Collaborative Accounting – what is it and who is it for?



I came across this phrase on some American websites and thought how nice and concise it is to describe the magical new relationships that can be forged between entrepreneurs, and their bookkeepers and accountants.

So what is Collaborative Accounting exactly?

Collaborative Accounting is a methodology which recognises the business’s need for up to the minute financial tracking and through cleverly simple systems leverages the efforts of business owners, employees, contract bookkeepers and accountants into one information unit which maximises output and minimises effort.

Who is it for?

Collaborative Accounting is for growing, ambitious businesses, and growing, ambitious bookkeepers and accounting practices who would like to work with growing, ambitious businesses with the objective of increased profitability for all parties.

Collaborative roles:

While there are other tools which enhance the collaborative relationship and are discussed below the lynchpin of the system is online accounting. Although the roles can blur below are the main areas of delineation. The key thing to note is that there is no duplication. Each task feeds into the whole. Business owners, employees, bookkeepers and accountants all log in securely to the same information database and perform the following tasks to create and maintain a solid, robust, up to the minute set of financials for any business owner to delight over and any bookkeeper and accountant to be highly valued for.

Business Key Staff Bookkeeper / Employees Accountant
Creating Quotes, Invoices, Purchase Orders.
Looking at profit charts and Sales comparisons by product and Customer.
Reviewing spending charts.
Setting up users ids and specific permissions for the other collaborators
Updating timesheets
Recording nightly cashups (in the case of a retailer)
Recording and categorising Purchase Invoices
Bank Reconciliation
Debtors and Creditors Reconciliation
Vat Returns, Journals.
Defining best chart of accounts to suit needs of all collaborators
Monthly business performance review with key business stakeholders.
Monthly Bookkeeping Audit to ensure timeliness and accuracy of data
Year end filing.

Why now?

Cloud solutions have made it feasible and convenient for business owners to wrap systems and services around their business in the most efficient and cost effective way. Previously this kind of information coordination and streaming was only possible from ERP and MRP systems costing hundreds of thousands of pounds and well out of the scope of any small to medium sized business. Likewise, never before has it been possible for practice accountants and bookkeepers to raise the profile of the work they do and step out of the shadows of Vat and Tax peddlers. It’s their time to shine! With the right set of cloud accounting tools, entrepreneurs, bookkeepers and accountants can truly work together efficiently with each understanding, respecting and appreciating one another’s roles. And they can tweet/blog/Facebook  about it and raise each other’s online profiles in the process.

What tools are required, how much do they cost, and what each one used for?

 

Tool Brand Use Cost and how to get it for free
Online Accounting Software SortMyBooks Online Accounting
www.sortmybooks.co.uk
This is the central area where all parties record the relevant information, and produce reports and screens pertinent to their own role.. Starts at £23.00/monthTo get it for free, join the affiliate program. Ten referrals and your own subscription is free!
Online Communicator Skype
www.skype.com
Tool to use to have chat, voice or video conferencing, to share your screen for demonstration or problem solving purposes, The free version is suitable for most purposes. Paid version starts at $4.99 per month.
Online receipts organiser Receipt Bank
www.receipt-bank.com
Tool to capture paper into an organiser as soon as it is received, either by photographing, scanning or emailing it to Receipt Bank Starts at £6.99/month for full processing into your accounts. For the free version manual intervention is required. Pay the money.
Online file storage Dropbox
www.dropbox.com
For any paper that does not get captured above, such as lease agreements, bank statements, Final Accounts Reports, Revenue letters. Scan them into DropBox and shred them. No more paper.
Social Media Tools Top 3:
Linked In, Twitter
Facebook,
For collaborators to raise each other’s online profiles as well as their own. Twitter and Facebook are free, Linked is free for basic and paid starts at $29 a month.
Text Blogging Top 2:
Blogger, WordPress
To build original content which can be distributed via the Social Media Tools Free and Free

 

 

So ask yourself:

If you are an entrepreneur:

Are you getting the financial stats you need to make the best decisions for your business?

