Charities

Register: Workshop for Charities and Foundations: Reporting in Xero – Customisation and Automation

Workshop for Charities and Foundations: Reporting in Xero – Customisation and Automation

FREE Workshop for UK Charities & Foundations:
Reporting in Xero | Customisation and Automation
Led by Jonathan Levy
Date: 16th November
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (GMT)
Click here to register:- Registration Link

Overview:
Running a charity or foundation demands timely and efficient financial information. In this workshop we will deep dive into the vast capabilities of Xero. Participants will learn not only how to adapt Xero’s features to cater to their specific charitable needs but also how to streamline processes for the utmost efficiency. By the end of this session, attendees will understand the unlocked power of Xero and how it can save them time and energy on a daily basis. Key areas of focus include:

– Crafting bespoke reports directly within Xero.
– Exploring Xero reporting add-ons that can help with budgeting and forecasting (no more complicated Excel spreadsheets).
– Implementing integrated Xero reporting directly in Excel for advanced financial analytics and monthly board reports.

Who Should Attend?

  • Charity CEOs
  • Charity Chairs
  • Board members
  • Charity FDs

About Jonathan Levy:
Jonathan leads AccountsPro’s outsourced finance and FD advisory services, catering to both not-for-profit and commercial clients across the UK and internationally. Beginning his journey in general accountancy in 2007, he transitioned to the industry by first taking on a Financial Controller role for an international charity. This was soon followed by pivotal FD and CFO positions in both commercial and non-commercial organisations. With his extensive experience on senior management teams and overseeing small to medium-sized entities, Jonathan possesses a depth of interdisciplinary knowledge that is invaluable to charities and foundations.

Click here to register:- Registration Link
Charities Financial Outsourcing Funding

Essential Reading: Income and Volunteering Challenges in the UK Charity Sector 2023: Building Better Series

Income and Volunteering Challenges in the UK Charity Sector: A 2023 Guide

Challenges Facing Not For Profit Organisations | Challenges Facing Charities in 2023 | Third Sector Challenges

In a world increasingly characterised by economic uncertainty, the charity sector plays an integral role in providing support and relief to various segments of society. However, charities in the UK today face significant challenges, notably in terms of income generation and volunteer recruitment and retention.
This article aims to shed light on these challenges, their implications, and potential strategies for overcoming them.

Income Challenges in the Charity Sector

In the past few years, charities have grappled with various economic hurdles affecting income generation. Two main areas of concern have emerged: a decrease in public funding and increasing competition for donations.

  1. Reduction in Public Funding:
    Public funding has traditionally been a critical source of income for charities. However, recent years have witnessed a gradual reduction in this funding due to government austerity measures and budget cuts. This situation has led to a significant resource gap for many charities
  2. Increasing Competition for Donations:
    With over 168,850 charities in the UK, competition for donations has become fierce. Economic downturns and the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial aftermath have also made people more cautious about discretionary spending, affecting charities’ donation income.

The charity sector is facing a number of challenges, including declining income which by end of 2023/2024 is expected to fall in real-terms by £2.2bn according to think-tank, Pro Bono Economics. This is due to a number of factors, including:

  • The economic downturn:
    The economic downturn has led to a decline in donations and government funding. According to Charities Aid Foundation UK Giving Report 2023, the level of participation in charitable activities in 2022 was 84%. However, participation levels have not returned to pre-pandemic levels of 88% in 2019.

  • The rise of online giving:
    The rise of online giving has made it easier for people to donate to charities, but it has also led to a decline in donations to traditional charities. A study by the Charities Aid Foundation found that online giving accounted for 26% of all charitable donations in the UK in 2022.

  • The increasing cost of living:
    The increasing cost of living has made it harder for people to donate to charities. According to Charities Aid Foundation, across 2022, more than two thirds of people indicated they would need to cut spending to manage their bills. This includes 17% who said they would likely cut their charitable donations.

The Volunteer Dilemma: Recruitment and Retention

Alongside income challenges, charities also face issues concerning volunteer management. Volunteers are the backbone of many charities, and challenges in recruiting and retaining them can severely impact a charity’s operations.

Recruitment:
Charities often struggle to find volunteers with the required skills or time commitment. The recruitment process can be lengthy and expensive, adding to the operational strain on charities.

