Xero Health Check!

Xero Health Check!

Xero Health Check!

“Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regime”, sound advice because who knows what untold damage you could do to yourself, in the short and long term. So, shouldn’t you apply the same logic to your Xero business data? The staff at Lewis Brownlee can become your physician and provide you with a complete health check for your bookkeeping data.

Lewis Brownlee are offering to review your Xero data using the latest Artificial Intelligent technology as well as the human touch to produce a comprehensive report outlining the areas of concern, this is followed up with a 20 minute phone call to explain our findings and help you to plan a way forward. This will allow you to focus on strengthening the integrity of your Xero data. When we review the Xero data, we fully review the Profit & Loss, the Balance Sheet, your bank account reconciliations, the debtors, the creditors and more.

You might be asking yourself why you need to invest in this review, you know your bank is fully reconciled and that your VAT returns have been submitted on time. But is that really good enough? If your bookkeeping is flawed you may be paying the incorrect amount of tax to HMRC  – whether it’s VAT, Corporation tax or Personal tax. If HMRC decide you have paid an incorrect amount they can fine you and force you to pay the difference. Your financial decisions may well be based on what your Xero data shows you, if it’s incorrect then you could be making bad business decisions or missing on opportunities.

For new and existing clients, we can perform this health check as a one-off service, and then quarterly we will offer a less intense service for our existing clients. If your bookkeeping isn’t up to scratch it’s not the end of the world, we can offer assistance with our expert bookkeepers helping you to tidy the data before performing the healthcare check.

If you are interested in having Lewis Brownlee perform a health check on your Xero data or already are a Xero user and wish to discuss how Lewis Brownlee can help your business, then please feel free to contact us.

 You can call us on 01243 782 423 or head to our contact form!

Ten reasons to move your desktop accounting software into the cloud!

Ten reasons to move your desktop accounting software into the cloud!

Ten reasons to move your desktop accounting software into the cloud!

Business owners need their accounting software to be accessible, easy to use, and up to date to ensure they can make the best business decisions with the right information. As more businesses are learning to work remotely, moving over to Xero or QuickBooks gives business owners and their teams an advantage with the many flexible benefits they bring.

Here are our top 10 benefits for making the change…

1. Remote access from anywhere with an internet connection.

A business owner’s life is busy! and so, you need to be able to access your data on the go. Teams can log in from anywhere that has an internet connection and see the same information at the same time. Now there’s no need to be tied to the office or a specific computer to be able to access and process your accounting data. Cloud accounting provides the flexibility needed wherever you choose to work.

 

2. Save time with automation

With so many time saving features within Xero and QuickBooks it makes bookkeeping a Joy.  Bank feeds not only save hours of time, but they also create more accuracy by eliminating manual data entry leading to typos and human error. Sales invoices can quickly be sent to clients on the go and can be automated if it’s a reoccurring invoice. Chasing payments becomes less time consuming with one click payment options and automated payment reminders – you even get updated when the customer has viewed the invoice.

 

3. Share and collaborate

Xero and QuickBooks allow you to share information with your accountant, business advisors and collaborate with your team instantly. You are able to have multiple users entering and viewing data at the same time 24/7. You choose who to invite and the level of access they can see. Training and support is now a breeze as we can login and walk through the data together and discuss any problems in real time.

 

4. Real time information

Both Xero and QuickBooks have great dashboards which show the bank position, and outstanding invoices due from clients and suppliers to be paid, helping you to see the cashflow position. As sales invoices are created within the accounting system “on the go” and purchase invoices can be uploaded via systems like Hub Doc and Dext the bookkeeping is now more current. No more waiting for the month end to be fully processed to get meaningful information.

 

5. Paperless and better for the environment

With HMRC’s requirements for making tax digital, both Xero and QuickBooks support data capture to ensure you stay compliant with keeping your records digital. Images can easily be uploaded using their mobile apps, or alternatively by connecting through an add-on partner such as Dext and Hub Doc – these applications will extract the data from the image and push this through into your accounting records. Storage and fading receipts are no longer a problem and no need to print out those invoices sent via email!

