Find Out How Cloud Accounting Can Make MTD a Smoother Transition

Making Tax Digital

Technological hitches and Brexit-related delays aside, Making Tax Digital (MTD) is going to happen. One way or another, the UK’s tax system is going digital, and it’s vitally important that you take the correct measures now to avoid scrambling at the last minute two years from now.

In this brief blog post, we explain why switching to cloud accounting today can make MTD a smoother, more effective transition in the future.

A reminder: What is Making Tax Digital?

We’ve previously blogged about what Making Tax Digital is and how it will affect you, but if you’re still not sure, here’s a quick reminder:

Making Tax Digital is a government initiative designed to streamline and simplify tax, and bring about the end of paper accounting for millions across the UK. Instead of a yearly tax return, businesses will be tasked with setting up a digital tax account and filing an online return once per quarter.

If it all works as intended, MTD will make tax more straightforward, accurate, and far less stressful.

Why make the switch now?

From a compliance point of view, if your business does not exceed the VAT threshold, you will not be mandated to keep digital records and submit quarterly returns via digital accounting software. Or, in other words, if you’re not turning over £85,000 and above, you can breathe easy about implementing new software.

However, there’s still an argument that you should make the switch to a cloud-based accounting system well in advance of the inevitable expansion of MTD, set to take place in or around April 2020.

Why? Well, cloud accounting can save you time and save you money. It makes financial admin easier, and will ultimately result in a more effective and efficient tax return, regardless of whether or not your business is compelled to comply with MTD.

It might be tempting to dismiss MTD as yet another HMRC obligation, but the truth is, the move towards a fully digital and largely automated accounting process will improve your business tenfold. You’ll have instant access to real-time, up-to-date numbers which will, in turn, help you make better decisions in your pursuit of growth and profit.

So, the question ought to be “which cloud accounting software do I choose?” and the answer is simple – Xero.

How can Xero help?

Xero is by far the most popular cloud accounting software in the UK – and with good reason. It acts as the financial hub of your business, bringing together important functions such as bookkeeping, accounting, invoicing, and reporting.

Whether you have MTD in mind or not, making the switch to the cloud with Xero will undoubtedly bear fruit for your organisation. In fact, the features and benefits are there for all to see:

  • A clean and clear dashboard provides an at-a-glance overview of your key numbers, meaning you’re always in control.
  • A live bank feed keeps everything up-to-date.
  • Online invoicing means you can invoice directly to customers, log sales straight into Xero, and follow up with late payers in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Financial reports give you the opportunity to see your balance sheet, profit and loss, or cash report at any given time, and all with real-time, accurate numbers.

Where Making Tax Digital is concerned, Xero is already a step ahead. It can:

  • Automatically calculate tax (including VAT and payroll tax).
  • Pull financial data directly from your bank, invoicing software, or point of sale system.
  • Update transactions daily, keeping you on top of bank reconciliation.
  • Create digital records of paper receipts and bills via its smartphone app.

All of this combines to provide you with a clear picture of your business’s financial performance and tax liabilities, keeping you organised and ready to meet your next tax payment, or sidestep your next cash flow concern. In short, by introducing a cloud accounting system like Xero, you’ll take the change to Making Tax Digital in your stride.

Get Ready for MTD with Saint and Xero

There are no two ways about it, change is scary. Especially if it means implementing technology you’ve never used before. But Making Tax Digital could be a huge positive for your business. Filing returns quarterly could make tax less taxing, and allow you the opportunity to better plan for the future.

And by making the switch to Xero, not only will you be prepared for MTD, you’ll also have accurate financial information at your fingertips, helping you spot opportunities and threats faster than ever before.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, simply click the link to Get Started with Xero, or call us on 01228 534 371 to chat with one of our friendly advisors.

From ‘Xero Worries’ to ‘Zero Worries’: How we helped Coomara overcome cloud accounting apprehension

Xero worries to Zero worries

For many business owners, cloud accounting plays an essential part in their day-to-day. Both short and long-term plans are confidently put into action, underpinned by real-time, accurate, and up-to-date numbers.

But for some, the idea of switching to the cloud is, well, clouded by trepidation.

They just can’t overcome their concerns regarding security, usability, or accessibility, and sometimes there’s a reluctance to abandon a familiar (if outdated) spreadsheet or desktop accounting system.

As newly crowned Xero Platinum Partners, we see it as our duty to lead the way when it comes to cloud accounting, helping those apprehensive to make the switch see the light. And that’s precisely what we did for Pete Denston of Coomara Veterinary Practice.

About Coomara

A small, independent vet practice specialising in small and large animal care, Coomara is the quintessential family business, led by husband and wife team Pete and Charlotte Denston and their team of vets and support staff. They cover Carlisle and the surrounding areas and have done so since 1989. However, Pete and Charlotte first became involved with, and bought, the practice in 2013, which is when our working relationship with Coomara began.

