How you benefit from our Cloud Accounting solution | Exchange Accountancy Services
Benefits

How you benefit from our Cloud Accounting solution

Your Essential Accounting

Your Essential Accounting includes the things you need to do to comply with the Companies Act and HM Revenue and Customs filing requirements. We set out below exactly what we will do.

Note: We will complete all of this within 20 weeks of your financial year-end, subject to you providing all the information we require.

Your free real time information system: Supply of cloud accounting software

We use an industry-leading cloud accounting system giving you instant access to information in real time.  Cloud accounting software companies charge a monthly subscription for using their system (typically an annual subscription is £300).  But as part of our Cloud Accounting packages we pay this on your behalf, which means you get all the benefits of a real time accounting system listed above.

Note:     If you do not have a real time information system our Cloud Accounting Set Up service will get you set up.  This is an optional service and not part of our Cloud Accounting packages.

Advance preparation

Our work actually starts long before we begin work on your accounts.  We want to ensure that you don’t fall foul of any penalties from non-compliance with tax and company laws.

And so it is really important to keep reminding you of upcoming deadlines and aspects of compliance at all times.  These will include:

  • Helping you to keep good records and making you aware of the things you should be keeping by providing you with advice and checklists. Keeping fully compliant and good records will help you avoid enquiries and penalties from HM Revenue and Customs.
  • Prompting you to provide exactly what we need to complete your accounts. Making you aware of what to submit (and why) will ensure that work (accounts, tax returns etc.) is done as quickly as possible, with as little effort on your part as possible. We want to make it as hassle-free for you as possible.
  • We will write to you 2-3 weeks ahead of your year-end to remind you of some key things. This will include planning around expenditure and ensuring tax relief is given at the earliest date to ensure the least amount of tax is paid.
  • If you have not submitted your information by a pre-agreed date, we will contact you once again to remind you to provide your records.
  • After the submission of your details, we will log your books in and review your records to ensure that we have everything we need which means we can complete everything quickly for you.
  • At all times, we will make you aware of your legal obligations, deadlines and potential penalties.

Critical checks and balances

Whilst we are preparing your statutory financial statements we will also:

  • Reconcile your bank statements and cash records to make sure you have claimed every penny of expenses you are entitled to against your tax bill and declared all your sources of income.
  • Reconcile your sales ledger to confirm that you are not owed any money that you are not aware of. We review the ‘aged debtors’ to see if they are in accordance with your payment terms. If not, we will make recommendations about ways to help with collecting debts or suggest ways to obtain payments through other means (e.g. direct debit or factoring).
  • Check that you have not missed any sales invoices. This ensures that your sales are complete.  This is important because HM Revenue & Customs look for incomplete sales and the penalties can be very severe.  These checks also ensure that your customers have paid everything you are due to.
  • Reconcile your purchase ledger to make sure that you are not overpaying suppliers or paying them too soon, and to ensure the completeness of your purchase invoices.
  • Reconcile your VAT accounts to make sure you have claimed every penny of input VAT you are entitled to and not overpaid output VAT. As part of this reconciliation we will check to see if there is a VAT scheme, which may be beneficial to you.  We will also make sure that you have properly declared your VAT and paid across the correct payments reducing your risk of penalties.
  • Make sure that with all your payments of PAYE and NIC the time limits are adhered to.
  • Check every balance sheet entry again to monitor whether all of your assets are real and correctly valued.
  • Reconcile loan accounts so that the business owners know exactly what money they owe or are owed.
  • Carry out an analytical review and a ratio analysis, which help to ensure that the figures make sense (including making sure that the expenses are correct in proportion to the income). This helps to minimise the risk of an enquiry from HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Complete a review of any stock or work in progress to clarify that none of your money is locked up unnecessarily.
  • Review your fixed asset register (including a check that the assets still exist, i.e. assets are still owned or if it has been disposed of or scrapped). This helps us to ensure your claim for capital allowances is maximised, which again will ensure that you pay the minimum legal amount of tax.
  • Review in-year payments and those for the following year (to get the numbers right and minimise the taxable profit). In other words, it is really important to ensure that expenditure claimed falls into the correct year (the tax rules for this are very complex).  Again, we are looking to ensure that you claim everything you are legally entitled to.
  • Identify any business expenses that you did not know that you have paid.
  • Before finalising a set of accounts, go through detailed checklists to review the business accounts, which covers everything required by law, with a special emphasis on ensuring you have adhered to the strict guidelines and regulations for the completion of accounts.

