legislation is designed to create a more level playing field by taxing contractors at a similar rate to employment in order to prevent them from working as ‘disguised employees.In the private sector, this means that the onus to determining IR35 status no longer lies with the contractor, and instead with the entity that pays the contractor. Therefore, this is now a tax burden on all client businesses in the private sector that engage contract workers – with the notable exception of small companies.

From April 2021, if a client decides that IR35 does apply, the contractor is taxed as if they were an employee. However, because the contactor’s employment status does not change, they don’t receive the rights and perks of said employment.

Who do they apply to?

According to HMRC, the new off-payroll working rules can apply to workers (also sometimes referred to as a contractor) who provides services through their own limited company – or another type of intermediary – to a client. In these cases, the intermediary is usually the worker’s own personal service company. However, it can also be a partnership or an individual. Essentially, the legislation applies to all contractors that do not meet HMRC’s definition of self-employed.

Therefore, you may be affected if you are:

A worker who provides services through their intermediary
An agency that provides workers’ services through an intermediary
A client who receives services from such workers through their intermediary

To qualify for exemption as a small business under IR35 regulations, a company has to meet the following criteria:

An annual turnover of less than £10.2 million
A balance sheet total of less than £5.1 million
Fewer than 50 employees

In cases where a contractor is working for a smaller business, it remains the contractor’s responsibility to decide their employment status.

You can also use HRMC’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool to find out if you or your worker, should be classed as employed or self-employed for tax purposes.  

Get prepared for the new tax year by leaving your books to Rosemary Bookkeeping. Enlisting the help of a bookkeeper means receiving expert support from informed professionals, dispelling any confusion on tricky matters like IR35, and having more time to focus on the things that matter most to you. Click here to find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business, and find more about our services today.

With 2022 now underway, here is your reminder of some important dates for the rest of this financial year.

January 2022:

January has various important dates to remember.

There are two different monthly deadlines for sending off your payments for CIS, NICs and PAYE to HMRC. The postal deadline is 19th January, and the deadline for electronic payments is 22nd January. These payment dates for CIS, NICs, and PAYE then repeat monthly for the remainder of this financial year.

31st January is an important date to remember for various reasons. It is the deadline for filing your Self-Assessment tax return form for the tax year that ended in April 2021. However, due to the difficulties may have faced as a result of COVID-19, HMRC has waived late fee filing penalties for Self-Assessment Tax Returns.

If you have been unable to file your return by the 31st January deadline you will not receive a fine, permitting that you file online by 28th February. Anyone who cannot pay their Self-Assessment tax by the 31st January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 1st April. However, interest will be payable from 1st February as usual, so it is still better to pay on time where possible.

January 31st is also the deadline by which you need to have filed your 2020/21 Capital Gains Tax, and if your company has a January 2021 year-end, you will also need to have filed your Corporation Tax by this date. Furthermore, the 31st is the date by which you need to have finalised the balancing payment of tax for 2019-2020, and the first payment of Account for Income Tax for 2021-2022.

February 2022:

The first date to remember in this month is 1st February, as it is the due date for paying Corporation Tax for the period that ended 30th April 2021.

If your business uses vehicles, the deadline for submitting Car P46 for the financial quarter ending 5th January 2022 is 2nd February. Following this, the VAT Tax Return and payments deadline for the accounting quarter period ending 31st December 2021 is 7th February. As with January, the monthly postal and electronic deadlines for the payment of CIS, NICs, and PAYE to HMRC are the 19th and 22nd respectively.

Finally, the due date to file for Corporation Tax for companies with a 28th February 2021 year-end is 28th February. Remember this is also now the final date you can now file your Jan Self-Assessment tax return online without receiving a fine.

March 2022:

1st March is both the new AFR (Advisory Fuel Rates) day for company car users and the due date for the payment of Corporation Tax for the period that ended 31st May 2021.

The 7th of March is the deadline for VAT Returns and payments of the accounting quarter that ended on 31st January 2022. For large companies with the year-end of 31st March 2022 and 31st December 2022, the due date for Corporation Tax quarterly instalments is 14th March.

Following this are the monthly postal and electronic deadlines for the payment of CIS, NICs, and PAYE on the 19th and 22nd of March. The filing date for companies with 31st March 2021 as a year-end round off the month on 31st March.

April 2022:

April is the end of the current 2021/2022 financial year. It begins with the due date for payment of Corporation Tax (for the period that ended 30th June 2021) on the 1st of April.

Then, the current tax year ends on the 5th of April, and the 2022/2023 tax year begins the following day on the 6th of April. Also on the 6th, IR35 comes into force in the private sector.

19th April is a busy day this year. Firstly, automatic interest is charged where PAYE Tax, Class 1 NI, CIS and/or Student Loans are not paid by this date, so make sure you have these paid up to date well in advance. Furthermore, PAYE quarterly payments are also due for small employers for periods 6th January 2021 – 5th April 2021.

19th April is also the deadline for employers’ final PAYE return to be submitted online for 2020/2021.

