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Making Tax Digital – Are You Ready to get Started?

Making Tax Digital starts 1 April 2019 for all VAT Registered Businesses. Are you ready to get started?

In our latest Making Tax Digital blog we can announce that Xero’s Making Tax Digital Pilot is now live, so you can jump onboard!

Find out more about MTD here, how much it’ll cost you here, and what the benefits are to you here.

Who can join the Making Tax Digital Pilot?

Any business with up to date VAT returns and VAT payments, with turnover over £85,000 (the current VAT threshold).

What do you need to do first?

  1. Make sure you’re a client of ours (at the moment you need to sign up to the HMRC/Xero Pilot through your Xero Accountant
  2. Give us the nod to say you want to join the pilot.
  3. Make sure you’re using MTD compliant online accounting software (for us it’s Xero, beautiful accounting software)
  4. Get a clean bill of health from us to say you’re Xero is nice and tidy.
  5. What happens next?

  6. We’ll make sure that you’re signed up properly with HMRC for the MTD pilot.
  7. We’ll also make sure we switch you over to the new MTD VAT return experience in Xero.
  8. Anything else?

  9. Yes! Make sure you keep an eye out from emails from us as we move you over to the HMRC and Xero MTD Pilot.
  10. Get excited!
  11. Feel smug that you’re ahead of the game, and won’t be panicking on 1 April 2019!
  12. And do keep asking questions. We’ve got this, and we’ve got you, but it’s important that you have no worries or concerns, so questions are good.
  13. There’s no such thing as a stupid question!

That’s it!

All you need to do now is have a chuckle at Xero’s new MTD Mascot Dexter! Making Tax Less Taxing.

Thank you for reading. Email Sharon if you’d like to sign up to the HMRC / Xero MTD Pilot.

Sharon

 

 

 

 

Professional Services Business of the Year

Kinder Pocock are an approachable cloud-savvy firm of accountants based in Herefordshire but supporting businesses on the move.

We specialise in Security, Design and Indie Hospitality businesses.

@KinderPocock

01432 273400

Contact Us to see how we can help

 

 


Xerocon 2018 – Our Key Takeaways

So we are just about recovered from Xerocon 2018, what an immense couple of days!

We took the whole team to Xerocon, you can read here why I think that’s such a good idea. I’m going to try not to ramble on, as Xero crammed in the announcements, the entertainment and the exhibiting apps, so my aim is to share with you our Key Xerocon Takeaways.

Human at Heart

The main focus of the whole conference was being Human. Technology is amazing, but it won’t replace us, and we must make sure we keep the human focus of our work, our relationships, and not let technology overtake our lives.  Xero itself has always been about it’s people – both Xero employees, businesses and accountants/bookkeepers.

This really resonates with us – we strive to be the best in our team, and how we communicate with you our clients. We can always do more though, and Xerocon has strengthened our resolve to do the best for you, in our services and how we communicate with you.

Making Tax Digital

Xero is completely ready for Making Tax Digital, and that means you are too if you’re our client! The MTD beta is now live, so we’ll be asking you if you’d like to join up.  You don’t have to do anything. Gary Turner Xero UK’s MD also introduced us to Dexter, Xero’s new MTD mascot – “Making Tax Simple”.  We have a whole host of resources and blogs on MTD, which we’re adding to all the time. Click here to find out more.

We were lucky enough to meet Dexter and hear what he had to say:

Open Banking

Xero announced their open banking API which means they can now connect with many finance institutions, including Soldo, Starling Bank, IWOCA and many more. This will give business owners quicker access to their financial data, and to funding options. As partners of Xero, IWOCA, Capitalise and soon to be partners with Starling Bank, this means that we are best placed to help you understand your numbers, identify when you might need finance, and get it to you quicker.

It’s worth noting that during Xerocon both Starling and Soldo announced live integrations with Xero!

It’s all about the Apps

We are really keen on utilising Xero’s apps, but with over 700 it’s not an easy task! Have a look at our blog about our 10 favourite apps, prior to Xerocon.

