Welcome to our Summer Newsletter. In this quarter we interviewed COS member Joseph about how living with Asperger’s has been during lockdown. We share our top tips for saving money and improving cashflow during the pandemic. Plus we have a few celebrations and a new business venture to share. Thanks for stopping by to read our newsletter.
COS Crew News
What have our staff and members been up to this quarter? Find out below.
Di celebrates feline friend’s birthday
Freddy the kitten celebrated his 1st birthday on the 1st June! Freddy enjoyed a birthday feast of steamed cod with a side of dreamies and a glass of dirty rainwater. He also wore his special bow tie! Happy Birthday Freddy and thanks for looking after Di during lockdown.
Tasnim buys first home and celebrates a socially distanced Eid
We were so pleased to hear that Tasnim was on her way to moving in to her new home before lockdown. We caught up with Tasnim about how she celebrated a sacred festival with her family this year.
“We celebrated Ramadhan Eid on Sunday 24th May after a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset daily. We usually have a family get together but this Eid we had to maintain social distancing so we went visiting and greeting each other from outside relatives’ houses whilst maintaining distancing. It was a very different festival this year but we all tried to be positive and make the best out of it. Hopefully next year we can get together and enjoy the festival again. On another note I will be moving in my new home with my husband soon which I’m really looking forward to. The preparations and setting up my house is currently keeping me busy and I’m very excited about it.“
Karen’s new spa experience from home
Our MD, Karen, has become a Temple Spa consultant. A lover of massage and spa treatments, she has been delighted to join the company and has found it to be a great distraction during lockdown. Karen has used Temple Spa products for many years and since becoming a consultant, has been offering “Virtual Spa parties” for friends and family. Using good old Zoom, friends come together to try the products in their homes whilst enjoying a glass of their favourite tipple.
“Temple Spa is a perfect blend of British provenance and sophistication, with Mediterranean passion and soul. The results? An extraordinary range of high performance products that work. The brand is British and privately owned. The founders are renowned product creators and whilst travelling throughout the Mediterranean for a year they discovered the Med diet is not only one of the healthiest on the planet, but the ingredients are as good for the skin as they are the body. In other words, you are what you eat. The contents look like a visit to an organic market so expect to find delicious ingredients such as olive oil, basil, tomato, pomegranate and so on. They also work with doctors of derma-science and artisan herbalists. As well as an abundance of botanical ingredients, they also use state of the art technology that means every single skin care product has anti-ageing benefits – great news whether for prevention or cure. The other important thing about Temple Spa is our unique textures and aroma. If you look at anyone who tries a product, they check the texture on the back of their hand and then the smell! Aromatic fragrances give a lovely fusion of aromatherapy and skin care. “
Fancy hosting a virtual spa party and earn some free products? Contact Karen for more information.
Win finally gets back to golfing
Win shares her lockdown experience:
“Where can I start, when Golf Clubs had to close and all sports, gyms, exercise classes etc. had to stop what did one do??
So we all started to walk the streets, I’m lucky I live in Sale so I had access to the tow path on the canal walks down the Mersey passing Ashton-on-Mersey Golf Club which looked beautiful. The ground staff had it wonderful, your heart and mind set, you wanted to be out there: free, energised. You can only walk so many streets, tow paths etc.
So when the news came through that Golf Clubs could re-open, with restrictions, it was wonderful news. I cannot really explain to non-golf players but standing on that tee looking down the Fairway: the openness, the sun shining, the colours, the freedom. Your mind and soul is lifted, you’re taken away from the worries, and the queues that we have to stand in for social distancing. You’re alive , free, then you hit your shot!! Well that’s a story for another time!! Joking apart, having golf back in my life has helped me mentally get through, to play with the different ladies you have met, catching up with them, feeling normal for the duration of the nine holes. Exercising in the fresh air is wonderful , exhilarating, and fantastic for your mental wellbeing.
If you’ve never tried Golf I would so strongly recommend it. I’m still learning, I only started a year ago and I’ve not played the whole year but I’m loving it and can’t recommend it enough.”
How to save money and improve cashflow during the pandemic
With more companies shutting down either temporarily or permanently it’s never been more important to reduce your company spending and save what you can. Companies have had to start thinking like hibernating bears: gather what you can to survive as a firm and keep plodding on until the forecast changes. Here are a few tips to help you save money and improve cashflow at this unprecedented time.
Chase Debts but be reasonable
You might feel guilty chasing your debts currently but remember that you have bills to pay just like your customers do. There is nothing wrong with chasing money you are rightly owed, the longer you leave it the harder it will be to obtain in the future. When money is owed it can create an awkward atmosphere between you and your client and you might resent helping them. However, when asking for payment, be reasonable. Rather than ask them for the full amount tomorrow, perhaps offer them a payment plan that is within their means.
