Friday, 26 August 2016

Proper Identification of your Business

Properly specifying the type of your business is not an optional thing. For many which have their own business, be them self-starters or those who have been in the game for a very long time and wish to expand, they are either Sole Trader Companies or have ownership of a Limited Company. Regardless of the type of business you own, it is important for you to identify it properly so it can pay the taxes appropriate to it’s size and business model. It is imperative to know the differing types of businesses out there – and when you wish to change the type of business you operate, the services of an accountant in North Wales can help you with what you need to do.

Most businesses start as Sole Trader Companies. The enormous draw of doing so is that Sole Traders do not need to register with the HMRC. As a Sole Trader, you and your business are essentially the same thing. Any event to happen to your business, (good and bad) legally is happening to you. As such, you are allowed, as a Sole Trader, to make decisions on behalf of your Company without having to consult a soul. Furthermore, all profits belong to you.

This sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? No doubt some of you are reading this and thinking “well, why can’t I be a Sole Trader?” There are a number of advantages Limited Companies enjoy which are unavailable to Sole Traders. For example, taxation is different, as you will see less overall tax paid for Limited Companies than Sole Traders. As a Limited Company, you are not the owner of your company. Instead you are a shareholder, who also does not have any technical ownership over the profits of the Company. Your pay comes as a wage paid by the Limited Company to you – but with this comes responsibility.

As a Limited Company, you must ensure that the submission of annual financial records to the Companies House is adhered to, as well as setting up PAYE, managing your company’s resources and finances by law, as well as appointing a secretary.

Changing to a Limited Company provides an advantage when it comes to taxation, though your responsibilities increase on a substantial level. If you’re struggling, we absolutely recommend a good accountant behind you – preventing the possibility of things going wrong and grave repercussions occurring as result.  

Make Sure You Have The Right Accountant

Accountancy can be a bit of a funny profession. While there’s absolutely no doubt that most businesses absolutely need one, (after all, even if you can do your sums properly, how much productivity in your own duties are you losing by bothering yourself with admin work?) the specialisation can often be a minefield with quite a lot of variation between companies. When it comes to matters of accountancy, reputation is crucial. Whether you’re looking at North Wales chartered accountants or perhaps a little further afield, it’s imperative to know that your business and your affairs will be handled properly.

You might be surprised to know that there are no regulations when it comes to accounting, and that absolutely anyone can call themselves one. An accountant, unlike a solicitor who has to be a member of the Law Society to call themselves as such, does not need to have any accountancy qualifications. Furthermore, they do not have to belong to a professional body in order to start up a business.

So where do you turn if you’d like a little stability in the management of your affairs? Fortunately, Chartered Accountants exist to provide a little bit of peace of mind with your returns. While indeed standard, regular accountants certainly aren’t cowboys, your money is important. The need for peace of mind when it comes to your accounts is completely understandable.

A chartered accountant varies from others by the virtue of going through extensive training with an academic postgraduate program- as well as having worked under a mentor for at least three years. That’s a baseline. There are many Chartered Accountants which have completed much more training and amassed much more experience of a variety of clients – often on behalf of organisations in the public sector with a myriad of duties - be them financial supervision or wealth management – making them fully prepared to take on the unique challenges of your accounts with confidence, precision, efficiency and certainty.   


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

How Commercial Conveyance Differs From Residential

Commercial property transactions can be rather awkward. Notorious for being unparalleled in matters of trickiness, “straightforward” is often not a term you’ll hear associated with matters regarding to commercial property transaction. For those who are buying or selling freehold premises, or even granting, taking or assigning a lease, a good solicitor that can offer conveyancing in Bangor, stretching as far as North West England can be a real asset.

Look for a solicitor which has a number of experts within commercial conveyancing, as the subject matter can be leagues more complex than residential matters. For example, do you know when you require an Energy Performance Certificate for your new investment? Do you have one for the investment you’re currently leasing or selling? That’s just one thing in the utter minefield of paperwork that tends to trip everyone but the most seasoned up in commercial property conveyance.

