Welcome to our Spring newsletter. This quarter we’ll be sharing our top 5 tried and tested cloud accounting softwares. We also interviewed Rik Heap from Leonard Curtis for his advice on rescuing and recovering businesses. Plus read about our new staff achievements and meet our new apprentice. We also now have a dedicated Coronavirus support and advice page.
COS Crew News
What have our staff and members been up to this quarter? Find out below.
Steph and Joseph celebrate AAT with flying colours
We are very proud to say that Steph has completed her AAT level 2 and will be moving onto level 3. A huge congratulations to her on her achievement. One of our members, Joseph, has also just completed his AAT so it’s been celebrations all around.
Our new apprentice settles in well
Ben joined us late last year and has settled in well with the team here. He has just started his AAT course and we wish him all the best with it.
Win stars in local magazine and COS joins her group
When Win isn’t processing books, she’s running her new networking company with her husband Simon: The Business Network. She was recently featured in the GM Business Connect Magazine. Well done Win, what an achievement. We have recently become a member of their networking group ourselves and managed to make a meeting before lockdown. The networking will continue in an online capacity during the lockdown period. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pantomime creates plenty of laughs
Karen, Becky and Ann (L) were involved in a pantomime in February. Becky wrote the script with her Dad; Karen Produced the show; and Ann helped with photography and videography. After a culmination of a year of hard work, they had rave reviews from audience members and formed a real family of cast and crew. They had a super week and would like to thank everyone who supported them.
Our Top 5 tried and tested Cloud Accounting Softwares
The bookkeeping and accounting world is awash with software that promises to organise your financial world. It can get a little overwhelming. We have used several of them over the years, and this has adapted and changed to suit our clients’ needs. We use a variety of products but have selected 5 of our current favourites to hopefully provide you with some insight into what they are all about.
One of the champions in the accounting software world, you will have more than likely heard of Xero. Around 95% of our client base use Xero for their accounts because of it’s an easy to use, lingo-free interface. It also has an extensive list of add-ons which makes life so much easier for our clients. We run a range of classroom courses on Xero each month and we have just developed even more of a range due to demand for more information on the software giant’s features. These range from your basic introductory course to looking at VAT return processing and tracking.
If you’d like to know more about Xero, click here.
Despite QuickBooks’ popularity, for a time we not hugely keen on it but then we decided to revisit it about 12 months ago. We were impressed by the changes and updates they had made and now feel confident with its abilities. Due to its popularity, other software companies are eager to integrate with it which is a real selling point for businesses because of the app. Much like Xero, it provides a huge range of features to businesses from automatic tax calculations to payment tracking.
Contact us for more information about current deals we have available for Quickbooks.
Receipt Bank is popular with a considerable amount of our clients who are users of Xero and QuickBooks. It extracts data from your invoices, receipts and bills to save you the hassle of data entry. They claim to have the highest accuracy of all cloud apps for their extraction. You can send documents to a unique email address which sends your documents to a portal where it reads them for you. You can log in to this hub whenever you like and see all your bills in one place. You have the option to scan and upload documents from your computer and there’s an app so you can upload from your phone too. The information it gathers is then put into a secure hub that syncs with your accounting software. You can export the data in several formats and publish it to a variety of cloud platforms. It supports foreign currency and has automated submission reminders too. Plus, they have a useful app and claim to be the number 1 productivity tool for Accountants and Bookkeepers.
If you’d like some advice on Receipt Bank, get in touch.
Cashflow forecasting is an essential part of a company’s growth. This tool links with Xero, and others, and uses artificial intelligence to create detailed overviews and reports. It enables you to predict your business future to as much accuracy as your books will allow. It helps you to understand who your biggest debtors are and has chase features you can use. It’s very user-friendly and at COS it has aided us in giving our clients accurate advice on how to grow their business.
We can provide a FREE version of Fluidly, contact us to find out how.
Say goodbye to expense claims with Pleo with their fantastic cards and app system. It has been a saviour to not only us internally at COS but also to a number of our clients. You can give cards to as many staff members as you like and top them up with however much you like. You can apply spending limits too. The staff then download the app on their phone and when they spend, it pops up and asks them to take a photo of their receipt. They then state what it was for and it adds that information to your accounting software. If someone forgets to input their receipt it reminds them several days later. It also intelligently starts to understand what they spend and begins recommending codes it thinks you would want for that spend.