According to the Charity Aid Foundation UK Giving Report 2023. There has been a sustained reduction in volunteering levels. In 2022, an average of 7% reported volunteering for a charity. Whereas, pre-pandemic, this figure in 2019 was 9%.

The Community Life Survey 2021-2022 by the Department for Culture, Media and Support estimates that there are 4 million fewer people participating in regular formal volunteering than in 2019/20.

Retention:
Keeping volunteers engaged and motivated is equally challenging. Lack of career progression, inadequate support, or recognition can lead to volunteer fatigue, resulting in high turnover rates.

  1. The increasing demands on people’s time:
    People are increasingly busy with work, family, and other commitments, leaving less time to volunteer. According to a study by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the average person in the UK spends 16 hours per week on non-work activities.

  2. The lack of recognition for volunteering:
    Volunteering is often seen as unpaid work, which makes it less attractive to potential volunteers. One study showed that only 28% of people believe volunteering is valued by society.

Strategies for Overcoming These Challenges

Opportunities for charities

While these challenges are significant, they are not insurmountable. Here are some potential strategies for charities to consider:

Income Diversification:
Charities should seek to diversify their income sources to reduce vulnerability to fluctuations in any single income stream. This strategy might involve exploring corporate partnerships, earned income, grants, individual giving, and fundraising events. The advent of online crowdfunding campaigns can also help expand income sources.

Effective Communication and Transparency:
To stand out amidst the competition, charities must effectively communicate their mission, impact, and needs. A compelling narrative can capture potential donors’ attention and persuade them to contribute. Regular updates about fund usage can foster trust, encouraging repeat donations and volunteer commitment.

Strategic Volunteer Management:
It’s vital to have a comprehensive volunteer management strategy. This involves defining clear roles, ensuring adequate training is provided, and recognizing volunteers’ contributions regularly. By offering flexible volunteering opportunities, charities can also attract individuals who cannot make long-term commitments to their organisation.

You should also make it as easy as possible for people to volunteer and show them your appreciation. In order to do this, you might want to consider sending them thank-you notes, holding an event to thank them, or even offering a small reward, such as a gift card, as a way to show that they are valued by your organisation.

Embracing Digitalisation:
Digital platforms can be invaluable for income generation and volunteer recruitment. Charities can leverage online donation platforms, social media, and digital marketing techniques to broaden their reach, attract donations, and recruit volunteers.

Partnerships and Collaborations:
Collaborating with other charities can reduce competition, improve service delivery, and reduce costs. Shared fundraising events or joint marketing campaigns can mutually benefit participating charities.

Harnessing the Power of Data:
Charities can use data to drive decision-making, assess the effectiveness of their strategies, and tailor their fundraising appeals. Effective use of data can enhance donor engagement, improve volunteer management, and optimise resources.

Addressing the Challenges Head-On

Charities can counter the challenges of declining income and volunteer shortage by diversifying income streams, reducing costs, marketing their services effectively, and empowering volunteers through training and support. Furthermore, adopting a creative approach to fundraising and making it easy and rewarding for people to volunteer can significantly mitigate these challenges.

The UK charity sector faces considerable trials, but they also represent opportunities for adaptation, innovation, and growth. By understanding these challenges and implementing effective strategies, charities can ensure their resilience and continue to make a positive impact on society.

At AccountsPro, we understand the unique financial and operational challenges and complexities that charities face, which is why we partner with them to provide solutions that optimise efficiency and resources for our client base. Our dedicated team is committed to providing expert advice and guidance to charities, foundations and non-profit organisations.

One of the ways we help clients optimise their income is through providing outsourced finance solutions. We save our clients up to 80% of their overhead costs by outsourcing their finance department to us. If you would like to discuss this option, please contact us at: hello@accountspro.co.uk or visit this page to find out more about our financial outsourcing services.

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    Accounting Financial Outsourcing

    Strengthening the Financial Backbone of UK Charities, Foundations and NfPs through Outsourced Accounting Services

    In the UK, charities, trusts, foundations, family offices and not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) play a vital role in addressing a wide range of social, religious, environmental, and educational issues that impact communities and individuals. These organisations work tirelessly to provide support, raise awareness, and drive positive change, often filling gaps left by the government and private sectors.

    At AccountsPro, we take pride in working with a number of impactful organisations, providing outsourced accounting solutions and support that enable them to focus on their core missions while maintaining financial stability and regulatory compliance.

