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Benefits Of Smaller Accounting Firms

By | Accounting Firms | No Comments

Choosing between large and small accounting firms can be a difficult decision for many businesses. However, working with a local and smaller accounting firm can often be the best option. There are many drawbacks to using larger firms to manage your finances.

Coleman & Co support all businesses, large and small, throughout Lisburn and the surrounding area. When you are considering accounting firms, our team can always offer a comprehensive service.

Personal & Genuine Relationships

With many bigger firms employing a number of staff members, you can find yourself working with different accountants each time. Not only does this mean you can’t develop a genuine relationship with your accountant, but it can be more difficult to manage your finances. Dealing with different staff makes it harder to discuss the same issues you are encountering on a regular basis.

With personal service from smaller accounting firms, you can be assured of support whenever it is required. As you also deal with the same accountant for your business, this allows you to create genuine relationships whilst continuously improving business finances. Smaller accounting firms will always strive to improve your business financially.

Local Expertise

Whilst this isn’t always your main priority, an accountant with knowledge and expertise of the local area can be helpful. A local accountant is also easier to visit if you require an actual meeting, helping to build your relationship. Additionally, this can be much easier than getting in touch with accountants from a bigger firm.

At Coleman & Co, our local expertise gives us a great understanding of any issues that could be occurring to local businesses and industries. As we are located nearby, we have a great understanding of all the problems you could encounter when based in Northern Ireland.

Experience With All Businesses

Both big and small firms will have experience dealing with all businesses in many industries. However as smaller accounting firms work much closer and regularly with each business, it will often give us a better understanding of each business’ problems and how to solve them effectively.

This means when you come up against financial issues, we have the experience to quickly deal with them. Providing all accounting services you may require, we can identify a number of problems and how to improve your financial performance. Whether this is through your cash flow, tracking invoices or creating business budgets, we can always assist.

Time To Improve

Along with a personal service, accountants from smaller firms will often have more time to completely dedicate to your business. This means other than general accounting and bookkeeping, you will receive a huge range of accounting services. Rather than just having other accounting information available to you, smaller accountants can work through this information and advise you on how to improve.

With consultancy and advice services also available, this ensures you can discuss your business and finances whenever you require. Smaller accounting firms will always have the time available to work closely with you and give the further information you require. This also means accountants can work in each area of your business, specialising in its improvement. In the long term-smaller accounting firms can be the best option to improve your finances.

Of course, choosing an accountant is different for every business. Smaller firms are often more personal, cost-effective and helpful for improvement, giving you the best opportunity to grow.

Contact Us

For more information on the accounting services we have available, contact Coleman & Co today. We can always provide the advice you need regarding your finances and discuss all the services you require. Call 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry and receive a fast response.

How Can An Accountant Help My Business

By | Accountant, Accountants | No Comments

Accountants offer so much more than simple bookkeeping and account preparation. With a successful and experienced accountant, businesses can always improve their financial performance. With a range of accounting services, you can always benefit from an accountant.

Coleman & Co provide a range of accounting services for all businesses. Your accountant can always discuss your finances and what improvements can be made.

Creating Business Strategies

To improve financial performance, it is important to have business strategies in place. A business strategy is created to help your business identify and achieve its major goals. Whether this is personal, financial or business goals, accountants can help you create your business strategies and key performance indicators.

It is important that your business strategies actually help you meet your goals and make your goals achievable. Whether you are a business startup or you have just never set marketing strategies, an accountant can always you put these features in place.

Fixing Cash Flow

Cash flow is essential to every business. If your cash flow is not giving you the positive financial performance you desire, there is often a lot of improvements you could make. An accountant will identify why expenditure outweighs revenue and how this can be changed for your business. Just some of the issues an accountant may deal with includes:

  • Create Business Budgets
  • Lower Running Costs
  • Managing Debt
  • Unpaid Invoices

There are several areas of your business that accountants can look at and a suitable solution should be found. To fix your cash flow, it is important to look at all outgoings and what can be prevented or minimised using smart budgets.