Now that we’ve returned, we have some new favourite apps, which we will be investigating and introducing to you over the coming months. These include Soldo, Starling Bank, Tradify, Float, Slide and Deputy. Expect more blog posts on each of these to follow!

New Xero Features

Xero also announced a stack of cool new features in Xero. Some of these we’ll use to free up more time to work with you, and some are fab improvements that will save you heaps of time, and make the Xero experience even more beautiful.

For example, Xero are about to roll out the new Navigation bar near the end of November, and have loads of improvements coming to Xero Projects and Expenses, all with Mobile features at the core.

Later this year they’re also upgrading the sales invoice experience, making it easier than ever to invoice your customers and get paid.

professional services specialistMore Reassurance for you

And finally Xero have launched a host of new Xero U courses for accountants and bookkeepers with Specialist Badges, to show our experience in certain industries, and I’m happy to report we have already gained the Xero Professional Services Specialist Badge!

And on that note, I’ll leave you to absorb this tiny part of our whole Xerocon experience. Expect more detailed blogs in the coming months. My 6th Xerocon has been an amazing experience, and the whole Xero team show that they are definitely Human at Heart. It’s a joy to be part of the Xero family!

As always thank you for reading, I’ll leave you with some photos from Xerocon.

Sharon

 

Professional Services Business of the Year

Kinder Pocock are an approachable cloud-savvy firm of accountants based in Herefordshire but supporting businesses on the move.

We specialise in Security, Design and Indie Hospitality businesses.

@KinderPocock

01432 273400

Contact Us to see how we can help

 

 


XeroCon Countdown: Our 10 Favourite Apps for Business

xerocon top 10 appsWith our 6th  Xerocon just a week away, we wanted to share with you our top 10 Favourite Xero Apps, and why we love them so much.

But firstly, what’s all the fuss about Xerocon? It’s a conference for accountants right?

Well yes indeedy it is, but oh so much more than that. I take the whole team, as it’s the best place for finding out new developments in the Xero and App world, but also and equally importantly catching up with our peers in our online accounting world.  To share ideas, catch up, and make the future a reality.

“It’s the world’s most beautiful and innovative conference for cloud accounting leaders”.

 

Our 10 Favourite Apps

We’ve been using Xero since 2012, and because we do visit every Xerocon we can keep up with developments and talk to the App developers.  We couldn’t keep this gold dust from you, so without further ado, here’s our App Top 10:

1. Xero

Of course it’s number one. It’s changed the way we and our clients do business. With over 1 million users worldwide, it’s regularly updated and has the coolest features to help you manage your business online. From the app you can raise invoices on the fly, create expense claims, and check your bank balance.

New features like Xero Projects and Xero Expenses mean that anything is possible for your small business. Find out more here.

  1. 2. Receipt Bank

Receipt Bank is a no brainer for saving you time, and claiming more money and VAT back. Gone are the days of crumpled receipts. Simply snap a photo and chuck the receipt!  It will find it’s way to Xero in the blink of an eye! Read more here.

3. Chaser

This app is revolutionary. It connects to Xero and manages your credit control for you by automatically sending chasing emails (which you can completely customise!) to clients with unpaid invoices. It also makes reviewing your credit control function a breeze, with all chasing emails and all following replies logged in its CRM. I swear those emails go out with magic fairydust! This app will get cash in the bank quicker and save you hours of time! Read more about it here.

4. GoCardless

If you’d rather not have to chase your customers, get GoCardless involved! This app allows you to set up direct debits with customers, so you control when they pay! It looks at Xero for invoice due dates and collects payment. Funds are in your account in 4 days! What’s not to like? More here.

5. Practice Ignition

Now this is a favourite app of ours for sending out proposals and engagement letters, which we can do in about 5 minutes (instead of the usual 4 hours to pull everything together!). It’s designed for accountants but perfect for any business offering a service and needing to onboard their clients. Find out more here.

