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Mental Health - When Tragedy Strikes

Mark Cottle is an Australian Accountant who is an expert on using offshore accounting teams. He founded Frontline Accounting in Manila using an offshore model. He and his team have helped so many people in times of trouble throughout the Philippines with their outreach programme. After reading his book, Offshore or Die!, I had the pleasure of speaking to him via Skype. Mark is one of the good guys. In order to help raise awareness of mental health issues, particularly for young men, I am sharing...

September 1, 2017

Our Abseiling Stars

Congratulations to team members Corinne Marsh and Isabella Roozbehan for abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth....

May 23, 2017

Why can I not increase my profit?

The most important thing to remember is that profit is a result. It is a number that is the difference between income and costs. So to change the number that represents profit, you have to change income and/or costs. There is a tendency to focus on reducing costs. It is a good idea to eliminate waste and make your expenditure as productive as possible. But there is a finite limit to how much this will increase profits. For example, if you reduce down to working on your own from home then there...

January 26, 2017

Who needs a bookkeeper? You don’t anymore

Recent studies by Oxford University and Deloitte (2015) suggest that about 96% of what bookkeepers currently do will - in the not-too-distant future - become automated. It's been suggested by some that bookkeepers will soon become redundant. Actually, we don't think that's true, but let's look at what is happening......

December 22, 2016

The #1 reason businesses fail... and how you can avoid it

Don't you just hate the old cliché, cash is king. I do. But the fact is, running out of cash is the number one reason businesses fail. Despite the fact that very often they are profitable. But profit and cash is not the same thing....

December 20, 2016

The big problems with most small business financial accounting systems

Old-fashioned accounting systems are seriously flawed. And that can have dire consequences for small businesses. Until recently there were essentially 3 common types of accounting system: A manual system of books and records, like those big cash books. An Excel or other spreadsheet-based system Desktop accounting systems such as Sage Line 50. And they're all flawed. For example, with a manual system it simply takes too long to write up the transactions. And your time is too valuable...

December 14, 2016

Critical business information in real time

Every successful business has its finger on the pulse. You need to know the key numbers. Not the numbers in last year's accounts; they're out of date. Redundant. You need today's numbers. And that's where your cloud accounting system comes in. If you don't have a cloud accounting system, this blog will explain the benefits and how to get started. There are essentially just 4 types of accounting system:...

December 14, 2016

Great news – you no longer need an accountant

Recent studies by Oxford University and Deloitte (2015) suggest that about 96% of what accounting firms currently do will - in the not-too-distant future - become automated. 96%! Surely that means the accountant is soon to be redundant. ...

December 13, 2016

Keeping your business books has just got easier

Every business owner hates bookkeeping and paperwork. Unfortunately it has to be done. And it has to be done in a prescribed format... otherwise the Tax Man will be on your back. It's also difficult. That's why there are bookkeeping exams. That's why there are professional institutes like the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. I guess you'd much rather be out there making money from your business than doing the books. And because everyone hates bookkeeping, most people end up doing it i...

December 7, 2016

Time is fast running out for UK businesses

Don't you just love the UK Government? UK businesses are just getting over the huge cost and upheaval from the Automatic Enrolment regime and now we have another one to deal with. You'll love this. They call it 'Making Tax Digital'. Of course we don't yet know exactly how it works, because as you know, the Government does have a habit of changing its mind (just look at the introduction of Automatic Enrolment). Anyway, here is the essence of what they are saying: It is likely to apply t...

December 6, 2016

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought

Watching Karen Reyburn of the Profitable Firm talking with Paul Barnes of My Accountancy Place reminded me of a quote from Zen Master Bashō. Matsuo Bashō was a 17th Century Japanese poet – the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. He said: "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought. Seek the meaning behind their footsteps, and not upon the steps themselves. For in seeking the footsteps you shall be glancing only upon the next footprint. And you're sur...

November 17, 2016

Marginal gains and how they can change your life

Any small improvement in efficiency can make a difference to your business' end profit and the long-term success of your company. So, as a business owner, you're constantly on the lookout for a chance to make a change that helps the business to function more effectively. That change needn't be a giant step forward; it could be one small improvement. But if you make a series of small step changes that have a positive impact, you can end up seeing a marked change in your performance. And if w...

November 4, 2016

What are control accounts? – and how do they affect my Xero finances?