Preparation of your fully compliant statutory accounts

Prepare your statutory financial statements so that you meet all of your statutory obligations with HM Revenue and Customs and Companies House regarding your financial information.  This means you do not need to worry about penalties.

Remember: We will complete all of this within 20 weeks of your financial year end, subject to you providing all the information we require.

Your tax obligations: Preparation of your business tax computations and returns

  • UK tax legislation is extremely complex and not every item of expenditure is allowable for tax purposes. It is a requirement to carry out detailed tax computations to enable us to correctly disclose your taxable income – which is not the same as the profits shown by your accounts – and claim those items of expenditure to which you are entitled to.
  • Once we have completed the detailed tax computations we will – where applicable – prepare and submit the business Self-Assessment return so that you meet all of your filing obligations with HM Revenue and Customs regarding your business tax returns. This means you do not need to worry about late filing penalties.

 

Note:     If you are a sole trader you will need to submit a personal Self-Assessment return.  We can do this for you as part of our Cloud Tax service and will give you a separate fixed price for this.

Professional Fee Protection

Insurance against the cost of investigation giving you peace of mind:

  • Self-Assessment is upon us, for Companies now as well as individuals.
  • HM Revenue and Customs can select individuals or businesses on a RANDOM basis, without explanation, and can pursue a detailed and thorough investigation of their business (and this usually extends to their personal lives).
  • The vast majority of investigations will continue to have nothing whatsoever to do with fraud or negligence; minor year-to-year fluctuations in results may be enough to trigger a full enquiry.
  • Currently an average HM Revenue and Customs investigation will last around 10 months and cost some £2,000 in professional fees to complete. Costs often bear no relation to the final tax settlement.

You will automatically be covered by our scheme – in the event of a full enquiry we will be able to deal with this for you promptly and the insurance company will meet our fees.

As part of the service you will be able to access free advice on:

  • Employment and personnel issues
  • Health and safety issues
  • Commercial legal issues

Accounting records quality report

We want to help you get the most out of your accounting systems.  So, we will prepare a report setting out any weaknesses, the consequences and our suggestions on how to improve them.

Post year-end annual accounts finalisation meeting

We will arrange a post year-end review meeting with you to discuss any issues we notice when preparing your accounts and advise you.

Unlimited free ad hoc advice

Your fixed price Cloud Accounting is fully inclusive of unlimited access to our entire team for advice on ad-hoc matters.

This means that you can call on us at any time knowing that you will never be charged for our time or advice.  So I hope you will feel free to speak to me whenever you need to, without ever having to worry about the cost.

Of course, if the issues raised at any of these unlimited free consultations (or anywhere else) require research or analysis beyond the consultation, we will give you a fixed price quotation for that extra work before any additional work is started.

Only if you agree to and sign an “Extra Work Order” (or EWO) to confirm that you are happy to pay for the extra work – on the mutually acceptable terms set out in the EWO – will we do anything over and above the work specifically listed above.  This means that you will NEVER get an unexpected bill.

The following benefits are part of our Full Accounting Package

Note: We will complete your statutory financial statements within 16 weeks of your financial year-end, subject to you providing all the information we require.

Your dedicated Client Manager

Whilst you get access to our entire team, your investment in the Full Accounting package gives you access to a dedicated Client Manager (non-partner level).  This means you have a single point of contact.

Comprehensive pre-year end tax planning…

… helping you pay not a penny more than your fair share of tax

One of the biggest outgoings you will have in business is your tax bill.  That is why we specialise in helping our clients plan their tax affairs so that you don’t give the tax man a penny more than your fair share of what you’ve earned.

Each year we will carry out detailed and comprehensive tax planning reviews BEFORE your accounting year end to ensure that you pay not a penny more than your fair share.  These will include:

  • Detailed tax planning for your business so that you keep more of your hard-earned cash.
  • Detailed tax planning in respect of your employees, including tax efficient remuneration strategies. This will both save the business money and create a happier team.
  • Detailed personal tax planning, including the very best way to extract cash and profits from your business.
  • Detailed tax planning for your family.

