My "New" Blog and Bloglet
Baarmy Cumbria Tourist Board
The Christmas Number One
Don't ask the Inland Revenue for advice
Fashion Guru or Scrooge
How to make your accountant happy
My "New" Blog
What businesses REALLY think of their accountants
- A third don't believe their accountant saves them money; and
- Three quarters don't think their accountant helps them grow their top line (sales)
- Surprise fees 32%
- No free advice 26%
- Not talking my language 19%
The cold spell
A small business survey which you can believe
The SERTeam is an independent, non-profit charitable association dedicated to:
* conducting and publishing entrepreneurship and small business research * improving understanding of key enterprise issues * working with and supporting other small business organisations
Once a quarter they research and produce the NatWest/SERTeam Survey of Small Business in Britain.
Their findings do reflect the views of the small business sector and at its most basic level it's nice to know that your current concerns are shared by other business owners.You can complete the survey by going to their website . The highlights of the last survey were:
Learning from others' mistakes
Blowing my own trumpet
Fiddling while Rome Burns
- The terms are more understandable;
- It's still a free country; and
- To annoy Media Relation Officers
Business Start-up Seminar
Why accountants always tell you what you shouldn't have done rather than what you should do
Now I Know How Much My Opinions Are Really Worth!
Doing the Right Thing
The Construction Industry Scheme
Accountancy IS exciting. Well sometimes!
European Week for Safety and Health at Work
Bank Managers - Yet Again
Well, as it took the bank manager four days to reply instead of one as promised and another six days to put the overdraft in place I would suggest for that particular client it should be the bank manager.
Absolutely right except for one minor point, their software only kept a record of the invoices the business issued and the supplier invoices it had received. There was no record of the bank balance which I would suggest is a pretty important thing to know when you are in business.
I don�t want to explore the pros and cons of this software except to say that one of the benefits listed for the program is �save your accountant time, and you time and money�. Don�t believe it!
If you are contemplating buying accounts software always ask your accountants for suggestions. They are the ones who will be working with it at your year end. Don�t listen to a salesman.
Who will you dump first? Your spouse or your bank manager.
A New Product
Trust in Business
K Shopping Village
Why visitors don't stop in Kendal anymore
Not a lot of people know this
Success in Business
Is It Time to Hire Some Help?
Knowing when to hire is just as critical as knowing who to hire. While small businesses can be reluctant to hire additional help, it's critical to hire help when you can no longer keep up with your business's rate of growth.
You need to hire help when:
- You are unable to balance the demands of your professional life with the demands of your personal life.
- You have trouble meeting deadlines.
- You lack the expertise to do it (i.e. bookkeeping or advertising).
- Your health is adversely affected by workload.
- Your relationships are strained.
- You frequently hire independent contractors to complete certain tasks.
- You consistently decline work that you cannot handle.
- You are preoccupied with menial tasks, such as typing and answering phones.
Small Business Hit Yet Again by the Park Authority
Why Accountants are Boring
Good Advice for Any Business
A Quiet Week
Free Advice for Starters
The Kendal Employment Fund
The North West Development Agency
The Purpose of a Business
New Rules for the Construction Industry
Make sure your accountant isn't giving your secrets away
Selling - The Basics
Taking Action - Part II
Another worrying sign for corporate Britain
A New Type of Accountant - Part II
A New Type of Accountant - Part I
- Having committed to not wanting to prepare your accounts, we have to now explain what we do want to do, which is:
Help business owners make more money and secure their future
The starting point for this action is a plan. Unless you know what you want to achieve we cannot help. To paraphrase the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there".
Business is becoming more and more a battle
The Financial Times has seen fit to publish another of my letters:
Sir, As the owner of a small business and adviser to many more, may I be permitted to make the following observations on Gordon Brown's plan to lighten the regulatory burden on business.
1. Red tape, especially in the small and medium-sized companies sector, is more than inspections and visits; it consists of an ever-increasing number of rules and regulations aimed at the business sector, but in terms of resources consuming a far higher percentage of available time in SMEs than in large businesses.
2. It is clear that a considerable number of the 600,000 businesses eligible for the value added tax flat rate scheme will be worse off in financial terms by opting for less paperwork. A government example of "heads you lose, tails we win".
3. Legislation to reduce red tape? Isn't that akin to putting fires out with petrol?
More on Marketing
If a man can... make a better mousetrap, the world will make a beaten path to his door
The latest stealth tax
The Next Five Years
- Taxes, both direct (National Insurance) and indirect (road fuel, etc) and don't forget all those stealth taxes (extra tax on pension funds), will undoubtedly increase. Make sure you take every opportunity to reduce your tax bill. This is tax avoidance and is perfectly legal not to be confused with tax evasion which is illegal.
- Red tape will increase. Make sure you cover the riskiest areas eg employment legislation, health & safety.
