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Starting a side hustle – everything you need to know

According to a study by Henley Business School, two fifths of the working population of Britain already have a side hustle. Whether it’s intended as a financial top-up, a new challenge or a hobby that can earn you a couple of quid on the side, this kind of hustle is becoming the norm for us working Brits. If you have a great idea for a side hustle but want to know how it might affect you and your existing work life, or if you are looking for ideas on side hustles you can start today, fear not – we have you covered! 

What kind of side hustle should you consider?

The first thing you need to look at is whether your current employment contract allows for you to work outside of your paid job. Some businesses have no policy at all, some don’t allow extra work on top of your day job where others require you to proclaim any extra paid work – usually on the basis that they can judge whether there is a likely conflict of interest. So the first piece of advice? Don’t set up in competition with your current employer; they are bound to find out at some point and it won’t be taken lightly. 

Many business owners are starting to buy into the school of thought that says a happy employee is a successful employee – and if a side hustle makes you happy, well they are likely to be right on board with the idea. You may have to convince your employer that you won’t be falling asleep at your desk through overwork, but aside from that, there is nothing legally stopping you from starting a side hustle unless it is specified within your employment contract that you cannot. 

Side hustles you can start today:

There are so many options for side hustles, with the world of social media and ecommerce platforms making it easy to set up and start selling on a very small scale. The main question you need to answer is around your motivation; why you are doing it, and therefore which side hustle might suit you best. We’ve put together a list of some of the side hustles you can start today: 

Starting a side hustle for cash:

If your main motivation is to earn a bit of extra cash, take some time out to assess your availability and your skills. Popular side pursuits include:

  • Delivery driver – businesses like Deliveroo have plenty of side hustlers on their books, and for those of you working a 9-5 it could be ideal. 
  • Tutoring – if you have an in-depth knowledge in a particular subject matter, this is an ideal way to earn some extra cash.
  • Taxi driving – if you already have a vehicle, you could work just about any hours you choose on a casual basis.

Starting a side hustle for passion:

If you have a particular hobby or love of something that you need to cover the costs of, selling your skills or your output is a great way to fund it – and it may be that you can scale up over time and eventually give up the day job.

  • Etsy seller – if your skills and passion lie in craft, design and making things, artisan and quirky gifts fly off the virtual shelves here.
  • Dog walking – if you love animals but can’t keep one yourself, why not take advantage of other working Brits and walk their dogs while they are on shift?
  • Artworking – sketches, pencil drawings and paintings of people’s pets, children and homes are extremely popular nowadays. If you are artistic, this could be a great place to look at starting a side hustle.

Starting a side hustle to gain experience:

New out of college? Have some new skills but no experience to start a full-blown business? Freelancing in your field can be a brilliant starting point.

  • Marketing – if you have marketing skills or a recently earned degree, why not try offering social media services to those without the time or knowledge to spend on Instagram or Twitter?
  • Decorating – if you want to be an interior designer but have no client portfolio, start small and work on basic projects until you have some examples under your belt; once you earn people’s trust you can work your way up to larger projects. 
  • Gardening – whether you want to be a landscaper or an agricultural consultant, starting small with people’s chores will get your foot in the door and some testimonials onto your website. 

Think twice before diving in

Whether you have the skills is just one of the questions you need to consider. You should also think carefully about the impact of starting a side hustle on your mental health, your family and your physical health. Increasing a 40-hour week to a 60-hour week with a side hustle you love may just be the outlet you need to fulfil your artistic or social needs. However, if you are simply putting in the hours to pay the bills, you may find that it pushes you over the edge of exhaustion. Starting a side hustle should prove both rewarding and financially worthwhile, and getting that balance right can be challenging. 

What about the tax implications?

Assuming that you set yourself up as a sole trader, provided you keep records of what you earn and what you spend as you run your side hustle, you should have nothing to worry about. You do need to declare your business to HMRC once you start trading, and you need to do this by 5th October following the tax year – however, the sensible thing to do is to register as soon as you can to avoid any fines. Once you have registered as self-employed (you can have this status as well as being an employee of a different business), HMRC will require you to file a tax return by the 31st January following the end of the previous tax year. 

