Many of our accountancy clients are involved in charitable activities, so we thought today that we’d tell you about a member of our own team who is passionate about a local project. Heather, our friendly credit controller, is the voluntary manager for a new charity based in Loughton. Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust , tackling poverty in the UK. It has two main aims: to help members of the community who find themselves in real crisis, and to help prevent hidden hunger. In times of need, the charity provides three days’ worth of emergency food.
Loughton’s Foodbank will launch in June, and Heather says, “No one should be skipping meals or going hungry.” While the charity is setting up, they’re keen to receive practical donations, such as large industrial scales, shelving racks, filing cabinets, marketing materials and, of course, non-perishable food.
Your business can get tax relief if it makes a gift of equipment or trading stock to a charity. You can reduce your taxable profits by the cost of the gift made, so you’ll pay less tax. You can also get tax relief for the costs of temporarily allowing an employee to work for Foodbank, if they’d like to give Heather a hand setting up.
If you would like to know more about Foodbank, please call Heather on 0208 530 0720 or email Heather@nordens.co.uk.
That got your attention, didn’t it?!! One of our clients is currently enjoying television stardom! Staff at The Harley Street Skin Clinic are the very watchable subjects of Sky Living’s documentary series: Stitch me, Lift me, Tuck me.
How does this relate to you? You may not desire or need any physical improvements (lucky you!), but your business might benefit from a facelift. For a start, there’s some truth in the saying ‘first impressions count.’ In business, your branding provides your public face: website headers, background designs, social media cover pics, avatars… the list goes on!
Running your business is a bit like the butt lifts Dr Aamer Khan performs. Just as your bum provides a base to keep you firmly seated and able to get on with whatever you’re doing, your accounting system needs to be robust enough to harness your finances, while slightly sexy so the figures are always on your mind and you’re happy to watch them grow. A simple package such as n-books looks appealing and leaves you feeling in control and one step ahead – no need to be chasing your tail or covering your ass!
You can read the full article about Botox, bums and boobs here.
On October 25th, Mark will be the accountant and strategic planning consultant on the East London Small Business Centre loan panel, deciding whether certain businesses should be offered affordable finance. The session is specialising in offering loans to creative companies in London Boroughs, so if you think you may qualify, call Mark now and he can explain how to apply.
What’s a creative company? Someone who makes lovely things!! So if you’re an artist, designer, photographer, jewellery maker, craftsman (or woman!) graphic artist, author, poet, graffiti-naughty-person or anything else arty, you’re in with a shot. Fashion designers can find more info here, but we love working with anyone creative – or not creative – we don’t have favourites!! (Although the person who keeps sending us Krispy Kremes is high on our list )
Well… did you hear it?? Mark was interviewed live on national radio! If you’re a business owner, you probably know about the difficulties gaining finance from banks. National media has covered this a fair bit recently, reporting how small businesses struggle to raise money to expand. Mark released a press statement throwing a different light on things – he claims that owners of small businesses don’t need to approach banks; they can build their businesses slowly and steadily using controlled cash flow techniques. What Mark basically said, is that “we work with organisations who provide finance so, if the company is viable, there is always an affordable alternative to the banks.”
This was picked up by a UK radio station who demanded an exclusive from our frontman!! Fame at last!!
They said it really loud, they said it really clear – on the radio, whoa-oh-oh, on the radio…. (I’ll be singing that all day now…!!)
We’re all animal lovers here in Woodford. Maybe less so in our central London office, where pigeons tend to attack us in Soho Square. But we’re definitely creature-loving accountants here! When Kirsty’s not busy sorting out your VAT enquiries, she’s riding her three horses – probably not all at the same time… They are gorgeous!! Even if you’re not a horsey person you can see here how shiny and happy they look.
Savannah, Razzmatazz and friend Izzy. (Tinkerbell is camera shy)
Horses don’t pay tax as they can’t sign the documents neatly enough with their hooves. But if you’re involved in anything such as, for example, owning a racehorse as a capital asset, there will be tax-related issues that you’ll need to be aware of. We can advise you on that.
