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  • Time, the ultimate resource Sep 4, 2021

    Time is the most precious resource that we have.

    It’s so finite. It can be distorted but not dislodged from its endless forward motion.

    Some may consider time management in terms of their business day. I consider time management in terms of life!

    Time spent performing tasks inefficiently, is loaded with lost opportunity, and really makes me uncomfortable. I strive to consider time in terms of quality, each moment optimised for maximum return.

    Reducing inefficiency is why I love Xero and Hubdoc, where I can help clients leap effortlessly from photo to accounting record, not just saving time, but increasing the quality and transparency of the data. For me it results in efficiency, confidence in clarity and reduced future effort in review.

    Reducing inefficiency is also why I love motorbiking, where commuting by bike, not just reduced lost bus stop waiting time and time lost to the seasonal viruses that raged rampant every Autumn in the enclosed transport, but also gave me vast therapeutic benefits and a different perspective on the world around me. I gained time and a greater feeling of wellbeing.

    And with the time I save in my business life, I focussed on my child and my family. Recognising the priorities of each and endeavouring to make the most of every moment. This led to so many incredible times with my daughter as she was growing up, wonderful places to walk, and adventurous activities enjoyed as a whole family. We made the most of each moment whilst our worlds were entwined, in acknowledgement that time would naturally drift us apart as my child became a woman.

    So my business purpose now is NOT simply helping small businesses with tax and accounting compliance, it is focussed around helping businesses to operate better so they can have more time and resource to achieve their business and personal goals.

    Time only marches forward, each moment lost as it fades into the past.

    How can you make the best of the precious time that you have been given today?


    #storytelling #accountant #xero #motorbikes
  • You CAN do your books on excel, but SHOULD you? Sep 1, 2021

    Are you still using Excel to record and analyse your accounting data?

    Is the amount of the monthly cost of Xero or similar softwares putting you off, or is it a reluctance to commit to monthly charges?

    Are you considering the business value effectively?

    I was supposed to be at the Digital Accountancy Show today, but due to an NHS data recording issue, I spent most of my planned preparation and travel time yesterday, trying to rectify an error, and even then, I was in the position of not knowing whether the corrections would be processed in time for the NHS Covid Pass App to acknowledge my fully vaccinated status for the opening of the event this morning.

    Consequently, I didn’t risk riding my motorbike across to London, to stay overnight in town. I would have arrived late, which was very unfair on my brother, who was kindly offering me a bed.

    I then looked at the alternative of getting the train from Bristol to London on the day, returning in the evening and was shocked to find that this option would cost over £170, excluding travel to the station from my home and any parking charges.

    The train fare would cost more than it costs to buy the Xero Starter Business Edition for the whole year!

    I was still tempted to book the rail tickets, but again the risk of the App not updating stayed my hand and I resigned myself to waiting another year to attend the next Digital Accountancy Show.

    However, the level of the rail fare made me think about the value, or lack of value, that some businesses place on maintaining good accounting records online. Only yesterday I was reading forum comments in favour of sticking with Excel.

    As an accountant, one of the first things I purchased when I set up my business was Xero. It has saved me countless hours and its visibility has been reassuring during those difficult early months.

    For me 12 months of Xero supporting my business, helping me raise quotes and sales invoices, making my bank reconciliations simple and my expense records complete, is highly valuable and I know that as I grow, Xero’s benefit will be even greater.

    It’s certainly more valuable that a rail ticket for one day, even if that one ticket may allow me access to the Greatest Show on Earth!

    By sticking with Excel, you aren’t really saving your business money due to the time you invest in its upkeep and you may be missing opportunities.

    I’m missing the opportunity of going to the show, because I am outraged at the cost of the rail ticket. Am I just of guilty of a similar blinkered approach? Possibly, but I’ll spend today catching up on my Xero learning, to mitigate some of the loss.

    So yes, you CAN live with continuing to use excel, but the question really is, SHOULD you?

    #storytelling #xero #choices #accountant
  • Help you business blossom with the Kickstart Scheme Aug 31, 2021

    What is the Government’s Kickstart Scheme?

    In essence it is Government funding employers to take on young people aged 16 to 24, who are struggling to find jobs.

    It’s been around since summer 2020, but to be honest, it was very difficult to take advantage of initially, whilst Covid19 raged around us, so it may have fallen under the radar for many employers.

    The scheme funds a 6 month, 25hr per week, minimum wage, work placement, to help the young participants develop transferable skills to assist them in winning non-funded future roles.

    You CANNOT use the Kickstart Scheme to replace current jobs or reduce the working hours of existing staff, although you can offer a Kickstart role to one youngster for 6 months and then offer the Kickstart role to a different young participant in the following period.

    The recruitment process is partially controlled by the DWP, as the local Job Centre will be in charge of putting forward suitable candidates.

    The scheme does go beyond just funding the salary, NIC and auto-enrolment pension contributions, to cover certain set up costs. administration/management time and employability support costs, together with the accountancy support in certifying the funds have been applied for their intended purpose.

    You can employ the young person for more hours, or at a higher rate, but only the 25hr, minimum wage, amount will be funded.

    The scheme will cover employment opportunities starting prior to 31 December 2021, but the Government is currently recommending that employers apply for funding by the end of October 2021 to ensure everything is in place.

    If you think your business would benefit from this scheme, then it is well worth reaching out to your accountant to see if they can assist or simply checking out the guidance on https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme
  • Adventurous Tax Focussed Accountant, Motorbiker and Mum Aug 28, 2021

    It feels right that my first post should be about who I am and what I offer.

    Hi my name’s Rebecca Johnson, and I’m an ACCA practicing accountant.

    I’ve been an accountant for over 30 years. Firstly in small practice, then mostly as the tax strategy and compliance lead in large corporates, before forming a small practice of my own just before Covid19 lockdown, which is where I will be focussing my energy from now on.

    My services range from bookkeeping and tax compliance support to business planning and tax risk control. My focus remains tax efficiency and compliance, helping small business owners have confidence in their affairs.

    My passion is helping clients use online accounting effectively to streamline and automate their processes, whilst creating a digital tax data flow which will reassure HMRC that my clients aim to pay the right tax, at the right time in the right place.

    I work primarily remotely, communicating by text, email or Zoom where the benefits of screenshare are brilliant for giving two way guidance and support.

    My manner is relaxed and collaborative. I am seeking to understand your concerns and struggles, to lift their burden from your shoulders.

    My marketing is focussed around social media, primarily LinkedIn.

    When considering who I am, my core is family. My husband, teenage daughter and dog remain central to my world, but the world is exciting, adventurous and ever changing.

    We kayak, we surf, we ski, we take the campervan away for weekends. Our favourite holiday destination is the West Highlands and Islands. Their relaxing beauty trumping the variable weather conditions.

    As a family, we remain very close, by giving each other space. My daughter games, my husband caves more, I motorbike more. Respect, love and loyalty go hand in hand.

    So there you are. That’s a little bit about my business and me. I hope it makes a good Saturday morning read.

    #storytelling #accountant #family #xero