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.

All you need to know about the new advisory fuel rates for company car users.

For any business, keeping track of your financials is vital.

So, keeping track of relevant legislation that will affect them is imperative.

On March 1st 2024, HMRC reviewed current Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR) for company car drivers claiming back fuel expenses from their employer.

In this blog post, our experts have compiled a guide on everything you need to know about the new Advisory Fuel Rates.


Who is affected by changing Advisory Fuel Rates?

Mileage rates and any changes apply in certain circumstances for employees who use company cars.

These rates only apply when:

Reimbursing employees for company car business travel:

According to guidance from HMRC, if the mileage rate you pay is lower than the AFR for the engine size and fuel type of the car, there will be no taxable profit and no Class 1A National Insurance to pay.

If your cars are more fuel efficient or the cost of business travel is higher than the AFR, you can use personalized rates to reflect your situation.

However, if your mileage payments are only for business travel or you pay rates higher than the advisory rates but cannot show that your fuel cost per mile is higher, there will be no fuel benefit charge.

Instead, you’ll have to treat any excess as taxable profit and earnings for Class 1 National Insurance purposes.

Employees repay the cost of the fuel for private travel:

If you correctly record all private travel mileage and use the correct rate (or higher) to calculate how much your employees repay you for fuel used for personal travel, there will be no fuel benefit charge.

You will also not need to use the advisory rates, where you can show that employees cover the total cost of private fuel by repaying at a lower mileage rate.


When are Advisory Fuel Rates changed?

Advisory Fuel Rates are subject to regular change. HMRC reviews rates quarterly.

The most recent review happens on the first of March.

They are reviewed on:

  • 1st March
  • 1st June
  • 1st September
  • 1st December

How changes are calculated

The changes made by HMRC reflect fuel and energy prices.

Previously, when reimbursing electric company car drivers, the rate used by many companies was based upon annual figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the electrical energy consumption values from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Starting March 2023, HMRC also incorporated figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to inform electricity rates.

This year, they’ve utilized data from annual car sales volumes to businesses (Fleet Audits average for the last three years).


How are the new Advisory Fuel Rates calculated?

Advisory Fuel Rates are calculated when the mean miles per gallon (MPG) is taken from manufacturers’ information.

This considers annual sales to businesses (Fleet Audits average from 2020 to 2022).

For liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the MPG used is 20% lower than for petrol due to lower volumetric energy density.

The ‘rates per mile’ are rounded to one decimal place.

The final advisory fuel rates are rounded to the nearest penny.

Rates per mile, which end in 0.5, are rounded to the nearest whole penny for the advisory fuel rate when the underlying unrounded figure ends in a number less than 0.5.

When the underlying unrounded figure ends in a number greater than 0.5, it is rounded to the nearest whole penny.

The DESNZ cost for pence per kilowatt hour is updated by the ONS consumer prices index for electricity.

This is to account for quarterly price variations.

Then, the value of the annual equivalent rate is calculated through the cost of electricity per mile for each model provided by the DfT and electricity price data from DESNZ and ONS.

A weighted average value of the electrical costs per mile for a fully electric car is then calculated using company car sales data across the last three years.

The advisory fuel rates are worked out from the fuel prices in these tables.

Hybrid cars are treated as petrol or diesel cars for advisory fuel rates.


How have Advisory Fuel Rates Changed?

The headline changes are the increase in LPG rates, immobility of electric rates and a decrease in petrol and diesel rates.

You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date any new rates apply.

Petrol:

Rates for petrol cars have reduced, with petrol vehicles rates of 1,400cc or less down to 13p.

Petrol cars of 1401cc – 2,000cc are now 15p

And Petrol cars over 2000cc are 24p

Diesel:

Diesel rates have also decreased in a couple of areas.

Engines of 1600cc or less are now 12p, 1601-2,000cc are 14p, and over 2000cc are 19p.

LPG:

LPG rates have increased to 11p for engines up to 1400cc, 13p from 1401cc-2000c, and 21p for engines over 2000cc.

Electric:

On the 1st March, fully electric cars increase from 9p per mile (ppm) across the board.


Is all a bit much?