Tax Records & Returns

One of the most important processes for every business is your tax records and returns. Taxes are a financial area that most business owners want to outsource and struggle with. Even if you are happy doing your own taxes, there are ways an accountant could help your business with taxes.

Not only will accountants make sure taxes are submitted accurately and on time to avoid fines but they will also provide many other tax services. This can include tax audits and dealing with the HMRC during any investigations or queries. By also fixing any poor record keeping and with legal knowledge, it ensures you never pay more tax than necessary. This can save money whilst also preventing penalties through incorrect tax returns.

Providing Accounting Software

Accounting software is not just used to make your business record keeping more efficient. Accountants should introduce new software to all businesses, whether this is for just one member of staff or a whole team. With accounting software, your finances can be managed much better.

This will also give you the software needed for many other business processes. Whether this is invoicing, taking payment or completing payroll, the best software makes these processes much easier.

Financial Consultancy

Some businesses may be financially stable but this doesn’t mean accountants can’t help your business. With financial consultancy, this can still address many of the issues your business faces and areas of improvement.

If you want to improve your financial performance, advice and consultancy from an accountant can always be beneficial. Even if you do not require accountancy services, accountants will have great experience dealing with many businesses and industries, giving you great knowledge of how finances can be improved.

Contact Us

If you would like more information on our accountancy services, get in touch with Coleman & Co today. We can support all businesses in Lisburn and throughout the surrounding areas and provide you with a trusted, qualified accountant. Call us on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

A Guide To Digital Tax

By | Digital Accountancy, Digital Tax | No Comments

From the 1st April 2019, VAT registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold will have to make the transition to digital tax. With the right software and help from qualified accountants, this process can be made easy.

Coleman & Co work with all businesses throughout Lisburn. Providing a range of accounting services, we can prepare all clients for digital tax.

Why Is Tax Going Digital?

Tax is going digital as part of the HMRC plans to ensure the UK tax systems are as easy and efficient as possible for all taxpayers. Whilst all businesses can choose to move to digital tax, it is essential for some businesses. If you have a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000, you must keep digital records. This also means all tax submission will have to be made with the digital software suitable for the HMRC.

Whilst the transition to digital tax may be stressful for many businesses initially, this change should help. It makes submitting taxes much easier and with tax records also being recorded, this can easily be submitted without errors. 71% of businesses currently submit records through the HMRC website. However, with digital tax, this will not be necessary and taxes can be completed through uploads from tax software.

How To Prepare

Whether your business must submit taxes through digital software or you do not exceed the VAT threshold, you should still be preparing for this change. Eventually, all businesses will have to submit taxes online as we make this transition with modern technology. This means your business should be reviewing your software and processes to ensure this is HMRC compatible.

This could mean initial costs to upgrade could be expensive for your business. Despite this, in the long term, it will be the best option for you. It ensures time spent on taxes will be reduced and that errors can also be avoided. With taxes and records all being recorded on digital software, this should make tax returns more accurate. Taxes can easily be attached and submitted to the HMRC without any issues.

For businesses exceeding the £85,000 threshold, making these changes quickly are essential. With just 3 weeks until digital tax is put in place, the sooner this software is made available, the easier it will be to submit taxes before the deadline and meet all the needs of the HMRC.

Keeping Taxes Accurate

There are several exceptions for businesses who will not have to adjust for April 2019, with a 6-month extension until October 2019. This includes:

  • ‘Not for Profit’ Organisations
  • Government Departments
  • Local Authorities
  • NHS Trusts
  • Public Corporations
  • Traders Based Overseas
  • VAT Divisions
  • VAT Groups

For all other businesses who must adjust for April, our accountants can meet your needs. With the correct digital tax software available and with our business providing tax returns for all businesses, we can make sure you are fully adjusted.

Our team manage all record keeping and tax records for every business. With our accounting systems, this allows us to reduce the number of errors in your tax records and make a quick submission before the deadline, with all records completely accurate.

Contact Us

If you would like more information regarding digital tax and require the support of Coleman & Co, contact our team today. We are happy to help all businesses throughout Lisburn and the surrounding areas with tax and accounting services. Call us today on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

Accounting Tips To Improve Your Profits

By | Accounting, Accounting Tips | No Comments

Improving profits is essential for every business and having the advice of accountants can always be beneficial. There are several ways your business can continue to grow and with our accounting tips, you can always improve profits.