If you are a bookkeeper:

Are you getting the respect and recognition for timely, accurate recording of sometimes tricky transactions?

If you are an accountant:

Are you getting an opportunity to use your training, skills and expertise to provide high value services to your clients?

Summary of key benefits of Collaborative Accounting:

Security: Each collaborator can be assigned his or her own rights to the area of work they are performing. For example, employees can be limited to entering timesheets or till cashups, not having access to other information but still feeding their information to form the complete picture of the business. No duplication.

Location Freedom: You and your fellow collaborators can log in at anytime from anywhere on any Internet connected device knowing that you are accessing the most up to date information compiled by the team.

Technical freedom: Data storage, backups and security issues are all handled by experts in these fields. You just need to protect your usernames and passwords.

Integration Efficiency: This is a major benefit you get only from a true cloud application. The beauty of cloud applications unlike desktop or hybrid virtualised software,  is that each cloud application is purpose built to communicate with other cloud apps using APIs. For example, SortMyBooks Online accounting was developed with an API to allow it to easily integrate with applications such Receipt Bank, PayPal and Dropbox which were in turn designed to easily integrate with applications like SortMyBooks.

If collaborative accounting sounds good to you, we can help you get cracking or simply get more of a feel for it. Contact us today!

SortMyBooks now integrating with Receipt Bank and brand new iPhone app

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012|Cloud Accounting, Iphone, Online Accounting Software, SAAS|by aileen

SortMyBooks iPhone app to save your sanity

Over the past year we have vigilantly  kept our commitment to monthly releases of new features to streamline your business and keep you out there making money. We’ve added the ability for you to email invoices and statements to save you money on postage. We’ve added the ability for you to accept credit card payments via our PayPal integration to help you get paid more quickly. We’ve added special screens for retailers and many other little tweaks and enhancements as a result of your suggestions.

This latest enhancement is my personal favourite. You see, I have object placement disorder. I lose keys, wallets, shoes, computers, phones, jackets, hats, scarves, passports, you name it, I’ve lost it.

As a business owner, I am keenly aware that the paper that makes up my accounts is the raw material for the dashboard charts I so love to glance at during the day or study at 3am when I can’t sleep. However, due to the aforementioned disorder, paper is at peril in my hands. And that’s why I absolutely love the latest innovation to come from our development team.

Now when I get a get piece of paper, in the post, by email, or while I am out getting petrol or gadgets, all I have to do is take a picture of the paper and it starts on an amazing journey to my accounts, slotting into perfect place on my dashboards, in my VAT reports, creditors ledger, P&L. And I didn’t have to touch it since I first snapped it!

All this has been made possible through our new iPhone app (search SortMyBooks in the appstore)  and partnership with UK based data processing company Receipt Bank. Michael Wood from Receipt Bank says, “We are proud to welcome our latest integration partner – SortMyBooks. SortMyBooks makes smart and simple accounting software for small and medium businesses. Their mission is to make accounting quick, easy and informative, common goals with Receipt Bank.” Yes they are Michael! And we are thrilled to find a way to make managing the paper easier.

Receipt Bank Blog SortMyBooks

 

Here is a sampling of options to avail of this stress relieving feature:

More details can be found here

DIY option Individual – cost: free

The SortMyBooks iPhone app is free to download on iTunes. You can also set up your receipt bank account and link it to your SortMyBooks account for free. You can direct paper to you receipt bank through you iPhone app or by forwarding emailed receipts and invoices to receipts@receipt-bank.com from the email address registered to your account. Yes it’s that simple!

With the free option, you will have to logon to receipt bank regularly to push your data to your SortMyBooks accounts. But at least you will not be fumbling for lost paper, it is all there on the screen waiting patiently until you come to deal with it.

Digital Option Individual -  Cost: £6.99 per month

With this option, the data entry is done for you, all you have to do is keep taking pictures and/or emailing paperwork to your receipt bank account and, as I said before, it appears magically on your dashboards, VAT reports and ledgers in SortMyBooks. You can try this option free for thirty days after which you can decide to pay the monthly fee for it or go back to the free version.