    In this article post, we will discuss how outsourced accounting solutions and support can help streamline the operations of UK charities, foundations, and NFPs.

     

    1. Charity Accounting: Ensuring Compliance and Transparency

    Charity accounting in the UK is subject to specific regulations, including compliance with the Charity Commission guidelines and SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice). An experienced charity accountant is essential to navigate these complex requirements while maintaining transparency for donors and stakeholders. Charity accountants can help organisations with:

    • Preparing annual accounts and trustees’ reports
    • Ensuring compliance with the UK’s legal and financial regulations
    • Implementing effective financial controls and risk management strategies
    • Providing financial advice and guidance on funding and grants

    A charity accountant can also help streamline financial management and enable organisations to focus on their core objectives. These solutions may include:

    • Cloud-based accounting software designed for charities
    • Integration with fundraising and donor management platforms
    • Automated expense management and budgeting tools
    • Bespoke financial reporting to support decision-making

     

    2. Charity Outsourcing: Accessing Expertise and Reducing Overhead Costs

    Many charities and NFPs operate with limited resources, making it challenging to maintain a full-fledged in-house finance team. Charity outsourcing enables these organisations to access specialised accounting expertise without the cost of employing full-time staff. By outsourcing their accounting functions, charities can benefit from increased efficiency, cost savings, and access to up-to-date knowledge of UK charity regulations and best practices. Outsourced accounting services can include:

    • Charity bookkeeping
    • Payroll management
    • VAT and tax compliance
    • Preparation and submission of statutory accounts

     

    3, Charity Bookkeeping: Ensuring Accurate and Timely Record-Keeping

    Accurate and timely charity bookkeeping is essential for tracking an organisation’s financial activities and ensuring compliance with UK reporting standards. By engaging an expert in charity bookkeeping, organisations can maintain meticulous financial records, simplify their audit process, and focus on their core mission. Additionally, efficient bookkeeping services can help charities identify cost-saving opportunities and improve their overall financial performance. Charity bookkeeping services can help organisations with:

    • Recording transactions and maintaining accurate financial records
    • Reconciling bank accounts and managing cash flow
    • Monitoring income and expenditure against budgets
    • Producing regular financial reports for trustees and management

     

    4. The Role of a Charity Finance Director: Providing Strategic Financial Leadership

    A charity finance director provides strategic financial leadership, helping organisations navigate complex regulatory requirements and make informed financial decisions. By engaging a finance director, charities and NFPs can benefit from expert guidance in areas such as financial planning, risk management, and long-term sustainability. The finance director plays a pivotal role in establishing a robust financial foundation, enabling organisations to fulfil their mission and expand their impact. Their responsibilities include:

    • Developing long-term financial plans and budgets
    • Overseeing financial risk management and compliance
    • Ensuring the organisation’s financial sustainability
    • Advising the board of trustees on financial matters and strategy

    For many charities, especially smaller organisations, the need for a full-time finance director may not be justified due to budget constraints or the scope of financial tasks involved. In such cases, fractional support from a finance director can be an ideal solution.

    Fractional support refers to engaging a finance director on a part-time or consultancy basis, providing the expertise and leadership required without the expense and commitment of a full-time hire. This arrangement enables charities to access the strategic financial guidance necessary for their operations while maintaining cost-efficiency.

    The benefits of fractional finance director support include:

    1. Cost Savings: Hiring a full-time finance director can be a significant financial burden for charities and NFPs. Fractional support offers a more cost-effective solution by providing the required expertise on an as-needed basis.
    2. Flexibility: With a fractional finance director, charities can scale up or down the level of support as their needs evolve, ensuring that they only pay for the services they require.
    3. Access to Expertise: Fractional support enables charities to tap into the knowledge and experience of seasoned finance professionals who can provide valuable insights and strategic guidance.
    4. Focused Support: A fractional finance director can concentrate on the organisation’s most pressing financial issues, offering targeted solutions and advice.

    Fractional support from a finance director offers charities and NFPs a cost-effective and flexible solution to access strategic financial leadership. By engaging a finance director on a part-time or consultancy basis, organisations can build a robust financial foundation that enables them to fulfil their mission and expand their impact while maintaining financial sustainability.

     

    In Summary:

    In today’s challenging economic climate, charities, foundations, and not-for-profit organisations face numerous obstacles, including reduced funding, increased competition for resources, and greater scrutiny from regulators and the public. In this environment, the need for efficient financial management has never been more critical. By opting to outsource accounting services, these organisations can achieve cost savings and enhance their financial stability.

