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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.

What Successful Accountants Do Differently

By | Accountants | No Comments

Not every business wants to outsource to an accountant. However, there are several things that accountants will do differently to a business to ensure that you save money and have a good financial performance.

Coleman & Co can assist all businesses in Lisburn and the surrounding areas. Our accountants can always provide advice and a range of services to assist in business finances.

Save Money On Taxes

Even if your tax returns are being filed correctly, there could still be a chance you are overspending. Whether you are struggling to submit tax returns accurately or on time, accountants will always give you an easy solution. Almost 750,000 sole traders missed their self-assessment tax return in 2018. With businesses being susceptible to large fines, outsourcing your tax can be a cost-effective option.

Running a business and organising your finances can be very time consuming, especially as a sole trader. Not only will accountants ensure taxes are submitted on time but with a great understanding on all accounting legalities, costs will be at a minimum when it comes to submitting business and staff taxes.

Meeting All Legalities

Whether this is regarding payroll, taxes or record keeping, accountants should know all the legalities. As a business owner, you are responsible for your business staying within the law regarding all finances. If you fail to do this, whilst you may ride your luck for a certain period of time, you will eventually be caught out and could face large fines.

Financial laws are constantly changing and you must always stay updated to prevent financial issues from occurring. Accountants will always be in line with the most recent legal requirements, no matter what part of your business this is for. Additionally, record keeping is often required to ensure accurate payments to the HMRC, with proof of business cash flow. Accountants will make sure your business records finances correctly and that they can be used in the future.

Planning Ahead

A big factor for every business is being prepared for the future and planning ahead. Whilst many businesses may plan for their business, the financial requirements are not always considered in these plans. An accountant can effectively plan and forecast a business cash flow, ensuring you have a good idea of what future financial performance will be required for growth.

When looking to grow your business, you will always require funding. Whether this is self-funded or you decide to borrow money, it is always best to have a financial plan in place. Once a plan is created, your business can set targets and goals to make sure this is achieved and you have the finances needed for successful growth.

Experience & Advice

Unlike many business owners, accountants have experience working with a range of businesses across a number of industries. Even if you do not require the services accountants have available, finding a successful accountant for the advice they can offer is vital. In order for your business to run successfully, your finances must always be controlled.

Accountants will always ensure this happens and can give advice to any business owners on how to successfully operate. Whether this is advice on creating budgets, payroll or bookkeeping, the best accountants will always know what option to take.

Contact Us

Coleman & Co can support and advise all business throughout the Lisburn area. When you require advice or accountancy service, our team is always available and can talk you through the work we can complete. Call us today on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

How To Successfully Grow Your Business

By | Business Advice, Business Growth | No Comments

Creating an effective plan to grow your business without any risks can be tricky. There are several ways that your business can grow without having to deal with constant problems. With the help of an account, you can maintain a good financial performance.

Coleman & Co can support all businesses throughout the Lisburn area. You will always be given advice regarding business finances and the best way to grow your business.

Limit Your Costs

The key to any successful business is keeping costs low. Whilst this may mean you don’t have the best revenue early on, it will prevent a negative cash flow. By regularly reviewing your costs and creating a budget that limits your spending, your expenses will remain low. A business budget will stop any sector of your business from overspending.

Your budget can also be tailored directly to your business needs. By comparing to previous month’s income, you can create an accurate budget that will always remain under income to give your business a healthy profit every month.

Set Targets & Goals

Whether this is for your staff members or for the entire business to achieve, targets and goals should be put in place. By creating achievable but challenging targets, your business will perform at a high standard. If you are looking to grow your business, without long-term goals there is nothing for you to achieve. By setting these targets, you should always have a better understanding of where you are heading.

Additionally, setting targets and goals can be good for your staff morale. Regardless of what industry you work in, not everyone will love coming into work. Having individuals and business targets can add competition, incentives and fun to your business. This can then lead to an improved performance so these targets are reached.

Save For Slow Growth

When growing your business, it is not always the best idea to continuously invest. If you have enough funds available to you, this may be a good choice, however, when working on a tight budget, it can be a much easier and smarter option to save up for a slower growth over a longer period of time.

Continuing to invest in the business is a positive mindset. Despite this, it makes you more likely to run out of cash and you should look at alternative methods. By saving regularly, it gives you the money you need for the future to invest and grow your business at the right times. This means you do not grow too quickly and as you grow, your costs will increase. By saving, it ensures you are prepared for all additional costs.

Spending prematurely on large items when revenue comes in may seem like a small risk; in the long-term, this could affect your business.

Record Your Transactions

In order to keep costs at a minimum and ensure the right payments are being received, you must record transactions. This will help you to create comparisons and accounts every year as well as tracking all customer payments.

You must keep on top of exactly what your customers are paying you and whether there are any changes. By having a good understanding of your expected cash flow every month or year, you can plan even better for the future.

Contact Us

If you would like advice from Coleman & Co or would like to discuss the services available, contact us today. We can help all businesses in Lisburn to grow successfully with the best possible financial performance. Call our team today on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

How To Keep Financial Records Accurate

By | Financial Records | No Comments

For most businesses, keeping financial records accurate is fairly important. Whether you have deadlines coming up or want to use finances for planning, they must remain accurate. We have several tips on the best ways to ensure complete accuracy.