Full Service Option Individual - Cost: £10.99 per month

With this option, the data entry is also done for you, all you have to do is keep taking pictures and/or emailing paperwork to your receipt bank account and, as I said before, it appears magically on your dashboards, VAT reports and ledgers in SortMyBooks.

Furthermore this option has what I call a magic box. Remember when you used to throw your dirty clothes in a basket and they would somehow end up clean and fresh in your cupboards?

Well this is something like that, you drop any receipts and invoices that came to you in paper form in the envelope sent to you by Receipt Bank and it all ends up clean and fresh in your SortMyBooks dashboards.

I’m betting any of the three options is better than what you have now!

Incentive to get you started

Have you heard about the woodsman who could have saved time cutting down trees if he only had time to stop and sharpen the saw? We are all guilty of that from time to time, so here is some incentive to get you to stop and sharpen your saw.

Sign up for the service. Write about your experience.

Whichever SortMyBooks customer writes the most thorough review will get a free one year subscription to the Individual Full Service plan. That’s one year of free data entry!

Top of Mind

One thing I like about the app is that as I go about my business, each time I look at my phone, I catch sight of the app, reminding me to keep track of that paper so my business information is always up to date.

So download the app and sign up for your free Receipt Bank Account and sharpen that saw!

 SortMyBooks iPhone app on phone

 

Is Online Accounting Software Data really safe?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012|Cloud Accounting, Online Accounting Software, Practitioner Accountants, SAAS|by sambit.misra

When considering online accounting software one of the first questions that you should ask is about security. We thought we’d let you know the measures that SortMyBooks take to keep your data safe and secure online. And we’re also sharing tips on the steps you need to take yourself to make sure there’s no confidentiality breakdowns in your organisation.

 Online Accounting Security

Security is a fundamental part of any enterprise application and especially so for online accounting software like SortMyBooks which holds your accounting information. There are three parts to security: physical, application and human.

Physical Security

Your data is only as secure as your weakest link.

People’s fears around security are often focussed on a hacker out there try to break into our data. I’m not trying to downplay that risk but the truth is that the least secure item most people own is their own laptop or desktop computer. Think about the high level government security breaches that have been reported in recent years like the one involving the records of 380,000 social welfare and pension recipients. This was not the result of cyber crime but of employees having sensitive data stored on laptops that were then stolen! If your data is stored on your laptop or desktop computer the moment it’s lost, stolen or broken your data is gone.  Frequent back ups can retrieve your data but if it falls into the wrong hands then it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

But thankfully the same doesn’t apply to data stored on the cloud. To begin with SortMyBooks production servers are hosted in Ireland in partnership with Amazon AWS. Amazon has a very good track record in managing servers and invested a lot in the physical security of the data.

Excerpt from:  http://aws.amazon.com/articles/1697?_encoding=UTF8&jiveRedirect=1

“AWS data centres are housed in nondescript facilities, and critical facilities have extensive setback and military grade perimeter control berms as well as other natural boundary protection. Physical access is strictly controlled both at the perimeter and at building ingress points by professional security staff utilizing video surveillance, state of the art intrusion detection systems, and other electronic means. Authorized staff must pass two-factor authentication no fewer than three times to access data centre floors. All visitors and contractors are required to present identification and are signed in and continually escorted by authorized staff.”

So as you can see your Physical security is in good hands.

Application Level Security

What does this mean? Application layer security keeps SortMyBooks protected against unauthorized access and attacks from hackers.

SortMyBooks Online is a secured product and has a secured sockets layer (SSL) certificate. With password-protected login, firewall protected servers, and 128 bit SSL we are on par security wise with online banking.

Backup

Sometimes we get questions about what would happen in the event of our system crashing, if all the data would  be lost.

The answer to the above question is absolutely not, the data is automatically backed up every second using snapshot technology i.e. every time you add a customer or supplier or an invoice or record a payment the data is automatically backed up to our separate backup server. We also do a full backup of your data overnight.