    Outsourcing accounting functions is an effective strategy for many organisations, not just those grappling with limited resources. By engaging external experts, organisations gain access to professional accountants with in-depth knowledge of charity accounting, ensuring compliance and accurate financial reporting. This approach eliminates the need for a full-time, in-house finance team, reducing overheads while still providing access to the necessary financial expertise.

    Additionally, outsourcing enables charities to benefit from up-to-date knowledge of best practices and regulatory changes, without the cost and time investment required to maintain in-house expertise. This ensures that their financial management remains agile, adaptable, and compliant with the latest UK charity regulations.

    In the ever-evolving landscape of UK charity regulations and financial management, outsourcing accounting solutions is essential for charities, foundations, and not-for-profit organisations. By leveraging the expertise of charity accountants, outsourcing key financial functions, and engaging a finance director, these organisations can build a strong financial backbone, ensuring their long-term sustainability and ability to make a meaningful impact in a demanding economic climate.

    To find out more about our outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services for charities, please take a look at our page on financial outsourcing.

    To find our more about our general accounting services for charities, not-for-profits, trusts, foundations and family offices please read further here:

    For more information on our outsourced accounting services, please email Jonathan Levy at: jonathan.levy@accountspro.co.uk

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      Financial Outsourcing

      Financial Outsourcing for Charities and Not-for-Profit organisations

      Financial outsourcing for charities and not-for-profit organisations

      At AccountsPro we frequently speak with charity CEOs and Executive Directors who have already outsourced some of their day-to-day duties like graphic design, website development, marketing, and PR in order to maximize impact while delivering cost efficiencies.

      A significant number of these leaders are also looking to explore the possibility of outsourcing their finance function. Often this question comes at the cusp when an organisation is carrying out a wider review of the efficiency and effectiveness of their support functions.

      What’s driving this interest is largely to do with improvements in technology and the requirements of many charities to focus their resources on their frontline services and generally do ‘more for less’. There is also an increase in confidence and acceptance of remote working, which has, to some extent, quelled some of the scepticism around whether financial outsourcing can be a viable alternative to an in-house team.

      Financial outsourcing delivers numerous cost efficiencies, and also to allow for better and faster access to finance data for day-to-day decision making by leadership teams and trustees. Some of the most commonly outsourced functions include bookkeeping, management accounts, payroll, Charity Commission reporting, grant reporting, and board reports.

      In this article, we will explore the benefits of financial outsourcing in the charity sector. We will also provide guidance on when outsourcing should not be considered.

       

      What are the benefits of financial outsourcing for charities and not-for-profit organisations?

      Outsourcing, offers organisations the opportunity to ‘buy’ only the resources they need. This is particularly attractive for example in regard to payroll services, where organisations may have only a single employee who is able to run the monthly payroll. In most cases, outsourcing will reduce an organisation’s overhead costs. This is because multiple functions such as payroll can be run at a fraction of the cost of hiring a permanent onsite team.

      If we come back to our example of the employee who is responsible for running the monthly payroll. If there is no one else that can perform the function when he becomes ill, then this will reduce the continuity of service. This also leaves the organisation to be exposed to unnecessary risks and threats as a result of tasks such as payroll and other financial functions not being performed in a timely manner. By outsourcing these services, the contracting company can mitigate these risks and enable complete continuity of service.

      In recent years the charity sector has seen a backlash for the lack of transparency, particularly when it comes to submitting annual audits and accounts. With charity pressures growing, CEOs and trustees are turning to outsourcing as a way to improve the quality and reliability of their accounts. From our own experiences, having a fresh pair of eyes that is looking at the organisation from the outside is both hugely valuable and beneficial. This is especially true for firms that are looking to increase their transparency and accountability to donors and service users of the charity.

      Another interesting benefit that comes out from financial outsourcing, is that you will often have a outsource team that have a much broader range of specialist knowledge, experiences and skill sets which can be utilised when needed. For example, when one of our clients needed a specialist who was familiar with the South African tax system. The support they needed was provided by a team member they already worked with, in a related but different capacity.