Kirsty is also our resident dancer but, at the time of writing, it’s not clear if she dances on horseback!! Now there’s a great business opportunity if ever I saw one – and a good PR one too!! Accountancy team street dancing along Ilford High Road. Guess she’d probably need an entertainment licence for that. Would that be tax-deductible? Ask our team!
The kids are back at school today – Yaay!! So this is the time that mums start thinking about setting up a small business, either to fit in with school hours, or because the children drove them so bonkers over the holiday that they now want to work full time!
If that’s you, we can advise on all you need to know about starting your own business: tax, VAT, payroll (even if it’s just paying you), invoicing, overheads… In fact, all things accountancy! So whatever you’re planning to do next, call us for a chat. Or, if you’re around the Woodford/Wanstead/Ilford area, pop in for a coffee with Andy or Joe – they’ll set you on the right track.
Even MORE celebrations in our Woodford office this week as Joe passed TWO exams! Our West Ham man is now qualified in Advanced Business Reporting and Advanced business Change. So if you fancy a change and you want it to be reported, tell Joe!!
Joe only has one more exam to go before he finishes his accountancy studies completely, then we’ll have another fully fledged accountant in our ranks. We love watching our team develop and celebrating everyone’s achievements… we also love it when our clients advance and triumph. So tell us your successes and we’ll share them with our followers – here, and on Twitter.
Some of our team are on holiday this week and it’s hit and miss whether we get good biscuits with our tea here in Woodford. (Jam tarts in Soho… bit more upmarket there!) If you’re also somewhere lovely, or planning a late getaway, remember this:
With our simple-to-use n-books bookkeeping software package, you can pay bills, raise invoices, check your accounts and mow your lawn, even if you’re in Australia!
So whether you’re lazing on a sunny beach, braving tropical storms, hiking, skiing, catching sharks or throwing water bombs from the top of the Blackpool Tower (naughty!) – you can stay in control of your business.
If you’re not an n-books client yet, call Tham today… we’ll be happy to welcome you on-board!
* n-books won’t really mow your lawn, but Mitch might, if you ask him nicely…)
Half of all small businesses experience late payments. This is sad. Poor cash flow is the main reason that small businesses flop, so we’ve helpfully put together these top tips for you.
1. Know your customers
Running credit checks on new customers can save you valuable time and money in the future, and you can do it easily online. This is also good if you’re planning to date them and want to check that they can keep you in the lifestyle you wish to become accustomed to – but that’s a bit unethical, we’re not recommending that…!!
2. Avoid cheques
Encourage customers to pay by electronic transfer or Direct Debit. ‘The cheque’s in the post’ is about as helpful as the answer to ‘Does my bum look big in this?’
3. Make a courtesy call
If you’re sending a particularly large invoice, call them up before payment is due to make sure there is no query. This is good customer service and pre-empts any possible delay in payment. Don’t use it as an excuse to invite them to dinner.
4. Start chasing right away
This means chasing the payment – not seeing the big bank balance during your credit check and chasing them around the bars and pubs of Essex. (Specifically Woodford, in our case!)
And remember, if it becomes a real problem, we can help you with advice on debt collection, charging interest and strategic planning to make sure you take back control of your business.
In our new cover photo, it’s been suggested that Sam looks particularly cool and snappy, with that certain gleam in his eye. For some reason, this makes us think of The Sopranos… Tony Soprano’s something of a hero here in our Woodford office – apart from his short tempered, violent sociopathic outbursts, of course! (We don’t know anyone in real life who has those…)
Actually, nothing like Sam…
We’ve heard that the mafia have their own rules when it comes to paying taxes. Obviously they wouldn’t want to be linked to tax evasion or anything naughty like that and, as a top accountancy practice, we have no part in activities of that kind.
Now we’re not saying whether we have any mafia clients here in Woodford – that would be very unprofessional; but we can confirm that we advise all our clients on the best ways to save tax within the legal framework. Nothing underhand or improper goes on here or in our Soho office – just confirmation of the most efficient tax-savings and forward tax planning for you, depending on your specific circumstances. We review your tax position every year, so if you’re looking to make savings and think it’s time we had a chat, call us now. (“No one’s losing any teeth today, momma!”)