Coleman & Co can advise all businesses throughout the Lisburn area. Whenever you require accounting tips, our team will always be available.

Analyse Expenses

Profits can easily be increased by analysing expenses. Whilst your current expenditure may not be a large problem for your business, there are often many ways you can cut your costs to improve profits.

Analysing expenses will not only identify where you are spending money when you should be. It should also give you an insight into where your business is spending too much money and not receiving the same return on investment that you expect from spending this money. This can help you pump money back into the most successful areas of your business to make the best profit.

Reduce & Prevent Debts

Every business can encounter debt problems and they are not always easy to recover from. With the help of accountants, you can make sure that debts can be paid off quickly and that you never miss any repayments as long as you have the money available.

As we can also help to reduce unneeded spend within your business, this can free up your purse strings and make it much easier to pay off debts quickly and without errors. With accounting tips, we can gradually reduce your expenditure so you worry less and less about debt. Regardless of whether you are a start-up business or a well established one, this can always be helpful.

Profitable Products

Eliminating the least successful products and focusing on the most profitable ones is a must for every business. If you seriously want to make a large profit, continuing to sell products that simply do not work is never going to help.

Our accountants can always take you through which products are working best for you and where the majority of your income is coming from. Once evaluated, your business can focus on the most profitable products.

Use Accounting Software

To get the most detailed information on your finances, you should always use professional accounting software. Whether you choose to do this through an accountant or install the accounting software yourself, it is a fantastic option.

Using accounting software will always give you the opportunity you need to improve financial performance. Additionally, this can also reduce the number of errors you make and improve financial accuracy. In the long-term, this is ideal to help you save costs and make sure all finances are recorded and used correctly.

Outsource Your Accounting

Our accounting tips should always help you to improve business profits. However, if you do struggle to manage your finances, outsourcing your accounting can often be the best option. Accountants deal with many businesses and will always have the expertise to help your company flourish.

Using the best accounting software and a range of accounting services to analyse and improve your finances, you can always depend on our accountants. Our accountants will also provide you with regular advice and consultation, as well as making sure your finances are easily accessible for you to retain full control.

Contact Us

If you would like more accounting tips or would like to hire our accountants, contact Coleman & Co today. We can always provide a fast response to clients located in Lisburn and throughout the surrounding areas. You will receive any support you require. Call us on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

Should Business Tax Returns Be Outsourced?

By | Tax Returns | No Comments

Completing your own tax returns may seem the cost-effective option but this can often cause a problem for your business. Outsourcing tax to your accountants could be very beneficial, saving you time and money in the long term.

Coleman & Co can support all businesses throughout Lisburn with tax returns. You can always depend on us for a range of accounting services.

Taxes Completed Early

Keeping up with your finances throughout the tax year is the easy part and even this can become difficult. You must constantly update your financial records simultaneously with the tax returns you will owe. This ensures when you eventually have to submit your tax to the HMRC, you are not left in a scramble to reach the deadline.

Accountants will always make sure your taxes are ready for the tax deadline and there is no delay in submission. Whilst missing the deadline may not result in an immediate fine, it could cause future problems for your business and unwanted stress. You will never receive any fines or penalties when using our accountants, whilst any last minute changes can easily be made with your taxes ready to send off in advance.

Building Trust

Using a qualified accountant and professional accounting software is a great way to reassure the HMRC that your taxes are correct. Regardless of who you are, taxes will always be thoroughly checked for errors or complete lies. However, this process is made much easier when your taxes are organised and there is less chance of a mix-up.

Using our team will make sure the HMRC receive tax returns from our team for several businesses throughout Lisburn and the surrounding areas. As we have experience dealing with tax returns every year, using an accountant can be the best option to showcase the accuracy and professionalism of your own business.

Tax Planning

One of the most difficult issues for business owners is planning ahead for your taxes. Being a business owner is very time consuming and this can often mean you can’t effectively plan for your tax returns. Filing tax is important but creating a plan so that your tax is accurate is essential.

