SMEs and Brexit

ScotiaAccounting  |  28th October

Now that the dust has settled somewhat since 23rd June vote SMEs should now be paying very close attention to the news over the coming months. Theresa May will be key to start the  voyage away from the European Union the fortune of thousands of businesses will be in her hands. Read more

Dividend Tax Reform

ScotiaAccounting  |  22nd February

A couple of months back we BLOGGED ON THE MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE SUMMER BUDGET. One of those was the change in dividend tax legislation which will come into force as of April 2016. Information on the changes has been scarce but HMRC RECENTLY RELEASED AN EASY TO UNDERSTAND FACT-SHEET. Read more

Your Accountant Should Be Doing This For YOU

ScotiaAccounting  |  5th November

Modern day accountants shouldn’t be providing just a “once-a-year” service. Your accountant should be in touch with you on a monthly or, at the very least, quarterly basis; whether it to review your accounts, a monthly newsletter to update you on changes in legislation or workshops to add value to your investment. Read more

R & D Tax Relief for SMEs

ScotiaAccounting  |  12th October

If your company is liable for corporation tax you may be able to claim a relief or, in some cases, a cash payment if your company took part in any research and development which is deemed as an advancement in technology and/or science. Read more

New Minimum Wage

ScotiaAccounting  |  28th September

As of Thursday 1st October the adult minimum wage will increase by £0.20 to £6.70 per hour. All employees are entitled, by law, to be paid this new hourly rate. It doesn’t matter how small the employer is. Read more

Dividend Tax Reform

ScotiaAccounting  |  27th August

A few weeks back we blogged on the major announcements of the summer budget. One of those was the change in dividend tax legislation which will come into force as of April 2016. Information on the changes has been scarce but HMRC recently released an easy to understand fact-sheet. Read more

Should You Change Your Accountant?

ScotiaAccounting  |  17th August

Every good accountant should have your accounts and tax returns (self assessment, CT600, VAT etc.) filed on time and way before any deadline. That is a given. They should also have the capability to save you tax whether it be by using allowances or knowing the correct expenditure you can claim. Read more

Slow month? Turn a negative into a positive

ScotiaAccounting  |  29th July

Sales and prospects slow this month? Turn this negative into a positive by putting your new found time into planning and analysing. Make sure you use this time productively rather than chasing lost causes and sitting twiddling your thumbs waiting for leads or new customers to come in. Here’s our advice for staying positive. Read more

Summer Budget Announcement

ScotiaAccounting  |  20th July

So just over a week ago the Chancellor announced his summer budget plans to parliament. This has been much anticipated being the first budget since the Conservatives kept control in Westminster a couple of months ago and the first from a majority conservative party since 1996. There will be a lot of changes over the next 24 month which will affect people and businesses throughout the UK. Here’s our take on the main topics.  Read more

100% Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) – What next?

ScotiaAccounting  |  15th June

The annual investment allowance is a great form of tax relief for all sizes of businesses. It allows you to claim 100% on the capital expenditure of just about any asset (apart from cars) in the year that you acquire it. This is opposed to having it spread over a number of years by using the more conventional approach (main rate of 18%). Read more

Fail to plan, plan to fail and other anecdotes

ScotiaAccounting  |  11th May

It is no secret that only 10% of businesses succeed. Why is this? Is it a lack of motivation, capital, bad planning or just plain bad luck? Usually it is a mixture of 3 or 4 factors that contribute to business failure. When you start up in business or already have a semi established business avoid making the following mistakes to give you and your company a more competitive edge to be a success… Read more

Cloud accounting is good for business!

ScotiaAccounting  |  4th May

If you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a wise investment. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team. Read more

Improve your cash-flow by getting paid on time

ScotiaAccounting  |  27th April

Sending an invoice is only part of the process of getting paid. Some of your customers will pay on time and without reminders, but others may need to be prompted. Here’s a selection of tips on how to increase your cash flow and decrease your debtors: Read more

Slow month? Turn a negative into a positive

ScotiaAccounting  |  1st April

Sales and prospects slow this month? Turn this negative into a positive by putting your new found time into planning and analysing. Make sure you use this time productively rather than chasing lost causes and sitting twiddling your thumbs waiting for leads or new customers to come in. Here’s our advice for staying positive. Read more

Should You Change Your Accountant?

ScotiaAccounting  |  16th March

Every good accountant should have your accounts and tax returns (self assessment, CT600, VAT etc.) filed on time and way before any deadline. That is a given. They should also have the capability to save you tax whether it be by using allowances or knowing the correct expenditure you can claim. Read more

Auto Enrolment – Be Prepared

ScotiaAccounting  |  9th March

Auto enrolment was announced just over two years ago and as large companies will be well on their way to implementing it there is a slightly longer wait for small businesses.

