Welcome to the Summer Edition of our Quarterly Newsletter: BeCOS Bookkeeping Matters!
Thanks for being a part of our newsletter. We have another great interview lined up for you, this time from Mark at Ralli Solicitors about how to deal with employee disputes. You can read all about it below.
We also delve into the history and forecast the future for cloud competitors: Sage One and Xero.
COS & Friends have some fun lined up for families in their latest fundraising event “Woof for Life”.
Can you guess who this is from COS Team? This photograph is either an employee or COS Member.
Tweet us your answers (@cosbookkeeping) and we will tell you who the mystery person is in our next edition!
Answer to the last guess who: It was Managing Director Karen Garrattley!
Sage One vs Xero – A Brief History and Forecast
Sage – The Industry Leaders
Many companies have used Sage for their accounts over the years. For a long time Sage were the industry leaders and much of our business was Sage training, bookkeeping, and installations.
Xero – Take the industry by storm
With the rise of the internet and demand for cloud services, Xero was born. Xero has taken the industry by storm and now has over 1 million users!
Sage – Fight back with new software
Once Sage realised the potential of cloud software they created Sage One. It had the potential to be a fantastic piece of software. Unfortunately, it fell short in a few areas and didn’t take off in quite the way Sage predicted it would. It was time to go back to the drawing board.
Sage – The cloud revolution
Sage have recently re-released a brand new Sage One and we think it’s brilliant. It has a whole host of great features including:
- 24/7 Telephone Support
- Chart of Accounts
- An audit trail
- Bank Feeds
- Stock and delivery notes
- An App
And much more.
The new Sage One is on par with its competitors and they really have pulled out all the stops.
What our clients say about Sage One
We’ve had previous Sage 50 clients really connect with the new Sage One and because they are used to Sage they feel more comfortable with the interface. We’ve even had a few Xero clients become Sage One clients.
Sage have really stepped up a mark with their cloud package and we would encourage Bookkeepers and Accountants to try it out.
Sage vs Xero
At COS we are very much open-minded about the software we recommend. We will only recommend what we feel is right for the client. There’s no denying that Xero is a wonderful software and most of our courses are based on Xero. The majority of our clients use Xero.
We have found that Sage One really is on the rise and more and more people are becoming interested in the software. We can see Sage One courses and subscriptions on the horizon!
Are you using the right software?
If you’re a client of ours then you have nothing to fear. We would always be honest with you if we thought that another software would be better for you.
If you’re not a client of ours, please do get in touch for a free software review. From there we can recommend which we think would be best suited to your business.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 0161 850 3355
Charity Chit Chat
Join our Dog Walk to raise money for Cancer Research UK
On the 9th September our fundraising group, COS & Friends, will be hosting a sponsored dog walk called Woof for Life! So bring your dog to Longford Park (Stretford) and help us beat cancer.
Even if you don’t have a dog you can still take part: you could borrow a friend’s; come and watch; or just come for a walk anyway!
Each ticket includes the following:
- Goody bag
- Neckerchief for your pooch
- Poo bag
Fun for all the family
There will be a “Guess the name of the Dog” game where you can win a fluffy teddy. There will also be a Tombola full of all sorts of prizes.
We’ll also have a family BBQ too!
The Small Print
Tickets are £10 and are available for purchase below.
You can pay for one ticket and bring as many dogs as you like but you will only receive one rosette, goody bag, poo bag and neckerchief per ticket. So for instance, if you bring two dogs but only buy one ticket your second dog won’t receive anything.
You can book for the event here
What else is on?
We are organising another Masquerade Ball for the 7th July 2018. It will be held at the beautiful Davyhulme Park Golf club again and there are just 100 tickets available. Based on last year’s popularity we predict they will sell out very quickly.
Tickets for this event will be going on sale later this year.
Dealing with Employee Disputes
Interview with Mark Higgins from Ralli Solicitors
Q. What, in your experience, are the tell-tail signs that an employer might have a problem with an employee?
Some of the signs are obvious, such as underperformance, poor punctuality or persistent sickness absence. However, other signs are more subtle, such as lower than normal interaction with colleagues, whispering in corners, hushed mobile phone conversations or refusal to participate in team events or out-of-hours socialising – especially where this is out of character.
