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Have you often wondered how the performance of a business can be measured in terms of numbers collated over a period of time? Does business own a language of its own? You must have wondered too. Well, the language of business is accounting. By accountancy, what is being referred to is the function involved in collating and presenting a well prepared financial record or statement. Generally, it involves the record of every transaction which has a financial implication (debit or credit) on the business of a firm. Accounting covers such terms as bookkeeping, systems design and analysis, measurement and interpretation of accounting information.
Based on law governing commercial activities in the United Kingdom, it is essential to have a good record of proper financial record. This applies to every business whether legally required or not. The importance of accounting cannot be overlooked. More than anything, a properly compiled financial statement on inflow and outflow of transaction will help a company to achieve its aim and objectives faster. The financial data in an account can help a business to measure its profit, assess its efficiency and effectiveness, and liquidity.
We are glad to provide you with introduction to accountancy or accounting in Essex. You should look forward to knowing everything there’s about accountancy. Whether you want to learn as a student or you want to be aware of the knowledge in order to manage your business effectively. Here, you will find resourceful answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on accounting and business management, different types of company structures, trading requirements like registration and tax payment, among others.
Also, we will provide you with information about the services we render in our Essex office. Sit back and have a great time reading.
Due to increasing business demands, there usually arises the need to outsource some activities so as to spend time on other things. The services which we offer are provided below.
Business management and execution could be tedious hence, you and the management need to decide on what to spend the time doing. Definitely, a good business manager has to be concerned with regular payment operations whether to employees or that which is related to taxes required by commissions at the federal and state levels. Yet, this activity can be handled effectively on your behalf. We can help you do calculation. Distribution could be time consuming but we have got you covered. We have enough guides due to long years of experience. You can trust us to help you get the process started with the right tools.
Keeping track of financial transactions is the nucleus of any business. Without properly kept record, a business may be on its way to wreckage. Without it, auditors will find it hard to carry out financial assessment and this may hinder loan procurement. On a regular basis, we can manage the system of information such as key financial operations and investments. We have a team of book keepers who can manage all the financial details of your business. At the need of a particular business year, we present it to you and you will be able to view your financial strengths and weaknesses without stress.
Measuring the financial background of a business requires a number of accounting records. Many a time, business owners are at loss on what kind of information they need to monitor and keep till the end of every business year. Some of the accounts include loan statements, and stock keeping. The list are however not limited to the aforementioned. Whichever way you want it, we have you covered even in the time of emergencies. We are prepared always to discuss the requirements for preparing your annual financial statements. We have the right human and technical resources for handling them.
VAT return refers to the form filed for the purpose of indicating how much you are due to pay on VAT to the HMRC. Contained in the VAT returns are total sales and purchases made during a stipulated period of time, amount owed on VAT, reclaimable amount and the amount of VAT refund. This involves calculation and doing this can be quite demanding and most business would do well by simply hiring out the obligation. Our service in this respect covers the calculation of VAT return using applicable rates as well as the preparation. With the right clicks using software and technical support systems, your VAT returns can be prepared without stress.
As long as you are earning a significant income like wages, interest, return on investments, dividends and other legal gains, your tax return has to be filed with the HMRC. In the form, information provided includes report on income, purchases, and other expenses. This allows tax payers to calculate income and the amount of tax payable to the government or the authority in charge of income tax collection. Also, if there is an overpayment of taxes, the VAT return enables an individual to demand for refund. We can carry out filing on your behalf while employing smart ways to help you use your tax return.
Self assessment system relates to filing of annual tax return. It is a yearly requirement. The process involved could be cumbersome due to the changes effected by the government over time. As a business owner, you need to determine whether or not you need to register for self assessment. Having sorted this out, you will need to register by visiting the registration webpage of the government. However, how and where you register depend on the structure of your business (this will be treated later). Well, you don’t have to worry because we are here to help handle all the requirements for self assessment tax.
Have you heard about SEIS and EIS? These are tax relief schemes which have been put in place by the government to help risky and smaller start-ups grow financially. When these start-ups get SEIS/EIS qualification, they will be able to offer tax relief to individuals or groups who are willing to invest in the business through purchase of shares. Our team of professionals will, on your behalf, execute all necessary documentations with the government; assist with presenting SEIS1/EIS1 statement of compliance to the HMRC to establish your qualification for seed investment. Also, we will help ensure that HMRC sends you SEIS3 form in due time.
This is also a tax relief program established by the government. This scheme is meant to encourage businesses to invest in research and development. On this note, if a business invests in research and development programs, it can claim tax reduction in relation to the expenses accrued. It should be noted that there are guidelines to be followed and criteria to be met before a business can qualify for R & D claims. Our duty includes taking you through the processes as well as keeping all necessary costs records that will make you eligible for the claims.