Finally, on 30th April, corporation Tax Returns need to be filed by companies with 30th April 2021 as a year-end.

Need help with your bookkeeping?

That’s all for the current tax year in 2022.

If all of this seems like a lot of work to remember, you can leave your bookkeeping to the professionals by letting us handle your books for you.

Entrusting your bookkeeping to Rosemary means:

· We keep track of your deadlines for you

· We know when your Tax return needs to be filed by

· We can keep track of your CIS payments

To find out more about our services and find out how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you, call 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

With the New Year upon us, there are many things to consider for small business owners across the UK, including the imminent January Self-Assessment Tax Return. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we understand that the process of keeping up with your books and finances can be challenging and daunting for many, especially with so many other things to think about and juggle.

So, why not make a new year’s resolution now: Don’t struggle alone, get help from the professionals. Rosemary Bookkeeping provides expert financial and bookkeeping advice and support to businesses of all sizes across the United Kingdom.

How we can help

Put simply, bookkeeping is the day-to-day process of accumulating, categorizing, and recording financial transactions. It is a foundation of your finances, providing vital information for reports, financial statements and tax returns. The main role of bookkeeping is to keep all financial transactions record up to date in a proper and systematic manner. Bookkeepers are responsible for a number of tasks like:

  • Data entry
  • Balancing bank ledgers
  • Preparing bank reconciliations
  • Tracking income and expenses
  • VAT returns
  • Maintaining the general ledger
  • And sometimes completing payroll and also producing monthly Profit & Loss reports.

Couldn’t I just hire an accountant?

If you are struggling to manage your finances, your first thought might be to look into hiring an accountant. Whilst there are some clear similarities between the role of an accountant and a bookkeeper, there are some key distinctions that can make quite the difference.

The role of accounting is more to provide a picture of the actual profitability, trends, cash flow and other key financial indicators. In general, bookkeepers produce the data, and accountants review and interpret reports providing insights into the business although an experienced bookkeeper can assist with this too.

In this instance, bookkeepers like Rosemary are here to provide more practical support in taking care of your books and finances for you. Leaving your books to us means that they are maintained monthly by qualified professionals with expert financial knowledge so that you can focus your attention on more important things like the actual day-to-day running of your business, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary means:

  • Your books are done regularly – so you can see what is going on in your business
  • You don’t have to spend your valuable time doing the books – so you can do things more beneficial to your financial income
  • Paying less than you would for an accountant
  • You don’t need to hire any additional staff. You only pay for the work done
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath

If you need help with your bookkeeping, you can trust Rosemary Bookkeeping. It’s what we do. To find out more about our services, or to chat with our experts give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business here.

We’ve made a list of festive expenses that you may be able to claim back as a business expense.

Christmas time can be a busy and expensive time for many businesses – big or small. But with the January Self-Assessment Tax Return coming up, here are some festive expenses that you might not have thought about reclaiming.

Decking the Halls

If ‘business as usual’ has resumed in your office, then you may have decided to also carry on the festive tradition of decorating your office for the holidays. What you might not be aware of, is that you can actually claim back decorations like a Christmas tree, tinsel, and wreathes as tax by logging them on your accounts as running costs for the office. Bear in mind that this doesn’t extend to employees working from home however, as HMRC judges this as personal enjoyment, not office related.

A Christmas Party

Providing that you went ahead with a Christmas do this year, be it virtual or in person, you may be liable to claim expenses back as tax. However, this depends on who was in attendance.

If the event is/was open to all of your employees, then the whole thing will be taxable, no matter the number of people in your operation. However, you cannot claim expenses if there were also clients and/or associates in attendance, as this is not acceptable for corporation tax or VAT purposes as HMRC classes this as business entertaining. Furthermore, any even that is not open to all employees will also not be liable.

As a result – if you do decide to invite clients and/or associates to a Christmas event, remember to allocate sufficient funds to cover their expenses because you won’t be able to claim any tax relief, or reclaim any VAT on costs. Bear in mind that you should still record this in your books, and add the costs back on when you come to calculate your profit for tax.

Presents

As it is Christmas, you may choose to buy gifts for staff or clients. In the case of clients, you are able to record these as a business cost on your books, provided that these gifts meet the appropriate guidelines so as not to constitute potential bribery. This means:

  • You must not spend more than £50 (p.a.) on gifts for any one client.
  • You must not gift a client an item that can be exchanged for goods or money – such as cash or vouchers.
  • You must include a conspicuous advert for your business. For more information regarding gifts to clients, please visit the HMRC website.

In the case of your staff, there are other key tax considerations regarding gifts:

  • If the gift has no cash benefit, then it may be accepted by HMRC as trivial benefit, which means that you will not need to pay extra tax or National Insurance, or report it on the employee’s P11D form.
  • If your gift does include cash payment to staff – they will be classified in the same way as regular earnings by HMRC so should be put through payroll as normal – and might require a National Insurance payment.

More guidance and information on gifts for staff can be found on the HMRC website.