PAYE/NI and VAT health checks

… helping you to keep on the right side of the legislation.

Even innocent mistakes in your VAT or payroll records can lead to substantial interest and penalties following a visit from HM Revenue and Customs or Contributions Agency.

We will provide a detailed review of your VAT and payroll records, to ensure that you are complying with all the current legislation.

Cash reconciliation report

We know that cash is the most important thing for any business.  It is frightening how many profitable businesses fail because they run out of cash.

So as part of this Full Accounting package we will produce a report that reconciles the profit in your accounts to the movement in your cash balances.  This means you will have a better understanding of where the cash is coming into your business and where it is going, which means that you will be better placed to manage your cash balances.

Quarterly business strategy meetings

It has been said that the key to success is to “Sit down on a regular basis with a numerate outsider to focus on the things that really matter”.

So as numerate outsiders, we will sit down with you once a month for a business strategy meeting to help you focus on the things that really matter in your business.

Specifically that means that together we will:

  • Review the business’s performance
  • Understand what is working well, and what isn’t
  • Identify issues and opportunities
  • Use all the evidence, insights and analysis to make better decisions, and
  • Update your action plan so the business keeps moving towards its goals

The following benefits are part of our Advanced Accounting Package

Note: We will complete your statutory financial statements within 12 weeks of your financial year-end, subject to you providing all the information we require.

Your dedicated Client Manager

Whilst you get access to our entire team, your investment in the Advanced Accounting package gives you access to a dedicated partner-level Client Manager.  This means you have access to the highest level of experience.

Beyond the statutory accounts

If you operate your business through a limited company as part of your Advanced Accounting package we go beyond the statutory accounts and will:

  • Audit those statutory financial statements where required.
  • Prepare abbreviated financial statements for submission to Companies House, which means you can significantly reduce the amount of information held on public record, including details of your profits and losses for the year.
  • Deal with all company secretarial matters, including preparing your annual return so that you meet all of your other statutory obligations with Companies House.

Annual 5-year trend analysis report

Some of the key areas this report will focus on include your:

  • Profit and loss account trends – such as your sales, margins, profit drivers, productivity, net profit and breakeven point.
  • Balance sheet trends – such as liquidity, debtor days and stock turnover.
  • Trends in key ratios – such as gearing and return on investment.

And it will present the analysis as colourful graphs, with a Plain English explanation of what they all mean. Which means that you get invaluable insights into what is really happening in your business, and where you should be concentrating your improvement efforts.

Annual profit improvement planning meeting

Over the course of the year there will be many occasions when we help you to make your business more successful and profitable. For example, during our regular business strategy meetings.

But once a year we will take an even more structured, systematic and strategic look at what else you can do to grow your business profitably.

To help us do this we have developed a mathematically precise profit modelling technique that allows us to analyse every single idea into one of six different “growth driver” categories.

That model allows us to do all of the following at our meeting:

  • Review every single growth driver to see which has the greatest profit improvement potential
  • Identify breakthrough growth profit improvement strategies
  • Evaluate their likely impact
  • Create an action plan for testing the best ideas

Annual review of your goals

Once a year we will systematically revisit your goals with you, in order to ensure that your plans are based firmly on your very latest thinking about what you want to achieve.

Preferential pricing on select services

As part of our Advanced Accounting package you are entitled to big discounts (of up to 30%) on the following services:

  • Cloud Accounting Set Up – We will help you get up and running with the most appropriate cloud accounting system and fully train you.
  • Cloud Bookkeeping – Let us deal with all the paperwork and free up your time to concentrate on running a more successful business.
  • Cloud Tax – This covers the personal tax returns of the business owners and managing their tax affairs.
  • Cloud Reporting – Management reports, forecasting and budgeting help you plan and will give you an early-warning signal if you are likely to face cash shortages.
  • Cloud Payroll – We will deal with all the paperwork and take away the worry of penalties for late or incorrect returns.

The savings you can make on these services very often make our Advanced Accounting package the very best value-for-money.