When the VAT taxable turnover of a business exceeds £85,000, according to the 2018/2019 tax year, the business has to be registered with HMRC. The point where it exceeds the aforementioned amount is called threshold. There are two ways to do this: register online by yourself to create the VAT account or outsource the duty to an accountant or a registrar. The process is not that tedious, thanks to technology. However, if time is highly valued, outsourcing the task is not a bad idea. We will help you get your VAT number from HMRC and your registration certificate will be made available within 30 days.
This is the opposite of the action above. De-registration of VAT is necessary in the following instances: If your VAT taxable turnover is less than £85,000, You stop trading or getting supplies that are VAT taxable, You become a member of a VAT group. On any of the following note, your business is no longer qualified. As a business owner, you are expected to de-register within 30 days. Failure to do may attract penalty. You can de-register online but it involves a number of submissions. For example, you will be required to account stock held and sold and other assets. We have helped businesses go through this process and we are always available.
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In your journey a business owner and manager, you have to pick the best structure for your business. You have to know that the business structure you choose has an effect on everything you do in or on your business. Thus, you must choose wisely. That is, that structure which gives you only the best return on legal protections and benefits. The structures are considered below:
A company is limited when it can offer shares to investors and has a limited degree of liability. As soon as the title, “PLC” comes after the name of your business, what does this tell the public? It means that you company is large and interest through shares can be purchased by any individual. In addition to this, being listed as a PLC means the business is mandated to declare to the investors and public the state of financial performance. It should also be noted that two or more people are required to form it while the death of a shareholder cannot stop the business.
A limited company can be private or public. However, private company limited by shares is an arm under the umbrella of private limited company. Being limited by shares means that unlike a public limited company, the shares are not likely to be made available to the public. Also, the shareholders of this type of company only bear liability that is equivalent to their initial investment. This means that in case of liquidation, invested money may be lost but the personal assets of the shareholders cannot be liquidated to cover the shortfalls of the company.
This is a class under partnership. By “limited liability”, it means the business partners strictly enjoy limited personal liability. In case of insolvency, the burden of accruable liability does not go beyond their investment in the business. This is against the general partners who have no limited personal liability. Also, it means that the death, retirement or bankruptcy of any of the partners cannot stop the continuation of the business. Although it is easy to establish, you should note that you cannot use a limited liability partnership for non-commercial purposes like charity. It is strictly a business structure for profit making.
RC refers to an instrument of incorporation which grants separate legal entity to an organisation. This charter helps to establish its business aim and objectives, constitutional procedures, powers and sovereignty to manage its own affairs. But the business is still accountable to general laws. This instrument is granted by no one but The Queen. Hence, it is a prestigious way by which a business is conferred with high status. However, it is not the same as the right which some companies have to use royal titles with the business name. Doing so is considered and granted by a different jurisdiction.
This is a traditional business structure also known as sole proprietorship. It is a structural arrangement in which a business is owned by an individual who is usually, also the owner. Sole trader remains the easiest and popular business structures adopted by entrepreneurs and new start-ups. Meanwhile, this does not the mean sole trader is the only human material available to the business. What sole trader refers to basically is the ownership and not the employees. In UK, a sole trader is also required to keep financial records, send self assessment tax return yearly, pay income tax and national insurance, among others.
Unlike sole trader, two or more people are involved in this type of business structure. The partners oversee the management of the company in all its productive cycle. Meanwhile, there are three categories of partners. They are General partners, Limited partners and; Joint venture. Partnership is easy to set up and maintain since a number of people who decided to own an enterprise would be the one to put together their resources. Also, the workload and liability involved in the new business is borne by partners. However, this could also hinder the growth of a business especially in respect to decision making.
We have always received a lot of questions from people who want to know how to go about dealing with financial information, what kind of accountant to pick as well as the qualities to look out for. Information, truly, is key and we are drawn to the increasing desire of people to access the right information before taking any step. We are here to provide you with answers to most of the frequently asked questions by people who surf online search engines. The list is not exhaustible. We will always do our best to provide answers that you will find useful.
A good accountant should have quality work ethics. When an accountant knows the standards of his or her profession well, every other expectation like knowing your tax correctly, understanding your finance structure, being proactive and provision of quality information on the most recent business legislation will be met easily.
You cannot afford to pull your entire financial information gathering on some system software. It is still important to use a chartered accountant. Although the computer can execute most of the jobs of a CA but it cannot do authorization, projections and other practical demands which a chartered accountant can do.
Accountants charge based on the kind of work they are carrying out for your business. Since there is no legally established range of chargeable fee; it all depends on the type of service. However, companies that offers accountancy services usually provide quotes to businesses that are in need of their services.
