Preparation of accounts is one of the main accountancy services we provide, as for most businesses it is essential to prepare a proper set of year end accounts. These will be useful for internal review and analysis, outside stakeholders such as banks, lenders or creditors, or in connection with a potential sale of the business. There are many reasons why it is important and essential to have these accounts prepared correctly.
Compliance and general accountancy services
Whether you trade as a Sole Trader, Partnership or through a Limited company, it is essential to get the structure of your business correct. There are various factors to consider in respect of each structure, not just in terms of tax efficiency but also in terms of your employees, personal liabilities, HM Revenue & Customs, and your business credibility. The structure you choose will affect how the business carries out its administration and the type of year end accounts that are prepared. Depending on your business structure, you may need to file a Self-Assessment tax return, a Partnership tax return, a CT600 Corporation tax return, or a combination of these. We provide accountancy services to cater for all of these, and advise on the best options for you.
We provide routine bookkeeping and accountancy services to relieve some of the administrative burden that can quickly build up when running a business. There isn’t always time to maintain good accounting records, and we often see firms struggling to get this done at the same time as having to make key decisions while keeping a realistic perspective of where the business is heading. To add to this, if the business is VAT registered, VAT returns need to be filed on a quarterly or monthly basis. Organisation is key to running a business effectively, and if HM Revenue & Customs decide they want to open an investigation, you will need to be sure you are fully compliant and that accounting records have been well maintained.
We provide payroll, auto-enrolment and P11D services as part of our accountancy services, as well as advice and guidance on employer benefits (i.e. childcare vouchers, cycle to work, private insurance etc). These can all be an important part of what a company offers its employees. HM Revenue & Customs have significantly increased their regulation and compliance requirements by the introduction of ‘Real Time Information’ (RTI) and ‘Auto-enrolment’ pension schemes, so it is important to get this right.
Self-Assessment tax returns need to be prepared and filed with HM Revenue & Customs if you are receiving any types of income that are not being taxed through PAYE (Pay As You Earn) via an employer. This may include Sole Trader business income, Partnership income, rents from property lets, dividends from a Ltd or Plc company, interest received from a savings account or bonds (apart from Cash ISA income). There are usually ways that this can be most efficiently prepared.
A point can be reached when a business is more tax efficient if incorporated as a Limited company. This means a new company will need to be formed and year end accounts will have to be filed annually with Companies House. Instead of there being one owner (a sole trader) or a few partners (as in a partnership), there will be directors (who run the company) and shareholders (who own the company). We advise on when this point is reached and can help incorporate the business and structure it in the most effective way.
We work with and give advice on a number of different accounting software. These include ‘cloud’ accounting software and more bespoke in-house packages. We are able to recommend suitable products (based upon your budget and specific needs) that might be best for your business. We have a good working knowledge of the products and can provide further support and training if needed.
Cloud accounting and Xero:
The majority of market leader software firms have developed online versions to encompass the growing trend and demand for these products – for instance Sage and Sage One, QuickBooks and IRIS. There is a range of other online softwares available with a few of the most popular being Xero, Freeagent, KashFlow and Clearbooks.
We are ‘Xero Certified Bronze Partners’, which means we can offer discounts and benefits which aren’t accessible to the general public. The main benefits of using Xero are:
(1) the ability to feed your bank statements directly into the software,
(2) there is a wide range of ‘add-on’ software available which can be used to work in conjunction with Xero, and
(3) it can provide costs savings in terms of the software and overall time efficiencies.
Please get in touch if this maybe something that you could benefit from using or if you want to find out more about it. Please also see the Cloud accounting page, for a bit more information.
Tax planning, business consultancy and accounts analysis
Tax planning is an area on which a lot of clients seek guidance. Planning your business so you minimise your tax liabilities is essential for ensuring that it remains competitive. We give advice and support in arranging things in the best way possible, whether this is in terms of the business structure, or guidance on the regulations and tax requirements.
Understanding the figures that you are producing is very important for making future decisions about where you want the business to go and what changes you need to make. Management accounts, cash flow analysis and budgets all play a very important part in collating the figures to make these relevant decisions. We can produce management accounts (monthly, quarterly or ad hoc) when a client needs these.
We provide general business consultancy advice. This can involve detailed analysis of your business operations, assessing where improvements can be made, or producing detailed forecasts to anticipate how changes would affect the business.
Specialist accountancy work
This type of accountancy work is usually relevant when someone is looking to buy a new business and needs help evaluating whether it is going to be financially viable.
There are other areas that are more specialised – work such as charity accounts, Research and Development Tax Credit claims, insolvency work and audits. Much of this can be done by myself, but if we cannot help, we have the connections to arrange for this work to be appropriately carried out. A common type of client request is for mortgage approvals to be signed or accredited, which we can help with due to being registered with a relevant professional body (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).
We also provide credit reports covering a wide range of areas, for clients needing to assess the reliability and credit history of customers and suppliers, before they take on their business.
If you are looking for an accountant who knows and understands your business, who you can trust has the right level of experience and qualifications, and who covers the East Sussex area, we will be right for you.