Cloud accounting has been growing in popularity for a long while, but with the restrictions on travel, face-to-face meetings and consultations, its benefits have turned into necessities for many businesses. The efficiencies gained and user-friendly experience offered by cloud-based accounting are now recognised widely as the future for all businesses. Find out more about cloud accounting and its advantages below.
How does cloud accounting work?
Accountancy desktop software has been used by businesses for almost as long as desktop PCs have been in circulation, providing electronic means of storing, accessing and reporting on data electronically. The difference with cloud accounting is that the accounting software is hosted on remote servers and accessed via the internet.
What are the benefits of cloud accounting?
There are a whole range of benefits to using cloud accounting services and software. Because the data is stored remotely and all the functions of the application are performed on the server side (‘in the cloud’), employees in other departments or locations can access the same data at the same time on the same version of the software. Additionally, the software provider is responsible for backing up the data and maintaining the software, so the worry of your data being safe and backed-up is removed, as is the need for time and money spent on software updates.
Why is cloud accounting good for business?
Businesses of all sizes, types and locations use cloud accounting, and for good reason: it is more reliable, easier to use, more cost effective and more efficient than traditional options. Added to that HMRC’s requirement for all business finances to be digitised, it makes perfect sense that cloud accounting is the chosen solution. Here are some of those reasons in more detail:
- Reliability: any software which is cloud-based takes away the need for you to spend time ensuring that you are using the latest version, downloading and updating the package and paying to apply security fixes. All of this is taken out of your hands and is the responsibility of the software provider. Added to that you can rest assured that your data is always backed up and available to you anytime, anywhere.
- Ease of use: cloud accounting software can be used at your convenience, on any device, in any location provided you have access to the internet. In terms of flexibility, that takes some beating! Added to this the fact that APIs allow most packages to integrate with other systems that you work with (including your bank) to pull in relevant information, the need for manual uploads and keying in information is removed. Finally, most cloud-based accounting software comes with a range of extremely useful ‘off the shelf’ reporting tools, allowing you to view data in almost any configuration and providing you with helpful business insights in real time.
- Cost effective: cloud accounting packages come under the umbrella of ‘software as a service’, this means that you don’t have to buy and renew your own individual licences. The monthly subscription cost includes all software updates (handled remotely) and data storage.
- Efficiency: collaboration is a critical feature of cloud accounting. A colleague working in a different office or from home can access any information they need and discuss the detail with someone else looking at that same data, and expenses can be uploaded remotely by individuals as they spend and travel, rather than having to receive paper copies and do this manually. Access levels can be applied depending on the user’s authority and clearance level. Finally, your accountant can be given access to this same software to work remotely on it, assist you with any queries and provide you with timely advice, helping you to grow your business while you work.
What is the best cloud accounting software?
There are a range of cloud accounting software options on the market. Some of the more common ones include:
One of the original cloud accounting providers, QuickBooks is often chosen by freelancers and small businesses because of the package options available at a basic level. The reporting and monitoring tools are great, and there is the option to download and reconcile transactions. The drawback of QuickBooks is that there is a limitation on the number of users, and it doesn’t allow for barcode scanning.
A popular choice for all sizes of business, Xero has excellent functionality when it comes to invoicing, payroll, inventory and expenses. With apps for iPhone and Android it is super mobile friendly, and includes some quirky features such as a car mileage tracker and the facility to quote projects and then track profitability. With very few drawbacks, the only minor complaint is that the starter pack limits the number of transactions per month.
Sage is extremely well known as a desktop accounting package for small businesses. This can now be upgraded to a cloud-based account but the solution is more of a hybrid than a solely cloud accounting option. The main differentiating feature of Sage is that it integrates with Office 365. Because of the longevity of the software, Sage has quite a complex set of tools and may not be the best option for sole traders and simpler business structures.
Cloud accounting with a local accountants you can trust
If you would like to learn more about how cloud accounting could work with your business to provide some of the benefits revealed in this article, get in touch with Kirkwood Wilson for a more in-depth discussion on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected].