Basic sole trader businesses are not complicated to run or file a return for, and you shouldn’t let it put you off starting a side hustle. If you are concerned about the financial, accounting or tax side of the business, then you can employ a local accountancy firm who will help you in just those areas in which you need support to ensure that you don’t end up in difficulties. 

If you would like advice in starting a side hustle and want to be sure that you’ve covered the financials properly, get in touch with Kirkwood Wilson today and we will be happy to work with you in ensuring that you get your new business off to a great start.


Business recovery planning: How your local accountants can help your business get back on track

What is business recovery planning?

Business recovery plans are the plans used by the operational teams of a business following an incident which affects their ability to operate normally. They usually consist of contingencies for core processes, plant and assets, business partners and human resources. They also include (but are much more comprehensive than) disaster recovery plans for information systems. Their main goal is to facilitate business continuity. 

Why is a business recovery strategy high on today’s agenda?

Business recovery planning covers all sorts of unforeseen events, from fires to floods to terrorist attacks, and therefore the plan is usually very broad in its scope. Where the assumption is a physical set back of some kind (like a flood or a fire), the business recovery strategy employed will be around buildings, equipment, etc.

However, the impact of COVID-19 has put many businesses, large and small, into positions where they have been trading at levels far lower than those required to make a profit – in some cases businesses in industries like hospitality have had to temporarily shut down. In both cases, although the government has been supporting the wage bill through furlough, rent and other overheads have still been outgoing costs which have had to be covered in the meantime and businesses that are still operational have had to completely adjust working practices.

If you didn’t have a business recovery strategy in place before Covid, it may be that you’re thinking about putting one in place for future contingencies.

When should business recovery planning be put in place?

Realistically, as soon as possible after the event in question. It’s a potentially complex and wide-ranging strategy that can cover things as simple as where people can work from in lieu of the usual office space availability and getting business insurance claims started, through to IT backups, failover sites (digital and physical) and supplier failure contingency.

Where do accountants fit in with your business recovery strategy?

Having an accountancy business in place and ready to support you when you need it most is critical not only to ensure business continuity during what may be a financially tough time, but will also give you peace of mind that someone who knows your business is there to help. Accountants will be able to help with the following areas:

  • Cash flow modelling and forecasting
  • Cost reduction recommendations
  • Securing additional Time to Pay through HMRC
  • Sourcing alternative finance options
  • Overall health check and solvency review

How Kirkwood Wilson Accountants can help in your business recovery planning

As local accountants who specialise in healthcare and construction – including CIS – we have an in-depth knowledge of the kinds of issues that can arise in your industry and the types of support that you will need to get your business back on track.

We work closely with our clients to ensure we understand where your skills lie and where you might need us to step in during an emergency. For more information on how we can help your business recovery strategy take shape, get in touch on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected].

Accounting Services

Why your small business needs an accountant

You might be mistaken into thinking that as a small business, you are able to manage your own accounting and bookkeeping. However, as with any business, whether small or a start-up, the aim is always to grow. By enlisting an accountant, you can focus on the growth of your business whilst they handle all the paperwork. Read on to find out more about why your small business needs an accountant.

What do we mean by small business?

Of the 5.5million registered businesses in the UK, over 99% of them are classified as a small to medium-sized business. These small businesses and start-ups cover a whole range of useful and luxury goods, or services and experiences. However, small businesses have a number of defining characteristics that help to identify them as a small business. 

To be legally identified as a small business, your organisation must consist of less than 50 employees, with a turnover of less than £10,000,000 annually. A micro business is a little bit smaller than that, with less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than £2,000,000 annually. 

What a small business accountant can do for your business

In the UK, company accounts must be submitted to Companies House every single year, regardless of whether your company has been active or dormant in the last 12 months. Your accounts must be registered with Companies House within 9 months of the last Accounting Reference Date, also known as the ARD. This is usually the anniversary of the last calendar day of the month your company was registered. So, for example, if your business was registered with Companies House in January, your accounts must be filed with Companies House in the following September. 

If you run a small business, or you are self-employed, an accountant can bring considerable advantages. We’ve listed a few of the top ones below. 

An accountant helps you handle growth

As a small business, your aim is likely to be that you want to grow your business sustainably. By hiring an accountant, they will be on hand to help you handle these growth transitions, such as hiring new employees or moving to new locations. Your small business accountant will be on hand to look after the finer details of your businesses growth, such as payroll, employee tax management, property taxes, utilities and so much more. This frees up a considerable amount of your time to run your business.