This is simple. It starts with informing the current accountant and picking a changeover date that is least likely to cause any disruption to your business. We usually recommend the end of the business year. Settle all financial responsibilities; ask for disengagement letter from the outgoing accountant as well as professional clearance and other important paperwork that will make the transition easy for your business and the new accountant.
To receive a quote and advice, you must first identify and select the companies. Include necessary details for the products/services rendered. This should be followed by various estimates and method of payment. Your email address and contact information are important as well. In addition, add date and time of closure and terms of delivery.
Starting a business is a good idea but you must address the following:
• Identify the market gap and the problem you want to solve,
• Understand how the market forces work,
• Assess your strengths and weaknesses,
• Identify competitors. If any, study them,
• Consult business experts or advisors or mentors,
• Have a clearly written business plan, and;
• Study your numbers
Once your company is approved and your company starts effective trading, you need to register with HRMC within three months of operations. However, if it remains inactive, you are required to inform HRMC as well. Whenever you are ready to commence trading, you have to register for Corporation tax.
The determinant factor is threshold figures. There are two circumstances that must be considered to know whether you should register:
• You have an annual turnover is above £37,500 when you are into services supply.
• You have an annual turnover that is more than £75,000 when you are into goods supply.
If your output tax does not align with your input tax, it will affect turnover. When your turnover falls below the threshold for registration, to still register or not is a personal choice. However, it is important for you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully before deciding. If possible, seek the help of experts.
Even when not legally required by law, perhaps due to a low turnover, you can voluntarily register for VAT. This is because with a VAT number, your business looks professional and it promotes confidence of the public in your business. Also, it will help you to avoid exceeding the threshold and the payment of fines.
If you need accounting software for your business, you must look out for the features and know if they fit your business activities. The best accounting software should be able to offer the following: billing, invoicing, online banking integration, payment reminder, production and stock management, financial accounting functions and tax filing.
A company tax return contains report on income, expenses and other crucial information on taxation. This is essential as soon as you receive a notice to present it from the HM Revenue and Customs. Sole traders or partners do not need to send a company tax return. A self assessment is required instead.
This refers to the tax payable on capital gains. On the other hand, a capital gain is the profit made from the sales of a non-inventory asset. Non-inventory assets include stock sales, bonds, precious metals and real estate property. The tax payable on an asset is ascertained based on the margin between the sale price and the purchase price.
This is a direct tax payable on the income (profit) or capital of companies. The method varies from country to country. In UK, companies and organisations must pay tax on all profits made through a particular period of business activities. However, if a company only operates as a branch, the tax payable is only on the profit made in the UK.
This is the annual tax payable on earned income and unearned income. By earned income, we mean wages, salaries and commission and by unearned income, we mean dividends, interests and rents. The aim of charging income tax is to promote even distribution of wealth and resources among the population of the country.
Fully known as Value-Added Tax, it is a kind of tax imposed on consuming a domestic product or service. Note that this is an indirect tax because it has already been included in the product you purchase. It applies to all products and services provided. The amount of tax payable depends on the measured value that has been added to goods and services.
VAT flat rate scheme refers to the method involved in payment of VAT. With this, a business pays a stipulated percentage on its turnover yearly. Hence, it helps to ensure that businesses pay easily without having to go through stretched paperwork. Businesses find this easy compared to any other scheme.
The flat rate you should use is largely dependent on your business type (limited cost or unlimited cost), the class of clients who patronize you and the degree of incurred expenses that you can claim VAT on. You should seek expert advice from accountants on what is best for your business type.
• Easy business formation
• Low start-up costs
• You maintain all the profits
• Control and management is easy
• Flexible business operations
• Opportunity to change the business structure easily if situation changes or improves
• You can easily wind up when you are out of business.
As a self-employed, your business will have to meet various running costs. However, it is not all of them that are deductible. HMRC has rules on allowable expenses. Some of them include travel, rent of business premises, office expenses like printing and stationery, legal cost and cost of business insurance.
When compared to a sole trader, you are likely to pay less personal income tax. Also, limited companies operate strictly as an entity different from its owners. Hence, in case bankruptcy or insolvency, you can only lose what is equivalent to your capital investment. In addition, it confers professional status on your business.
If you end up owing tax that you cannot pay for at once, you can meet with the tax authority to request for an extension or apply for an easy payment method. Depending on the amount, an extension is likely to grant you about four months (120 days) to pay your tax bill or you could get a monthly payment method within a stipulated period of time.
There is a standard amount you earn that you need to pay personal tax on. As an employee, you pay:
• 0% on incomes up to £12,500
• 20% on income ranging between £12,501 – £50,001
• 40% tax on income ranging between £50,001-£150,000
• 45% on £150,001 and above.