- Pensions will become, quite rightly, a major issue. Don't be conned into buying insurance products by commission based salesman who hide behind the title "independent". There are alternatives.
- Prosperity will be concentrated in the public sector and big companies. Try and make sure your customers are in this sector. In any event, make sure that you don't add to this sector's wealth by paying for unnecessary products and services ie banks selling insurance, paying too much tax,etc.
- Finally, make sure you have an accountant who is willing to fight for you rather than back down in the face of an ever more aggressive stance from the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise. Remember, if your accountant hasn't changed in the last twenty years then the financial advice your business is receiving is twenty years out of date.
Something for the Weekend
A Marketing Message
What is marketing?
Make sure your accountant isn't doing the same this year as last year and the year before and ...
An easy answer to bad memory
Accountant with a fly in his eye
Have you ever wondered what accountants look at on the internet?
Have you joined The Forgotten Army?
Watch your passwords
If you think this year's business rates are high......!
If you only read one thing this year make sure it's this letter
Your 2005 Tax Return will drop through your letter box next week
- You will know your precise tax payments for the next two years
- The Inland Revenue Statements of Accounts which you receive every few months will be correct
- You will be able to budget (save) for your tax bills
- Paying your tax on the correct dates will make you less likely to be investigated by the Inland Revenue
Try to avoid leaving the Inland Revenue to calculate your tax liability. Not only does this take time but there is no check on the calculation. Remember that you cannot rely on the Revenue to get your tax bill correct. By its own admission, one in four tax bills is wrong.
If you have an accountant make sure that your tax liability is calculated and your Return is sent to the Inland Revenue electronically. If you are in the fortunate position of being due a repayment of tax this action should mean that you should have your cheque within days rather than months.
Thought for the Day
Why do professionals think they're not running a business like the rest of us?
"What do you think of the Budget, Stuart?"
Economic Development � an Accountant�s View
The Value of Paperwork!
Yet more paperwork but, good news, it's for accountants
Quarter of firms failing to set financial targets
Good news for a client
How to Succeed in Business
Testing our Skills
An �825 Gift from the Government
Moving from Compliance to Business Development Work
The Accountants are Letting Us Down
Creating more time
Is the glass half full or half empty?
More about Blogging
There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
This morning I received a letter from Business Link Cumbria (a Government funded body set up to help businesses) telling me they have carried out a survey which shows that businesses are confused about the choice of products and services available throughout the county. Personally I am not surprised because the Government promises the world to small businesses and delivers nothing. However, Business Link want to liase with 3CA and other accountants in the county. Fair enough, but to do that they are holding an �event� at The Netherwood Hotel in Grange-over-Sands to �share ideas�. The meeting starts at 12 noon with a drinks reception followed by a three-course lunch. The presentations start (eventually) at 13:45 and finish at 15:15 for afternoon tea/coffee until 16:00. What a waste of time, 90 minutes work in four hours, and what a waste of money - our money, the taxpayers� money. Why do I complain about this? 1) Because I�m an optimist. I believe that if enough people demand change then the Government will have to listen; 2) Because Business Link are not addressing the problems facing small businesses by events like this one; and 3) Cumbria has one of the weakest economy�s in the European Union and Business Link are fiddling while Rome burns. Let me know what you think by adding a comment and don�t forget you can receive an e-mail to let you know when I add to my Blog by completing the subscribe box on the right.
Tax and the Forthcoming Election
- Don't add-up (See below)
- Cannot be read on the screen without moving the figures around
- Don't give accurate results
Software is so cheap nowadays (from upwards of �100) it is short sighted not to invest in it. Be careful though to make sure you buy one which suits your business.
Remember - Sage isn't always the answer.
"Don't add-up" = don't balance in accountancy language ie the figures don't reflect the actual amounts received and paid by the business. Not much use really!
What is a Blog?
Something for the Weekend
The Tsunami Appeal
- Keep details of the donation as it has to be entered on your tax return; and
- Don't use Gift Aid if you are not paying tax. If your spouse/partner pays tax, ask them to give the money in their name
We are proud that it is different from the vast majority of accountants' websites but think that the start of a new year is a good time to change it and start from scratch.
Our opinions are important but not nearly as important as the users. So please let us know what you think.
We are tempted by the idea of a small "public" website ( a few pages giving details of who we are, where we are and what we do) and this Blog for news, tax tips, business tips, etc. Other ideas are:
- A website for clients to access containing detailed advice on tax and business topics
- A secure area for each client where copies of accounts, details of tax due, etc can be accessed without having to contact us
Please let us know your ideas by adding a comment below.
- I will recover any outstanding debts and know my rights for the future
- I will introduce some crime prevention measures, both for my business premises and IT system
- I will identify key risks to my business and create disaster recovery plans to deal with them
A blog � short for "web log" � is an online personal journal that covers topics ranging from daily life to technology to culture to the arts. Blogs made such an impact in 2004 that Merriam-Webster named it the word of the year.