With many industries struggling as a result of the lockdowns and the changes in spending habits of customers during the course of the pandemic, many people are looking at the option of going it alone. Whether taking an existing skill and going freelance, upskilling for a change in direction, or branching out from employment because you have found a new niche market, there are a whole new generation of business start-ups in the making. We explore what to consider when starting a business to give you the best chance at success.
Is there a demand?
It sounds like an obvious question, but even many large businesses fall into this trap. Having a great idea is one thing, but if nobody outside of your immediate circle wants to buy your product or service, it will be a short-lived enterprise.
One of the first things to consider when starting a business is what kind of demand there will be for your offering. Do some market research; choose the right channel for your prospective customers and ask questions. If you’re looking at a B2C online business, get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or If it’s a B2B business, use LinkedIn, join a networking group and start making connections. Now, more than ever before, there is a sense of community among small businesses and you will find that people are honest, and will be generous with their advice and their time if you find the right group.
What is your niche?
If you are planning to start a puppuccino van in your local dog park where there is a flow of cash-rich dog owners passing through all day looking for a treat for their pampered pooch, well then you can probably say you’ve found your niche. If you’re looking to become one of many providing a service like graphic design, marketing or accountancy, you probably need to think more carefully.
What makes you stand out from the others? What expertise do you have that they don’t? The smaller your target market and the more specific your expertise, the more likely you are to gain traction.
How will you market your business?
When we think about what to consider when starting a business post-COVID, we need to carefully consider what that means in terms of timescale. General consensus is that COVID will not disappear overnight. Instead it is more likely that restrictions will be gradually lifted and the virus may well be with us for a long time to come. This means that digital marketing will remain critical.
If you have time available to you whilst we’re still in lockdown, use it to learn about marketing. Find out which channels your customers use, where they hang out both virtually and physically – and learn how to use the tools to advertise to them within that sphere. Think about the type of business name, communication style and adverts that might appeal to them. Get right under their skin so that when you are ready to launch, you know how to attract the right people to buy your product.
Do you have the right skills and resources?
Find out what skills you need that you don’t currently have; anything from food hygiene qualifications to health and safety, website design, sales skills and accounting are all things you might have to touch on at some point. You don’t have to become an expert in everything – you can outsource all of the above to other experts who will help you, but keep in mind that their expertise comes at a cost. One of the great things that COVID has produced is a huge amount of online information and learning, much of which is free to access.
Will you need to employ someone? Depending on the type of business you start, you might be able to partner up with other freelancers, who may be more expensive by the hour than an employee but you can afford to use them only as and when you need them. If you do need to employ, start putting feelers out in the market to find the best talent so that interested parties are primed and ready when you need them.
How will you get paid?
Your customers will need to pay you for your time or products. If you are providing a service to other businesses then you will need to invoice them in order to receive payment. With HMRC’s requirement for all businesses’ finances to be digital, you will need to use software for this, which means finding a software package within your budget and capabilities.
If you are planning to be a sole trader or a very small business, then one of the basic packages from a cloud-based accounting solution like Xero would be ideal. If your business needs are more complex, it may be worth consulting an accountancy services provider to help with the set up and ongoing demands.
Don’t leave this part of the business process until you need to bill someone – get yourself organised from the outset and it will make the whole process run smoothly, allowing you to really relish that joy at raising your first invoice.
If you will be working with the general public and selling goods or services in person, COVID has seen the development of some great contactless solutions for small businesses. Companies such as iZettle have released basic card readers that integrate with Xero for a seamless and user-friendly way to take payments safely.
Do you need capital?
If you need cashflow or investment from the outset then consider crowd funding schemes or investors. There is cash in the economy at the moment but one of the problems is that people with excess funds are limited on where they can spend it thanks to lockdown, meaning there is a huge opportunity for them to invest in you. Alternatively, there are a number of bank loans, grants and schemes in place to help new and small businesses.