To improve your cash flows

The old saying goes, “cash is king” and in business, this couldn’t be any more true. Cash is the fuel that will keep your business running and without proper control of your cash flow, you cannot make the critical business decisions necessary to keep your business running. 

Having a good small business on hand will help you to ensure that you have good credit control and cash management policies. For example, say your business offers services or goods on a 30-day payment term. By hiring an accountant, they can work to keep your business on top of your finances and ensure that you have good credit control with your customers paying on time. 

Reduce your workload

Understandably, you will want to focus your time on the day to day running of your business rather than spending your precious time and resources on bookkeeping and compliance. This is where an accountant comes in handy.

Let’s say, for example, that you run an Amazon business dealing in technology. Business is booming and you need to ramp up your resources to keep up with demand. This is where an accountant that specialises in accounting for Amazon sellers will come in handy. They can handle all of the day to day running of your business bookkeeping whilst keeping up to date with tax and company compliance. 

They provide valuable business advice

When you choose the correct accountant, they will also be able to serve as a valuable resource for business advice. Carrying with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from dealing with companies and clients from all walks of life, an accountant will be well versed in most of the problems and challenges you may encounter in your business. 

As a result, they are a brilliant resource for sound boarding ideas off and providing valuable business advice. For example, imagine you have a small food takeout business that is booming in popularity. So much so, that you consider opening a new location in another town. Your accountant will be on hand to help advise you on the potential challenges and pitfalls you may face as a business owner looking to expand, to help eliminate some of that risk. 

They help you to process payroll

Businesses with employees need to operate payroll effectively and in-line with proper payroll regulations to ensure that employees are treated fairly and legally. By not complying with payroll regulations, your business could face huge fines and backdated tax bills that may ultimately lead to the collapse of your business. 

By hiring an accountant to handle payroll for you, your business will not fall foul of payroll regulations, leaving you with one less thing to worry about. 

To help measure your businesses performance

Oftentimes, business performance is neglected by small business owners, as is setting timely and measurable business objectives. It has been suggested that approximately 90% of startups fail because they fail to keep on top of their objectives and measure these against their performance. However, an accountant will help you to understand your business’s performance that will enable you to effectively plan your business growth moving forward. 

They keep you up to date with tax and compliance regulations

By hiring a business accountant, they will help you stay up to date with the very latest in tax legislation and other regulations. In doing so, your accountant will help you from falling foul of legislation that may affect your business and cash flow should you encounter large fines and tax bills. 

As an example, perhaps you are struggling to keep on top of your accounts and taxes, with HMRC stepping in due to large unpaid corporation tax bills. In this instance, your business will most likely incur large fines and backdated tax bills. However, by having a small business accountant in place, you can avoid this issue altogether as they file your company accounts annually and calculate your tax bills. 

Find a small business accountant

You can see why it is so important to find a small business accountant to help you grow your business, whilst also managing your accounts and ensuring that you keep up to date with the latest tax legislation and compliance. 

When you are looking for a business accountant, it is important to not just consider the cost to your business. You need to also consider the service they are providing and how good their customer service is. It is vital that you feel comfortable enough to be able to have frank business discussions with your small business accountants about the future of your business and they must understand the nature of your business to help you operate effectively.

Consider all of these factors when looking for your first small business accountant and watch your business flourish with their support.

Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

The importance of bookkeeping when selling on Etsy

During the past year, the percentage of retail sold through ecommerce platforms like Etsy rose from less than 20% to well over 35%. In the course of a single year that’s a phenomenal change, and it’s thanks to the entrepreneurial, open-minded makers and crafters who were able to take up that challenge and move their goods online during the toughest of conditions that we have been able to continue to send beautiful gifts and treat one another even in the hardest of times.

However, along with the creative side of doing business online comes an aspect that some of us are less keen on – accounting. It will do you no favours to simply stick your head in the sand when it comes to bookkeeping, so we take a look at the importance of bookkeeping for Etsy sellers, what support is available, and what you can expect from an Etsy accountant.

Why is bookkeeping for Etsy sellers so important?