Ensure you have accurate forecasting
Start with the right tools like a good online accounts software such as Xero or Quickbooks online. Then ensure the data in the package is up to date, if it’s not current then you’ll never be able to create an accurate forecast. You can see what financial direction you are heading in and can establish what needs to come in, in order for the business to survive. Lockdown could have resulted in a boost in sales, but once lockdown is over will there still be the same demand and can you afford to drop back down to what you were earning before?
Reduce and control expenses and spending
Take a look at your expenses and ask yourself if there’s anything you don’t really need right now. Do you need to buy speciality coffee? Try not to spend in excess where you don’t need to. For instance, if you are mainly working from home right now does it make sense to buy a new company car? Probably not. It’s about looking at your spending from a sensible point of view.
Transfer your debts
If you have a credit card that you pay a high interest rate on, then simply move the debt to another card. It’s perfectly legal and could save essential funds. If your credit score is good then credit card companies are generally happy to offer you 0% interest deals for a certain amount of time (for instance the first two years). Transferring those funds takes the pressure off you mentally too.
Is it time to evolve?
If you have a factory that’s pretty much not in use due to lack of demand, then it could be time to evolve. Think about products that are in demand that you could make temporarily. Many factories have turned to producing PPE, ventilators and other essential equipment. For instance, the reason there has been a huge lack of flour available is because they are short of the packaging, not the flour! Maybe you could fill an industry hole?
The same applies for if you are in other industries, try to offer takeaway and delivery options if you provide products. If you provide training, can you take your courses online? Innovation is essential.
We hope our advice has helped. Did you know we can help you create an accurate cashflow forecast? Contact us if you’d like any assistance: 0161 850 3355, firstname.lastname@example.org
Living with Asperger’s in lockdown
Interview with COS Member Joseph Connor
Q. Joseph, tell us a bit about you?
I’m Joseph, I’ve worked in administration for 20 years and I’m great with numbers and currently doing AAT. This is why I have joined as a COS member because they have a wealth of knowledge in the bookkeeping sector and I hope to be doing some work in that sector in due course. Away from work I run and cycle, have done five marathons over time and several half marathons and 10Ks. The running and cycling clubs are great and provide a great social life for me. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 11 and have survived through it over the years with a few hiccups but still manage to get along with life.
Q. How do you feel the lockdown has affected your mental health?
It hasn’t really affected me to be honest. I was a bit disappointed to hear some of my running events had been cancelled but I completely understand why. Being someone who doesn’t always like being out with the public or in crowded places, lockdown has been great and I have coped well. Many with my condition would struggle and not understand why they can’t go here or there at the moment. I have even coped better than some without the condition who have been struggling because they can’t go to the pub or shopping and those who have been ignoring the lockdown.
Q. What do you do to keep yourself positive and focused during this strange time?
During this time I have been getting on with college work and taking on some extra distant learning courses to occupy the time and get some qualifications. I’ve still been doing the odd run and cycle to keep me going. Plus some AAT work to be ready for when exams resume. I had to celebrate my 40th birthday in lockdown and cancel all the plans. The cruise I should have been going on was cancelled too.
Q. What would be your advice on how to cope with the pandemic to others with Asperger’s?
My advice would be to try and occupy your time! If you are at school or college you are likely to still be doing your lessons but on a remote basis. If you are working you may have been furloughed or still be working if you are a key worker. If none of the above apply and you like leisure things which are sadly closed then the best thing each day is to try and get out for a walk each day to get some air. I know for some it has been hard especially when they don’t understand why things are the way they are or why they now have to queue to get into a supermarket when they didn’t have to before.
Q. What can other people do to support you and others with Asperger’s?
People should remain calm and be patient with us as not all disabilities and conditions are visible. What might look like a child misbehaving to one person is actually the child struggling because of their condition. This has been witnessed at supermarkets and parents of autistic children have been campaigning with the supermarkets to be able to let them in ahead of others to prevent their child from becoming uncomfortable.
Q. What are you most looking forward to once this pandemic is over?
I am looking forward to being able to see people again and maybe celebrating my 40th birthday properly once gatherings are allowed again. Also, getting back to running in events again which may not happen until next year. I’m not looking forward to being out in busy places though and have already started to notice roads are busy again.
|Quickbooks Online – Bank Rec, Rules and Feeds||Wednesday 15th July|
|Xero Purchase Ledger and Overview||Thursday 16th July|
|Xero Bank Reconciliation||Thursday 23rd July|
|Xero Sales Invoicing and Sales Ledger||Tuesday 4th August|
|Xero Purchase Ledger and Overview||Tuesday 11th August|
|Xero Bank Reconciliation||Tuesday 18th August|
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