September 16, 2019

What are you planning for next year ?

Many people start a year with New Year’s resolutions, but they often do not achieve them. Are you going to be one of those?

I would suggest the main reason for failing to achieve is that you can see the goal you want to achieve, but don’t plan a route to get there. If you want to travel to any destination, you wouldn’t just expect to arrive without the journey. How you choose to travel is a matter of for you. The decision will be based on research, preferences and practicality – and possibly budget.

One question I have long asked myself is why do many business owners put more effort into choosing a car than the decisions that affect their business? So, my simple request to you is decide where you want your business to be this time next year and then put the effort in to planning the route including check points to ensure you are on track. If you do this you will get there.

Happy Christmas and a Successful 2013

What is your company doing for its employees this Christmas?

If you are taking them out for Christmas dinner, you can claim up to £150 including VAT without having to declare it as a benefit. However, if you wanted to give them cash, or something they could exchange for cash, you would need to put it through the payroll and pay tax and NI on the amount.

 

So, if it a Christmas bonus they get, I am sure they will appreciate it especially if you pay the tax and NI due. If you simply want to but them a small gift, that is fine – especially if it is a turkey. That is definitely tax allowable.

Can we help ?

If you send your employees and clients Christmas cards, this is another allowable expense – so is the work’s Christmas tree. If you find some of the shopping is combined with personal shopping, this is not a problem. Ask the shop to prepare a receipt for your business. If this is too much hassle and you have a till receipt for combined personal and business items, just circle and claim for the business costs and keep the receipt. The business then owes you the money by way of an expense claim or payment out of the business funds. This type of split shopping trip is not just true at Christmas. If you buy you office milk and paper from Tescos with the week’s shopping, keep the receipt and mark what is business and make sure you claim.

 

If you are a very small limited company, i.e. just you with help from the family, don’t forget you are an employee and entitled to your Christmas lunch. Have a good one.

How has the weather affected your business ?

The one thing we can be sure of is change. What was drought earlier in the year, is now replaced by floods. Although these are extremes, they are not entirely unexpected. From a business perspective, the question is how much will they impact on your business?

Some years ago, I had a client near Gloucester lose his earlier year records when his garage was flooded. As he could not then prove payments made in cash to HMRC, he had to pay up £2,500 again. He did once have the payments book but he had binned it with the other soggy papers.

That was costly, but what have you in place if your computers gets water damaged? How quickly can you get replacements with the right programmes? How quickly can you restore your data up to the previous working day? How many sales and customers could you lose if this happened? It doesn’t have to be just floods that cause wet computers!

If you don’t currently have off site copies of your data, I would urge you to do so. If you are a small business, it may simply be a manager taking an external hard drive home every week. Better than this is web hosting. Even better is automatic backups so it is not reliant on someone remembering to do it – even when they are on holiday.

We haven’t yet had much snow, but put plans in place now so your business doesn’t take a dip as staff can’t get to work, customers don’t know if you are open or not and delivery times are extended/suspended due to the weather and the holiday period. Have a good one.

Happy to speak to you about how I might help