There are a number of matters that you need to consider, such as whether or not you need a Fire Risk Assessment, or an asbestos report. Should the sale or purchase price include VAT or not? Furthermore, who should insure the property? Perhaps you should consider a break clause? Wait, what’s a break clause?

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through something like that alone with the services of a good solicitor that’s on your side.

Look for a well-established solicitor which has a reputation for excellence and a conveyancing team which are to be reckoned with. The number of solicitors on this team isn’t particularly important, what matters is the fact that (obviously) they’re qualified and equipped to help you with your legal issue. Experience is also vital. Look for a solicitor that offers flexibility—whether you’re selling, renting or buying a small office space or even a multi-million pound industrial unit.

Excellent word-of-mouth is still very important. While indeed it appears that the world has certainly gone digital, word-of-mouth is still alive and very well, in the form of testimonial pages on websites. All you need to do to get peace of mind until your meeting is check a testimonials page on your solicitor of choice’s website. Look for recent testimonials, related to matters of conveyance.  

Finding the perfect solicitor can indeed be daunting, but once you’ve found the right one, you have a wealth of power at your disposal, and a team of talented people making sure that your desired outcome is obtainable.

Friday, 12 August 2016

It’s Time For Your Audit – What Now?

If you run a small business, you don’t have to commission a company audit, but all public companies still need at least one on an annual basis. Many private companies produce audited figures if they perhaps have external investment, or are attracting investment. Don’t think of an audit as a bad thing – most chartered accountants in North Wales will endeavour to make the process smooth, manageable, and painless. After all, that’s what an audit is, at it’s heart – the opportunity to detect problems and abnormalities that might indicate either dishonesty, or a lack of control in some areas of your business.

Auditing is essentially a process. An audit involves the reviewing and investigation of any aspect of a business, financial (in the areas of accounts or stock) and nonfinancial (human resources policies, quality and safety policies, to name a few.) An auditor working with a good accounting firm will be fully trained to spot areas of needed improvement, potential danger and incidents that point to unethical conduct, in their own area of expertise. While it’s true that an audit may temporarily disrupt some areas of workflow, it’s obvious to say that spotting and addressing potential weaknesses in your business’ infrastructure outweighs any temporary loss of productivity. Of course though, you’ll want to go for a firm that are thorough, correct, concise, but efficient. But how do you find one?

The answer’s rather simple – it’s a matter of reputation.

Most accountants in North Wales and beyond offer statutory regulation and audit services, though for the sake of your business – it’s best to choose an accountant that is deeply experienced in audit work. Audit experience comes in many shapes and forms, in the form of companies, public sector bodies and charities. Public sector and charities of course have rather stringent duties of financial accounting and special knowledge is needed to carry out an effective audit. Look for a company with experience in all three sectors, and you won’t be let down.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Does Your Business Insurance Really Cover You?

Did you know that Office Insurance is not included with a Business Owner’s Policy? There are many businesses throughout North Wales and North West England which are oblivious to this fact, and some have suffered from not being covered through events which their insurance providers simply cannot assist with as they have not come under the terms and circumstances defined within a basic Business Insurance plan. For the sake of your business, are you covered? If you have an office environment and you’re relying on a general Business Insurance policy to see you right, you could leave yourself and your company wide open to the worst. There are a number of reputable insurance brokers in Manchester which can see you right.

But what is Office Insurance and why is it different?

Business Insurance is a very basic policy that is mandated by law. In many occasions as well, you simply cannot rent business space without proving to the building’s owner that you carry general liability. This indeed is covered in Business Insurance plans, but in a very basic and very general sense. Hypothetically, should someone trip over something within your office and decide it’s your fault and that you are to be sued, Business Insurance will provide a very basic level of cover. (providing, of course, that all Health and Safety requirements have been met)

Consider that person falling, and damaging the building while doing so. It’s just as easily done as it is said – and really isn’t a stretch of the imagination to suggest that that person’s fall may damage the building, or your equipment. If they’re carrying liquid, for example, and it ends up, fall or not, inside a computer or a laptop. That’s a toasted laptop. What about the data on it? In the event of hardware failure, an immediate cost is of course the hardware. Business Insurance doesn’t protect against that – let alone what’s truly important, data. It can take a technician hours upon hours to attempt to reinstate your company’s data, and it’s still not a guaranteed thing.

