Keep your Christmas Spending Under Control

The months before Christmas are always expensive, and planning everyone’s Christmas presents from your dog to your great-grandparents can be quite stressful. Keep yourself calm and enjoy your Christmas by managing your spending.

If you require extra assistance with understanding how much money you have available to spend an accountant may be able to help. Accountants in Bedford have a team of highly skilled and experienced accountants. They will sort through your finances whether they be personal or for business and will help you understand how much money is available for spending.

 

Budget

Creating a budget for yourself is a great way to start organising Christmas presents. Knowing how much you are going to spend on each person’s gift will enable you to keep track of your spendings much easier.

You first want to take into account the number of people you need to buy a present for. From knowing how many presents you need to buy you can work out a budget for each person. You may also want to spend a little bit more on some people such as your parents or significant others.  

 

Secret Santa

If you have a large family buying a present for each person can become incredibly expensive. Have a sit down with your entire family and discuss secret Santa. With secret Santa, you can just put everyone’s name in a hat/pot and choose one each. The name you get is the person you need to buy a present for. Doing this means that you all only have to buy one gift, and you all save a lot of money.

Secret Santa isn’t just good for families/friends; it is also perfect for offices/businesses. Doing secret Santa gets everyone in the office involved and brings people together. As a result of everyone being involved, you won’t end up accidentally hurting someone’s feelings because you only bought certain colleagues a present. This is a good way of increasing the office morale to help encourage employees to get through the festive season at work. It will also help everyone get along and come together.

 

Treating employees

Treating your employees is an excellent way of keeping them sweet and encouraging them to work harder. Christmas, in particular, is a hard time of the year to get employees enthusiastic about work. At this time most people just want to be with their loved ones and go shopping to find the perfect gifts for everyone.

If you need any help managing your accounts for your business this Christmas then a small business accountant in Bedford will be able to help. They will look at the amount of money you have and consider the things you have to spend it on for the next year.

 

Keep an Eye on Your Taxes

Taxes will creep up on you all the time in everything you do. Wages will be taxed (depending on how much you earn), items bought in the store will be taxed and should you drive one, cars are taxed too. Taxes are easy to lose track of as there are so many and each at a different price. If you’re struggling to keep track, a handy thing to do would be to get a little book and write down all of the taxes you pay in it and the dates at which you pay them. From knowing the taxes you pay, you will be able to keep track of your finances much easier and understand how much money you have left over for treating yourself or others.

 

End of Year Payments

Even though it’s Christmas and nearly new year, don’t forget about all the payments you need to make. Going all out on Christmas is the best way to celebrate it. However, make sure you have sufficient funds to do so. Whether it’s for business or personal financing there’s always something to pay for. Work out your payments so you know how much you can spend this Christmas.

Businesses

As a business, you will have quite a few things that you will need to pay-off before Christmas. Firstly, it’s best to pay all outstanding payments before Christmas. This will allow the business to go into the new year with no overdue payments. These payments may be for software your business uses or for other companies whose services your use. Within this, there will be bills that you will need to pay, such as property, electrical and insurance bills. Like usual, each employee will be paid their wages, however, at Christmas a lot of businesses like to give out bonuses for all the hard work throughout the year.

To help organise these payments an accountant will be incredibly useful. They will let you understand how much you can afford to spend on Christmas bonuses and how much you can spend on the Christmas office party. Having a Christmas party gives employees something to look forward to and therefore encouraging them to work harder.

Personal

As individuals, we have a lot to pay for. Some people will have more to pay than others, but there are the common payments that will affect nearly everyone. Each one of us has to pay tax. Whether this tax is VAT or PAYE, we have to pay some form. VAT is the most common tax as it is in everything we buy, even if you’re buying something from a store. If you drive, you will also have road tax and car insurance to pay. There are quite a few different types of insurance that we are required to pay such as home, life, health or even pet insurance. Commonly these types of insurance are paid annually. Take this into account and judge how much you will need to be spending on insurance before or after Christmas.

Working out all of your payments can be overwhelming especially if you don’t have a background or any experience in finances. This is when an accountant would be very useful. They will simply look at your accounts and give you an idea of how much money you will have to spend on Christmas after you’ve set aside money for your priority payments.  

Skills of an Accountant

Accountants are incredibly skilled people, looking after your taxes, annual accounts, payrolls and bookkeeping. If you are struggling to understand and organise your finances, then, annual accounts in Bedford have professionals who can help. They will sort through your finances and provide you with a thorough and in-depth report of your annual accounts.

 

Attention to Detail

Accountants have a high attention to detail. Being able to spot the smallest things helps to build excellent customer service thus making customers very happy. Attention to detail is vital! If numbers get mixed up or a decimal point gets put in the wrong place, it can cause huge problems. For example, a customer could be sent incorrect information as the number won’t match the information the customer provided.  