If someone asks the average 'person in the street' what bookkeeping is, they may well have images of dusty ledgers, Dickens characters writing with quill pens and pages of tiny handwritten numbers being laboriously added up and checked manually. Double-entry bookkeeping may have been invented in 14th century Italy, but things have moved on a LONG way from the days of paper ledgers. The numbers may now be digital, but the basic accounting principles are still central to all bookkeeping systems,...

November 4, 2016

Is the dream for your business still alive?

When you went into business, did you have a dream of what you wanted to achieve? Did you have a dream that you were passionate about? Without passion, there would be no entrepreneurs. But without a vision, there would be no passion. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will not be able to convince your customers that your product or service is the one that they must have. Without passion you'll only ever get mediocre results. With passion you can achieve almost anything...

October 26, 2016

Get more from Xero online accounting in 7 days

Getting the absolute best from your finance system helps to make everything else in the business run like clockwork. So learning the best tips and hints for using your Xero online accounting to its true potential is a great way to improve your accounting, cut out a big chunk of admin and get a better view of your business health. And we've made it even easier to learn about the power of Xero and cloud accounting. Take our Learn Xero in 7 days email course and in one week you'll have all the t...

October 5, 2016

If You Buy Cheap, You Buy Twice

Our very own Xero bookkeeping and payroll manager Corinne is getting married in September. She wanted to buy a petticoat to go under her wedding dress, and was excited to see exactly what she needed in a local boutique. As lovely as it was, it was a little too expensive, so she turned to the Internet and found something similar… and cheaper. And when it arrived, she soon found out why it was cheaper - it was poor quality. So she returned it and went back to the shop where she spotted the pe...

May 27, 2016

Running a construction business: how to keep on top of your finances

Keeping on top of your finances is the key to running a successful business – even more so in the construction industry where good cash flow is such a vital part of delivering a job and making a profit. So, what are the big financial challenges you face as a construction business? And how can Bespoke help you overcome these potential hurdles? Let's start at the beginning of the process and see how a cloud software approach can help your construction business keep on top of those finances....

May 20, 2016

How Xero makes bookkeeping easy for your business

Bookkeeping is probably not top of anyone's list of business tasks. But the process of recording your sales, invoices, bills and expenses into your finance system is a necessary evil of running any business. So, wouldn't it be great if you could cut down the time you spend on bookkeeping and free up more time to focus on actually running and growing your business? This is where Xero's cloud-based accounting software offers the perfect bookkeeping solution....

May 5, 2016

Dealing with the admin side of the Construction Industry Scheme

Running the financial admin of your construction business used to be relatively easy. You paid your subcontractors weekly, cash in hand, and everyone was happy about that – with the possible exception of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Then, in 2007, the Government brought in the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). The scheme applies to all contractors and subcontractors in the construction sector and is intended to improve the way tax is paid to HMRC by the industry. But the knock-on effect...

April 19, 2016

Plumbers

The good news for plumbers is that you offer a service that is always going to be in demand. This is a timeless industry sector. However, because of this, competition is fierce and you will have to fight for the jobs that are out there. We can put you in the best position to be successful and reap the rewards of repeat business. At Bespoke Accountants we devise unique online accounts systems to ensure you are handling everything from payroll to stock effectively. This leads to better organisati...

February 16, 2015

Electrical Contractors

The good news is that electrical contractors will always be in demand. After all, you offer a service that is always going to be needed. The bad news is that competition can be fierce because of this. One thing you need to do to give your business the best chance of success is achieve optimal levels of organisation and efficiency. We can help you to achieve this. Take advantage of our bespoke online management systems and soar ahead of the competition....

February 16, 2015

Builders Merchants

As is the case with all industries, there are pros and cons associated with operating in the building sector. Builders will always be in high demand, which in turn means that builder merchants will always be needed too. Because builders’ products and supplies are always required, competition in this industry is fierce and you need to stand out from the competition. We can help you to achieve this. Our bespoke online accounting solutions are completely tailored to suit your business. We will e...

February 16, 2015

Builders

Being part of the Building industry is a double-edged sword. The advantages are that people will always need builders, therefore strenuous marketing techniques are often not needed and the work usually finds you in your local area. However the downside is that there are plenty of builders around to compete with. Having a construction business that stands out therefore is crucial to your success. Builders that are highly recommended are organised, efficient and have good customer loyalty. We at ...

February 16, 2015

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