What to consider when starting a business
When you start to think about what to consider when starting a business you may initially feel overwhelmed, but make a plan, set yourself small goals and start doing some research. If you approach your business in bite-sized chunks and you really believe in yourself you will make it happen just like every other business owner has done since trading began. If you need any help or advice with accounting options including cloud accounting software, why not talk to us on 01704 546000 or email [email protected].
We’re a little bit late to the “What have we learnt from 2020” party, but we thought that this year in particular was worth reflecting on. It would be far too easy, when looking back on 2020, to focus on the negatives (as it feels that there have been quite a few!), but there have also been a lot of positives.
Kirkwood Wilson Accountants: What we learnt in 2020
- We have long been advocates of everything ‘cloud’ and as a business we were already cloud-based. This meant that when Boris addressed the nation back in March 2020 and told us to work from home, we simply unplugged our tech, went home and hit the ground running.
- We started out having a few Zoom calls a week, this quickly went down to one main meeting a week for the whole team, and then each department had their own calls which meant we were working much more efficiently.
- We’re great at helping each other. Not everyone is technically minded, and luckily we have a select few who are our techie go-to’s who are only too happy to help their colleagues out in their hour of need.
- We sharpened up on our communication skills. Like most businesses, we had lost the art of communication along the way, and we now have far more voice calls than we did before. It’s good to talk, and this is also great for our mental health.
- Every day is a school day. We have always been incredibly focussed on nurturing and harnessing our talented team, and we weren’t going to let a pandemic stop us! Our fantastic team of trainees have all re-enrolled on their respective courses, distanced of course, and we have also had some in-house training via Zoom.
- We have great ears! With each update to new laws and different government grants and schemes, we took so many calls from our clients. At times we had to put our accounting ears to one side and have some difficult conversations with clients. It’s nice to have some more less formal conversations with clients, after all, we’re human too, and it’s nice to just be heard.
- Our team looks great in loungewear! 2020 was definitely the year of the lounge pants and the oversized sweatshirt. It’s been nice to see everyone a little more relaxed and less ‘done up’
Key learning from our clients
- Some clients have had their hands forced into the online world, but because we’re already there, we have been able to guide most of them through it, which feels very rewarding. Our clients have faced more or less the same struggles as we have here, communication with their team, control over the business, and educating on different and more efficient practices.
- We have several clients in the leisure and retail sector who remain closed for business due to the current restrictions, but we are still having catch up calls to discuss ideas for re-opening their doors, ideas for cash flow, and generally chatting (we’re very good listeners).
- We have helped lots of clients get their online shops set up, so there’s still a revenue stream coming in for them, and this continues to be our focus. How can we help you through this?
Our key takeaway from 2020
2020 has been a thought-provoking year, and has made us question everything we do and how we do it, is there a better way to do things? How can we be more efficient and still provide our clients with the service that they deserve?
It has also made us realise that behind every CEO and MD is more than likely a bored child desperate for some attention whilst we’ve ‘got calls’. Or a furloughed partner who is pulling out their hair because they can’t go to the gym or see their friends. It’s made us realise that despite our different paths, different views, that we really are in this together and we just want to help as many people as we can.
What does 2021 hold for Kirkwood Wilson and our clients?
There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and whilst not everyone might not be on board with it, there is a vaccine which has already started rolling out across the country, which is fantastic news. This should mean that we soon start to see businesses across all sectors opening back up again and offices buzzing with the sound of conversations about “when we were working from home”. We will be able to travel safely and enjoy some time away with our families.
2021 might also mean that some of the changes that you adopted at the start of lockdown will continue, and will now just form a part of your normal practise. You might have introduced flexible working, a different office dress-code, better and more efficient practices within the office environment (and at home).
For us, we’re doing what we normally do, looking for ways to help our clients get the most back from their businesses. Helping their business work for them, and giving them more time back to spend doing the things they really like to do. It’s what we genuinely enjoy doing ourselves.
We really hope that 2021 is a better and happier year for everyone.
Please note, this article is applicable to self-employed people only. If you trade through a Limited company you cannot claim this grant. However, you may know people for whom this may be relevant. Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we want to keep you fully updated on all coronavirus support schemes.