 

Organisation

As an accountant, being organised is a necessity. There are so many documents and files that need to be systemized to ensure that the relevant document is associated with the correct client. Along with their documents, all of the client’s personal information will need to be kept safe and secure in the appropriate folder. Should a customer no longer require an accountant, their files will be archived just in case they are needed to refer back to.

 

Adaptability

Adaptability is an excellent life skill to have. Being able to adapt to new things and new situations will enable you to become stronger in your respected field. Accountants need to work with a range of people and therefore need to be adaptable to all personalities. Alongside this, they also have to be prepared to have a constantly changing calendar as specific projects may be more urgent than others.

 

Computer Skills

Technology is becoming a stronger and more relevant part of our working lives. Accountants will use computers on a daily basis to assist with the calculating of numbers for clients to ensure that the results are even more reliable and accurate. As a result of this, they will have an in-depth understanding of excel functions and other, similar computer programs. If you don’t get along with numbers, then accountants in Bedford will be able to help. The accountants are incredibly skilled and will have no problem assisting you with your finances.

 

Communication

Communication is a huge part of life and is necessary for working with and having a successful and trusted relationship with people. Accountants need to have excellent communication skills as their job requires them to be in regular contact with their clients, colleagues and other departments. Furthermore, they are incredibly approachable and understanding of each client’s situation.

What Services Are Offered by an Accountant?

Accountants are incredibly knowledgeable and highly trained. Should you need any help with working out your businesses payments or knowing how much tax you need to pay then, Bedford Accountants can help with their highly skilled professionals.

 

Annual Accounts

Due to the vast amount of training accountants go through they are experienced and very knowledgeable. When it comes to doing annual accounts for businesses, they can whip up the numbers without a hassle.

 

Corporation Tax

Tax can be a difficult thing to wrap your head around. Don’t struggle to learn it, make your life easier and hire an accountant! They will have an in-depth knowledge of tax and finances. They will show you how much tax you need to pay, so you don’t overpay.

 

VAT Returns

VAT is everywhere and in everything we do, even buying something in a store is likely to have VAT on it. An accountant will help you prepare and fill out VAT documents to be able to support your business and get you the highest amount of VAT possible.

 

Bookkeeping

VAT returns and bookkeeping fit quite nicely together. Bookkeeping allows accountants to keep track of your VAT return information. From having your bookkeeping done correctly, it allows you the opportunity to see the possibilities for the future of your business. This can be regarding financial growth, managing your account balances or stock levels.

 

Payroll

Accountants have a broad and thorough understanding of the payroll system and tax. As a business, when you employ a new employee you need to be aware of the system in place to calculate the employee’s pay and therefore how much they will pay in tax. An accountant will have a full understanding of the payroll and PAYE tax, helping you work out their pay (including holiday and sick pay) and tax.

 

Personal Tax

Personal tax in Bedford will provide you with advice and support with your personal tax payments. The tax is based on how much you earn per year in your job. The more you earn, the more tax you need to pay.

 

Company Formation

Starting up a new company can be very stressful especially if you have limited experience in the financial side of it. An accountant will offer support and offer advice to make your business stronger. When you need assistance with making payments or forecasting projected earnings, an accountant will be able to help you make a valued decision.

5 Ways to Reduce the Stress in Your Life

Often life can be overwhelming and can cause you a lot of stress. There are many ways that you can reduce this feeling of stress and make your life feel a little easier. Taking time to yourself or participating in regular exercise will allow you to be happier and reduce stress. Having an accountant will also help! Bedford accountants will take care of your finances and help you take a load off your mind.

 

Stick to a Routine

Having a routine will enable you to feel like you have more control of your life. You don’t want to have a routine too extraneous as this will stress you out further and pressure you to get it all done every day. Have a basic routine such as a set bedtime to ensure you get enough sleep each day.

 

Exercise

Exercising regularly will make you feel happier and more relaxed. Doing exercise releases endorphins (chemicals in the brain) which enable you to feel happy as it calms the brain.

Doing something you enjoy releases dopamine, one of the happy chemicals. Allowing your brain the opportunity to release these chemicals will make you feel much happier and exercise is a way to do it. Not only will it make your body feel good and keep you healthy but it will also let you feel happy.

 

Be Around Those Who Make You Happy

Friends and family are an amazing part of life who bring joy and happiness to your day. Make sure that you surround yourself with these joyous people to allow you to feel more relaxed and enjoy every day. Be around those who put a smile on your face each day!

 

Get an Accountant

Keeping track of your accounts and your taxes can be very stressful and make you feel overwhelmed. To reduce the pressure that’s put on you, get an accountant. They’re professionally trained and will assist you by taking control of your accounts. Accountants in Bedford will reduce any feeling of stress in your life by allowing you to see how much money you have and where you are spending it.