With legislation changing regularly, keeping track of expenses as a small business can be difficult.

And with fuel rates changing three times a year, it can feel impossible to get a handle on what to do and when.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we are on top of all current legislation and are experts in ensuring you know which way is up with your business financials.

By contacting your local expert, you benefit from regular advice and support on all the latest changes to AFR and much more, as well as bespoke and professional management of your bookkeeping needs.

To see how outsourcing your books to your friendly local bookkeeping service could help you, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business or call 0345 862 0072 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

It has been a tough year so far for business owners and the self-employed to say the least. Knowing how your business is going to be affected or what to do for the best to keep revenue coming in has meant that many business owners have needed to change their plans or maybe their whole operational structure. Keeping on top of the continuous changes with rules and regulations has made it that much harder, but it isn’t all doom and gloom.

A lot of businesses have actually prospered during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite national and local closures, some have used this opportunity to quickly adjust and adapt their business to trade in the ‘new normal’.

Businesses that have adapted have seen growth and are likely to have built a lasting relationship with the customer base, which will carry on after COVID-19 recedes.

One of the most important things to do when making sure your business is able to adapt is keeping on top of the constant changes throughout the UK.

You should be keeping on top of the regular changes to rules and regulations in your area of operation, if you don’t you could be missing out on vital information or worse, falling foul of regulations, risking fines.

A couple of months ago, we put together an article with useful links to help you to find reliable sources of information, you can find a copy here https://rosemarybooks.co.uk/where-to-find-useful-information-about-covid19.

Set aside time on a regular basis to catch up on changes and make sure that you are aware of any regulations that could affect you.

There has also been a lot of help out there for small businesses, we also put together an article with information on help available for small businesses, which you can find here: https://rosemarybooks.co.uk/help-for-small-business-through-covid-19 (some of these may have expired or changed since publication so please read them all thoroughly).

See what help is available to you and your business, apply for things in a timely manner, don’t leave it to that last minute, time might run out. Find out about the latest business support here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

You can also sign up for email notifications here https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?topic=/coronavirus-taxon/businesses-and-self-employed-people

If you don’t already, now is even more important to keep on top of your bookkeeping. Keeping on top of your bookkeeping on a regular basis means that you can make informed decisions for your business and will be less likely to have cashflow or financial issues. You can talk to one of the Rosemary bookkeepers and ask for a FREE no obligation bookkeeping health check and find out how Rosemary could help you and your business.

In both our business life and personal life, we all have a system for keeping on top of our bookkeeping and I’m quite sure some are more organised than others.

You might rather like checking your incomings and outgoings every day, week or month, but either way, particularly in business, bookkeeping is essential. Every business should keep track of their income and expenses, if you don’t know what your cashflow really looks like you could run into big problems down the line.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is essentially the task of recording all of the business’s financial information, so that it is easy to see what money is coming in, and what is being spent.

As a small business owner, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day business activities but in order for your business thrive, you should be balancing your books every single month. If you don’t, how do you know if you will have enough to cover your next lot of expenses?

Many small business owners will take on the bookkeeping themselves when they first start their business, if this is your choice, get in to the habit of doing your bookkeeping every month at least or you risk getting in to bad habits and falling behind.

Outsourcing to a professional bookkeeper frees up your time to focus on your business, and if your business isn’t a bookkeeping business then you are probably better at doing something else, if you are fantastic at bookkeeping, maybe you want to join the Rosemary Team?

But why is bookkeeping important?

In short, if you don’t have a good working knowledge of the finances of your business, there is a very good chance that you won’t be running your business very long. According to ‘Investopedia’, the top reason for small businesses failing is financial hurdles.

Whatever your business there are ongoing costs throughout the year, for example for VAT registered companies VAT Returns must be submitted 4 times a year digitally – MTD. Good bookkeeping means you will be able to correctly calculate how much is due and make sure the return is submitted on time.

If you are self-employed you must file a Self-Assessment tax return every year. Keeping on top of your bookkeeping will help you submit your return in good time, saving a last minute panic and rush to gather information or worse yet missing some and facing a fine.

