The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.
There are many Dark Forces that can destroy business but you can over come them.
As Yoda said
“Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one, a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. …Hmm? On what he was doing.”
If you want to your business to succeed you need to avoid these mistakes and Obi-Wan Kenobi won’t be your only hope
Lack of Planning – Businesses normally start with a great idea but you need to have business model that works and to at least have a basic business plan and cash flow.
Over Trading – this happens when a business expands too quickly for its working capital, when you start a new business its tempting to accept every order without considering whether you can have the resources and the cash to deliver.
Wasted Marketing and Advertising – new businesses are an easy target for marketing companies but its important to stick to the essentials to start with, having a website, e mail and business cards are essential, magazine advertising and other things can be done as the business grows, in the early stages you are experimenting and finding your market so if you spend too much too soon you might promote the wrong things at the wrong price.
Wrong Business Structure – Before you start your business get some advice from your accountant, its important to choose the right structure not just for tax reasons but also for investment and ownership.
Wrong Staff – Choosing the right team is critical for business success, choose staff that have the right skills, the right attitude and are dedicated to the success of the business.
Over Ambitious – All too often businesses plans are over ambitious with sales growing rapidly, often they prove to be unrealistic, when preparing a sales forecast start with your order book and be cautious in your assumptions.
Overheads – Many businesses over spend on overheads for example renting premises too early, work from home, if you can, to minimise costs.
Stock Problems – Buying the wrong stock, under or over stocking are also issues for start ups, try to adopt a ‘just in time’ stock policy.
Getting Paid – A sale is only a sale if you get paid, any one can give things away, make sure you manage your clients and get paid on time.
Competition – Keep an eye on your competitors, they will be watching you and responding to maintain their market share.
Here are some more great quotes from the new Star Wars Movie
Most taxpayer find doing one return per year stressful enough but by 2020 anyone earning over £10k will be doing quarterly returns.
‘These changes are going to be very onerous,’ said Chas Roy-Chowdhury, of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
‘It is not just about filling in a form, it is going to be a real burden.
‘Workers will have to make sure their books and records are up to date at least four times a year in case the taxman decides something is amiss and investigates them.’
Initially workers will not have to pay tax four times a year. But accountants suspect quarterly returns are a step toward this.
The plans were slipped out in the small print of George Osborne’s autumn statement. Around four million people will be affected: the self employed, small business owners and landlords who make more than £10,000 a year profit.
George Osborne said: ‘HMRC is making savings of 18 per cent in its own budget through efficiencies – in the digital age, we don’t need taxpayers to pay for paper processing, or 170 separate tax offices around the country.
‘We’re going to build one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. So that every individual and every small business will have their own digital tax account by the end of the decade, in order to manage their tax online.’
In order for this to work, small businesses will need to keep their accounts up to date.
The top 5 common accounting problems accountants deal with are:
1. Not doing any accounts – the shoe box approach to business
This is the most common mistake, book keeping is best done as you go along, putting all the paperwork in a shoe box or carrier bag is a really bad idea as you have no idea how your business is performing.
2. Not keeping receipts. Often small business miss out on claiming all their expenses because they fail to keep receipts and lose track of their spending
3. Not reconciling. Reconciling your bank statements to your cash book is vital to make sure that all of your income and expenses have been recorded in your accounts.
4. Using the wrong accounting system. For some businesses a manual cash book and records are fine but for many accounting software such as Debitoor will be needed to keep track of debtors, creditors and VAT. Make sure you understand your accounting system and operate it correctly.
5. Mixing business and personal expenses. Some sole traders even mix up business and personal bank accounts and in extreme cases don’t even have a business bank account. This can cause errors and often means that a sole trader will either claim to many expenses or to few.
Will small businesses be able to overcome these problems or will they end up in a tax mess with Digital Tax Accounts?
The Bank of England and HM Treasury have announced a two-year extension to the Funding for Lending Scheme.
The Bank and HM Treasury launched the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) on 13 July 2012. The FLS is designed to incentivise banks and building societies to boost their lending to the UK real economy. It does this by providing funding to banks and building societies for an extended period, with both the price and quantity of funding provided linked to their lending performance.
The FLS allows participants to borrow UK Treasury Bills in exchange for eligible collateral, which consists of all collateral eligible in the Bank’s Discount Window Facility.
The Bank and HM Treasury announced an extension to the FLS on 24 April 2013, which was amended on 28 November 2013, on 2 December 2014 and on 30 November 2015. This allows participants to borrow from the FLS until January 2018, with incentives to boost lending skewed towards small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Crowdfunders have also been able to access Funding for Lending via the Business Finance Partnership Program
You will open an online GOV.UK. Tax-Free Childcare account
For every 80p paid in there will be a top up of 20p. The government will top up the account with 20% of childcare costs up to a total of £10,000 – the equivalent of up to £2,000 support per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children). You or anyone can pay in whenever and whatever amounts you choose.
Its available for children under the age of 12 or 17 if disabled
Parents must be working and earning between £100/week and £100,000/year, there will be a 3 month checking process.
Any working family can use Tax-Free Childcare, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. Its not dependent on your employer offering a scheme. Its also available to self employed parents and those of paid sick leave, SMP, SPP and Adoption leave.
You will also have the option to continue with an employer supported scheme
If you need to you can withdraw the 80p part paid in
According to Government figures, there has been a net increase of 146,000 businesses in the past year, taking into account all start-ups, closures, takeovers and mergers. It means more businesses have started than closed.
The Business Population Estimates also show the number of businesses that employ people has grown for the second year running, with 35,000 more at the start of 2015 than in 2014.
Small businesses continue to make up 99.3% of all businesses and generate over £1 trillion turnover for the UK’s economy.
Business Accountants (Association of UK Accountants) are Chartered Management Accountants (CIMA) and when you start your new business they are will tell you:
Choose the right business structure for your business – most businesses start out as sole traders but once they start making profits convert to limited companies, this is because sole traders pay more tax than company structures
Choose the best VAT Scheme you might be better off with Flat Rate or Cash Accounting
Choose the most suitable accounting software
Don’t mix up Business and Personal Expenses – always have separate bank accounts
Reconcile your Bank Transactions regularly – its easy to forget what you have spent checking the bank account keeps you in control
Understand and manage your cash cycle – how long does it take to get paid and what credit terms do you suppliers give you?