Human Responsibly for Security

Sharing

This is where your responsibility comes in. Firstly when you are buying any online software and not just cloud accounting software make sure that you can set up each user individually.  In other words never, ever share your username and password with someone else. We talked about sharing in our last blog but I didn’t touch on the security aspects of it. SortMyBooks has Permission Based Sharing i.e. you can choose what screens to share with your Employees, Accountant and Business Partners.  It’s also very easy to delete and modify sharing as and when you need to. Be vigilant about revoking access as soon as its no longer required, for example from a temporary employee or bookkeeper.  So then lesson here is please set up each person that needs to access your accounts as a user in their own right and the next paragraph tells you even more about why this is important.

Audit Logs

The software also has a full audit log of all the activities performed by users in the system. You can see what they’ve added, edited, deleted, locked, unlocked etc. This not only helps in tracking activities but is also a helpful tool to rectify user mistakes.

I hope this article has given you some peace of mind. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Do you hate the idea of having your data stored in the cloud or does it make you sleep better at night knowing that you don’t have to worry about backups?

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Accountants: are you using the cloud to attract new business?

 

Linked In Connections

The cloud has opened new avenues of attracting new business; almost all the people we meet at networking events are either on LinkedIn or Twitter. Social media allows you to connect with people and build a rapport very easily. For example, the follow up activities after a networking event used to be ‘let’s have a coffee’. While this is still appropriate, that’s alot of coffee.  Now the success of a networking event can measured by the number of twitter and linked in interactions following the event. This allows more time and opportunity to build a post networking event rapport, never mind the sheer mechanics of being able to share contacts electronically rather than rely on notes scribbled in a cafe. Social media also helps increase your network and connect to people who you might never have an opportunity to meet face to face.  Taking Ireland as an example where the six degrees of separation is scaled down to where you are not more than 2 connections away,  where even in a pub or golf course you would meet someone who has a common acquaintance with you, that chance meeting is compounded through social media.  The power of social media for making and growing quality connections is a never before seen phenomenon. Are you capitalising on it to attract new clients, or to strengthen your relationship with existing clients? You never know who you might be connected to.

Is social media enough to attract today’s cloud savvy businesses to become your clients?

Accenture says not. In fact they have spent a fortune preparing marketing material to convince their giant clients to take the cloud seriously.
This is a warning video prepared by them:

Accenture Cloud Warning

I have evidence of this myself:  My niece wants to play the guitar. Her mother offers her a course ‘learn to play guitar in 52 lessons.”  My niece, 13, asks,”Is it online?”  This is the expectation of today’s youth, tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. And rightly so.

I actually think Accenture are trying to buy themselves and their big name clients a little time. Today’s entrepreneurs, the ones in their 20′s and 30′s, have the same expectations as the kids in the video. They want everything to be online, on their iPad, on their phone.

So what can you do now to convince your small business clients you are serious about growing along with them?

Luckily, cloud computing is the easiest and cheapest technology to implement in your organisation. Seriously. Never before in the history of new waves of technology has one been so easy to adopt.

Here are some to get you started:

Of course, right at the top to gain and retain clients is Online Accounting.

One scenario: You have a potential new client, they are asking for software recommendations. You log on to www.sortmybooks.co.uk and set up a trial account. You customise this trial with your chart of accounts settings tailored to your client.  Then, you share the trial with your client from within the software . Your client gets an email inviting him/her to try out the online  accounting system.

It’s that easy. No ringing up for CDs,  no making suggestions only to find out months later your client has not actually gotten around to doing anything about their bookkeeping. When you follow up with your client later, you can both look at the same information from your respective offices to evaluation progress and suitability of the software.  Isn’t that a seamlessly collaborative way to start your relationship with your new client?

Bigger Picture

By its very nature, online accounting software lends itself to naturally plugging into many other business tools to make your client’s life easier. After all, for them, it’s not just about the accounts. They have to sell things and get paid. By introducing them to online accounting software, you are also introducing them to a world of labor saving devices:

Outsourced data Entry

Paperwork is the basis of the information for meaningful management accounting meetings with you, their accountant. And it is the most difficult thing to manage.

