Making tax digital is the government’s aim to bring all accounts, tax returns and other tax items within an online filing system. Whilst this is not occurring for a few years you should not be complacent and we recommend going digital and online accounting as soon as possible to ensure you are ready when quarterly accounting to HMRC comes into force.
What is accounting online?
Online accounting is the traditional accounting service offered by accountants but taking advantage of the efficiencies that can be obtained by doing it “online”, we use the following:
- Electronic Email
- Cloud accounting systems (such as quickbooks, Sage or Xero) which offer online, real time, multi access 24 hour accounting solutions without the need for expensive hardware. No software is purchased or installed. As long as you have access to the internet you access and update your accounts in real time. The cost will depend on the package you choose but we are able to offer discounts if purchased through us. Our customised “Easy to Use” free of charge Excel Accounting spreadsheet
- Online storage of documents (e.g. accounts, tax returns) in a secure client area which you can access at anytime to view
- Free online applications such as Dropbox which allow you to send and receive large files electronically and store your files online
- Online meetings using webcams, Skype etc
- Electronic bank statements
- HMRC’s free of charge online fling facilities for VAT returns, Personal, Company and Partnership Tax Returns, PAYE and payroll returns
- Companies House free of charge online filing facilities
- Free emailed updates of our electronic Newsletter, budget briefings and special reports.
What are the advantages?
- Fast efficient exchange of data – no need to rely on paper and postal deliveries.
- “Real time” information – no need to wait for your accountant to send back the accounts so you can update your accounting system as they are done “live and in real time” for all users to see.
- No need for expensive hardware or software or software updates.
- Data can be updated/accessed anywhere on your PC or smart phone as long as you have an internet connection/phone signal
- No paper involved – No need to store paper.
- No need to rely on backing up your data.
How does it work?
We will work with you to decide what you are looking for and the best solutions for your business. Generally the sequence of events would be:
- Initial chat with us – this can be over the phone, by email, or “face-to-face”. Your requirements are discussed and whether I believe we can meet them and, if so, how this would be achieved. At this stage we would recommend an initial meeting at your office to view your currents systems but this is not mandatory.
- Agree a fee – based on the level of service required, a fee for the next 12 months is agreed which is payable by monthly standing order.
- Before carrying out any work we will require the following:
- A signed Letter of Engagement – this is a contract between us and sets out the obligations and duties conditions of both parties
- Proof of identity e.g. a copy of the photo page of a valid passport
- Proof of your address – a copy of a recent utility bill
- Details of your existing accountant, if applicable. As a matter of professional courtesy we are required to write to them.
- Timetable – a timetable is agreed of who will do what, and by when, and can be as detailed as required. Changes to the timetable can be made by agreement of both parties.
- Keeping in touch – here are no hidden charges for answering ongoing queries – if a more detailed answer is required on an item not covered by the contract, we will advise how long it will take and an estimate cost for you to confirm if you wish to proceed.
Additional services offered
Additional services available are:
- Business set-up advice
- Preparation of Monthly/Quarterly VAT Returns
- Preparation of Monthly/Quarterly Management Accounts
- Setting up and processing of payrolls, and year end reporting including preparation of P35s P11Ds etc
- Tax planning advice.
For further details please visit the accounting solutions for small business owners section. For estimated costs for these services please contact us.
How do I pay?
Once agreed, fees will be fixed for the next 12 months and are payable in advance by monthly standing order. An invoice will be issued to you at the beginning of each quarter for the next three months’ payments. The service runs on a three month cycle and can be cancelled by giving three notice one month before the next invoice is due.