The UK Government has extended the support available under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for self-employed people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). A third grant will cover the period from 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021. If you’re eligible, you’ll be able to claim the third grant at any time from 4 December 2020 to 29 January 2021.
The rules on who is eligible to claim are different to those for the previous SEISS grants. However, you still need to have submitted a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 showing self-employment income in order to claim (unless one of the existing exceptions applies).
This article informs you all about claiming the third grant. A fourth grant will also be available from February 2021 to April 2021. We’ll tell you more about that nearer the time, including how much it will be and the rules for claiming.
How much is the third grant?
The third grant will be based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single taxable instalment capped at £7,500.
Am I eligible to claim?
To make a claim for the third grant, you must meet a number of conditions, and make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your trading profits will be significantly reduced due to coronavirus.
As previously, the third grant will also be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must also be reported on 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax returns.
As before, to make a claim for the third grant, you must:
- Be self-employed or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust
- Have traded in both the tax years 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.
- Either be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand, or have been previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
- Declare that you intend to continue to trade, or restart trading, and reasonably believe that the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in trading profits
- Only claim if the reduction in profits is caused by reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or inability to trade due to coronavirus. Reduction in profits due to increased costs (such as having to buy masks) does not make a business eligible for the third SEISS grant.
When deciding whether the reduction is significant, you’ll need to consider your wider business circumstances.
HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe that your trading profits will be significantly reduced compared to what you would otherwise expect to achieve during this period.
Your business must have been impacted on or after 1 November 2020, and you must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus, resulting in reduced activity, capacity or demand, or a temporary inability to trade.
How do I claim?
If you’re eligible for the third grant, you can claim on GOV.UK at any time from 4 December 2020 to 29 January 2021, by searching ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension’.
Making a claim online is easy using your Government Gateway account. You can do it on a smartphone and it only takes five minutes. If you’re unable to claim online, or feel you would like more support, you can call the HMRC helpline on 0800 024 1222. It may take longer to complete your claim over the phone.
You don’t need to work out your grant, HMRC will do that for you. Once you’ve submitted your claim (confirming that you meet the eligibility criteria) HMRC will use the information in your previous tax returns to calculate the grant you’re entitled to. They will then pay the money directly into your bank account within six working days.
As always, if you need any help at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and contact our Tax Department on 01704 546000, and we will help wherever we can. Please be aware though that you must make this claim yourself, we are unable to do this for you.
Introduced in April 2020, there is a new requirement for UK residents to report and pay capital gains tax (CGT) on disposals of UK residential properties. This is a new requirement for UK residents as non-residents have had an obligation to pay this since 2015. In our latest article, the team at Kirkwood Wilson provide some guidance on reporting disposals to HMRC, specifically through their online system.
More information on the CGT 30-day reporting period
As of the 6th April 2020, HMRC introduced new rules regarding the reporting of CGT, Capital Gains Tax. These new rules were regarding the disposals of UK residential property and required both UK and non-UK residents to comply. As of the 6th April 2020, any gains of residential properties should be reported within 30 days.
As part of these new rules, individuals are required to register for their own Government Gateway account and set up an online account.
UK residents are now required to report gains on UK residential property, only in circumstances where tax is due. This can include:
A deemed disposal
A gift of a residential property
Or a disposal of a principal private residence that does not qualify for full relief.
It is important to note that the requirements for non-residents are wider and apply even where no tax is due.
On 19 August 2020, HMRC upgraded the system to allow gains on second and subsequent disposals to be reported online.
Previously the system could only be used for the first disposal in any tax year and subsequent disposals had to be reported on a paper return.
The system now also allows capacitors (those holding power of attorney) and personal representatives to report gains.
HMRC and CGT 30-day reporting
As stated by HMRC, due to coronavirus (Covid-19), they did not issue late penalties to any transactions completed between 6 April and 30 June 2020, provided the gain was reported and any tax due paid by 31 July 2020. Anyone who completes the sale of a property from 1 July 2020 onwards has 30 calendar days to report and pay the tax due.