 

Take Time to Yourself

Taking time to yourself is often the one thing that people forget and the most important to do. After a busy week taking time to yourself will allow you to feel refreshed and take the weight off your shoulders. It’s a small but important part of life! Being by yourself means there’s no pressure to look presentable or to act a certain way; you can simply be yourself and relax!

The Benefits of Having an Accountant

Understanding accounting can be complicated if you have no background in it. Accountants in Bedford are professionally trained to assist you with your accounting needs. Whether it’s a business account or a personal account, Bedford accountants will be able to help.

 

Save Time

Having someone to monitor your accounts will allow you the extra time to do other tasks. Whether you’re using an accountant for business or personal reasons, they’ll help free up some of your time. If it’s for your business, you will be able to spend more time in other areas of the business and ensure that it’s succeeding. If it’s for personal reasons, then your time at home will free up and allow you to relax.  

 

Reduced Pressure

An accountant is specially trained to work out taxes and look after accounts. Life can be stressful in general, and you don’t need to stress yourself out trying to teach yourself accounting when there are experts who can do it for you. Having an accountant will take some pressure off you and allow you to focus on your family and work.

 

Knowledgeable

Accountants have to go through specific training that will allow them to understand the world of numbers, in particular tax. Due to their vast amount of knowledge, accountants are very reliable and trustworthy. They are very accurate with their data and will allow you to feel safe and optimistic about what they can offer.

 

Help With Budgeting

With having access to your accounts, an accountant will help you spend money wisely. So, should you be in debt or be close to being in debt, an accountant will be able to help you cut back on your spending. Using the advice from an accountant about your budgeting will enable you to feel more relaxed about your expenses. Controlling your spending will also help you improve your credit score, helping you out with things like mortgages in the future!  

 

Help You Start a Business

Are you starting a business and need help with your accounts? A small business accountant in Bedford can help! Professionally trained accountants will help you budget your money and provide you with a detailed analysis of the money you spend each month and how much you receive.

Understanding Tax

Accountants are exceptionally intelligent people who have an experienced knowledge of the accounting world. Accounting in Bedford will sort out your taxes whether they are personal or business taxes. Our well-trained professionals will help assist you with your taxes, bookkeeping and annual accounts.    

 

What is Tax?

Tax is a compulsory payment to the government which is taken from a worker’s income or a business’ profits. Often tax is taken from the purchasing of goods or services in a VAT (Value Added Tax). We all pay VAT as it’s added onto most everyday products that we buy.    

 

Why Do We Get Taxed?

Taxes are essentially a source of income for the government. By paying tax, we are giving money to government funded organisations and services. These organisations and services include the NHS, the welfare and the education system. The tax collected is also used to help projects for the roads and railways.

 

A couple taxes that are quite common are PAYE and corporation tax.

 

PAYE Tax

PAYE tax stands for pay as you earn. This tax works by employees and pensioners having tax deducted under this tax using unique PAYE tax codes. HM Revenue and Customs and your employer will be involved with this. The percentage of tax will be decided based on the amount of money you make. PAYE in Bedford will help you understand your tax code and will look after your taxes for you.

 

Corporation Tax

You must pay a corporation tax if you’re in business. If you’re a limited company or do business as a foreign company with a UK branch or as an unincorporated association, you’ll be required to pay corporation tax. This tax is a little different to other taxes. It isn’t deducted straight away, you have to go through a process. You must register for corporation tax, however, if you’re an unincorporated association, you’ll need to write to HM Revenue and Customs. From here you must keep accounting records and file company tax returns by the deadline given. As this isn’t as straightforward as other taxes, it’s often easier to use an accountant. Corporation tax in Bedford will easily be able to organise your taxes and keep them in check for you. Making sure you never miss a tax payment.

 

The Importance of Doing Annual Accounts

Annual accounts hold information about your balance sheet, profit and loss accounts, other accounts involved and the director’s report. These are produced at the end of each financial year and must be acknowledged by shareholders, HM Revenue and Customs and those in managerial roles. If you aren’t sure where to start with your financial reports, then there are annual accounts in Bedford who will be able to help you. Accountants have a skilled and professional mind set meaning that annual accounts are done reliably and efficiently.  

 

Provide Financial Information

The final reports will provide you with a significant amount of financial data that is imperative to the business. This data will allow you to understand the progressions of the business and highlight where the company is making money, ensuring that they are making more than they spend. It’s essential to know that the company is making more money than it’s spending as this will stop it accidentally slipping into deficit.   

 

Show Achievements

An annual account will enable you to see how well the business is doing. The report will show figures indicating the success or failure of the business during that year. It will show whether or not you beat last year’s statistics. From knowing this, it will allow you to understand the areas in which you need to improve and will give you the opportunity to try new things for the business. Final accounts in Bedford will show you where you were successful during the previous financial year, giving you the opportunity to improve that.

