In Tax

If You Want to Save Tax – Get the Basics Right First

Posted by: on Nov 1, 2010 | No Comments

It is amazing how many businesses put at risk their tax allowable expenses by simply losing invoices and receipts. Where invoices and receipts are missing HMRC may disallow the relevant expenses. HMRC tax penalties have been significantly increased in recent times, at worse case penalties up to 100% of the value of tax avoided.

Accountants can help by making estimates of expenditure based on industry standards. Under these circumstances a disclosure is usually made in the white space on the tax return which may increase the chance of an enquiry.

All business owners and staff should locate a box file, folder, or even just a large envelope in a prominent position in the office such that when opening the post, or returning from a business trip all invoices, receipts, and bank statements are stored safely ready for bookkeeping and filing.

I know this is really basic stuff but please help us help you claim all of your tax allowances.

Business Planning – Minimize Financial Risks

Posted by: on Oct 26, 2010 | No Comments

In the current economic climate it is more important than ever to take steps to minimize your financial risks in business. A number of key areas to address follows:

• Prepare a business plan detailing: the business case; start up funding needs; and ongoing cash flow requirements. Don’t forget to allow for VAT in the cash flow forecast.

• Make sure you do detailed market research to verify that there is a market for your products / services

• Don’t take on a business partner unless you are sure they add value to the business.

• Operate your business from a home office for as long as practicable. You can meet clients at their premises, at a good hotel, or at an office rented on hourly basis. Technology and outsourcing will allow many operations to function remotely from your office

• If you have to take premises negotiate the shortest lease period or break clauses as possible.

• Wherever possible obtain payment for goods and services up front, or at least a deposit. Do not offer extended credit terms

• Make sure sales invoices are issued immediately on work completion. Lack of cash flow causes many business failures so consistently follow up until payment is received

• Continuously measure staff performance and be prepared the lay them off if they do not achieve the required return on investment. After one year in employment (including the notice period) it is potentially much more difficult to make staff redundant

• Continuously evaluate and improve business processes, with the mindset to add value ready to sell the business.

The above is not an exhaustive list however if implemented will go a long way towards assuring the long term survival of the business.

Long Term Tax Planning – Isa Trend Investing

Posted by: on Oct 22, 2010 | No Comments

Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) are vehicles for investments, usually in unit trusts or similar investments, which are free from income tax and capital gains tax.
ISA trend investing is intended to capitalise on the long term tax free growth of ISAs.
Top performing investments are selected based on a number of criteria such as long term fund / fund manager performance, in sectors that are predicted to have high growth. The objective is to select funds that will consistently outperform the World leading NASDAQ market.
The chosen funds are monitored based on the volume of professional investors buying or selling the fund. You follow the trend:
high volume of buyers early in a bull market suggests it is a good time to buy
high volume of sellers at the start of a bear market suggests it is time to sell.
This is where the majority of investors lose out – blindly staying invested for the long term hence losing the leverage of selling high in the market and buying back in when prices are low.
I know this through experience from the 2000-2003 bear market when I expreienced a big drop in my ISA fund value.

So on our 2009 summer holiday, when I read the book ‘Liquid Millionaire’ it did not take me long to make a decision to consolidate our investments and a large proportion of my pension under the guidance of Stephen Sutherland.
I have had quite a good track record of picking top performing funds but timing entry and exit from the market has always been a challenge.
Stephen Sutherland has got a fantastic track record of picking top performing funds as well as timing entry and exit from the market.
This has been verified in a challenging year since my initial investment, having achieved over 20% gain in less than one year and beating both the Nasdaq and FTSE100 markets by more than 10%.

A lump sum investment of £162k having 20% compound growth per year achieves millionaire status in 10 years. If you can also invest the maximum £10,200 per person ISA allowance each year, following the principal of ISA trend investing should put you on track for a comfortable retirement.
Please remember the value of investments can go down in value as well as up.

Business Planning – Make Sure You Do Market Research

Posted by: on Oct 17, 2010 | No Comments

Before you start a new business or release a new product/service it is absolutely essential that you ask yourself the question:


Clearly you will not make significant profits if consumers do not like or need your product.

It is essential that you do market research before you invest too much money in preparing the products / services for market. Some examples how to assess the market are listed below:

• To keep your costs down you can do face to face surveys. Make sure you choose the right location and sample of people. For example, if you want to research the public’s interest in a new design of suit carrier, standing outside a McDonald’s restaurant is likely to give inaccurate results. Whereas standing at the entrance of London Bridge railway station approaching city workers should give good feedback whether the market really wants your product. Take the opportunity to seek feedback regarding acceptable price, colour etc.

• If you are proposing to sell products an initial sale via eBay can be useful in evaluating demand and pricing before you purchase a large batch of stock.

• Search the internet, yellow pages, and local directories to get a feel for how many companies are already selling your chosen products or services.

• Visit competitors retail units as a mystery shopper to assess prices and level of service

• If you are offering a service search the internet to assess what your completion are offering and at what price. If that information is not published ring the competitors in your local area and ask questions as if you are a prospective customer. You can ask family or friends to help with this.

• To assess demand from prospective customers, telephone market research is commonly used. Make sure a suitable search database is used to select leads from the right demographic sample, otherwise high costs may be incurred for wasted calls.

• Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and your blog can also be very powerful in eliciting feedback from an audience of literally 100s of millions of consumers at little or no cost to you. To make this effective it is likely that you would need to have built up a substantial following to achieve a suitable sample size.

Good market research will help reduce the risk of business failure.

Welcome to the Sir Tax Accountants Camberley Blog

Posted by: on Oct 14, 2010 | No Comments

The objective of this blog is to provide useful information to help small businesses grow and prosper.

Like all good accountancy practices we will always do our best to advise businesses how to save tax.
But just as important….
You need to implement strategies to increase business profits if you want to increase your wealth.

Marketing is crucial to the success of your business so we will regularly revisit this message.
For example:
What is the current trend in Social Media Marketing all about ?

My initial reaction was Facebook is only for kids,
having seen several case studies presenting success stories,
and viewing statistics for the huge audience (500 million plus) and to a lesser degree for Twitter, have come to the conclusion the potential opportunities are not to be ignored.

With regard to business tax

There are greater opportunities for tax savings within a Limited Company structure than a sole trade business. Some aspects of incorporating a sole trade business have become less attractive in recent years. To make to the extra administrative burden worthwhile we suggest this approach is most suitable for business owners who are motivated and committed to business growth.

Go For It………..