Transactions completed from 1 July 2020 will receive a late filing penalty if they are not reported within 30 calendar days. Interest will be charged if the tax remains unpaid after 30 days for all transactions from 6 April 2020.
Kirkwood Wilson and financial advice
So, to sum up, any gains of residential properties since 6.4.20 should be reported within 30 days.
Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we are happy to help with any financial worries or concerns. If the announcement of the 30-day CGT reporting has confused you or is something you require some support with, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we are passionate about staying up to date with the latest accounting software. We are always on the lookout for new technologies that can help our clients to achieve their accounting goals. Read on to find out more about Futrli and how connecting it to your Receipt Bank app can help you to improve your financial records.
What is Futrli?
Futrli is an accounting app for the UK market that was formerly known as CrunchBoards. This app allows you to create financial forecasts and reports based on either financial or non-financial data. Here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, we advocate Futrli for medium to large businesses that often require much more extensive reporting on their budgets, KPIs and cash flow.
Through Futrli, business owners can receive both their financial and non-financial KPIs, with the ability to generate 3-way forecasts across a 10-year period. This is part of what makes Futrli such a popular accounting app in the UK. Not only this, but Futrli can also provide you with multiple “what if” scenarios for different circumstances. So you always have an idea of how things will play out for your business.
Find out more about Futrli by reading our blog post, ‘What is the Futrli app and how can it help you?’.
What is the Receipt Bank app?
Receipt Bank is a UK accounting app that claims to be “the #1 remote working tool for accountants and bookkeepers”. This accounting app works to connect business accountants with their clients by capturing receipts and data in an instant. You simply need to snap a picture of any receipts relating to your business, and the Receipt Bank app does the rest. It extracts the data to remove any of the key details that the accountant will need, and stores this securely on a cloud-based system. This means that your data is only accessible by approved parties.
Here at Kirkwood Wilson, one of the reasons we love the Receipt Bank app so much is that it can seamlessly integrate with the leading accounting, payroll and payment software. This means that Receipt Bank fits seamlessly into a complete end-to-end solution that will meet your business needs.
How Receipt Bank works
The Receipt Bank app is a great way to capture, store and keep track of all of your business receipts, bills, invoices and bank statements to share with your accounting team. You simply need to use your phone to take a photo of the bill, receipt, invoice or bank statement and then upload to the Receipt Bank app from anywhere on-the-go. What will you do with the extra time saved by scrapping time-consuming financial admin?
Connecting Receipt Bank with your Futrli app
Whilst Futrli turns your bookkeeping data into daily insights, Receipt Bank is a secure way to upload and store all forms of business transaction data. Coupled with Futrli’s prediction and planning software, Receipt Bank can assist in helping you make the right decisions to keep your business growing. To connect, you simply need to integrate your Receipt Bank app with the Futrli app in your account settings.
Speak to Kirkwood Wilson to find out how accounting apps can help you
We believe that accounting should be made simple for our clients. This is why we are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting accounting apps that will help you to make the process easier, whilst we do the hard work! This way, we can continue to deliver you our excellent service, whilst also saving you time to focus on the bigger picture – growing your business.
If you want advice on the best accounting apps or how we can help you to get your accounts in order, get in touch with us today. We are always on hand to help you with any of your accounting queries.
Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we are passionate about keeping up to date with all the latest accounting technology. We are always on the lookout for new technologies and apps that can help us to help our clients in the best way possible. Here, we explore the features and benefits of the Futrli app and explain why we are such big fans of it.
What is the Futrli app?
Before we get started on the finer details of the Futrli app, we thought we should explain exactly what it is. Futrli, pronounced “future-lee” and formerly known as CrunchBoards, can be best described as a piece of financial forecasting software.
The app allows users to create financial forecasts and reports based on either their financial or non-financial data. These can be created either from a pure starting point or using the helpful templates that Futrli provides within the app.