      Outsourcing also helps charities to better utilise their internal staff and increase targeted efforts. By contracting out tasks such as bookkeeping and other financial administration, charities can free up the time of internal staff. This allows them to focus on work that better meets the aims and objectives of the organisation and in turn can work to increase in levels of staff retention. When staff are hampered with tasks, particularly finance tasks which are not core to their role, this is often a reason why someone will start to look elsewhere for an opportunity that is more fulfilling to the core of what they do.

      Technology advancements have made outsourcing a more efficient process, allowing secure uploading of documents and data to a secure portal. We have also seen advancements in Optical Character Recognition software that converts invoices into accounting data; and dynamic management reporting that can be structured to the requirements of CEO, senior management and trustees. Both accessibility and portability to data is no longer a stumbling block to financial outsourcing as it once was.

       

      When Outsourcing Should Not Be Considered

      It should be noted that financial outsourcing is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it is not necessarily the most effective option for every organisation. The pros and cons of outsourcing should be weighed up by charities, and they must also ensure that outsourcing aligns with their core mission and values. It is also imperative that the charity chooses an outsourcing partner that is reputable and reliable. This will ensure that the charity’s financial management is in the most capable of hands.

      When it comes to outsourcing, charities should be aware that if it is not managed properly, it can lead to a loss of control over the process. In this regard, it is essential to set up an effective procedure for outsourcing management from the onset of a contract. This will ensure that control over the contract is maintained.

      Charities should also consider the importance of maintaining strong relationships with their donors and stakeholders. If outsourcing may have an impact on these relationships, charities should think twice before proceeding. Finally, outsourcing should not be used as a way to avoid dealing with internal issues. Organisations should address internal problems and create a culture of accountability before considering outsourcing as a solution.

       

      Conclusion

      Overall, outsourcing can offer many benefits to charities, including cost savings, access to specialist skills, better risk management, and improved transparency and accountability. With the right approach, outsourcing can help charities achieve their mission more efficiently and effectively which enables them to provide better services to their beneficiaries.

      We would be more than happy to provide you with further information in relation to our financial outsourcing services for charities, so please feel free to get in touch with us at: hello@accountspro.co.uk or via our contact page:- https://accountspro.co.uk/contact-us/

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        Budgeting Funding

        Budget pledge of £100mn for charities & community organisations

        Budget pledge of £100mn for charities & community organisations

        The UK government has recently announced a pledge of £100 million in funding for charities and community organizations. The funding will be allocated through the Community Wealth Fund, a charitable organization dedicated to providing long-term support for local communities.

        This funding announcement comes at a crucial time for charities and community organizations, many of which have struggled to maintain their services and support for vulnerable individuals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has placed significant financial strains on these organizations, as many have experienced a decline in donations and fundraising efforts.

        The Community Wealth Fund, established in 2018, aims to support long-term, sustainable projects that address the underlying causes of social and economic inequalities in communities across the UK. The organization’s focus on long-term solutions aligns with the government’s goal to create a more equitable and sustainable society.

        The £100 million pledge will provide much-needed financial support for charities and community organizations, allowing them to continue their vital work. Additionally, the funding will support innovative projects that address systemic issues, such as poverty, housing, and healthcare.

        The Community Wealth Fund has outlined its priorities for the allocation of the funding, including projects that address social isolation and loneliness, provide support for mental health and wellbeing, and tackle food poverty. The organization is also interested in projects that promote social cohesion and address the digital divide.

        This pledge highlights the government’s commitment to supporting charities and community organizations, recognizing their essential role in creating a fairer and more equitable society. With the Community Wealth Fund’s focus on long-term solutions, the £100 million funding pledge will have a lasting impact on communities across the UK.

        This announcement serves as a reminder of the importance of philanthropy and charitable giving, particularly during times of crisis. As we continue to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that we support those in need and work towards creating a more sustainable and equitable society.

        Sources:

        https://communitywealthfund.org/

        https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-backs-100-million-community-wealth-fund-to-help-level-up-communities

        https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/mar/15/government-to-back-100m-fund-for-community-projects

        https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-60702522

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          Accounting Business

          HSBC has recently announced that it will acquire the UK operations of Silicon Valley Bank

          HSBC has recently announced that it will acquire the UK operations of Silicon Valley Bank, a move that could have significant implications for the country’s startup ecosystem. Silicon Valley Bank has been a significant investor in UK startups and has provided funding for many successful companies, including Monzo and TransferWise.

