Ho, ho, ho, it’s nearly Christmas and our Winter Newsletter is here!
BeCOS Bookkeeping Matters
Welcome our winter newsletter. We have lots to share with you: from tips to help you with your self-assessment to how to make your card payments easier. You can also find our Christmas hours at the bottom.
Can you guess who this is? It’s either a COS member or staff. Tweet us your guess @cosbookkeeping
Answer to last guess who: Richard Wilson-Artus
How to get prepared for your self-assessment in 5 steps
Self-assessment can put fear in the hearts of many self-employed individuals. We believe that December should be spent enjoying the holidays rather than worrying about January. There are many ways to make the process easier, more efficient, and ultimately less stressful. So here are 5 steps to help you on your way.
Get Professional Advice
Having both a Bookkeeper and an Accountant to aid you will make the whole process easier and more importantly: correct. As they say “You don’t know what you don’t know”. You could end up quite innocently making a mistake and not being aware of it. Whether it’s training or just checking what you’ve done, we’re here to help. There’s no need to struggle on your own.
Get your paperwork in order
In order for your self-assessment process to run smoothly you need to ensure you have all your paperwork available and easily accessible. If you are guilty of shoebox’s of receipts or have them strewn all over your van, get them organised as best you can. If you can store your documents on the cloud then even better. There are plenty of useful online storage solutions such as Dropbox that you can share with your Bookkeeper and Accountant.
Give yourself plenty of time
Put time aside each day to organise a little bit of your paperwork. Try and organise your time into bitesize chunks. For instance, spend 2 hours organising receipts, then the next day spend 1 hour filing invoices. Before you know it you’ll have everything in order and ready. That could also save you money because your bookkeeper won’t have a huge backlog to get through in a short time. They can spend more time checking what you’ve done.
Make Accounting Software your best friend
If you are already using an accounting software then make the most of it. You have the tools in place to create reports, monitor, and collate. If you’re not sure how to use your software efficiently then we can help you on your way. If currently you don’t use a software then seriously consider if you’d benefit from one. We can offer advice and training to help you make a decision.
Think about what has changed
Ask yourself what has changed In your life in the last year. Have you bought property, invested money etc.? These could affect your self-assessment. If you already have an Accountant then inform them about the changes. As a general rule: always keep your Accountant up to date about any changes. If you’re in need of an Accountant then we can recommend one to you. We work with a variety of skilled Accountants who specialise in different areas.
If you’d like help and advice with your self-assessment you can contact us at:
0161 850 3355
Charity Chit Chat
COS & Friends comes to an end after 7 years but we’ll still be panto-ing and masquerading!
7 years ago we formed COS & Friends Fundraising Group: the company and the community together to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Our voluntary fundraising group has raised over £27,000 over those years and organised a huge variety of events. After 7 years we’ve brought the project to a close.
We’ll still be having a ball
COS Bookkeeping will continue to run the Masquerade Ball rather than it be organised by the charity group. It will still be in aid of Cancer Research UK next year and is still booked in for the 7th July.
Oh yes we are
The pantomimes were previously supported by COS & Friends and will still continue, but the funds will be used differently. The Music Group, who produce the pantomimes, are in desperate need of investment and so the profits will go towards lighting and sound equipment. Currently they must hire the equipment and run the show on a wing and a prayer. This investment will ultimately aid the Church in which they perform as the building will then have a permanent lighting and sound rig. This in turn helps the Church become accessible to other community groups looking to run performances too.
COS & Friends would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has volunteered and supported over the years.
How to make your card payments painless; and the payment revolution that will leave you stunned
Interview with Steve Tempest from Worldpay
Q- What’s your role within Worldpay Steve?
I’m the Regional Business Manager for local SMEs. Being field based means I visit my customers at a time and place which suits them to discuss the payment methods available and the various tariffs available. I can even help with setting up any staff training if required, the only fee is cup of tea for that service.
Q- Can anyone take card payments?
Yes, we are partners with over 300,000 merchants in the UK alone – ranging from sole traders who may take just one payment a month on their smartphone- up to the big 4 supermarkets. There any many methods available and we can recommend the right one for your business whether it’s a retail shop, a service company, or online trading.
Q – Is it easy to open a merchant account and do I need a separate bank account?
It’s really simple, I visit customers at work or home, find out what product and plan best suits and if they want to proceed from there complete their application. The account will be ready within a week and paid directly into a bank account of their choice.
Q – What about fees to open an account?
There are no sign-up or joining fees, we even have Pay-As-You-Go plans.
Q- I already take cards with another provider, what can you do for me?
I offer a free assessment and cost comparison, it takes just a couple of minutes and can initially be carried out by email.
Q- I never see my customers, do I still need a card machine?
No, Worldpay have a simple to use portal for payments: by phone (Virtual Terminal), by emailing a link (Pay by Link), or set up a recurring payment (Future Pay).
All cardholder details are held securely by Worldpay.
Q- I’ve heard about businesses being tied into long leases and contracts, how do Worldpay compare?
All our agreements are FCA regulated and are a maximum of 18 months. As the UK’s largest provider it means we own all our equipment, so we don’t rely on a 3rd party who need to make their money upfront from a lease agreement. Our online services are all on a 30-day rolling agreement so you can even try them for a short time.
Q – What does the future look like in card payments?
Customers will soon be able to use biometric technology to buy products. Virtual shopping malls and everyday devices connected to the internet (IOT) will be commonplace in the next 5 years. Biometric payment will be here sooner than you think, Costcutter are already trialling finger vein technology
>>>>Photo – Student at Brunel Costcutter store using finger vein technology to pay
Q – How do I find out more about what Worldpay can do for me?
We can arrange a meeting together at a place that suits you to discuss your needs. My contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07969 517576, please mention COS when you call.
From training to networking you can find out what we’re up to below. If you’d like to find out more please click on the appropriate link.
- SOLD OUT – Xero Level 2 Training Course – Thursday 21st December 2017
- COS Members’ Meeting for Bookkeepers and Accountants – Saturday 13th January 2018
- Xero Level 3 Training Course – Tuesday 16th January 2018
- Xero Level 1 Training Course – Tuesday 13th February 2018
- COS Members’ Meeting for Bookkeepers and Accountants – Saturday 17th February 2018
- Xero Level 2 Training Course – Thursday 22nd February 2018
- COS Members’ Meeting for Bookkeepers and Accountants – Saturday 17th March 2018
- Xero Level 3 Training Course – Tuesday 10th April 2018
Meet Flynn the Irish Water Spaniel. He’s owned by staff member Sean Corker.
- Pinching the TV remote from the humans and making them chase him for it
- Being really cheeky but giving the puppy dog eyes to try and get away with things.
- Poppy the black labrador who he swoons over in the park.
Skills and Qualifications
- Makes a fantastic goalie when it comes to catching tennis balls
- Eating anything he can get his hands on (even if it’s not edible)
Christmas Opening Hours
We will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22nd December and will open again on Tuesday 2nd January