Bookkeeping for any business, large or small, ecommerce or face-to-face, is important because it allows you to keep track of day-to-day financial transactions like sales and purchases. However, what sets apart the kind of business done over ecommerce platforms like Etsy is the speed at which these processes take place; goods are bought and shipped in a matter of hours in many cases, with purchases then immediately made to maintain stock levels. Below are just some of the reasons why bookkeeping is so important for Etsy sellers:

Keep track of income and outgoings

In order to understand what money you are making and spending and to keep a control on that expenditure day-to-day, you need to ensure that you are keeping track of those movements. Software such as Xero is designed specifically with bookkeeping for Etsy sellers and other ecommerce platforms in mind; it integrates directly with ecommerce stores so that the tracking of finances is smooth and automated, and you can access that information at any time and from anywhere via an app. 

Manage cash flow

As a small business, cash flow is equally as important as – if not more important than – profit. Whilst one of the key reasons for being in business is profitability in the long-term, if your cash-flow doesn’t enable you to pay your suppliers or workers, you won’t stay in business very long. Bookkeeping allows you to keep control over your cash flow, make sure that you are receiving money when you expect to, purchase stock only as you need it and pay your suppliers at a time that gives you the best chance of success.

Analyse successes and capitalise on them

Bookkeeping, for Etsy sellers just like all other small businesses, helps to inform you of what is going right and where you could improve. If you track when you sell goods, how much profit you make and from which product lines into which market areas, you can start to track what works for your business and what you should do more of. If you choose to work with a management accountant, Etsy, combined with the information from your cloud accountancy package, will provide them with all the data they need to be able to analyse which areas to invest in, expand on and promote, as well as enable you to forward plan for the future. 

If you are looking for an Etsy accountant who can support you in growing and managing your business, Kirkwood-Wilson Accountants are experienced in bookkeeping for Etsy sellers; we are Xero Gold Partners and can support you in the set-up and installation of a cloud accountancy tool as well as providing you with accountancy services to fit your needs longer term.

If you want to feel like you are in control of your business but with the support of an experienced Etsy accountant, get in touch with us for a chat about your business on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected].

Accountant working at desk

Selling online? Why you need our ecommerce accounting services

Setting up your own online business is exciting! Finding out what works for your customers and watching your turnover grow over time, not to mention the many benefits in terms of managing your own time and making your own decisions, can be exhilarating. However, the idea that we have to suddenly become experts in every area of business – from marketing and sales to accounting and employment law – can be daunting.

The most effective way to run a business is to try to understand the basic requirements of every area of your business, match those with your own abilities, and outsource the bits that don’t fit with your skills, your time or your passion. The great thing about ecommerce accounting services is that, done properly, you can choose exactly which areas of your finances you want to outsource and keep the rest for yourself. We take a look at some of the benefits of using an experienced ecommerce accountant and how we could help your business grow.

How do you start your own ecommerce business?

Before we get down to the benefits of using an experienced ecommerce accountant, we thought we better start with the basics. How exactly do you start your own ecommerce business?

Firstly you need a product or a service. Once you have this, there are plenty of tools online to help you get set up to start selling across a range of platforms, including Amazon, Etsy and Ebay. 

One of the most important things to consider when setting up your own ecommerce business, is to get everything you need in place from the start. We are seeing more and more ecommerce business men and women who are supplementing their full time job with income from their ‘side-hustle’. With this comes the potential for nasty tax bills in the future, especially if you’re already close to the higher-rate tax threshold in your ‘normal’ job.

Organising an ecommerce accountant from the very start can not only help you avoid expensive tax bills, but they can also help you with business advice including cash flow management, setting budgets and giving you the tools you need to help your business grow. 

The benefits of using an experienced ecommerce accountant

Now we understand the importance of having that accountancy support right from the start, let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of having an experienced ecommerce accountant in place for your business.

Keep control of your finances

We’re not suggesting you hand over your accounts (and therefore your financial control) to someone else. Quite the opposite, in fact. We believe that all business owners should feel completely in control of their finances, whether you are running a multi-million pound manufacturing business or a sole trader ecommerce business selling handmade goods from your kitchen.

One of the great advantages of employing ecommerce accounting services which are designed specifically for businesses like yours is that, when used properly, you have access to, and total control over, your own business’ finances. 

Have full visibility of your business’ finances

One of the fantastic changes that accountancy has seen over the past decade is the development of excellent cloud accountancy packages which can be fully integrated with your ecommerce store and provide you with the tools you need to run your business and your finances seamlessly. 