Without a tax plan, when it comes to submitting your tax at the end of the tax year, you might find it difficult to keep your finances accurate. Tax returns should never be an estimate and it is important you give the HMRC complete accuracy. This ensures you avoid any fines or tax audits and investigations for your business. This will only cost more time, so having your tax plan in place from the start should be a priority.

Outsourcing to an accountant will ensure your business has a tax plan in place and that all income and expenses are accounted for.

Completing Tax Returns Yourself

Completing tax returns yourself is always an option, however, this depends on the time and skills you have. If you can confidently file tax returns and have experience and knowledge of how to do this quickly and accurately, then this may be the best option for you to save money.

However, if you struggle with managing your finances throughout the year, your tax return will not be easy to complete. There could be several errors in your final return and amending them accurately will often take time. Completing tax returns yourself can be a big risk. It could lead to less productivity and large fines from the HMRC if you continue to make mistakes.

Contact Us

If you require accountants for tax returns or would just like advice from our team, contact Coleman & Co today. We can support all businesses in Lisburn and will always give you the guidance you require. Call us on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

Do Sole Traders Struggle More With Finances?

By | Sole Traders | No Comments

It is a common perception that sole traders may struggle more with the organisation of their business. As you have to manage all finances and business processes, this can become very time-consuming. But do sole traders really struggle more with finances?

Coleman & Co can support all businesses throughout Lisburn whether you are sole traders or limited companies. We always have advice and a range of accounting services available.

Sole Trader Advantage

Despite how difficult it can be to maintain all business finances, there are many advantages for sole traders. Running your business allows you to maintain full control as long as it is run correctly. This means there is no interference from others and that all decision making comes down to you. your business only makes choices you are happy with.

You can also choose to make your business more personal and unique. As long as your business is run correctly, there should be little worries over your financial performance. You should know all your transactions inside out, preventing cash flow from becoming an issue.

Making Payments

A big problem for sole traders can be making payments on time. When you are dealing with all the finances within your business, it can be easy to simply forget about certain payments that haven’t been planned for.

Whether this is large or small payments, it is important you stay on top of all transactions. You should particularly pay attention to HMRC payments, ensuring you are always prepared for this. If payments need to go out for loans, monthly payments or to suppliers, this must always be planned to ensure payments are never missed.

Failure to make payments to the HMRC on time could even lead to fines and penalties. This should always be a priority for all sole traders.

Reducing Time Consumption

No one can create time out of thin air and no matter how hard you work, this is always something you will run out of. Sole traders must plan effectively and allocate times throughout the month to manage their finances. This is not something you should do simply when you have free time.

By allocating a specific time slot to manage your finances, you can reduce the time spent on finances. This will also give you more time to manage other processes within the business, for the best chance of running a successful company.

Destined To Fail?

Whilst 9 out of 10 businesses survive their first year of trading, 4 in 10 businesses die within 5 years. It is a big task to keep your business afloat and if this is your first time managing a business, it can become very difficult.

Sole traders benefit from the fact you may not have many staff to pay in your earlier years. However, you must plan for growth to ensure your assets and cash will not run out and that the business can grow at a steady rate, rather than failing within 5 years. Sole traders are certainly not destined to fail and can often perform better than bigger businesses. However, it is important to have a financial plan to keep cash flow positive, whilst ensuring you spend enough time managing finances.

Contact Us

If you are a sole trader and require advice from our team, do not hesitate to contact Coleman & Co. We can provide our services throughout Lisburn, ensuring your accounts and finances and recorded and managed correctly. Call us for more information on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

A Guide To Completing Your Tax Returns

By | Tax Returns | No Comments

Tax returns are a hassle for every business owner but of course, they must be completed. Whether you have little experience with the HMRC or you are struggling with tax returns, our step-by-step guide can help.

Coleman & Co can complete tax returns on behalf of any business. We are always happy to offer our support throughout Lisburn and the surrounding areas.