Office Insurance can cover you against all of this, and more – from money cover to legal expenses, to loss of profits to your business following property and contents claims – look for an insurance provider which is up-front about what they offer, and creates a bespoke package for you, to cover the needs of your business on a completely individual basis.

Tradesman Insurance That's Right For You

Tradesman Insurance is absolutely essential cover for you and your business, and covers a multitude of skilled professionals at work. From painters and decorators to plumbing and heating engineers, to builders and construction workers, everyone needs Tradesman Insurance to get work, and to keep hold of it. Tradesman Insurance is completely essential to the day-to-day operations of any technical occupation, and is cover for your business, and yourself—designed to protect you and yours from potential property damage or third-party injury. There are a number of insurance brokers in Anglesey and beyond that truly understand that no-one goes out of their way to cause problems or injuries. Just that we’re all human. Occasionally, things happen—and because it can happen to any of us, it’s best to be prepared.

Look for tailor-made policies that cover you and your company, and aren’t a one-size-fits- all policy. What you do is different from what anyone else does. There might be so many painters and decorators in the UK, but they’re not you. An example of a good policy is directly fitted to you, with things that you need and things that you don’t removed. But for the sake of illumination, you might find that a policy covers the following as a basic guide.

Examples of things which might be covered are; Public Liability as standard, Employers liability, Liability contingency cover for subcontractors, Tool theft and loss, contractors which are Hired in Plant, Insurance that covers all Works In Progress, Van insurance, and of course legal expenses which may arise should someone seek to start litigation procedures against yourself or your company.  

While your work is certainly not dicey, and everyone does the best that they can in this professional environment, sometimes things might go wrong. You may not be at fault for a particular thing, but the cost of defending yourself can be astronomical. Don’t take any risks with your work. Get insured for peace of mind in all of your day-to-day activities.

Stepping Up Your Game Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank

How customer-friendly would you say your business is? In 2016, it’s safe to say that every business under the sun is faced with an overwhelming amount of scrutiny from customers and non-customers in the face of online rating services such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. They're not going away, either. There are countless emerging rating systems such as TruRating, it appears that this scrutiny is not going away. With the reinvention of word-of-mouth in the form of ratings websites, business chains are spending stupendous amounts of money on ways to offer “experiences” and like all things, it’s getting a little bit ...well, fake. Why not stand apart from the competition in small, simple, thoughtful ways such as having a little bowl of sweets by your till? Our favourites, by the way, are Chupa Chups Lollipops. Perfection!

Is such a small gesture really enough to offer a great customer experience though? Well, no. Of course, the tenets of customer service still indeed have to be followed. That's obvious. But combined with your staff’s normal, charming selves? It can be a great way to offer a laid back customer experience that shows that the store cares, but isn’t fake or overblown.

An example of a customer incentive going a little bit too far is a certain chain coffee shop which requires that all of their baristas know a customer’s name- in order to write them on their cups for the sake of showing that they care.

Gestures are nice. They're often a way that a customer can feel valued, but when they're overdone, these gestures can feel completely fake. Most customers don’t exactly expect their name (often spelled incorrectly) to be put on their cup. Not unless they’re buying multiple coffees, anyway. Good customer service isn't about having protocol conversation starters. It's about starting a conversation fluidly, and naturally.

An important point is that staff morale can go down very significantly when they’re forced to remember names when it's not unusual for them to serve upward of 1000 cups of coffee a day.

That’s not to say that we’re against customer service. Of course not - We just feel that good customer service doesn’t have to involve somewhat awkward forced interactions. Customers want and now expect to be appreciated, and companies that take the time to spend an extra moment or two to thank their customers are doing it right.

Anything such as a simple thank you will suffice, or even a bowl of chupa chups lollies to choose from can often make them feel special without any awkwardness and without gimmicks.

Image Credit: Violet Payne | CC BY 2.0