If you’d like to know more about Pleo, and any offers we may currently have, please get in touch.
Not sure if you’re using the right accounts software in your business? We can provide a free software consultation. We can also provide training and various trials if you would like to trial and test them. 0161 850 3355, email@example.com
Rescuing and Recovering your business: Advice from the experts
Interview with Rik Heap, Director of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group
We asked the experts for their advice on how to look after your business when you feel it might be in jeopardy. From jargon-busting to supporting staff, they had lots to share with us.
Q. What is the difference between liquidation and administration?
Both are common insolvency processes. Liquidation is generally appropriate where a company has reached the end of its life and the business ceases to trade. Administration is more of a rescue process that protects a viable business from its creditors, allows it to be restructured and often enables it to be sold as a going concern to protect jobs and maximise value for creditors.
Q. If a company is liquidated, can the owners open another company?
Providing there weren’t any issues over their conduct in the previous business, there is nothing to stop owners setting up again after liquidation, although there are important rules relating to the re-use of a name that is the same as or similar to the old one. If the old name is important then, provided certain steps are followed to communicate the fact to creditors, it can be used again.
Q. What should a business do if they lose an investor or funder and can’t afford to pay their debts as a result? If a company is struggling financially what is the first thing they should do?
Take advice from your accountant or a restructuring firm like Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group. The sooner you recognise there’s a problem, the wider the range of options you’ll have.
It doesn’t have to be about insolvency – at Leonard Curtis we have a team of specialists who are experts at things like negotiating time-to-pay arrangements with HMRC, raising finance and dealing with legal problems. These specialists can often help directors and their advisers find a solution that avoids insolvency and protects the business.
Q. If a business is at a financial loss but doesn’t know why, where should they begin to identify what the real problem is?
As an accountant myself, I’d say that it’s often helpful to look at the cash flow to understand where cash is coming from (or not) and where it is being spent. Such an exercise may highlight that, for example, customers aren’t paying on time; increasing debtor ageing will clearly put a strain on cash flow.
It could also identify some areas of major expenditure. While some costs could be more difficult to cut quickly, e.g. payroll or rent, there may be some cost-cutting measures that are easier to implement: look for the “low hanging fruit”.
Q. Is there a way to protect assets in a time of financial difficulty?
It’s not easy to protect assets once a company is experiencing financial difficulty. In the event of an insolvency, any actions that were taken to move assets into another company (unless paid for at fair value) could be challenged by an insolvency practitioner.
In terms of trying to future-proof a business though, if it does have separate divisions, it may be worth considering splitting them into separate legal entities so that, should one part of the business fail in the future, it doesn’t risk bringing down the other profitable parts.
Q. How can staff be protected and supported when a firm has an uncertain future?
In the event of an insolvency, the government, through the Redundancy Payments Service, make payment to those employees who have been made redundant and are still owed money. In simple terms, they cover arrears of wages, pension, holiday pay, redundancy pay, and pay in lieu of notice up to statutory rates (currently £525 per week).
Where staff are paid at a rate greater than the statutory level the excess won’t be covered by the RPS and the employee would make a claim against the company.
The RPS normally pay within 4-6 weeks of the date of appointment and payments are made directly to employees.
At Leonard Curtis, when we are appointed to handle the insolvency of a company and redundancies are necessary, we work closely with the employees, using specialist employment consultants where required, to make sure that forms are filled in correctly and prevent any unnecessary delay to employees receiving payment.
We work closely with Leonard Curtis and would highly recommend their stellar service. For more information email Rik Heap: Rik.firstname.lastname@example.org or call their office on: 0161 831 9999.
New Webinars Announced
|Running Xero Payroll||Wednesday 8th April|
|Xero purchase ledger and overview webinar||Tuesday 14th April|
|Virtual COS Members’ Meeting||Wednesday 15th April|
|Xero Bank Reconciliation||Tuesday 21st April|
|Xero Sales Invoicing Webinar||Tuesday 5th May|
|Xero purchase ledger and overview webinar||Tuesday 12th May|
|Xero Bank Reconciliation webinar||Tuesday 26th May|
Coronavirus Support Corner
Over the last week or so we have been sharing resources and advice with our network on how to support yourself, your employees and your clients in this uncertain time. We have put these resources together to create a Coronavirus support page. If you follow the link below you will find various resources and links that might be of use to you or your associates.