There is one advantage to this and that is pension providers will already know, to a certain extent, the “ins & outs” of auto enrolment having already been through the process with large companies. However, having said that, small business owners must not look to “pass the buck” onto their accountants or financial advisors. Auto enrolment affects all employers not matter the size of workforce so they must be prepared in terms of legal responsibilities and the cost to their business. Read more

Get Tax Relief By Working From Home

ScotiaAccounting  |  2nd March

If you are self employed or involved in a partnership and work from home you can claim certain expenditure in order to reduce your taxable earnings. The key point being that the expenditure is used “wholly and exclusively” for business purpose. Read more

Tax Breaks For Employing Young Staff

ScotiaAccounting  |  23rd February

Recent statistics show that as much as 20% of 16 – 24 year olds are unemployed and struggling to hold down a job due to the economic downturn. Therefore the government have introduced a number of incentives for employers to hire and retain young people. This blog highlights the key changes to national insurance contributions which will kick in from the start of the 2016 tax year. Read more

R & D Tax Relief for SMEs

ScotiaAccounting  |  16th February

If your company is liable for corporation tax you may be able to claim a relief or, in some cases, a cash payment if your company took part in any research and development which is deemed as an advancement in technology and/or science. Read more

Choosing the right accountant

ScotiaAccounting  |  5th February

Choosing a good accountant for your business is not as easy as just picking up the phone book and dialling the first number you see.

There are some key factors that you should take into *account* when making your decision… Read more

Self assessment deadline is looming

ScotiaAccounting  |  12th January

January is the month that accountants either love or hate. Self assessments are due to be filed by January 2015 which covers the 2013/14 tax year. Here, we outline all you need to know to file your return in good time.

Firstly, make sure you file it on time. Sounds obvious but last year there were close to 1 million self assessments that were not filed by 31st January. If you miss the deadline it is an automatic £100 fine. Further fines will be issued including a daily fine if your return is not filed within 3 months of the deadline. Read more

Creating connections

ScotiaAccounting  |  24th November

At any time of your business, whether it is when starting up or when established, it is vital to network. The saying “It’s not what you know but who you know” could not be truer. In order to grow your business creating connections and developing those connections is essential.

Networking is not all about sales pitching and schmoozing. Both of these are actually a bad trait to have when making new connections. Here’s a short to do list to assist in your networking strategy. Read more

Cash is King

ScotiaAccounting  |  17th November

Why is cash flow so important? In order for your business to survive you must ensure that there is cash in the bank. Sounds straight forward but negligence of your cash flow will be disastrous however; consistently reviewing it and good cash management can see your business flourish.

Previously businesses have been too keen to spotlight their profit & loss account, focusing on the sales figures. However, businesses should now be looking more to their balance sheet. This means growing the bank balance, investing in a business saver account and reducing their debtors thus ensuring cash is healthy. Read more

Profiting in paying yourself

ScotiaAccounting  |  3rd November

When starting up in business it is vitally important to make a decision on the type of business you will have. This is critical in terms of the method you will be removing cash from the business to pay yourself with.

There are three main entities you can choose from when starting up in business (excluding LLP): sole trader, partnership or limited company. Each entity has a different approach on how you can pay yourself. Read more

Intellectual Property

ScotiaAccounting  |  28th October

Stop your competitors picking your brain and protect your intangible assets.

Intellectual property is creations of the mind – inventions, artistic work, names and images.

If your business relies on technology, processes or concepts that you have developed then it is vitally important to protect those assets in the right way. Failure to do so can be catastrophic for your business. Here’s how you can protect your intellectual property… Read more

Fail to plan, plan to fail and other anecdotes

ScotiaAccounting  |  22nd October

It is no secret that only 10% of businesses succeed. Why is this? Is it a lack of motivation, capital, bad planning or just plain bad luck? Usually it is a mixture of 3 or 4 factors that contribute to business failure. When you start up in business or already have a semi established business avoid making the following mistakes to give you and your company a more competitive edge to be a success… Read more

Slow month? Turn a negative into a positive

ScotiaAccounting  |  7th October

Sales and prospects slow this month? Turn this negative into a positive by putting your new found time into planning and analysing. Make sure you use this time productively rather than chasing lost causes and sitting twiddling your thumbs waiting for leads or new customers to come in. Here’s our advice for staying positive. Read more

Risky Business

ScotiaAccounting  |  29th September

When it comes to business insurance, there are myriad different types to cover an almost infinite list of possibilities.

As a small business, you need to be aware of the types of insurance you must have by law, and also the types that will benefit your company in the long run as opposed to unnecessary expenses.

Employee Liability

If you employ any staff – whether they’re permanent, temporary, contracted, a student or an overseas worker – you’re required by law to pay Employee Liability Insurance.

Employee Liability Insurance pays out if anybody is injured or falls ill through the course of their work for you. It’s strictly regulated, and failure to provide this type of insurance can result in fines of up to £2,500 per day! As an extension of this, you might also later wish to provide private medical or life insurance for your employees, which can usually be linked to a pension scheme.