          The acquisition will allow HSBC to expand its presence in the UK startup scene and support the growth of innovative businesses. HSBC has stated that it is committed to supporting the country’s tech ecosystem and will continue to provide funding and other resources to startups.

          The move has been welcomed by many in the UK startup community, who see it as a positive development for the country’s tech scene. Many entrepreneurs believe that the acquisition will lead to increased competition and more opportunities for funding, which could help to drive innovation and growth.

          However, some have expressed concern that HSBC’s conservative lending practices could limit the growth of startups. Silicon Valley Bank has been known for its willingness to take risks on early-stage businesses, while HSBC has traditionally been more cautious in its lending.

          Despite these concerns, the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank’s UK operations by HSBC represents a significant development for the UK startup ecosystem. With the continued support of banks such as HSBC, as well as other investors and sources of funding, the country’s tech scene is poised for continued growth and innovation.

          In conclusion, the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank’s UK operations by HSBC is a positive development for the country’s startup ecosystem. While there are concerns about the bank’s lending practices, the move is expected to lead to increased competition and more opportunities for funding, which could help to drive innovation and growth in the tech sector. The UK’s vibrant tech ecosystem continues to attract investment from a wide range of sources, and the future looks bright for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

          Sources:

          https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/mar/13/hsbc-buy-silicon-valley-banks-uk-tech-startups

          https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60700780

          https://www.ft.com/content/ffa0811e-a92c-4d91-bd9c-29f0bc4b4ea6

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            Accounting Events

            Workshop for Charities: Benefits of Cloud Accounting for your Charity on the 8th September (12-1pm) Book Now

            AccountsPro are arranging an online seminar on the Benefits of Cloud Accounting for your Charity on the 8th September (12-1pm).

            The session will be led by Jonathan Levy, Director of AccountsPro and is aimed at small to medium sized charities.

            In this session, you will gain insights into how transforming your accounting and bookkeeping will provide you with the time and tools to drive your charity forward.

            We will talk about:

            • the benefits of the cloud
            • is it hard to move over?
            • what about historic data?
            • event and activity profitability
            • visibility and accessibility of data
            • budgeting/departmental reporting
            • automation and management accounting

            During this session, we will take you through a real case example of charity that has gone through cloud transformation.  

            The session will end with a Q&A, so that you can get your questions answered.

            Event Details:

            Date: 8th September 12-1pm

            Type of Event: Online Seminar

            Click on the Link Below To Book Your Spot. Limited Spaces

            https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/workshop-for-charities-the-benefits-of-cloud-accounting-for-your-charity-tickets-410217370197

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              Tax

              HMRC Gives Self Assessment Taxpayers More Time

              HM Revenues and Customs Gives Self Assessment Taxpayers More Time

              Taxpayers have been given a breathing space by HMRC who are postponing late filing and late payment penalties.

              HMRC recognizes the pressures faced this year by Self Assessment taxpayers and that COVID-19 is still affecting the capacity of taxpayers (especially those who run small businesses) and their agents to meet the 31 January deadline.

              HMRC are encouraging taxpayers to file and pay on time but are waiving the penalties for late filing and late payment for one month, giving you extra time to file your 2020/21 tax return and pay any tax due if you need it.

              The deadline remains 31 January 2022 and taxpayers are still required to pay their Self  Assessment by this date with interest being charged from 1 February on any outstanding liability.

              However, providing tax returns are filed by 28 February 2022 and any payment due is paid in full or a Time to Pay arrangement is set up by 1 April, the late filing and late payment penalties will be waived.

              If you are a Self-Employed taxpayer, you will still need to ensure your annual Class 2 National Insurance contributions are paid on time to ensure any claims for certain contributory benefits are unaffected.

              Further information can be found at Gov.UK

              For support and advice with your small business or start up, AccountsPro has a range of accounting services providing dedicated support and flexible packages.

              CONTACT US for a free consultation or JOIN US for Office Hours every Thursday between 2-4pm. If you have a burning question that needs answering or are simply looking for business accounting, finance or general advice for your small business or start up, these OFFICE HOURS are for you.

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                Accounting Branding Events

                Branding and Finance Workshop for Startup Founders:- 17th November (12pm-2:10pm) Book Now

                Branding and Finance Workshop for Startup Founders:- 17th November (12pm-2:10pm) Book Now!(https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/branding-and-finance-workshop-for-startup-founders-tickets-163758858153)
                Everything is a priority when you’re a startup founder. You’ll find yourself juggling everything from your business personality to positioning, partnerships, sales, accounting & finance.