6. Tripcatcher

For anyone making business trips, have a look at Tripcatcher.  It effortlessly records your business trip via GPS, and you can manually enter trips too. It calculates the VAT you can claim, and keeps an eye on the 10k mileage threshold. Then you push it to Xero.  This means more VAT can be claimed back and more expenses claimed through your business.  and it’s a huge time saver! Read more here.

7. Curve Card

The future of business cards. Link all your cards to your Curve card via the App, you can add business and personal cards. And then you only need to take one card out with you! You choose which card you’re Curve card is paying with via the App. But if you’re not that organised, their Go Back in Time feature is amazing! Just click on the card payment, and choose to move it to another card! Simples! Find out more here and use our referral code OAB8H to get £5.

8. Zapier

Zapier is a clever little app we wouldn’t be without.  It automates processes in the background between your different apps, by creatinge a “Zap” between each app. For instance if a calendar booking is made in Google Calendar you can make a zap to create an invoice in Xero.  Basically if this happens here, do that over there. We use it loads to automate our workflows and save heaps of time. Try out a zap now!

9. iZettle

For any small business wanting to take card payments, iZettle is the perfect choice. The only upfront cost is the card reader (currently £29) and then you’ll have transaction charges of 1.75%. No need for hefty merchant service fees and terminal hire.

For small retail businesses it’s even more perfect as it comes with a free EPOS App. Record all your sales through the day (card and cash) and at 10pm every night it sends all this info to Xero. No bookkeeping required!  Cool hey?

10.  G Suite

G Suite is the backbone or the engine room for any online business. With its suite of apps you can work seamlessly and securely anywhere, anytime. G Suite takes care of your communications, calendar, storage and document creation, and also integrates with many online apps, including Xero. Your whole team can work remotely and still collaborate online with no fuss, and no time wasted. We’d be lost without it!

One to Watch: Soldo

We promised you our Top 10 Favourite Apps, but we couldn’t let you go without sharing the future of employee expenses. Soldo is our one to watch.  It’s a prepaid card, which will make managing employee expenses a breeze! Also very useful if you need employees to be able to make card payments without using your business card. Geo Control is one of their cool features so that you can control where your employees are able to use the card, and when. Watch this space as Soldo is developing all the time!

See you on the other side!

As always, thank you for reading! We’ll see you after Xerocon, with even more exciting developments to report!  Please be aware that KP offices will be closed while we’re at Xerocon (13 to 15 November 2018).

Sharon

 

Professional Services Business of the Year

 

Kinder Pocock are an approachable cloud-savvy firm of accountants based in Herefordshire but supporting businesses on the move.

We specialise in Security, Design and Indie Hospitality businesses.

@KinderPocock

01432 273400

Contact Us to see how we can help

 


Budget 2018 – It’s Personal!

Today’s Budget brought good news for UK taxpayers.  We’re bringing you our Budget 2018 – It’s Personal!

If you’re a UK business owner too, have a read of our blog:  Budget 2018 – The Business Bits

We’re just bringing the best bits here, otherwise you’ll slope off to Facebook or Insta!

Personal Allowance Increase brought forward

The personal tax free allowance will increase from £11,850 to £12,500 in April 2019. This is a big jump, and has been brought forward from 2020, so great news!

Quick example:

Everyone will be able to earn £1,042 per month before paying any tax. If you’re a company director, this is the amount to pay yourself from April 2019. If you’re a sole director just pay up to the NIC threshold (TBC).

Higher Rate Tax Increase

This has also been increased from £46,350 to £50,000 from April 2019, an increase of £3,650.

Quick example 1:

The extra £3,650 at basic rate tax means a tax saving of £730 for personal tax. If you’re receiving dividends it’s a  tax saving of £912.

Quick example 2:

If you’re a director taking salary and dividends,  you’d pay £2,850 in tax if you take up to £50k, compared with £3,762 now.