Imagine if because of your recommendation for online accounting, your client now has an opportunity to outsource the paperwork gathering and data entry in a controlled way?

SortMyBooks Receipts iPhone app

Help you client get paid more quickly

Now that you’ve solved their paperwork problem, the biggest hindrance to client/accountant relations since medieval times, here’s another way you’ve just helped your clients. SortMyBooks Online accounting has an integrated invoice emailing/ payment system powered by PayPal.   From the system they can email an invoice to their customer which contains a link to pay by credit card or paypal, accepts the payment, and writes the transaction back to their SortMyBooks accounts, completing the full cycle for P&L, VAT and Debtors. Cloud Automation at its best.

Get paid by email

Meaningful management accounting meetings

Now that your client’s paperwork is being kept up to date, you can work on setting up management accounts / business performance review meetings. The information is there, in an easily digestible format for your client. The more insight you have into your client’s business processes, the more active role you can play as a valued business advisor, rather than just a compliance number cruncher. And that’s the value of the cloud.

Learn More

I’d like to share a blog with you that focuses specifically on how the accounting profession can best leverage social media to attract and engage with their clients.

Book Mark Lee - Helping accountants and those who work with accountants

You can also follow Mark on Twitter

Cloud computing pioneers that inspired SortMyBooks Online Accounting software

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012|Cloud Accounting, Online Accounting Software, SAAS|by sambit.misra

Facebook

It’s not by chance that Facebook is valued at $100bn. The company holds the largest database of customers and their profiles. One of the biggest reasons they were so successful is because they delivered the best nugget of cloud to the end users: “Collaboration!”  All of us were able to talk, interact and collaborate with our friends and family like never before. That was our first inspiration for our online accounting software.

collaboration with SortMyBooks

Desktop software, while delivering compliance, lacked collaboration. Business owners like us were bound to their computers providing data to their accountants to complete year-end accounts. Although it was better than spread sheets it was still was onerous. So the first feature we added to the software was “Share!”, with your accountant, bookkeeper and your business advisers. This enabled instant access from anywhere in the country and immediately cut out hours on phones downloading software, importing backups and even worse if you forgot to add critical information to your accounts the process had to be repeated again. What was also annoying I remember was being at a customer location, I had to call the office to create an invoice for me and send it to me by email. Now all I have to do is Log In and do it myself!  I don’t even have to remember to tell the office, it’s there when they log in.  True collaboration, like on Facebook.

Google

Google has become synonymous with search nowadays. If we have question in our minds or in the pub and there is a topic of discussion we need answers to, the first thing we do is “Google” it

Google at a glance for SortMyBooks

The same applies to us as business owners as well.  Cloud accounting software allows us to “Google” our business, anytime.  Laying awake in the night as entrepreneurs do we can reach for our phone and get answers to  “How much were my sales last week as compared to the week before?” “How much money do people owe me? “ “What is VAT for the period?” We were often riddled by these questions and didn’t have answers to them instantly. Imagining being on the train or having a cup of coffee and opening your tablet or your phone and getting these answers immediately became our second inspiration. And so our second most important feature was the “At a Glance” chart that gives small business owners  summary business level information you need instantly wherever you are.  Even the most awkward questions put to you by your banker or investor can be “googled” and answered in a matter of minutes.

Apple

Apple has to be credited for providing inspiration for smartphones. They brought a whole new dimension to the world of phones. But what I thought was most inspirational was their App Store. If I remember in the olden days of phones we were restricted by the Apps that were in the device e.g. game addicts like me were always on the snake on my old Nokia phone. There was no option of any other apps or games. But what I think Apple did brilliantly was opened the “Apps store” so anyone and everyone can sell their app while they focus on the product which is their core. In essence Apple allowed integration with other service providers. That was the third inspiration “Integration”.

iPhone app for SortMyBooks

With Enterprise software you needed all the functions to be in one place i.e. payroll, CRM , accounts etc. But with cloud we could focus on just the core product of accounting and deliver accurate Balance sheet and Profit and Loss statement, Vat returns, Debtors, Creditors, and integrate with other software that had expertise in other areas such as Receipt Bank, Paypal, Dropbox etc.