                Fundamentals are important for a new business to grow.

                First, you need to have a strong brand. A strong brand is more than a logo, colours and a set of trendy collateral—it’s about ethos, reputation, recognition, social impact, sales and forming an excellent business strategy.

                The other aspect of business success is your business plan, which must include a working financial model and processes in place to ensure that you can focus on running your business. When the business generates revenue and starts to look for funding, there are needs for financial guidance that can steer the business towards securing investment. Once the startup has raised investment, there are needs for an FD or CFO to navigate the finance function in order to help you make an eventual exit.

                 

                The Branding and Finance Webinar for Startup Entrepreneurs will cover a wide range of branding and finance tips, and will be divided into four sessions which will cover:

                1. Personal Branding:
                Consumers want to know, like, and trust the personal brand behind a business brand. Your reputation and personal brand are two of your most valuable assets that you can build on. Your personal brand is an important factor in your success. It can help you to become successful on the market and attract more customers.

                2. Accounting 101
                Everything you have ever wanted to know about starting your own company. From incorporation – Do I need a secretary? What share structure should I put in place? – to setting up your first accounts/bookkeeping system. We will also cover – What records do I need to keep and for how long? With an overview on payroll, dividends, tax returns and VAT registration.

                3. Branding for Businesses
                Branding is much more than a logo, colour palette, and related collateral. An effective brand is one that resonates deeply with the ethos of your organisation and your mission, and that delivers reputation, social impact, partnerships, sales and plays a key part in the formation of an excellent business strategy.

                4. Advanced Accounting & Finance for Founders
                Do I need a bookkeeper? When do I need a controller or finance director? What information should I be seeing weekly? How do I know if my financial data is correct? What about looking at the future – is there an easy way to model out cash flow? What additional tax tricks are there that I should know about?

                Our experts on the topic are Jonathan Levy, Director of AccountsPro and Valerie Forgeard, Founder and Director of Stunning Brand in partnership with Startups Magazine.

                 

                About AccountsPro

                AccountsPro is a London based firm that provides Accounting, Talent and FD support to startups and scaleups. Founded by Jonathan Levy, who has worked in entrepreneurial startups and professional practice. The firm provides accounting support and also specialise in building financial models, R&D tax credits, preparing startups for investment, through to FD support and international expansion. They also help their clients find interim and permanent talent to launch or scale their business. For more information on AccountsPro’s services, please visit accountspro.co.uk

                About Stunning Brand

                Stunning Brand brings 32 years of experience in broadcasting, social media, stakeholder engagement, community building, public speaking and negotiation to the private, non-profit and public sectors in unique services that help leaders, entrepreneurs and companies raise their profile and their impact. For more information on Stunning Brand’s services, please visit stunningbrand.com

                Book your place on the Branding and Finance workshop here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/branding-and-finance-workshop-for-startup-founders-tickets-163758858153

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                  Property Investment

                  Buy to Let Property – Is Buy to Let still a Worthwhile Investment?

                  Are you looking to enter the property investment market or are you an established investor looking for Buy to Let guidance and advice?

                  AccountsPro are Property Specialist Accountants in all aspects of property accounts and company and personal taxation.

                  As property specialist accountants, we can help you make an informed decision on how to invest in property in the most tax efficient way.  Not having a full understanding of accounting and tax implications can significantly impact your return on investment.

                  Is Buy to Let still a worthwhile investment?

                  This question goes beyond the issue of tax and to a large extent it depends on the type of investment your looking for and your ultimate goal of your investing activities.

                  In recent years, the stock market has had its ups and downs. The public have lost confidence in pension funds as a means of saving and investors are looking for alternatives.  The UK property market has been known for its success in long term investments resulting in an expansion in the buy to let sector.

                  If you are in a position to invest in property, it can be a beneficial asset to have but there are essential things you should know. You might be an experienced investor who wants to brush up on your buy-to-let knowledge  or be familiar with property investment but after starting to look for an opportunity and build an investment strategy you still feel unsure about things.

                  Knowledge is key – knowing which property will deliver the income and capital growth you require takes experience.

                  Understanding the basics is one of the most essential tips when beginning your property journey and as property tax accountants, we at AccountsPro can advise and guide you to get the most out of your venture.