Pete approached us and two other accountancy firms for advice prior to purchasing the business. We quickly spotted the viability and, backed by careful analysis and cash flow forecasts, this information encouraged Pete and Charlotte to take the leap.

A Major Challenge

Coomara is a well-established and well-liked business in Carlisle (one glance at their reviews will attest to this). But even the most successful of businesses will encounter tricky challenges sooner or later. For Pete, Charlotte and Coomara, this came in the shape of financial admin and internal accounting processes.

They needed help with bookkeeping, balancing records, and VAT returns, among others, and were in desperate need of a simple, easy-to-use accounting system. We were only too happy to help.

The Solution? Enter: Xero

Pete required an accounting system that provided access to real-time, up-to-date numbers, and gave him an accurate picture of his practice’s financial wellbeing at the drop of a hat. For us, there was only one solution: Xero.

It’s known as the world’s most beautiful cloud accounting software for a reason, and after demoing the platform and taking Pete through its various capabilities, he was on board.

We took the lead with regards to set up and training, and now offer ongoing support to Pete and his team as they continue to use Xero to run and grow Coomara.

The result? Life is less stressful, there’s more time to run the business rather than getting bogged down in admin, and the access to real-time numbers has helped significantly improve decision making.

“Helpful and supportive…”

We continue to work closely with Pete, Charlotte and their team to ensure they’re making the most of Xero, its core features, and its wide range of add-ons.

Here’s what a far less apprehensive Pete had to say about his introduction to Xero and the cloud:

“The team at Saint has been very helpful and supportive in the running of my business. If I ever have a problem with Xero, I know that they’ll be able to either help resolve the problem or advise me on how best to sort it out myself if needed.”

Find Out How Xero Can Help Your Business

If you’d like to experience the benefits of Xero and cloud accounting, just like Pete and Coomara, we can help. Our team of Xero Champions are ready to show you the ropes. You’ll be saving time and money before you know it!

Simply click the link to Get Started with Xero, or call us on 01228 534371 to chat with one of our friendly advisors.

5 ways Xero online accounting improves your business and gives you a better work/life balance

Lindsay Farrer, Partner, Carlisle Office
Lindsay Farrer, Partner, Carlisle Office

Time is a precious resource for business owners. Whether you’re a farmer, hotel owner or start-up entrepreneur, the less time you spend on financial admin the more you can focus on growing your business and building customer relationships.

But control over your financial management is also vital. Clear oversight of your revenues, costs, cash flow and profits is an absolute must.

So how do you reduce the time spent keying in receipts, while also getting an improved view of your finances?

The answer is to work with Saint & Co accountants to switch your financial management to Xero online accounting – the leading cloud accounting platform for small business owners.

5 key ways your life becomes better

Xero is accounting software, based in the cloud. It works just like the desktop-based accounting systems you’re used to, but without any of the limitations – with Xero, you can work with your business numbers 24/7.

Xero brings you all these key benefits:

  1. Instant, mobile access to your key numbers, straight from your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
  2. Easier ways to collaborate with your accountants and improve the proactive business advice you receive.
  3. Less time spent on paperwork, using a smart-scanning app such as Receipt Bank to automate your bookkeeping.
  4. A faster way to get paid and improve cash flow, using online email invoicing, modern payment gateways and automated debtor chasing.
  5. Integration with a range of business tools, designed to improve your business and give you back time to live your life well.

Saint & Co: your trusted Xero partner

At Saint & Co, we’re proud of our century-old heritage as accountants in the Cumbrian community. But we’re also a forward-thinking firm, always using cutting-edge financial technology to help our clients do more.

Our trained Xero specialists will help you seamlessly make the switch to cloud accounting. Once you see the impact on your time and profitability, you’ll wonder how you managed your business without the help of Xero.

If you want more from your business and work/life balance, contact us to arrange a hands-on demo of Xero’s beautiful accounting software.

Call Saint & Co on 01228 534371  or email us at advice@saint.co.uk to book a Xero demo and start the next chapter in your business success.

“Xero – Beautiful Accounting Software to Make Life Easier” Seminar

Xero – Beautiful Accounting Software to Make Life Easier”

Join us at our FREE workshop – hot lunch included

on Tuesday, 21st March 2017

at The Auctioneer, Rosehill, Carlisle

12.30 pm – 2.30 pm

“Cloud” Accounting software is becoming more and more popular as it can be accessed from anywhere at anytime.

In addition to being able to access it from anywhere at anytime, we think Xero is simple to use, jargon free and has the added benefit of no limit on the number of users. (Plus no more update CD’s to load!)

A numbers of partners and staff at Saint & Co, have become “Xero” certified.

Why not come and watch a demo of Xero, the world’s easiest accounting software and you will see why so many people are using this.

For further details click on our flyer.

Do not miss out on booking your place as demand is likely to be high. To secure your place(s), visit www.saint.co.uk/events to book online or complete and return the attached reply slip below no later than Wednesday 15th March 2017.

 

 

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