Futrli is perfect for those medium to large businesses that require extensive reporting on their budget, KPIs and cash flow.
Why did the app go from CrunchBoards to Futrli?
For those who are more familiar with this app when it was known as CrunchBoards, it might be worth explaining why the app underwent a rebranding and overhaul.
Futrli’s co-founder, Amy Harris, has stated that the company wanted to focus more on accountant-delivered advisory services. Futrli didn’t want to be known as just another “number-crunching” app. Rather, they wanted to provide a customisable experience for each accounting firm and their clients.
What data can be exported from the Futrli app?
Through the use of Futrli, businesses can receive KPIs, both in the financial and non-financial sense, as well as data from various date periods, whether transactional or cumulative. One aspect of Futrli that makes it so popular with businesses is the ability to receive 3-way forecasts across a 10-year period.
Not only that, but the app can also provide you with multiple “what if” scenarios for various different circumstances. For example, say you knew that you needed to reinvest some money elsewhere, you’d be able to receive a forecast for this particular scenario which would give you an idea of how this would play out for you and your business financially.
How Futrli works alongside other accounting apps
Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we are big advocates of digital accounting and work with several accounting apps, such as Xero and Receipt Bank. This is to ensure our clients receive the best services and can access their financial information with ease.
Futrli can be easily integrated with other accounting software, such as Xero. Through this integration, financial data can be automatically updated, which means that users no longer need to manually enter the data themselves.
This integration is ever-more effective as forecasting can come directly from the previous year’s financial data, providing more of an accurate forecast.
Kirkwood Wilson and Futrli
With many users of Futrli labelling this app as a “clever” and “innovative” way to visualise your money flow, we just had to get in on the accounting action – so to speak!
We believe that accounting should be made easy for our clients. We always want to ensure that our clients receive the best services possible, which means we are always on the lookout for new and exciting apps to make these processes easier.
If you want some advice or help with your accounts, then get in touch with us today. We are always happy to help!
In May 2020 the UK government launched a roadmap and campaign advocating that office workers should return to the office. Yet we are now being advised to work from home ‘if we can’. Guidance for returning to work is now rather conflicting.
Here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, we believe that having a ‘return to workplace’ plan (for whenever reason it is needed – of course) is important. As remote working is the new normal, we’ve detailed some ideas about how to make your return to workplace plan inclusive for all.
Return to the workplace
As of 22 September, the government made a U-turn with its statement regarding returning to the office. Michael Gove made a statement that if it is possible to work from home, people should. This could leave you understandably confused about the right steps to take for your employees. The question is whether you should continue with your return to work plan or put it on hold.
At Kirkwood Wilson accountants in Ormskirk, we’re here to provide peace of mind during these worrying times and have some guidance for completing your return to workplace plan. Additionally, if you’re worried about the state your business is travelling in, we are always here to offer a friendly face and a helping hand with your business worries.
What your return to workplace plan should involve
As the health and safety risks from Covid-19 are primarily concerned with person-to-person contact in the office, there are a lot of considerations for employers regarding the virus entering the building and spreading to staff members.
At Kirkwood Wilson, we recommend that your return to workplace plan should involve the following:
- Risk assessments
- Consider your employees’ wants and needs
- Continuously update policies and practice.
Return to workplace plan – risk assessments
Risk assessments, risk assessments, risk assessments. The words on everyone’s lips when the UK gradually started lifting restrictions. You must consider health and safety measures aiming to mitigate risks and also reduce uncertainty amongst employees. Once the risk assessment has been completed, you must share it with members of your team to familiarise themselves with the measures you have put in place.
We recommend the following when carrying out your risk assessment and assigning preventative measures:
- Cleaning protocols – Table cleaning procedures should be put in place, as well as consideration about the main touchpoint areas within the office.
- Social distancing procedures – You could have markers on the floor detailing how the workforce travels around the office.
- Hand sanitiser, hygiene stations – Hygiene and washing hands regularly are some of the most important things to stop the virus from spreading.