The above applies to the United Kingdom for the year 2019-2020.
They only cover a period less or more than 365 days. Meanwhile, the date due also depends on the structure of the company.
• If it covers more than 365 days, private companies file within 21 months of incorporation while public companies file within 18 months of incorporation.
• If it is less than 365 days, private companies need to file within 9-month of their accounting date while public companies need to do so within 6-month.
A company’s corporation tax is usually due in 12 months at the end of the particular accounting period covered. Missing the due time attracts a penalty. Hence, you need to pay due attention to the period. Meanwhile, this is different from Corporation tax filing which you have to do in 9 months and a day after the end of a particular accounting period.
This is a legal requirement to be adhered to by limited companies. In UK, every limited company has to submit an annual return to the Companies House. Contained in this annual return is important information about the company, its directors and secretaries, the registered address of the office, share capital and shareholdings.
This is a tax law introduced in 1999 designed to contain tax evasion by workers who supply their services to customers through the platform provided by agents like limited companies. Ordinarily, without the agents, they would be employees. IR35 has an implication on the net income of any worker that is caught.
You can change the name of your company anytime after the incorporation. However, you have to go through the process of registration. As long as the change of name is agreed to by all members in case of a limited company, the process is easy. This change can be effected using Companies House Form, NM01, which would be sent back to the Companies House for general public notification.
For the sake of tax purposes, a company bank account is advisable. Even for a sole trader, it is highly recommended. With a company bank account, it will be easy to account for financial transactions. It should also be noted that the ability to track the income and expenditure of your business makes the job of auditors and accountants easy.
Even when you have no employee, you have to submit a periodic summary of your Pay as you Earn (PAYE) as well as your Real Time Information (RTI). If you fail to meet up to this, your business may be surcharged every time you delay. Hence, you have to register and adhere to the process.
Real Time Information payroll or RTI payroll is an approach under the HMRC to promote the accuracy of PAYE. As a result of RTI payroll, inconsistencies common with overpayment or underpayment and likelihood of fund misappropriation have been reduced. Thus, every time employees are paid, businesses are required to submit necessary information via electronic devices.
This depends on when the financial year of your company comes to an end. You should also note that the financial year of a business does not have to be the same as the calendar year. For example, the financial year of every limited company is the date of incorporation. Companies in the UK receive a reference date in respect to this.
The London's Royal Dock spearheaded the expansion of business commerce as it drew in a large number of people from different part of the world.
Between 1800-1856 the arrival of steam power brought about more trade. However, the expansion brought about collision and plunderage. Thus, there was a desperate need to have ships with wider and deeper shores. Despite remedial efforts like building docks (East and India), it was still not effective. What was needed required more that.
As a result of this, a class of entrepreneurs led by Mr. G. Bidder came together to plan how to build docks that are deeper and wider than any that ever existed. One of the goal of this was to ensure London never stopped having access to supplies for many centuries. It was also meant to become a mind blowing achievement in respect to the field of Engineering.
In 1855, the dock project was completed and delivered. Some of the outstanding features include 13 metres deepness, giant ship lock servicing and most recent mechanical lifting devices. In addition, it could manage numerous numbers of metal-plated steamboat. In the 1880's, the dock project was known as the largest and biggest industry for cargo in London.
At that time, business was in dire need of space for land-based manufacturing. The first of it's kind which expanded in 1852 was Samuel Silver's water-resistant clothing works. Silvertown District took its name from there.
Following these, many other growth and development were experienced which also brought about increasing demand for more shores. More docks that would eventually be better than the former ones were built. It came with other innovative achievements like rail lines that reached directly to the docks, warehouse with in-built refrigerators to keep perishables, among others. Not long after, in 1880, a dock with electric lightning was built and named as Albert Dock.
As a result of this expansive growth, varieties of stock arrived in ships. Trade expansion was witnessed and opportunities for employment increased. This also led to expansion of housings. More and more people came in as a result of the availability of bigger trades.
In 1921, King George V opened a final dock which was 225 metres long and a wide entrance that could take the even the 1939 35,655 ton ocean liner.
Meanwhile, many challenges rocked the dock and activities were crippled for a very long time. They include workers' general strike of 1926, World War II that lasted till 1945 which brought about destruction of docks and warehouse, among others. These factors and others brought about the closure of business due to decline.
Several attempts were made to keep business going but it all failed. Fortunately, around 1981, London Docklands Development Corporation was founded with the aim of reviving old London docks. To some extent, business life was revived and many more advancements occurred. For example, in 1987, London City Airport was opened. Hotels, restaurants and bars also opened to serve the people who are there to trade, live or study.
To date, the business commerce continues to experience amazing expansion.