We are not short of inspiration these days because every day there is a new idea that exploits the power of cloud computing so we try our best to keep up and keep adding more and more for the business owners and their accountants.

Author: Sambit Misra, Product Manager

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PayPal SortMyBooks Integration is here – get paid by email!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012|Cloud Accounting, Online Accounting Software, SAAS|by aileen


PayPal SortMyBooks Integration

Get paid faster with PayPal SortMyBooks Integration.

We have been working hard behind the scenes to bring you this wonderful new feature for you not only to get paid faster, but also to have payments you receive from your customers automatically logged into your SortMyBooks accounts, updating your Vat, your P&L and your Debtors.

Enabling this feature within SortMyBooks will add a ‘Pay Now’ link to any invoices you email out to your customers.

When your customer receives your invoice via email, they can click the ‘Pay Now’ button. This will give them the option to pay you via credit card or, if they have a PayPal account, they can pay using that.

Do I need a merchant account to use this?

Absolutely Not!  All you need is a PayPal account, and if you don’t have one, setting it up is easy and free. PayPal will withhold a percentage of your payment, just as a merchant account would, but unlike a merchant account, there is no fixed monthly fee. You only get charged when you receive money. Your customers do NOT need a PayPal account in order to pay you. They can pay by credit card by clicking the link in the invoice you email to them.

How to enable this feature in SortMyBooks:

Paypal SortMyBooks

If you already have a PayPal account:

Check your PayPal account settings first to confirm the “Primary” Email Address. To do this, login to your PayPal account and click on the “Profile” button on the top menu bar. You will see your primary Paypal invoice ticked there.

Now go to SortMyBooks, click Settings and Accounting, and simply enter your primary paypal account email where shown. That’s it!

Now when you email your invoices from within SortMyBooks Online Accouting Software, the ‘Pay Now’ button will display for your customers to pay you by credit card or using their own paypal account, whichever they prefer.

Once your customer has paid you, your SortMyBooks online accounts will immediately be updated with the payment information. Magic!

I don’t yet have a Paypal account, how do I sign up?

Signing up is easy and FREE!

To avail of this new feature, you will have to set up your own PayPal business account, if you don’t already have one.

Click on this link to get started:


Should you have any questions at all about PayPal, contact:

Tom Hipwell  / Merchant Services
Direct Dial Ire : 01 4369206
thipwell@paypal.com

Tell them you are a SortMyBooks customer, we have been working very hard with Tom and PayPal to get this feature ready for you.

Once you are all set up with PayPal, follow the ‘How do I enable this feature in SortMyBooks’ steps above to start sending out your invoices with PayNow buttons attached!

Click here for a more detailed instructions on the feature from our knowledge base.

Here’s to Getting Paid Faster in 2012!

 

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How will the New 23% VAT Rate for Ireland affect your margins?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011|Cloud Accounting, Online Accouting Software, SAAS|by aileen

First of all, do not worry about your software, SortMyBooks Online will be automatically updated to reflect the new 23% Vat Rate.

If you are VAT Registered and selling exclusively to businesses

Anything you have been selling at 21% is going to go up because you now need to charge 23%.
If you usually quote VAT exclusive prices then all you need to do is start charging VAT on your sales invoices at 23% from 1st January 2012.

If you are VAT Registered and selling to consumers

You are going to have the most work to do because you have to raise your prices now in time for 1st January 2012. Everything that you sell currently at 21% is going to have to be increased to include 23% VAT.

The spreadsheet below is a quick calc to help you figure out exactly what to raise your prices to.
Click EDIT to change the blue figures to your numbers or else download it to excel.
If for some reason you cannot see the spreadsheet embedded below, click here: .