We recommend that you choose a package like Xero, which provides an app so that you can manage your finances on the move, as well as giving you a solution that will track sales, costs and inventory so that you can take care of all your key financial aspects in one place. You can then choose how much intervention and support you want from your ecommerce accounting service provider, and that’s where ecommerce accountants like Kirkwood-Wilson come into our own; our expertise in digital accounting combined with experience in supporting small business owners of ecommerce sites means that we understand just how much flexibility you need. 

Create your own financial support package

It may be that you’re looking for ecommerce accounting services that will support you from the outset, assisting with setting up your cloud-based accounting software and helping you to integrate it with your ecommerce platform to ensure that the data is correct and the outputs are providing you with the right level of support. 

We did exactly this for our client Mad Fashion, who moved from manual tracking of stock, sales and costs to Xero, which fully integrated with their existing ecommerce site to take the pain out of their financial tracking. You can read more about how we supported them as a Xero Gold partner in their case study.

However, you don’t need to go all-in; Kirkwood-Wilson Accountants offer ecommerce accounting services that are completely tailored to your needs. Not only are we a Xero Gold partner and therefore well placed to help you set up digital accounting, but we also offer a range of basic accounting packages that can be adjusted to fit your needs and the needs of your business. 

Choose ecommerce accounting services you can trust

If you are looking for an ecommerce accountant, we will work with you to understand the level of support that your business requires and make sure that you receive just the right amount of back-up and advice to give you the best chance of growth – without breaking the bank. 

To find out more about our ecommerce accounting services, get in touch for a free consultation on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected]

Money tree growing

How ‘Help to Grow’ Can Help Your Small Business

This March sees twelve months since the pandemic took a grip of the UK. Over the last twelve months, thanks to three lockdowns, tier systems, and life-saving rules and regulations, the UK economy has taken a battering. Fortunately, the government has stepped in time and time again with lifelines for workers and small businesses. The latest action is the ‘Help to Grow’ scheme which aims to help small businesses learn new skills, reach new customers, and boost profits.

A bleak economic situation

Three lockdowns over the last twelve months has taken its toll on small businesses throughout the UK. Hairdressers have been shut for the better half of twelve months and the hospitality industry has suffered greatly, with pubs in the North West having been closed since the end of September. 

The situation is, quite frankly, taking its toll on the economy, but thanks to the government, the situation is not as bleak as it possibly could have been. A generous furlough scheme has seen employees be able to claim 80% of their salary while their workplaces are closed and self employed business owners have been able to claim grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

However, the government needs small business to bounce back – and fast! With Boris Johnson recently announcing the roadmap out of lockdown and brighter days on the horizon, small businesses need all the help they can get in order to be ready to reopen. Enter the Help to Grow scheme.

What is Help to Grow?

Help to Grow is a programme funded by the government that aims to help small and medium sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers, and boost profits. The twelve week programme which will start this June will be delivered by business schools who have all the knowledge required to support small business leaders to develop their strategic skills.

Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, the Help to Grow programme will combine a practical curriculum, with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions, and an alumni network.

How much does Help to Grow cost?

If you think Help to Grow will be a great way for your business to increase productivity, improve performance, and cut costs, you can simply register online to sign up. The scheme is subsidised by 90% by the government, so Help to Grow costs only £750 to attend.

Who can attend Help to Grow sessions?

Help to Grow has been designed with business leaders in mind, therefore participants should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business. For example, you could send your Chief Executive or Finance Director. 

Sadly, charities are not able to register for Help to Grow. However, there are other initiatives available for businesses such as these. 

Who can attend Help to Grow sessions?

Suitable for UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than one year, Help to Grow can help your small business in a number of different ways.

  1. Improve business performance

With key modules covering financial management, innovation, and digital adoption, by the end of the programme participants will develop a tailored business growth plan to lead their business to its full potential. This in turn should help your small business improve its performance, increasing profitability!

  1. Help you save time

Help to Grow will advise you on all things digital, including digital accounting software which can help you save time in the day to day running of your business. More time saved means more time to grow your business and profits – which can only be a good thing!