When Tax Returns Should Be Completed

There are several situations where you may have to complete tax returns and there are two possible deadlines for when these must be completed. Not everyone has to complete a tax return, however, this must be done if you are:

  • Company Director
  • Self Employed
  • The Highest Earner in a Family Claiming Child Benefits When Earning Over £50,000
  • Earn £100,000 a Year or More
  • Earn £2,500 or More in Untaxed Income
  • Have Savings or Investment Income of Over £10,000
  • Receive Income From Abroad

This obviously won’t apply to everyone but it is important you keep track of whether you should be completing self-assessment tax returns. Your taxes must be completed by 5th October 2019 if you file your tax returns through paper. If you choose to complete tax returns online, this gives you until the 31st January 2020. This gives you plenty of time to submit 2018/2019 returns, regardless of how much tax you owe.

Your tax year started on 6th April 2018 and will finish on 5th April 2019.

What To Fill Out

The confusing part often comes from business owners and self-assessors not understanding what to complete. Your tax returns can often be quite simple, especially if your annual turnover is less than £85,000. This is the current VAT threshold for the 2018/2019 tax year. If this is the case for you and your business, only the ‘short tax forms’ must be completed.

Unfortunately, if your turnover was over the £85,000 VAT threshold, you must complete the “full tax forms”. As tax returns can be completed both online and through paper forms, we strongly advise doing this online. This a much quicker and efficient way of completing tax returns and makes it easier for you to accurately submit tax returns using the correct forms.

All businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold must use digital tax forms from 1st April 2019. Preparing yourself for this change is essential and using online tax forms is the best way to do this.

Personal Income Tax Returns

Working out how much tax you need to pay for your income is a simple process. Everyone gets a personal allowance of £11,850. Until you earn more than this, you should never have to pay any tax to the HMRC. However, if you still owe money from previous tax years, this will still have to be paid.

From £11,851 to £46,350, you will pay 20% tax on your salary. From £46,351 to £150,000, this will mean you pay 40% income tax. Anything upwards from £150,000 will demand a whopping 45% tax returns. Whilst this may be a large amount, unfortunately, you will always have to pay taxes whether you are a business owner or completing taxes for employees or completing self-assessments.

Deadlines & Penalties

If you miss the initial deadline for your self-assessment tax return, you will receive a penalty of £100. It is important to make amendments quickly to submit accurate taxes. Every day after the initial fine will give you £10 extra charge.

Whilst this may not seem like a lot of money, this can build up to a maximum of £900, so best to get your taxes completed correctly the first time around! As previously mentioned, the tax return deadline for paper forms is 5th October 2019. If you fail to meet this deadline, the final online tax returns give you until 31st January 2020.

Contact Us

If you require any more information on tax returns or require advice, contact Coleman & Co. We can help all businesses in Lisburn and the surrounding areas, as well as completing your tax returns ourselves. Call our team today on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

Common Accounting Mistakes To Avoid

By | Accounting Mistakes, Business Advice | No Comments

Whether you own a large or small business, it can be easy to make accounting mistakes. It will not always cause a big problem to your business, however, its best to avoid mistakes altogether.

Coleman & Co will take you through all the common business accounting mistakes that are made and how to avoid them.

Disregarding Accounting Procedures

If you want your business finances to stay accurate, it is important to think like an accountant. By following regular accounting procedures, you can cut out accounting mistakes that could be made. Accountants use the best methods to ensure complete accuracy in all business finances and replicating these methods and processes will help you stay on top of finances.

Choosing to disregard basic accounting methods and choose your own processes can often lead you down the wrong path. Whilst this could be successful, you should always choose to set up detailed finances to manage bookkeeping and accounting.

Poor Organisation

Regardless of your current financial situation or the number of transactions you’re tracking, you must avoid poor organisation. Poor organisation will always lead to further mistakes, even if you feel like you’re in control of your finances.

This means you should keep receipts for all business transactions, tracking all income and expenses. Failing to stay organised could lead to legal issues if you fall behind with tax returns or paperwork. Organisation is key to ensuring all tax returns are accurate and that you always have access to all financial information.

Incorrect Figures

Whether you are a maths genius or struggle with the numbers, anyone can make mistakes with their figures. There is very little you can do to avoid a genuine error, however, using accounting software should always be a priority.

