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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.

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.

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.

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.

The Holiday season approaches – a very busy time for most businesses. Whilst it may be easy to get carried away with festivities or Christmas rushes, don’t forget that you can carry out your self-assessment months in advance.

By now, whether you are self-employed, a partnership, or neither, you should have registered for your tax return self-assessment. The deadline for the assessment may be the end of January next year, but we are just about to head into a very busy period for most businesses, and that time will be gone in a flash. So, it’s well worth getting a head-start on the process now.

‘But I simply don’t have time!’ you say. This winter period is a busy one for businesses the world over, so the temptation to put off that January tax return is a strong and understandable one. Unfortunately, it is not an option. Tax returns are not voluntary, and have to be completed no matter what. Luckily there is still plenty of time before that rush period really starts, so you still have the option to get it done now, early doors. Plus, it makes much more sense to stay on top of these things as they go, and keep your 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.

There are instances in which the deadline is different:

  • If you are eligible, you can submit your online return by 30th December 2021, provided you want HMRC to automatically collect tax from your wages and pension.

In this case, HMRC must receive a paper tax return by 31st January 2022 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.

HMRC may also write or email to give you a different deadline. More details can be found on their website.

  • Partnership returns if you have a company as a partner.

If your partnership’s accounting date is between 1st February and 5th April and one of your partner’s 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 has 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.

But for the sake of tardiness, these fines are not worth the risk. It would be better to make sure of 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.

And if absolutely none of this has convinced you that it’s best to pay early, and the idea of sorting out your own tax returns this Christmas makes you say ‘Bah Humbug’, then don’t worry. We’ll do it for you!

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)
  • A bookkeeper is cheaper than an accountant (who doesn’t like to be cost-effective?)
  • Outsourcing means no additional staff (you only pay for the work done)
  • You don’t have to do a job you loath

 

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

If you think it’s time to outsource your bookkeeping, get in touch with Rosemary Bookkeeping, it’s what we do best.