- Protect your bubble – Minimise non-workers from entering the office environment.
Return to workplace plan – Consider your employees’ wants and needs
As many employees were told to shield due to health reasons when we first went into lockdown, as an employer it is important to consider your employees’ worries. If you have been continuing to work from home throughout the pandemic, it might be worthwhile including more flexible working.
We recommend considering the following:
- Keep a record of your staff work patterns for 21 days
- Consider how many people should be in the workplace at any given time
- Adjust working hours and break times.
Return to workplace plan – Continuously update policies
When government guidelines change, it is important to familiarise yourself with new rules. As new measures are introduced for businesses and day-to-day life regularly, at times it can be overwhelming.
Here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, we’re here for you if you need professional business advice or a helping hand planning your finances.
If you’re interested in hearing more about our services, simply get in touch today and the team will be more than happy to help. Call us on 01704 546000 or contact us.
In your personal life, having someone around that you can confide in and talk to during difficult times is incredibly important. You might have not thought about it before but this is similar in regards to businesses. When you’re undergoing testing times with your finances and business processes, having a support base, like your accountants, on hand to listen and advise can provide great peace of mind and some relief from some of your stresses. Read on to hear how, at Kirkwood Wilson, our accountants are always on hand to support you during the difficult times and the good.
How a certified accountant can support you in testing times
Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic hit businesses in unimaginable ways. With many businesses being forced shut, with no cash flow, it has been a crucial period of time for accountants to support their clients.
Here at Kirkwood Wilson, Accountants in Ormskirk, we specialise in digital accounting and during the Covid pandemic, with many forced to work remotely, we have supported each and every one of our clients.
Here are our top reasons how certified accountants, specifically Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, can support you during testing times:
- Help you to understand governmental business support packages
- Bring you up-to-date with digital accounting software
- Advice on cash flow management
- Point you in the right direction for gaining finance
- Support you by having a general chat and listening to your worries.
1. Help you understand governmental business support packages
It has recently been announced that GDP tumbled 20.4% in April to June 2020, with the UK now in a recession. To limit the burden on the economy during Covid-19, the UK government put in place a number of business support measures, such as; the job retention scheme, deferral of VAT payments, and more.
During testing times like the Coronavirus pandemic, as a business owner or manager trying to keep on track with the schemes, managing workload, and trying to maintain business, is rather a handful. So here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants in Ormskirk, we’ve been helping our clients every step of the way advising on financial steps to take.
2. Bringing you up-to-date with digital accounting software
If you didn’t already know, Kirkwood Wilson Accountants specialises in digital accounting. As digitising your business is now more important than ever, Kirkwood Wilson are on hand to help streamline your bookkeeping processes and get stuck right into the world of digital.
3. Advice on cash flow management
Keeping the cash ticking in has been one of the biggest worries for businesses over the past few months. As business survival is the top priority for most and ultimately cash flow being king, at Kirkwood Wilson, we’ve been supporting our clients as much as possible to feel more in-control of their finances. Whether that is cash flow forecasting or advice on possible finance options, we’ve been on hand to help with any worries!
4. Point you in the right direction for gaining finance
By applying for R&D tax credits, grants and other finance offerings, this could be crucial to survival. Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we are up-to-date and always aware of best practice and ways you can claim back. We are more than happy to talk you through anything!
5. Support you by having a general chat and listen to your worries
Having accountants you can trust, and are there for you on a rainy day, can provide you with security and peace of mind. The team at Kirkwood Wilson are here to listen to any and every worry you might have and offer you advice to point you in the right direction.
Get in-touch today via our contact form or on 01704 546 000 if you require a local accountants in Ormskirk to help your business during these testing times.
Whether your business suffered catastrophic effects as a result of the economic and social changes wrought by COVID-19, or you are simply looking for a little reassurance and a nudge back onto the right path, there are some key areas that you can address to get your business – and yourself – back to some sense of normality. Here are some of the things we would recommend:
Before you can successfully get your business back on track, you need to make sure you have the energy and mindset to focus – that means making sure you’re at your best. The months of lockdown affected many people in different ways, but increased levels of anxiety were reported throughout as an extremely common experience.
