In this edition, we’re sharing our self-assessment advice. We also interview Hannah Dempsey, from the charity FOP Friends, about an illness you may never have heard of. You can also see what the COS crew have been up to.
Please note that our Christmas hours can be found at the bottom of this page.
The COS Crew News – Winter 2018
Find out what we’ve been up to and what’s to come.
Afternoon Tea with Beauty and the Beast
Ann had a magical afternoon at the Kensington Hotel in London earlier this month. Ann, along with her friends: Chris, Lauren, and
Our Staff Christmas Meal went down a treat
Due to very busy diaries, we had our staff Christmas meal in November. We wanted to support local and so we booked in at the delightful San Giovanni in Urmston. Both staff and our partners were highly impressed by the food and the service. From succulent steak to mouth-watering tiramisu, our bellies were pleased that night!
How to keep your self-assessment simple and panic free
At COS we like simple. We don’t like jargon and we love being organised. So let us share some of our tips with you to help make your self-assessment submission easier to manage.
Get yourself the right tools for the job
With Making Tax Digital around the corner, it’s never been more important to get the right tools. This means good software that you know how to use properly. If you are using a package that is very old, sits on one computer, and has no cloud connectivity then you need to seriously consider changing or upgrading what you use.
You may already be using something great but aren’t 100% sure if:
- A) You’re using it right
- B) You’re using it to its full capacity
- C) You’re using the right software for your needs
If you have any concerns about this please get in touch. We can point you in the right direction and train you how to use it properly.
Change your processing habits
Many people keep files full of invoices and receipts that they will “get around” to
- You could lose those receipts
- You forget what the receipts were for
- You end up panicking and spending hours processing them at the last minute and making mistakes.
- Your Bookkeeper and Accountant end up with more work to do to process these, in one bulk, and therefore charge you more.
Many cloud accountancy packages have apps that you can use to scan receipts; these go straight into your software. Some of them even extract all the data from the picture so you don’t have to enter anything!
Speak to us about how to get 50% discount off Autoentry.
Have your circumstances changed?
Keep track of the financial changes in your life. Have you purchased property or invested money in the last year? These are just a few of the things that can change what you include in your self-assessment.
Always keep your Accountant informed of anything that has changed that affects you financially. It’s better to tell them too much information than leave things out. We believe it’s important to have a good relationship with your Accountant all year around.
If you don’t already have an Accountant then let us know and we can recommend one to you.
Time is of the essence
There’s nothing like procrastination when it comes to getting your books organised for your self-assessment. People are often scared of what they don’t understand and HMRC love to use big words and intimidating statements. This can make you even more fearful of what will happen if you submit something wrong.
Well, we don’t like jargon and we like to keep things simple. So if you’re worried, don’t procrastinate, just ask for help. We can give you easy processes to make it as stress free as possible. This can help you focus on your business rather than your looming submission.
If you need help with your self-assessment do not hesitate to contact us on: 0161 850 3355 or email us: email@example.com.
Interview with Hannah Dempsey from FOP Friends
We have recently started working with FOP Friends in a fundraising capacity. Before they got in touch with us we had never heard of the condition known as FOP before. Here’s Hannah Dempsey to tell us all about it and how you can help look out for the signs and fight with them against it.
- Most people have never heard of FOP, what is it and why do you think it’s so unheard of?
Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) is one of the rarest, most disabling genetic conditions known to medicine; it causes bone to form in muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues, progressively restricting movement and imprisoning a person inside a second skeleton – a healthy mind trapped. Progression of the condition can be rapid or gradual; the average survival age is only 40-years-old. There is currently no known cure, although we are fortunate enough to have not one but two clinical trials currently investigating effective treatments, so we have a lot to be hopeful for, for the futures of our FOP children. Most people aren’t aware of FOP due to its rarity – there are currently only 51 known cases in the UK and only around 700 in the world (making it around a 1 in 2 million chance of having FOP).
- How long has FOP Friends been going and what is your aim?
FOP Friends, formerly Friends of Oliver, was founded by Chris Bedford-Gay in 2009 after receiving the news that his son Oliver had been diagnosed with FOP. With FOP being such a rare disease, there was no UK charity dedicated to raising funds for research into effective treatments/a cure for the condition. The original intention of Friends of Oliver was to keep family and friends updated with breakthrough news, to thank them for their continued support, and to celebrate Oliver’s milestones. However, the charity grew significantly and an increased number of families affected by FOP began getting in touch. Friends of Oliver evolved into FOP Friends and was officially registered as charity in 2012. This brought together the whole UK FOP community with the same goal: a cure.
FOP Friends is a charity that is working to raise awareness and understanding of it amongst medical communities and the general public. We also aim to raise funds to support all UK families affected by it and the excellent research team at the University of Oxford, which is carrying out research into a treatment.
- Are there any signs and symptoms we should look out for?
FOP is so rare that few medical professionals have encountered it. Almost 90% of all cases are initially misdiagnosed. The tell-tale characteristic of malformed big toes at birth is often unrecognised and can result in invasive medical procedures such as surgery & biopsy, even amputation, which accelerates the progression of FOP and immobility. We have a social media campaign called #FunFeet4FOP, which takes place on the 23rd April every year (FOP Awareness Day – coincides with the discovery of ACVR1 gene that causes FOP). People around the world post photos of their feet to show their support and raise awareness. The aim of #FunFeet4FOP is to inform people that the important early indication of FOP is malformed big toes at birth.
- How can readers help your cause?
The biggest way to help would be to help us raise awareness
- Like our social media pages (www.facebook.com/fopfriends; @fopfriends)
- Share our posts, read our newsletters and pass them on etc.
- Talk to friends and family about FOP
- Join our #FunFeet campaign
- Wear/use our FOP Friends merch
Potentially fundraise for us:
- Nominate us as your Charity of the Week/Month/Year
- Hold an event at work (e.g. Dress Down Day, Office bake sale etc.)
- Take part in a sponsored race or challenge
Our recent raffle and elf game raised £77.24 for the charity and we look forward to working with them in the future. Why not fundraise yourself? Contact Hannah: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Events – Winter 2018/19
Get stuck into some serious Xero training or come along to our next COS meeting. Click on the links below to find out more information about an event.
|SOLD OUT – Xero Level 2 Training Course||18/12/2018|
|Xero Level 1 Training Course||15/01/2019|
|COS Members’ Meeting||19/01/2019|
|Xero Level 2 Training Course||22/01/2019|
|Xero Level 1 Training Course||12/02/2019|
|Xero Level 2 Training Course||19/02/2019|