Even if the error made is minor, it can still influence your financial records and other financial features. Using accounting software will reduce the chances of errors being made, as well as picking up on any possible mistakes you have made. This may not prevent errors, but it could help you identify and resolve them quickly.

Missing Tax Deadlines

In 2018, almost 750,000 people missed the January 31st tax deadline. Too many businesses are failing to submit tax returns on time, which could lead to fines or investigations. This will only cause more problems for your business, making it important to always submit taxes on time.

Submitting your taxes on time really shouldn’t be a difficult process for most clients. Keeping your taxes organised throughout the year will help you prepare for deadlines and ensure taxes can easily be submitted without any issues. If you fail to record taxes throughout the year, it makes tax returns a big struggle and puts you at risk of missing the deadline.

Not Recording Small Transactions

It’s just a small transaction, so why does it need recording? Every business transaction needs to be recorded, regardless of how large or small it may be. Whether you are purchasing a pint of milk or a chocolate bar from the local shop, record these transactions. Not only could they build up, but it ensures your business finances are as accurate as possible.

Your small transactions may not be as simple to record as larger transactions if they are frequent. However, they are just as significant and as they build up, their grand total will need to be included in final finances. Without recording these transactions, there is no evidence of what has been purchased and how much individual costs were.

Contact Us

Another way to avoid accounting mistakes is to outsource to fully qualified accountants. Coleman & Co offer advice and a range of accounting services to all businesses in the Lisburn area. For more information on our services or to hire accountants, contact our team today. Call us on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

4 Benefits Of Keeping Accounting Records

By | Financial Records | No Comments

Whilst keeping accounting records is a legal requirement and essential for your tax returns, it also offers your business several benefits. Record keeping can be used for much more than just the simple tasks and can go a long way to transforming your financial performance.

Coleman & Co provide a range of bookkeeping services to ensuring accounting records are used for the best purposes. Additionally, we can advise you on what financial benefits record keeping could have.

Accurate Tax Returns

There are many benefits to record keeping, however, tax returns are still the essential reason for accounting records. You should keep your tax records for a minimum of five years after the 31st January in the relevant tax year. If your tax is submitted in 2018, these records must then be kept until at least 2023.

This could prepare you for many financial situations, including tax investigations from the HMRC. This may be unlikely to occur but investigations are possible if your tax returns are inaccurate or seem faked for any reason. Accounting records will also help you keep your initial tax returns correct, reducing the chance of errors occurring.

Quick Preparation

Whether this is for your end of year accounts or to create financial forecasts for stakeholders, a quick preparation can be beneficial for all business owners. Whilst financial forecasts can be useful, it can be time-consuming and difficult to make without looking at previous financial records. Using your accounting records, annual accounts can be created immediately with the correct finances.

Forecasts and other financial resources may take a bit longer but will be quickly created with previous records. This allows you to look at previous business finances and judge how the business will perform in the future, creating accurate financial forecasts. Spending too much time on this can be an issue for a business, but creating these resources can help.

Creating Partnerships

Many businesses can be successful using their own customers, staff and products. However, if you ever choose to work with other business and create partnerships, having accounting records available will always help. Showcasing your accounting records will demonstrate the success of your business.

It is important to have a strong financial performance and record this accurately and this could even lead to your business being sold or receiving a loan. If your records are kept accurate and stored correctly, it shows that finances are kept in good condition. With your business, there is little risk of your business having a negative cash flow.

Managing Growth

Most businesses have a plan to grow, whether this is in terms of profit or the number of staff and branches you have. But how do you know when your business is ready to grow? Accounting records must be kept if you are looking to grow and manage this growth in an effective way. Growing too fast or slow could lead to less profit and cash flow then you require. With growth at the right time, the optimum revenue will be generated.

Your accounting records will make a big difference in successfully managing your growth. With record keeping, you can judge when to invest in your business for growth and when to save. As every business grows, there can be many risks, so finding the right time to grow is essential.

Contact Us

Every business should keep their accounting records for legal purposes and can use them for a number of benefits. For more information on our accountancy services or advice on how to record keep effectively, call Coleman & Co. Make an enquiry on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form today.

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