But it’s all fine, you have an accountant so you can just send them everything before your end of year right? Even if you have an accountant, you will still need you to keep on top of your bookkeeping so that they can create your accounts on a good set of books. If you have records missing or unordered, they may not be able to do their job.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping we can take care of your day to day bookkeeping and provide the reports you need, so you can take care of your business. We can also liaise directly with your accountant, to free up more of your valuable time.

If you feel like you don’t understand the bookkeeping side of your business, or just don’t have time to do it, you can always contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeping office here.

cloud based accounting software

As a business owner, one of the most important things to take care of is your company finances; bookkeeping and accounts. Keeping track of your income and expenditure is not only vital for managing your business successfully but also to ensure that you comply with legal obligations.

The way in which you manage your bookkeeping and accounts ultimately comes down to you and there are a lot of choices out there, from using a simple spreadsheet to a full blown bespoke accounting system.

Here, I discuss the benefits of using one of the cloud based accounting software options, to help you narrow down your choice.

Cloud based computing is becoming ever more popular for businesses large or small; and for good reason.

First of all, for those of you who don’t know – Cloud based computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence – over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. Typically, you only pay for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.

Accounting software is just part of what is available on the cloud and here are some top reasons why you should be looking at cloud based software:

Work from any device from anywhere

One of the biggest benefits of cloud based accounting software is that it enables you to access and work on your bookkeeping and accounts from almost anywhere.

You can use any device and log on to your account wherever and whenever you like, without being tied to a particular piece of hardware. Should the worst happen and your desktop PC is not functioning, you don’t have to worry about getting access to your files. All data will be safely and securely stored in the cloud.

Direct links for your accountants & bookkeepers

Because the software and data is stored on the cloud, you can enable remote access to authorised users such as your accountant or bookkeeper. This shared access function means that those permitted can carry on vital tasks for your business without the need to transport paperwork in person or email information backwards and forwards.

You will have live access to all your financial information

One major advantage of cloud accounting software is its ability to link directly to your company’s bank feeds.

By linking up with your bank, your transactions can be pulled directly from your bank account and straight into your accounting software. You will be able to see in real time what is coming in and what is going out of your account, giving you a greater level of control.

Access to reports and analytics

All good cloud accounting software providers have a wide range of reporting features available. You are able to set up reports to give you figures and analytics on live data, no more waiting for figures to be emailed over or someone to work it out for you.

Many cloud accounting software providers will also feature a dashboard overview, where you can see a snapshot of your accounts at a glance.

Taking the hassle away

Utilising good cloud based accounting software makes things much easier for any business owner if set up well.

With the benefit of the direct links to your bank, easy access to reports, plus digital document uploads, using cloud based accounting can free up much of a business owners time and takes a lot of the hassle away.

Keeping up to date

Using any kind of cloud computing, companies don’t necessarily have to buy or maintain their own computing infrastructure. For some, this may eliminate the need to buy servers, update applications or operating systems. Decommissioning and disposing of hardware or software when it is out of date may become one less thing to worry about!

Storing data on the cloud is safe

With cloud computing a good provider will ensure you have end to end encryption so your data security is taken care of. How secure you consider cloud computing to be will largely depend on how secure your existing systems are. In-house systems managed by a team with many other things to worry about and physical risks to information – like a computer crashing, being stolen or having coffee spilt over it – are eliminated. Your in-house systems are more likely to be ‘leaky’ than systems monitored by a cloud provider’s engineers, dedicated to protecting that infrastructure.

Something else to consider is that data stored on the cloud does not corrupt like it can in off-line versions of desktop software.

Easy to work with an outsourced bookkeeper

Last but not least, using cloud based accounting software makes it easier for you to work with you chosen outsourced bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper can have full access to update your bookkeeping at a schedule agreed with you, saving you valuable time and leaving the bookkeeping to them. All you have to do is view your reports when you are ready. You also get the added benefit of needing less office space the more you can reduce officeless you need people in the office. Less office space means less office costs.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with several different types of cloud accounting software. If you don’t have anything in place yet, we can recommend something suitable or if you do, we can work on your chosen software.

If you would like to find out about how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you choose the right cloud based accounting software and assess your business finances during these difficult times, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.