If navigating this all feels a little daunting, why not entrust your bookkeeping to the professionals? You can find more information on the upcoming January tax return here, and to find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business, click here.

Inflation rates are projected to reach highs of 4% before the end of this year. This could have a big impact if you own and run a small business. Here’s what you need to know:

British inflation has hit decade highs, caused by a combination of factors including COVID-19, Brexit, rising energy and fuel prices, higher costs of raw materials and goods in factories, and higher bills in restaurants and hotels. In October, the UK Office for National Statistics reported that inflation had hit 4.2%, a 1.1% increase from September – a significantly bigger increase than had been predicted by experts.

So what does this mean for small business owners?

Well, this could have a number of knock-on effects that small business owners should be aware of, including:

  • A rising in costs of labour to compensate for increasing inflation
  • Rising costs of products and services
  • Labour shortages and supply chain issues

This will only be exacerbated by The Bank of England’s inconsistency on the topic of interest rate rises. As this is the mechanism used to control inflation, this will make more money more expensive to borrow – which would further reduce demand. This, in tandem with a fixed supply, means that price increases slow down, and businesses are faced with decision of whether or not to lower prices in order to maintain sales, or raise them to maintain profit (and risk losing customers).

So what can you do?

Unfortunately, the current situation leaves businesses with a dilemma and a bit of a no-win scenario. This will only change when either demand reduces or supply chains resume normal service. Meaning that, at present, the solution is in finding a balance between increasing costs and maintaining profits.

If you find the prospect of managing your finances in this difficult time daunting, why not contact Rosemary Bookkeeping? We can take care of your books for you and help you manage your finances. Hiring a professional bookkeeping service like Rosemary can greatly benefit you as we are able to help with tracking the cost and profit in your business.

Outsourcing your books to Rosemary also means:

  • Your books are done regularly – so you can see what is going on in your business
  • You don’t have to spend your valuable time doing the books – so you can do things more beneficial to your financial income
  • Paying less than you would for an accountant
  • You don’t need to hire any additional staff. You only pay for the work done
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath

To outsource your books today, and receive financial advice from our experts, give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business here.

If you own a small business and are approaching the holidays worrying how you’re going to manage your books, why not make these tips part of your New Year’s resolution?

The prospect of maintaining your books can be a daunting one for many small business owners. Juggling a steadily growing pile of receipts and invoices can certainly start to feel like quite the balancing act. But not to worry, we are here to help alleviate any anxiety about managing your books. Simply follow these tips to stay on top of your finances:

  1. Keep personal and business finances separate

Have separate bank accounts when you are running your own business, by separating out the two, you will be able to avoid any messy mix-ups in your finances.

  1. Don’t get rid of receipts and invoices

In a small business, nothing should go to waste. Make sure that you and your staff receipts and/or invoices for any and all expenditure, and attach them to expenses claims. To be safe, keep all records for at least six years.

  1. Maintain filing system

These records should be simple and easily organised. Sales invoices should be raised and filed in order, and purchases should follow a system that is logical to you.

  1. Keep your time similarly organised

Working closely with a plan or schedule can help you to best stay on top of your finances. Allotting diarised time to reconcile your bank accounts or update records will mean that it becomes part of your routine, and this can help it to feel like less of a chore. It also means that it doesn’t become forgotten amongst all of the other things you have to do.

Be sure to raise sales invoices quickly and file your paperwork on time. You may be able to remember what happened last week, but not last month or the month before.

  1. Stay on track of petty cash

In the same vain, you should be keeping receipts for your petty cash, and reconciling amounts regularly.  Keeping a keen eye on your cash will help to reduce the risk of loss or theft.

  1. Bank payments quickly

Once you have these cash or cheque payments it is important to stay on top of them and get them in the bank fast – even if they might feel old school. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of losing them or spending them quickly. Plus, the quicker they are in the bank, the better your cash flow.

  1. Chasing debtors

Slow payers can cause real harm to your business, and damage your cash flow. Set a clear policy for chasing up debtors. You aren’t loaning money, so your clients need to pay.

  1. Plan ahead by putting money aside

Putting money aside, perhaps in another account, will mean there are extra funds available in the event that you need them. There will always be future expenditures, such as VAT, so be sure to be prepared by planning ahead.

  1. Learn the basics

It’s true that you should always have a professional handle your finances for you, but knowing the basics can help you a lot from day to day. If you would like to learn more about finances and bookkeeping, you can find a lot of useful information and tips on our news page – under the bookkeeping tab.

  1. Trust the professionals

The best way to manage your finances is to enlist the help of a professional. Managing your books can be difficult, especially when trying to manage it alongside everything else you need to do as a small business. Outsourcing your bookkeeping to Rosemary means that your books are maintained regularly, but you don’t have to spend your valuable time doing them yourself. You also won’t need to hire any additional staff – you only pay for the work done – and a bookkeeper is cheaper than an accountant!

If you think it’s time to outsource your bookkeeping, get in touch with Rosemary Bookkeeping, or find your nearest branch here.