Anxiety itself can be helpful; a low level of fear ensures that we take action to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Panic, however, has a detrimental effect; it causes us to lose focus, become immobilised and unable to make decisions, and results in poor judgement.
Some of the most effective steps you can take in looking after yourself and keeping your anxiety levels in check will not only ensure you are well-prepared to deal with your work life, but will make you feel much better all round:
- Self-reflection – Take some time each day to consider how the day has impacted you and to think about your responses to the events that occurred. Self-awareness can help us to recognise our fears and nip them in the bud so that we can refocus our energy
- Find the positive – Whilst we can’t control events, we can control how we choose to perceive them. Look for the good in situations and where your reaction to an event is automatically negative, take some time to work out whether there might be an opportunity there rather than a threat. If you have had a bad day, focus on one thing that you are grateful for
- Eat well – Healthy eating not only helps to build your immune system but will also give you more energy and help you to concentrate
- Take time out – It is down to you to find your own way to create a sense of calm and allow yourself the head space for clear judgement. Some great ways to give yourself downtime for reflection are:
– Exercise – Whether it is walking your dog, ten minutes of sit-ups, or an hour of cardio, this can be a great way to relieve stress and promote those feel-good hormones
– Contact with others – Try to make time to engage with those who make you smile or laugh, the people in your life who are supportive and have similar interests. Whether a quick message, a video call or a socially distanced coffee, a chat with someone you care about will give you a boost
– Relaxation – We each have our own preferences for powering down. Yours might be a long, hot bath, a cuppa in the garden or some meditation; whichever one allows you to exhale, make the time for it.
Just as with self care, whilst some level of concern about the future of your business is both healthy and helpful, panic is not. Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions; dramatic changes in direction, for some businesses, have been both necessary and fruitful – but decisions should be taken objectively and with a clear mind.
We have found ourselves launched very suddenly into a low-touch economy, where person-to-person engagement has been minimised, payments are contactless, purchases are delivered to our doorstep and video calls have become the norm.
These changes are widely considered to have been inevitable – COVID 19 has simply accelerated them greatly. There are some things you can do, with this in mind, to ensure the future of your business:
- Look at your customers’ needs – What are your customers struggling with? What are their challenges? If you can find that out – through listening to them, asking them questions or engaging on social media – you can adjust your offering to gain some competitive advantage. It doesn’t necessarily mean a product change, it might be as simple as taking card payments rather than cash; being able to support them with finance or staged payments to spread their financial outlay; or supporting them with advice on your specific area of knowledge or expertise through an online chat platform.
- Consider your long-term objectives – Does your strategy still work in light of COVID 19? Review what you set out to achieve within the next 6-12 months. If your marketplace has changed so dramatically that you need to steer in a new direction, look at your options and set some alternative strategic goals and break these down into tactics and then bite-sized actions. If your long-term goals are achievable but not within the time frame you set, then review your plans for the coming year; perhaps hold off on larger investments, or look at reducing overhead costs in line with a more realistic projection. If you are lucky enough to be in a position of opportunity, then now is the time to get ahead; experienced and highly skilled personnel have become available as a result of the unfortunate staff cuts some businesses have had to make – you might scoop up someone who can take your business to the next level.
- Give yourself a break – The past 6 months have been extremely challenging. Whether you have been at the heart of sudden demand for your service or whether your business levels nosedived, the pressure will have taken its toll. Both you and your team deserve some collective recognition for what you have achieved together, as well as some down time.
COVID-19 has created very sudden and unforeseen challenges; some of those leading to opportunity, some leading to the collapse of both businesses and peoples’ lives. Most of us have spent the time somewhere in between, trying to make the best of things and waiting for the economic and social landscape to improve.
As things stand, this may be as normal as we get for a while, so if you are looking for financial support or business advice, we can help with that. Ease a little of your load and talk to us – you never know, it might be one more step back to normality for you and your business.