National Living Wage and Minimum Wage Increase

Make sure you’re receiving the right amounts from your employer:

National Living Wage increases from £7.83 to £8.21 from April 2019 for over 25s

National Minumum Wage increases from £7.34 to £7.70 per hour for 21s to 24s

Apprentice Rate increases from £3.70 to £3.90

Stamp Duty Cut

This is being cut for shared ownership of homes worth up to £500k. Great news if you’re looking to buy. This is also being backdated to November 2017.

Summary

There will be more devil in the detail, when it comes out, but in all a good budget with extra tax free cash in our pockets. As always, if you’d like to discuss more, please get in touch.

Thank you for reading!

 

Sharon

Professional Services Business of the Year

Kinder Pocock are an approachable cloud-savvy firm of accountants based in Herefordshire but supporting businesses on the move.

We specialise in Security, Design and Indie Hospitality businesses.

@KinderPocock

01432 273400

Contact Us to see how we can help


Budget 2018 – The Business Bits

Today saw the Budget announced.  It can be a fairly dull affair, so we’re bring it to you in manageable chunks!  Here’s The Budget 2018 – the Business Bits!

So that we do make this a manageable read, we’re just bringing you the highlights, and we’re aiming to keep it snappy. If you’d like more detailed info please get in touch!  Please also have a read of our blog:  Budget 2018 – It’s Personal! for personal tax changes.

Business Rates Relief

Business rates will be cut by 1/3 for small retailers for 2 years, for businesses with a rateable value (rent) of £51k or less.

Quick example:

If you’re rateable value is £51k, this could mean as much as £8k saved in business rates!

Weird announcement alert:

There will be business rates relief for public lavatories!

High Street Retail Boost

There will be a £675 mllion “Future High Streets” fund, in recognition of the decline of high street retail. The fund can be used to regenerate our high streets, including change of use to residential for some retail premises.

Annual Investment Allowance Increase

This is currently £200k, but will increase to £1 million in April.  What does it mean? You can currently spend up to £200k on allowable business assets (think equipment, vans, kitting out your shop premises) and all of this comes off your profit before we work out your tax.

£200k already sounds a lot, and in some cases means everything you spend is allowable.  However, for businesses growing fast, the increase is a major advantage.

Quick example:

If you have profits of £30k, and buy a van for £20k, this will reduce your taxable profits to £10k. If you’re a limited company this will reduce your corporation tax by £3,800. If you’re a sole trader it’ll reduce your tax and NIC by £5,800! Tidy!

VAT Threshold Stays the Same

For the 2nd year running the VAT threshold hasn’t increased, so it’s still £85k.  This means that if your sales for any 12 month period are over £85k, you need to register for VAT within 30 days.

Quick example:

If you go over £85k in one month, say October, you’ve got til 30 November to register, then you must start charging VAT from 1 December (and start claiming VAT).

National Living Wage and Minimum Wage Increase

Make sure you’re paying your employees the right amounts:

National Living Wage increases from £7.83 to £8.21 from April 2019 for over 25s

National Minumum Wage increases from £7.34 to £7.70 per hour for 21s to 24s

Apprentice Rate increases from £3.70 to £3.90

Alcohol Duties

This is an important one if you’re business is in hospitality:

Beer, cider and spirits duty frozen again

RPI increases on wine duty will continue

White ciders will be taxed at a higher rate

New Digital Services Tax

This has been introduced to tax big business, like Amazon and Google, and will apply to businesses with sales over £500k. More detail to be announced.

Summary

This budget was delivered with many references to “the end of austerity”.  It’s a welcome budget for help with business rates, and support for our high street, that is suffering badly.

If you’d like more detail on any of the above points, please get in touch!

Thank you for reading!

 

Sharon

Professional Services Business of the Year

Kinder Pocock are an approachable cloud-savvy firm of accountants based in Herefordshire but supporting businesses on the move.

We specialise in Security, Design and Indie Hospitality businesses.

@KinderPocock

01432 273400

Contact Us to see how we can help