 

6. Mobile access for teams on the go

Instantly access your accounting data from your mobile or tablet. Teams can take photos of their receipts and upload into the system as soon as they receive them. With mobile apps available for IOS and Android you can pay your bills on the go or raise that quote or sales invoice without waiting to get back to the office.

 

7. Integration to other cloud applications

With hundreds of cloud add-on partners to collaborate and connect with, this allows your business to grow while streamlining your processes and systems. There are add-on partners which are industry specific and can help with many areas of your business from CRM, Ecommerce, Human Resources to Stock Control.

 

8. Security

 Both Xero and QuickBooks back up your data and protects it with multiple layers of security and so there’s no need to be backing up onto memory sticks or remembering the last transaction number and version.

With a two-step authentication at login this gives an additional layer of security into your account. Users can be set with different levels of access permissions to ensure the best user role is assigned when inviting them into your organisation.

 

9. Save Money

One easy monthly subscription price, and no more software upgrades is a huge advantage to moving into the cloud. Time is money and with automation and less manual data entry the time previously spent on these laborious tasks can now be spent on other areas of your business and growth.

 

10. User friendly

Xero and QuickBooks welcomes you with a dashboard showing a snapshot of your key financial information. This includes how much money is in the bank accounts, who you need to pay and what is outstanding from your customers. Built with the business owner in mind the systems are intuitive and with many reports and features to save time, it makes accounting easy.

 

At Lewis Brownlee we are passionate in supporting business owners to understand your numbers better and to be able to manage and grow your business with current information and great systems.

If you are considering moving your accounting software into the cloud please get in touch for a free chat and we would be delighted to give you a demo of how Xero or QuickBooks can support your business.

looking to join quickbooks?

We’ve currently got a Spring Offer for new QuickBooks users…

Changes to filing of non-MTD VAT returns

Changes to filing of non-MTD VAT returns

Changes to filing of non-MTD VAT returns

HMRC introduced the first phase of Making Tax Digital (MTD) nearly two years ago and they have now announced that non-MTD VAT submissions via software providers will not be supported from April 2021.

Filing non-MTD VAT returns with Xero

If you use Xero this means that quarterly VAT periods ending in December 2020, January 2021 or February 2021 will be the last VAT returns that can be submitted using the non MTD-VAT return. 

How can you prepare for this?

There are two options in preparing for this change. The first option is to register for MTD VAT with HMRC and then file VAT returns through the MTD VAT function in Xero ( you will need to do this from April 2022).

There is another option if you are not ready for MTD, or if you are under the threshold or part of a VAT Group. Xero have created a new non-MTD VAT return which can generate the VAT amounts and will be available from 23 November 2020. Please note that by doing it this way, you will be required to submit the return manually using HMRC online services or by using MTD bridging software (we can do this for you as part of our VAT service). This will also be the only non-MTD VAT return option in Xero for new trials and subscriptions moving forward. 

If you do no use Xero and are not MTD registered the above is still applicable. From April 2021 you will need to register for MTD or use bridging software or file directly to HMRC.

If you need any assistance in getting MTD ready, or if you need us to guide you through non-MTD VAT returns, then please get in touch. You can call our VAT Compliance Manager Yvonne Collings on 01243 782 423 or send an email to [email protected]

App of the month – Fluidly!

App of the month – Fluidly!

App of the month – Fluidly!

-“Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it’s the life blood of business” – Richard Branson.

Twenty-twenty – what does it symbolise, my guess is that to nearly everybody it will come to mean the year of COVID-19, government lockdowns, Captain Tom and the NHS superstars. Before this year however twenty-twenty was normally used to denote clear and good vision. Opticians used the expression after a method of testing vision involving reading a chart from 20 feet away.

Business owners and sole traders need twenty-twenty vision to know how their business is performing. Many will know who their better customers are, or who they owe money to, and most will know exactly how much they have in the bank. But what about the future? As unpredictable as it is, cash flow is one of the most important aspects of running a business.