 

Strategic Plan

Strategic plans are incredibly useful for businesses. A strategy can be written up that will enable the company to grow and increase their sales. The figures presented from the annual accounts will inspire the production of a strategic plan for the next year. This plan will be based on the figures the business produced last year, and its purpose is to help boost the figures for the next year. As a result, it will spark an interest in finding promotional ways to improve the business’s statistics.

5 Ways an Accountant can Help your Business Grow

Running your own business is very exciting however it can also be quite stressful and have less exciting sides to it. One of these less exciting sides is the accounting. This isn’t the most enjoyable part of running your own business, but it is an essential and a necessary factor. Our strong, experienced team of accountants will sort all of your taxes, bookkeeping, company formation and annual accounts in Bedford.         

 

Less Stress

Having an accountant will mean that you will be able to relax a bit more knowing that your accounts are being professionally taken care of! Your tax worries will be minimised. Learning and trying to understand tax and the way it works is very challenging and can result in you feeling very stressed, especially when you’re required to do it for your business. Accountants are professionally trained in these areas and will be able to do your taxes easily.   

 

Help Business Grow

As your business grows, you need to ensure you have all the facts and figures about it to make sure that the expansion runs smoothly and that you have the costs to do this. An accountant will provide you with specialist advice and a great deal of in-depth knowledge to help you through your expansion. They will be able to tell you if your business is ready to grow and forecast further profits and loss for it.

  

Save You a Great Deal of Time

Having an accountant will mean you won’t be required to do the long strenuous task of the business accounts. This further allows you to have more time available to spend on business planning, marketing and development.  

 

Financial Support

When first starting up a small business your finances are a bit all over the place and will be in need of a bit of stability. A small business accountant in Bedford will stabilise your finances and keep you up-to-date with your profits. To further support you, due to their skill and knowledge they will be able to help you get a loan for your business if needed.   

 

Plan For the Future

Using cash flow forecasts and profit and loss accounts, it will enable you to see what the future of your business will look like. Cash flow forecasts can be quite confusing if you’re not used to them, but an accountant will be able to do a forecast instantly and show you your expenses with a great deal of ease.

 

 

Benefits of Bookkeeping

What is bookkeeping? Bookkeeping is the process of maintaining and keeping up with the financial transactions for a business.

If you are new to business and in need of an accountant, accountants in Bedford will be able to help you and organise your financial transactions without hassle or confusion.

 

Improves decision making

Bookkeeping will help you see the money in your accounts in an organised way. It will highlight transactions such as paying suppliers, receipts from customers and the billing for goods/services. Due to seeing where your money is going you can make relevant and appropriate decisions for your business that will improve it without tarnishing your budget. This will make your work life easier as you will be able to spend more time focusing on the key aspects of your business and have an accountant to do the financial side.

 

More Free Time 

We have professionally trained experts who specialise in bookkeeping in Bedford. They will keep on top of your bookkeeping and provide an excellent service. By having an accountant do your bookkeeping for you, it enables you to have a bit more free time. Doing bookkeeping can take a significant amount of time especially if you are not trained in it, or it’s your first one. Therefore by having an accountant do it, you will find yourself less stressed and with a little bit more time.       

 

Accurate data

An organised bookkeeping structure will allow you to identify all of your data. Using Bedford accountants, this data will be professionally represented and will show your exact figures for your business based on the data you provide. Your business will be more reliable and functional as a result of bookkeeping.

 

Problem Solving will be Better

Doing bookkeeping on a regular basis will enable you to see any issues should they arise in your business. Spotting problems or unusual occurrences early on will mean that you can solve them before they increase, spread and cause damage to your business and its reputation. These damages may not be easily fixed, therefore finding issues early will protect your company.   

Using Your Car for Work Purposes

Can I claim tax back for using my car?

One of the most common expenses that people claim is for business miles this is normally the use of their car for work purposes. You are entitled to tax-free reimbursement for costs of travelling if you are required to travel to fulfil your job.

 

What counts as business travel?

 

Business travel includes journeys you have to make to carry out your work. This includes travel from your place of work to visit your customers using your car, motorbike, bicycle or van. Business travel also counts if you are travelling from your home to visit a client, but only for the extra miles from the distance of your home to your place of work. If you work from two offices for the same job, you can also claim travel between the two as business miles.

 

What are the approved mileage payment rates?

 

For cars and vans, you can claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 business miles a year and then 25p per mile for every mile after 10,000. For motorbikes, you are entitled to 24p a mile, even after 10,000 and bicycles are 20p for every mile.

If the driver also is carrying another employee during business travel, then an extra 5p can also be claimed towards business mileage.

 

If you would like to find out more, then please get in touch with Bedford Accountants today to see what we can do for you!