  1. Cut costs

With staff costs, rent and business insurance rates, one thing is certain: running a small business is costly. The Help to Grow scheme will help advise you on areas where costs can be cut, giving you the opportunity to grow in other ways, perhaps by expanding your team or putting money into developing new products.

Find out more about Help to Grow

Find out more about the Help to Grow scheme, including whether your small business is eligible and how to register by visiting the Help to Grow campaign page on the government website. 

Completing Tax Returns with Kirkwood Wilson

130% Capital Allowances with Super Deduction Scheme

On Wednesday 3rd March 2021, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the 2021 budget. This budget brought with it record-breaking changes to the way that businesses pay their taxes, such as the introduction of the 130% super deduction scheme on any plant and machinery new investments until March 2023. Read on to find out more about super deductions and how you can benefit. 


Perhaps the biggest announcement to have come out of the 2021 Budget, announced in March 2021, is the impressive increase in the super-deduction on taxable allowances. This means that for expenditure business owners make between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2023, companies can claim 130% capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments.  

Under the super-deduction scheme, for every pound spent or invested by a company in their own resources, their taxes are then cut up to 25p. 

Rishi Sunak announced this change to the way in which tax works for businesses in order to make the UK’s capital allowance regime much more internationally competitive. 

Why has the Government introduced Super-Deductions?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, business investments have fallen dramatically by 11.6^ between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020. This means that a large portion of UK based businesses have opted to not invest in new machinery or transportation resources during the pandemic. By working to make capital allowances, the Government hopes that this will work to stimulate business investment, which will promote economic growth and counter business cycles. 

Super-Deductions will give companies a strong incentive to make additional investments and bring planned investments forward. 

What are capital allowances?

Capital allowances allow tax paying businesses to write off the cost of certain capital assets against taxable income. The 130% Super-Deduction and 50% first-year allowance are generous ways for businesses to benefit from capital tax allowances for investments into plant and machinery assets. 

Investing in new plant and machinery assets, tax paying businesses will be able to lower their corporation tax bills. 

What is classified as plant and machinery?

Most tangible assets used in the course of a businesses lifespan are considered plant and machinery for the purposes of claiming capital allowances. So, whilst there is not an exhaustive and explicit definition of plant and machinery investment, these assets can generally be defined as: 

  • Solar panels
  • Computer equipment and servers 
  • Tractors, lorries and vans 
  • Laddies, drills and cranes
  • Office chairs, desks and office furniture
  • Electric vehicle charging points 
  • Refrigeration units, 
  • Air compressors, 
  • Foundry equipment. 

How does the Super-Deduction work?

As one example, say your business invests £100,000 in shiny new Mercedes Sprinter Vans. By investing £100,000 in new plant and machinery assets for your business, you will now be able to deduct £130,000. This means, your accounting team can deduct 130% of your initial investment (£100,000) when computing your businesses taxable profits. This will, in turn, save your business money on your corporate tax bill. 

Other big changes to come from the 2021 budget

The Chancellor confirmed on March 3rd 2021 that they are committed to continuing investment in the UK and UK businesses. They are doing this by placing new incentives in capital expenditure and allowing accelerated relief for any losses incurred by previously profitable businesses following the effects of COVID-19 on British businesses. 

Changes to corporation tax

One of the biggest changes to business is that corporate tax rates for company profits over £250,000 will now stand at 25%. Companies with profits under £50,000 will continue to be taxed at 19%. Profits in between these limits will be taxed at a varied and tapered rate. This change will not come into effect until the new financial year in April 2023. 

Changes to loss relief

The Chancellor has confirmed a temporary change to loss relief who are weathering the economic impact of COVID-19. This means that the Government will extend the carry back of trading losses for corporation tax made in accounting periods between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2022. 

2021 Budget announcements for businesses

During the 2021 Budget, Rishi Sunak announced a number of other changes. These include: 

  • Extension of the £1,000,000 Annual Investment Allowance limit
  • Increase in the rate of Diverted Profits Tax 
  • Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) 
  • Additional support for the self-employed as a result of COVID-19
  • PAYE cap for SMEs claiming R&D relief 

Speak to a Kirkwood Wilson accountant to learn more

Interested in learning more about how your business can take advantage of the Super-Deduction scheme? Why not speak to one of our knowledgeable tax accountancy team here at Kirkwood Wilson? Call us on +44 (0)1704 546 000 or visit our contact page to send us a message

Love Xero accounting

How to use Xero: Tips & tricks to make Xero REALLY work for you

Here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, we are all about giving you that one priceless gift back, TIME! It’s the one thing that we never seem to have enough of, and the one thing that we always waste lots of, especially when it comes to admin tasks. Learning about a new piece of software can be daunting and can take time. So to give you some of that time back, we’re here to show you exactly how to use Xero as a time saving device.  Discover some of our very best Xero tips and tricks for making this incredible software really work for you and your business.