                   

                  BUY TO LET – FACTS TO CONSIDER

                  DO’S

                  • think of your investment as medium to long term
                  • research the market
                  • do your sums carefully
                  • aim to attract tenants quickly
                  • get advice & guidance from a property specialists tax accountant

                  DON’TS

                  • purchasing property that may have serious maintenance problems
                  • rely on friends and family to look after the letting for you – consider a full management service
                  • cut corners with tenancy agreements and legal documentation

                   

                  WHICH PROPERTY TO INVEST IN?

                  Buying a home and investing in a buy to let property is not the same.

                  • Consider which type of property you want to invest in – for example residential property, student let, or furnished holiday let
                  • Seek advise from a local agent about the market for rented property and what is in demand in the area.
                  • Consider local amenities and transport and the standard of decoration and furnishings to ensure a quick let.
                  • Use an agent to save time and inconvenience. An agent will deal with viewings by prospective tenants and provide quick solutions to maintenance issues.

                   

                  TAXATION

                  When buying to let, all aspects of taxation must be considered.

                   

                  Tax on Rental Income

                  It was previously possible to deduct some of the finance costs when working out the property rental profits.

                  From April 2020, you are no longer able to deduct finance costs from your profits but instead claim the basic rate tax deduction on 100% of the costs. The basic rate deduction is 20%.

                  These changes affected anyone letting a residential property as an individual, a partnership, or in a trust. As a result, landlords can no longer deduct all of their finance costs from their property income to arrive at their property profits.

                  Finance costs include mortgage interest, interest on loans to buy furnishings and fees incurred when taking out or repaying mortgages or loans.  No relief is available for capital repayments.

                  This restriction does not apply to landlords of furnished holiday lettings or commercial property lets.

                   

                  Tax on Sale

                  Capital Gains Tax (CGT) will be payable on the eventual sale of the property. This will be based on the disposal proceeds less the original costs of the property, certain legal costs and any capital improvements made.  The gain can be further reduced by any annual exemption available.

                  CGT is generally charged at 10% for basic rate tax payers and 20% for higher rates. However, 18% and 28% rates apply to chargeable gains arising on the disposal of residential property that does not qualify for private residence relief (PRR).

                  CGT is payable on 31 January after the end of the tax year in which the gain is made.

                  From April 2020, you will need to make a payment on account of CGT due within 30 days of completion of the disposal.  This will not affect gains on properties which are not liable to CGT due to PRR.

                   

                  Student lettings

                  Buying to let makes sense if you have children at college or university.  It can be beneficial for the student to buy the property with several advantages:

                  • This is a cost effective way of providing your child with somewhere decent to live.
                  • Rental income on letting spare rooms to other students should be sufficient to cover the mortgage repayments from a cash flow perspective.
                  • As long as the property is the child’s only property it should be exempt from CGT on its eventual sale as it will be regarded as their main residence.
                  • The amount of rental income chargeable to income tax is reduced by a deduction known as ‘rent a room relief’ (£7,500). In this situation no expenses are tax deductible. Alternatively expenses can be deducted from income under normal letting rules where this is more beneficial.

                   

                  Furnished Holiday Lettings

                  Furnished lettings (FHL) are another type of investment that can be considered. This is letting for short-term holiday lets rather than the residential market.

                  To qualify as a Furnished Holiday letting property, a number of conditions apply:

                  • The property must be in the UK or European Economic Area (EEA)
                  • The property must be available for commercial lettings as holiday accommodation to the public for at least 210 days (30week) of the tax year
                  • Our of the 210 days, the property must be let out for at least 105 days (15 weeks) as holiday accommodation.

                  Benefits:

                  • Offset losses from FHL against personal income tax
                  • Claim capital gain tax reliefs – business asset rollover relief, entrepreneurs relief, relief for gifts of business assets
                  • Claim capital allowances on costs incurred to furnish the property.

                  Tax allowance for Property and trading income

                  You can get up to £1,000 each tax year in tax-free allowances for property and trading income.

                  The property allowance is a tax exemption of up to £1,000 a year for individuals with income from land or property. This allowance can be used to reduce your taxable income.

                  If you want to learn more about property investment, our team of accountants are on hand to help you every step of the way.  Giving you a solid foundation of advice both when starting out as an investor and as an established investor needing continued guidance to stay tax efficient.

                  Contact us for a free consultation or take our Property Investor Score Test.

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