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TodayFM The Sunday Business Show 13/11/2011

Saturday, November 12th, 2011|Cloud Accounting, Online Accounting Software, SAAS|by aileen

This Sunday tune into TodayFM The Sunday Business Show from 10am to 11am. Anne Hannan will be there with 5 tips for small businesses to save money this year:

1.    Christmas bonuses are in short supply for most of us. But you don’t have to be a total scrooge. Once in each payroll tax year (eg. Jan to Dec) you are allowed to give your employees a non-cash gift to the value of 250 euro without them having to pay any tax or you having to pay Employer’s PRSI on it. You can buy them something you know they want or give them a gift voucher from their favourite shop.

2.    If, like most small business owners, you put your long suffering spouse to work on a regular basis helping you out with the accounts, then it makes sense to pay them. The lower your salary the less tax you pay so instead of you having a larger salary and your spouse having no salary pay them for the work they are dong in the business. This only works if your spouse isn’t employed elsewhere. If they already have a job then they are probably using up all their tax credits unless they are only part-time in their other job.

3.    If you run your business out of your home you may be able to claim a portion of your home broadband, telephone, gas and electricity expenses. I do have a huge warning on this though…before doing it you really should ask your Accountant or a Tax Consultant. The reason is that classifying part of your family home as a business could result in a capital gains tax bill if you sell your house. Eg. If you say that 20% of your house is used for business and you sell your house then the Revenue may ask for capital gains on 20% of the profit.

4.    If you have a limited company and you use your own private car for business journeys then make sure you are claiming all your business mileage. Every time you get in the car record the miles and the purpose of the trip. There are great apps for this if you’ve got a smart phone. Most of us remember to record the big trips but we forget about things like driving to the bank, visiting your accountant, going on sales calls to potential customers, meeting with suppliers or attending networking meetings. The rate varies depending on your cars engine size but click on this link to see the rates.

http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it51.html

The second part of this tip involves subsistence – again this is only if you have a limited company. Whenever you have to be away from your normal place of work you can claim for subsistence as follows:

a. 5 hours or more – 13.71

b. 10 hours or more – 33.61

c. Overnight – 108.99

See Revenue’s leaflet for full details

http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it54.html

5. One of the most obvious ways to legitimately reduce your tax bill is to properly record all of your business expenses.  If you are slapdash with receipts and think it is too much hassle to track them all then you’ll lose money.
 You are taxed on profits. So if your profits are high because you forgot to include all your costs, then for every receipt you lose, you can plan on adding up to 50% to the cost of your item because that’s what you might end up paying in additional tax on it. 
Add another 21% if there was VAT on it. Especially if you often pay for things out of your own pocket instead of your business bank account, those extra costs may never come to light.

Anne Hannan, CEO www.sortmybooks.com. Anne designs easy to use, jargon free, online accounting software that helps small business owners really get what their finances are trying to tell them.

Click here for the TodayFM Sunday Business Show

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Accounting Is Easy

Monday, January 24th, 2011|Cloud Accounting, Online Accounting Software, SAAS|by aileen

It’s all the smoke and mirrors that make it seem harder than it is. I’ll prove it to you using only what you already know. Let’s start with your business and the things that spin around your head every day about it.
Sales. Advertising.  My bank balance. My new truck. People who owe me money. My credit union loan. Wages for the staff. Rent. People I owe money to. Insurance. Travel.

Nothing hard there right? Let’s rearrange them a bit.

Read more »

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Sole Trader Income Tax Deadline October 31st

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011|Uncategorized|by romaninsh

It’s September. Summer is gone, you’ve spent the last few weeks organising schoolbooks and getting the kids settled back in school. Now it’s your turn. Five weeks to go to have your own books organised and filed with the Revenue. Is it enough time? Well, a lot depends whether you can easily lay your hands on the information required.
Here’s a few tips on sorting through the mess, and what to do in future to take the stress out of tax time.

Let’s start with the purpose of the deadline. What’s it for? It is for you as a sole trader to pay the income tax you owe for your latest accounting period. For example, if your tax year is January to December, then on October 31st, 2009, you need to pay tax on the income you earned between January 2008 and December 2008.

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