1. Use Direct Bank Feeds

Almost all banks now have the ability to connect to Xero directly, and this is called a Direct Bank Feed. Natwest, Barclays, Santander, Lloyds, HSBC, Paypal and some online banks such as Starling allow their account holders to upload information from the banking system straight into your Xero software. This can be done as often as you like, you are in complete control of it. From here you can also set up bank rules which streamlines everything even more.

Using Direct Bank Feeds means no more typing in manual transactions, which means less time bookkeeping and MORE time for you! 

2. Set up repeating invoices

Almost all our clients pay us on a monthly basis. The amount is the same every month, so we use the Repeating Invoice template to cut down on the amount of time spent invoicing out. This will also work on invoices that YOU pay every month, for example, window cleaning. This is usually the same amount every month, and when your bank feed is connected, Xero will automatically want to match the payment to that Repeating Invoice amount. If the person paying you/person you are paying is the same every month but the amount changes, Xero can be set so that you can edit the amounts BEFORE they go out. More time back for you!  

3. Keep track of your debtors

You can use Invoice Reminders in Xero if one of your clients has not paid their invoice to you. You can tailor the email that is sent to your client so it’s a little more personal too. 

4. Make bulk payments

Anything you can do in bulk will ultimately save you time somewhere. If you are responsible for and/or know what all the payments to suppliers are for and you are comfortable that you can pay all of the invoices you are entering on to the system, then do it all in bulk! 

This also works very well if you have an assistant who might be entering the supplier invoices on (potentially using an add-on like Receipt Bank) and you have to approve the invoice. 

5. Invest in some add-ons

Xero as it is, on its own, will work tremendously for you and your business. It will even take some of the work away from you which is always a bonus. However, if you have a lot of receipts, expenses or a lot of debt to chase, then adding an app can give you so much MORE time back. 

At Kirkwood Wilson, we use Receipt Bank for expenses and Chaser for credit control. We’ve been using these add-ons for a long time now, and the difference is incredible. Credit control used to take us at least 2 days a week, now we can have it all done in 1 afternoon, sometimes less. 

6. Set up your system properly at the start

If you populate as many fields as possible and set the system up as well as you can right at the very beginning, you’re going to be able to do a lot more with it. There are so many different types of reports that you can access to help run your business, but you need to have the information in there to start with. You can also build your own reports (which we’ve also done here at KWA).

Helping you learn how to use Xero

As Xero Gold Partners, we’re well versed in getting our clients set up with Xero. If you need a hand getting started with Xero, or want to talk to us about any of the Xero tips and tricks listed here, get in touch with one of our Xero Champions today who’d be delighted to show you exactly how to use Xero. Call us on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected]

Houses of Parliament

Budget Update 2021 Summary

We can’t quite believe we’re talking about another tax year already, but Rishi Sunak has delivered his Spring Budget Update.

There wasn’t quite as many updates as we would have ordinarily expected, but we’ve done our best to summarise the main points for you below.

Personal Tax

There will be an increase to the tax-free personal allowance to £12,570 for the 21/22 tax year. There will also be an increase to the point at which you begin paying higher rate tax; this will move to £50,270. The additional rate band will remain frozen at £150,000.

These thresholds will remain in place until the end of the 2025/26 tax year.

There will be an increase the threshold for class 1 contributions for employees and class 4 NICs for self-employed people to £9,568 in the 21/22 tax year.

Class 2 NICs for the self-employed will remain at £3.05 per week for 21/22 and the upper earnings limit and upper profits limit will increase to £50,270.

The capital gains tax annual exempt amount will remain in place at £12,300 until 25/26.

There will be no changes to the lifetime limit of £1m for qualifying gains for Business Asset Disposal Relief. The 10% tax rate on these qualifying gains remains the same.