Q. At what stage during a dispute with an employee should the employer seek legal assistance?
The best advice for a business owner/manager is not to allow disputes to arise in the first place. This may sound fanciful but many potential issues can be identified in advance and avoided simply by placing yourself in the employees’ position. Consider the effect that your business decisions might have on them. This ranges from where you choose to locate your business premises, down to where individuals sit in the office.
Regular staff meetings are another useful barometer for monitoring the general mood. Such meetings send out a positive signal that you care about the welfare of your staff and are willing to listen to their views. Although staff meetings should generally present a positive message, they can also provide a forum for employees to iron out general niggles. Regular, positive communication with staff about projects and plans and how the business is doing quells gossip and rumour, which would otherwise prevail if management is too remote or aloof.
Nevertheless, no matter how well you run your business, staff issues do arise from time to time. When they do, specialist legal advice should be sought as soon as the problem is identified. Appropriate guidance can then be given at a stage where informal channels are still available. If the matter is dealt with early on, there is a much higher chance of a successful resolution. The reason for this is that prompt management of an issue avoids breaking the ‘psychological contract’ between an employer and employee – in other words, the trust between them. Matters left unresolved risk a breakdown in trust and once that happens, there is rarely a happy ending.
Q. Can most disputes be avoided if dealt with correctly, early on?
The short answer is ‘yes’. This is the primary reason why business protection insurance policies make it a requirement for cover that the employer seek and follow specialist legal advice from the moment a dispute arises. Many employers fear confrontation and are unsure of the correct approach. Even if they manage an informal meeting, they are unsure whether or what written records should be kept or whether details of a discussion need to be confirmed in writing. This uncertainty often leads to prevarication on the employer’s part which in turn fuels the dispute itself.
The reality is that in employment tribunal claims, the way in which an employer has handled a dispute forms a significant factor in the assessment of the claim’s merits. So, an employer who deals with matters promptly and in accordance with proper procedures is much more likely to dissuade a claimant’s solicitor to take on a case than where there is clear evidence of failure of procedure and inconsistency of approach.
Q. Are written contracts really necessary?
You may be surprised to learn that there is no legal requirement for full written contracts and employment policies. The law only requires the employer to provide a written statement of main terms within two months of employment commencing.
However, comprehensive, up-to-date contracts are essential in protecting employers from avoidable disputes over terms and conditions and also allegations of unfairness. Furthermore, if properly drafted, a contract of employment may afford protection to the employer’s business in terms of intellectual property, confidential business information and the harm that can be caused by the employee competing against the business, once he or she has left
Contracts of employment should be complemented by a set of policies contained in a staff handbook. Core policies include procedures for discipline and grievances (which should, as a minimum, comply with the relevant ACAS Codes of Practice) and equality and diversity. An employer would fight any employment claim on the back foot without these policies.
If you’d like to get in touch with Ralli you can visit their website here
You can find a list of our upcoming events below. Please click on the links to find out more information and to book.
- Members’ Orientation Training * – 28th July
- Xero Advanced Training Course – 3rd August
- Xero Introduction Training Course – 5th September
- Woof For Life – 9th September
- Xero Intermediate Training Course – 19th September
- COS Members’ Meeting for Bookkeepers and Accountants – 23rd September
- COS Members’ Meeting for Bookkeepers and Accountants – 21st October
*Please note that starred events are for members only. To find out more about membership please click here.
Meet Willow (bottom) and Luna (top), they are sisters and will be 2-years-old in August. They’re owned by Office and Digital Marketing Manager: Becky Garrattley.
- Using their paws to sneakily grab pieces of food when humans aren’t looking.
- Snuggling up on, and in, just about anything.
- Dreamies snack treats, raw chicken, and cardboard boxes to hide in.
Skills and Qualifications
- Adept at hunting and love to show everyone what they’ve caught.
- Willow is particularly good at balancing on the tops of doors for no reason at all.
- Luna is the ultimate scaredy cat and so she’s very quick at running away.