Public Liability

Protecting yourself against compensation claims and legal fees relating to the injury or illness of your customers isn’t required by law, but really is a must-have for the majority of businesses.

Motor Insurance

This is another one that is most definitely required by law!

If you’re using a personal vehicle for business, you absolutely must make sure that this is covered by your insurance policy.

Property Insurance

Just like your home, it’s very wise to invest in property insurance for your business – especially if your property IS your business!

As an extension of this, many businesses like to add on Business Interruption Insurance. This provides an income (or portion of) for any times property damage causes a case in trading.

Insurance against risk, money insurance and income protection are all also worth considering. You can read more about all types of business insurance on the Association of Business Insurers website.

We work closely with a well renowned insurance company based in Edinburgh so if your require any assistance we can put them in touch with you. Just get in touch with us here.

ECO ECONOMICS

ScotiaAccounting  |  19th September

ECO ECONOMICS

GET GREEN FIGURED

SUSTAIN A GREEN BUSINESS

Everybody likes to do their bit for the environment, but good intentions aren’t always enough to prevent our eco-efforts falling by the wayside.

In reality, making your business environmentally aware won’t just soothe your conscience – it’s also likely to benefit your bank account in the long run! Whether that’s through cutting back on expenses, or making your company a more appealing option for future business partnerships. Read more

Big Impact, Small Budget

ScotiaAccounting  |  1st September

Marketing your business doesn’t need to cost big bucks to be effective.

Many small businesses make the mistake of being too ambitious too soon, pouring all of their money into one all singing, all dancing piece of advertising that carries no guarantee of success. Read more

Financial Jargon Unjumbled

ScotiaAccounting  |  25th August

Know Your Figures!

We’ve all cringed at the entrepreneurs on Dragons’ Den who have got flustered over their financials forecasts and fluffed the finer details of their past profit margins.

It’s all too easy to think you’d cope better when you’re the one sitting at home in your slippers – but what if you were in the spotlight?

Here’s our quick-fire guide to the basic jargon of business finance:

Read more

Tax-Deductible Expenses

ScotiaAccounting  |  29th July

We all know the words tax-deductible, but not everyone out there knows what they mean and what they can do for your business.

Put simply, tax-deductible expenses are business costs that can be charged against your profits for tax purposes.

Deducting these expenses from your profits means the percentage you pay will be on a smaller amount of money.

Listed below are some of the most important ones any sole trader must know to ensure you don’t pay out more than you need to.

Read more

3 tips for increased productivity

ScotiaAccounting  |  22nd June

In this modern age of working, it can be very hard to complete all of the tasks that face us on a daily basis. We all know how it feels to be under pressure, either from those above us, or via the demands of the businesses we run. With that in mind, we thought you may like to take a few minutes out of your day and absorb three tips that will increase your productivity and decrease your stress-levels!

Read more

How Do I Motivate My Staff?

ScotiaAccounting  |  16th April

Once your business is up and running you might start to think about hiring staff. This can be an amazing next step for your business but remember that your staff will need to be looked after.

Here are our top five tips for motivating staff…

Read more

5 go-to start-up websites

ScotiaAccounting  |  11th March

Successful start-ups are like sponges – soaking up knowledge, insight and guidance from the right sources from day one.

When starting your business, Google is a go-to. As such you’ll most likely find yourself searching for information at least twice a week.  Here’s a few of our favourite sites for doing just that and keeping you on the right track…

Read more

Free for start-ups

ScotiaAccounting  |  13th January

New year, new business or so the saying (almost) goes.

If 2014 is your year for kick-starting a business or your start-up is still a spring chicken then cast your eyes over these services available completely free of charge to start-ups…

Read more

Choosing the right accountant

ScotiaAccounting  |  8th January

Choosing a good accountant for your business is not as easy as just picking up the phone book and dialing the first number you see.

There are some key factors that you should take into *account* when making your decision…

Read more

Easy Bookkeeping

ScotiaAccounting  |  5th December

If you are the proud owner of a start-up business then getting a handle on your bookkeeping is essential.

Here are Scotia’s five top tips for getting started with bookkeeping…

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Benefits of having an accountant

ScotiaAccounting  |  19th August

Small business owners can often be heard to say that they can’t afford an accountant or that they think an accountant is just there to fill out forms to keep the tax man happy.

Accountants are much more than that and we will not only save you time and money but will also help you to grow your business.

Read more

Be smart and don’t be a div!

ScotiaAccounting  |  19th August

Setting up a limited company has its pros and cons.

One of the main advantages of setting up a limited company is the shareholders can take a dividend.

A dividend is a monetary value paid to the shareholder out of the profit after tax that the company earns.

Read more

How the income tax system works

ScotiaAccounting  |  5th August

This blog is aimed at those who have little or no experience when it comes to income tax.

Due to the downturn in the UK economy over the past few years, society has now taken a keen interest in their personal income and the ways in which income is taxed by the government.

I thought it would be beneficial to give a brief explanation of how the income tax system works.

Read more