Coleman & Co work with all businesses and individuals in Lisburn. If you require financial advice and want to keep financial records accurate, we can always assist.

Avoid Using Cash

Recording your finances can be a particularly tricky process, especially if you are unsure when finances are being used. Avoiding cash is often good advice as it means all transactions and recorded in bank statements and transactions. If your business regularly has cash out, it can mean you are unsure what cash has been spent on and also how much cash is leftover.

Cash may be used to purchase milk for coffees or ice lollies on a hot day. However, you should try to avoid using cash where possible, even if this means cutting down on treats. This will ensure financial records are kept accurate throughout the year and cash is not lost on small purchases.

Completing Tax Obligations

Rather than estimating your tax returns at the end of each year, monitoring tax regularly maintains the accuracy of financial records. You should always record tax returns throughout the year, ensuring the correct payments are made to the HMRC. Both business tax and tax deducted from your staff’s pay should be recorded all year round.

Failure to record taxes could lead to final tax returns being incorrect due to estimating certain costs. By recording tax returns throughout the year, this process is made much simpler and eases the pressure on accurate finances. You are less likely to make errors and therefore will avoid any potential fines.

Your business must record tax payments throughout the year from payroll and other transactions. This will always give you the financial records you need to maintain accuracy for all annual accounts.

Use Accounting Software

Whilst manually recording transactions and financial records is manageable, using accounting software can simplify this process. Accounting software ensures that all transactions and finances are recorded easily and can be used in the future. There is also a reduced amount of errors as accounting software will maintain accurate financial records.

Accounting software can also help with a range of other financial features and as it reduces errors, the accuracy of your finances will often improve. You should use the best accounting software for bookkeeping, payroll and other financial needs for maximum accuracy regarding all transactions.

Check For Errors

You may think all finances are completed perfectly first time. However, regularly checking for errors in balance sheets and cash flows could resolve many issues. This may not even be in the finances you’ve recorded but your actual business transactions. If you notice a cost or income that seems higher or lower than usual, checking for errors can provide a quick solution to maintain the accuracy of financial records.

Your finances cannot always be kept completely accurate and you should always be prepared to amend any possible errors. Any errors could have a knock-on effect for end of year accounts and tax returns. It is important bookkeeping is completed effectively throughout the year to avoid any finances and checking for errors can assist with this.

Contact Us

If you would like more information on the services we have available in Lisburn or advice on how to keep financial records accurate, contact Coleman & Co today. We can always give businesses the assistance they need regarding any issues. Call us today on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.

The Importance Of Recording Transactions

By | Bookkeeping | No Comments

Bookkeeping is essential for every business and recording transactions correctly must always be done. Not only will this assist for legal purposes, but it could also prevent any disputes you encounter with your customers.

Coleman & Co can work as bookkeepers for all businesses in Lisburn, recording transactions correctly. We ensure your finances are always managed by our team to prevent errors from occurring.

Spending & Charging

The main reason for recording transactions is to ensure you are charging and being charged accurately. Nobody ever wants unwanted costs and this includes your customers. If you are paying fixed monthlies or one time payments, transactions should never be more than what you expect. With effective recording, you ensure transactions are correct and do not cause any issues.

This can happen to both big and small businesses, but should always be avoided. Most recently, “British Gas paid 32.65m in refunds”, according to BBC News, after overcharging customers. Whilst this is often worst-case scenario, it shows, regardless of who you are dealing with, payments can be incorrect.

Your own customers should always be charged the correct amount. In order to keep your expenditure low, constant recording and management of transactions is required.

Legal Record Keeping

In addition to keeping all charges accurate, recording transactions will have a significant contribution towards legal requirements and record keeping. When owning your own business, whether this is private or public, your finances must be recorded. Record keeping can help massively with a lot of business processes, including your tax returns.

Once the recording of transactions, invoices and other financial information is complete, you should store this securely. It may be required in the future and tax records should always be kept for a minimum of 5 years, giving you another reason to efficiently record and store details of all transactions. If any legal problems arise in the future, you can refer to previous transactions for both the HMRC and customers.

When recording transactions, there are several people you should be sharing your financial data with. By outsourcing to professional accountants, we have the best software available to make these records easily accessible for all clients, whilst maintaining security.

Manage Your Costs

Recording transactions helps with many business processes but can also improve your profit massively. By reducing costs and ensuring customers pay on time and the right amount, you will gradually improve profit. Customer payments should always be managed correctly to avoid cancellations and inaccurate cash flow forecasts.

This will also reduce your business expenditure in several ways. Recording transactions allows you to prepare finances for tax returns, therefore meeting deadlines and avoiding penalties. Your tax returns should always be completed across the year and well in advance of any deadlines, ensuring any minor errors can be altered before it becomes a big problem. Having all the transactions recorded will always make this process simpler.

Additionally, you can manage your outgoings much more effectively by tracking your transactions. If you notice any unusual payments or an unexpected rise in costs for the month, your records could explain this. By making comparisons each month, you can reduce your expenditure, identifying where money can be saved.

Contact Us

The importance of recording transactions should never be underestimated by a business. If you would like more information on the services we have available, speak to Coleman & Co today. We are happy to provide advice in addition to accurate and professional bookkeeping services for all businesses in Lisburn. Call us today on 028 9266 3599 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry.


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