Cash flow forecasting used to involve creating a model of the business in a spreadsheet, which was time-consuming and quickly out of date. Fluidly is an app for Xero users that offers a three-month or twelve-month forecast based on the businesses data. Using Artificial Intelligence to analyse the information available, Fluidly produces an up-to-date cash flow forecast which can be easily changed to show different scenarios in real-time, allowing for better business decisions to be made.  

To help monitor their cash flow Lewis Brownlee are offering all their clients who use Xero the ability to use Fluidly Lite for free. This will provide you with a three-month forecast allowing you to monitor your business and its financial position going forward; hopefully leaving you not having to worry about the future so much, this is especially important in these interesting times in which we find ourselves.

If you are interested in working with Lewis Brownlee or using Xero and Fluidly to move your business forward or already are a Xero/Fluidly user and wish to discuss how Lewis Brownlee can help your business, then please feel free to contact us.

You can call us on 01243 782 423 or head to our contact form!

Lewis Brownlee have been Xero Partners for 10 years!

Lewis Brownlee have been Xero Partners for 10 years!

Lewis Brownlee have been Xero Partners for 10 years!

Here is a question for you… What have David Cameron becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Kate Middleton becoming engaged to Prince William and Lewis Brownlee signing up to be a Xero partner have in common? The answer is that they all took place in 2010. Yes, ten years ago the world was a different place and how things have changed.

Double entry bookkeeping has been around for approximately 700 years, but in 2010 Xero was revolutionising the way bookkeeping was being processed by using the internet.  Lewis Brownlee being a well-established firm in Chichester could see the way the future was going; we decided to become a Xero partner and undertook to bring this notion of online bookkeeping to our clients.

Back in 2010 bank feeds for bookkeeping software were a fairly new concept, the first apps had been launched to supplement Xero and the idea that you could run your accounts package from your mobile phone was still a long way away (the iPhone 3 only launched in 2009).

Roll forward 10 years to 2020, Xero and Lewis Brownlee are both going from strength to strength. Lewis Brownlee are a Gold Partner with Xero and have over 25 Xero certified accountancy staff. 400 of our clients use Xero every day with a vast array of apps to help them run their businesses. We use Xero for our own internal bookkeeping with a variety of different apps helping us in our day-to-day running of the business. Xero can now be used on your mobile phone, tablet or computer anywhere in the world. Whilst on the Xero app marketplace there are over 900 separate apps providing a wide range of functionality for a variety of different industries. 

We might have had a royal wedding or two a change of Prime Minister, but Lewis Brownlee and Xero are still going strong. We are looking forward to our future working with Xero, so here’s to the next ten years.

If you are interested in working with Lewis Brownlee or using Xero to move your business forward or already are a Xero user and wish to discuss applications that may help your business, then please feel free to contact us.

You can call on 01243 782 423 or head to our contact form!

Soldo

Soldo

Soldo

Many businesses expect their staff to spend their own money purchasing items on behalf of the business and then reclaim the money via an expense claim form later. This means the staff member is out of pocket for a time and the business does not know its true costs or liabilities until the expense claim has been processed. The business spends time and manpower processing these expense claims which also costs it money, but this is where Soldo can provide an answer.

Soldo allows the business to provide a prepaid plastic or virtual Soldo Mastercard® to any of its staff or departments that spend company money. Each card can have bespoke restrictions set on them thus removing the element of unauthorised purchases, with email warnings being sent if anything untoward is attempted to be purchased. The users can only spend the funds that have been transferred from the business to the Soldo card, it is a debit card not a credit card.

Each time a purchase is made using a Soldo card a prompt is made to the card holder to provide evidence of the receipt. No more will your staff have to complete expenses claims, spend their own money, you won’t have to chase for missing receipts and the business gains real-time visibility over what is being spent on its behalf.

Because Soldo connects to Xero all the purchases made using the Soldo Mastercard® will automatically be published into Xero using a custom bank account that can be reconciled like a normal bank account.

If what you have just read is of interest to you then please feel free to contact Lewis Brownlee where we can provide further information about Soldo, Xero and other applications that may be of use to you.