Company van benefits for private use on a van will rise to £3,500. The company van fuel benefit charge will increase from to £669. The company car fuel benefit will rise to £24,600 (upon which the BIK % will be applied). All of these change will take place from 6 April 21.

Any losses arising from sole trade or partnership businesses may be carried back for 3 years (as opposed to the usual 1 year limit) for the 20/21 and 21/22 tax years.

Company Tax

Corporation Tax rates will increase from 1 April 2023. For companies where profits are less than £50,000, the rate will remain at 19%. Where profits range from £50,001 and £250,000, companies will pay the main rate (25%), however this will be reduced by a marginal relief which essentially creates a tapered Corporation Tax rate.

Corporation Tax losses, which occur in accounting periods ending in the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022, can be carried back for 3 years (rather than the usual 1 year).

There will be a ‘super deduction’ for qualifying purchases of plant and machinery between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023. 130% first year allowances will apply to these main rate asset purchases. A 50% first year capital allowance will be available or qualifying special-rates assets.

The annual investment allowance will reduce to £200,000 from 1 January 2022. The rate of £1m will apply until then.

We hope the above gives you an idea of the changes that have taken place. If you have any queries, please let us know and our team will be happy to help. Send us a message through our contact page or email us [email protected]

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Why choose Kirkwood Wilson to be your Amazon accountants?

With so many people turning to online shopping throughout the pandemic, the trend of starting  e-commerce businesses has accelerated hugely – and is here to stay. Whether you’re a new start-up business selling through Amazon or an existing company who has expanded their sales to include an on-line element, no doubt Amazon is one of your sales platforms of choice. 

There can be a lot to learn and juggle, whether you are selling through Amazon central or using Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon). Whatever your choice of fulfilment place and process, why not take the heat off when it comes to Amazon FBA accounting? Kirkwood Wilson are experienced in working with small businesses who sell through e-commerce platforms, so if you are looking specifically for someone who can help with accounting for Amazon sellers, then you’ve come to the right place. Find out more about what it means to use experienced Amazon accountants and how we can help you.

How does accounting for Amazon sellers differ from standard accounting?

If you want to make the most of your potential consumer market, you are likely to be selling into Europe as well as the UK. Whether shipping from here or holding stock and fulfilling directly from elsewhere in Europe, it can be difficult to keep track of the VAT requirements across each separate country.

amazon accountantsAs an Amazon seller, you are responsible for ensuring that you are VAT compliant, but if this sends you into a cold sweat, no need to panic; as experienced Amazon accountants we will help you with this aspect of your business and make sure that your Amazon FBA accounting is fully compliant with EU law and that your tax returns are always accurate. 

What support do we offer around accounting for Amazon sellers?

If you’re looking for Amazon FBA accounting support, we know that you’ve already handed over your stock to a third party; whilst this takes the hassle out of despatch and offers your customers a faster, cheaper delivery, it can be daunting to know that your personal touch and direct control over service levels have been removed.

However, this doesn’t mean that Amazon FBA accounting has to be nerve wracking too – we will guide you through every step. The existing requirement to move to digital accounting means that many people are already looking for cloud-based accounting software; if you are also selling through Amazon, accountancy packages such as Xero are a perfect solution. 

Xero has full functionality to integrate directly with Amazon central so that accounting for Amazon sellers could not be easier. As Xero Gold Partners, Kirkwood Wilson will guide you through the Amazon FBA accounting set-up so that you have a seamless transition. 

The benefits for Amazon sellers accounting through Xero include:

  • Simple reconciliation of Amazon FBA transactions into Xero
  • Synchronisation of your inventory between Amazon and Xero so that you are always on top of your stock levels
  • Cash flow management through direct integration between Xero and Amazon Central
  • Full control of your finances across Amazon as well as Etsy and eBay

Why choose Kirkwood Wilson to be your Amazon accountants?

The team here at Kirkwood Wilson love working with innovative business start-ups and on-line sellers who want to capture the market whilst it is primed for online sales. 

If you would like to see how we have helped similar businesses with their Amazon FBA accounting, why not check out our case study on MAD Fashions who we helped to successfully integrate Xero with Amazon and PayPal as well as their cloud-based stock system.

 If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, or are already there and would like some support from someone who understands accounting for Amazon sellers, then don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected]