01392 495483 [email protected]
Black Friday – FREE Business Finances Review worth £200

Black Friday – FREE Business Finances Review worth £200

Black Friday Special Offer

Get Ready for 2020 with a FREE Business Finances Review


There are several reasons as to why Black Friday got its name – one of these is based on it being one of the most profitable days of the year for retailers giving them chance to get their accounts ‘back in the black’. So, Black Friday means profitable Friday as many retailers and business have successfully boosted their profits by participating.


Affordable, expert accounting advice can be hard to come by so we have decided to embrace the Black Friday phenomenon and offer a FREE Business Financial Review to help you get ready for 2020!


Starting on the 29th November and running until the 13th December we are offering a
FREE Business Finances Review worth £200!


This will include:

  • A full check-up of all your financial outgoings
  • The amount of cash you’re generating and where from
  • Most profitable activity / products
  • Analysis of debtors and invoices
  • Analysis of your cashflow
  • Your long-term business growth strategy
  • Your financial challenges
  • Outcomes and action points
  • Follow up session


Why is a financial business review necessary?


It can pay dividends to think about the longer-term and more strategic planning of your business. This is especially true as you take on more staff, create departments within the business, appoint managers or directors and become distanced from the everyday running of the business.


A financial review will give you:


  • Clarity on exactly how your business is performing
  • Steps to improve your profitability
  • How to make the most of potential opportunities
  • Direction for your business plan


To book your FREE Business Finances Review worth £200, get in touch today and we will be happy to help. Contact us here or call on 01392 495483.

Accounting Tips for a Successful Startup Business

Accounting Tips for a Successful Startup Business

4 [Essential] Accounting Tips for a Successful Start-Up Business.


If you’re in the process of setting up or have just set up your new business, you will know how tough it can be. Tough, but incredibly rewarding.

At the startup stage of any business, you wear ALL the hats. Even ones you didn’t know about! Sales, marketing, accounting, bookkeeping, cleaning, IT, admin, customer service, business development… The list goes on. 

One area that needs close and scrutinous attention, is your business finances. All of the great ideas in the world can’t keep a new business afloat if you run out of money. If your primary area of expertise is not in accounting or bookkeeping, then take a look at these accounting tips for startups below: 


Accounting Tips for a Successful Startup:


Leverage Finance Solutions

One of the biggest hurdles for a small business, especially when trying to gather momentum, is cashflow. However, you can actually avoid potential startup burnout. Don’t skip paying employees, or yourself, because you don’t have the money in the bank. You should also not put off major growth opportunities because you need to have the money first. Discover financing options – so you don’t have to wait on incoming cash. 


Use Accounting Software

This is still overlooked by some businesses as unnecessary, with the business owner preferring to work from a spreadsheet. However, the time saved, accuracy, decision making data available completely outweigh the comfortable spreadsheet. 

Using a cloud-based accounting software programme such as Xero, will enable you to have a good, accurate handle on where you stand financially at all times from anywhere in the world (with wifi).

Startup owners carry the weight of their businesses on their shoulders and though there is a lot to keep an eye on, financial health is absolutely fundamental to your business success. Using smart accounting tactics will help you navigate the tricky ground in the early days of your business with ease and reliability.


Create Different Bank Accounts

Just like your granny used to do with different pots of money for different events, sent up several bank accounts so that you can keep track of your outgoings. Operating expenses, tax, owners pay and profit. Each pot is then allocated a different percentage of your total income.

Financial analysts suggest having at least 3 months’ operating expenses but we suggest if you can build it up to 6-months you will have a firm buffer should anything happen.


Hand it over!

As you will presumably be the technician in your business, trying to learn another trade quickly and competently is time-consuming and will end up eating into your time selling.  Working with a good, reliable bookkeeping or accountant is worth its weight in gold.  Accounting and business finance experts will save you valuable time, will know tricks and tip for saving you money and will warn you when a potential financial hurdle is approaching.



Staff retention: the key to a cost effective workplace

Staff retention: the key to a cost effective workplace

Appointing staff is the first step in creating a strong and efficient team.

However, keeping them is the key to the long term success and cost effective management. Essentially having a high turnover of employees will cost your business time, productivity and ultimately money.

Investing in the staff and their future ensures they will remain committed to the work and the company over a long period of time. There are some different ways to get the best from employees.


Give staff small perks to promote productivity. One of our clients offers ice cream to all staff on hot days, whilst free fruit is becoming a very popular incentive to motivate staff. These little things that can be effective motivators that require little expenditure for massive return: loyalty, pride in work and productivity.


Depending on the type of work, you can offer workers incentives to motivate and reward staff. Anything from prizes for top sellers to free coffees for brand ambassadors on social media; offering staff something that actually rewards hard work and loyalty is a good way to engender this.

Consider benefits

Demonstrate willing to accommodate staff interests. This can be done through organising social events to team build, and also offering some flexibility. Flexi time and the option to work from home occasionally demonstrate that you see your staff as more than just an employee, and allow them to incorporate their life into their job. These are often cited as the reasons people enjoy their work.

Invest in people

Ensuring that all staff take pride in their jobs is essential to staff retention. If there is a training course they can go on to bring new knowledge in, then support them in attending it. A small investment in their future will secure that future is with you.

Outsource specific skills

If yours is a small business, often employees cover a variety of roles, some of which they do not feel expert in. Outsourcing finance, articles, social media etc. to a qualified expert could free up time and reduce stress for any employee who does not feel they have the necessary qualifications.

Promote internally

Nothing says longevity to an employee more than seeing promotions given to internal applicants. Mark out a clear path of advancement within the company, so staff can see how their job can progress. Having achievable goals motivates staff to optimise productivity and avoid apathy.

Mission statement

Have a very clear definition of your business’ core goals and mission. An affinity with your goals and values encourages staff to emotionally invest in the company, which ultimately fosters loyalty and boosts morale. We all want to be working for something we actually believe in.

Implementing a variety of methods, you can ensure that your place of work spends little to achieve the most cost effective asset: staff who will stay and help progress the company.



How to ensure your business runs smoothly during the summer

How to ensure your business runs smoothly during the summer

We’re all going on a summer holiday, no more worries for a week or two..

Although this isn’t entirely true if you are a business owner as at this time of year in business everyone wants a holiday at the same time!

So, what are you doing to ensure that during this popular holiday period the operational side of the business runs smoothly and won’t be compromised? We look at some of the best approaches to ensure you are covered during the busy season.

Early requests

As obvious as it may seem, ensure that staff are encouraged to get their holiday requests in early. Whether you’re a small business or a corporation, have clear holiday guidelines for staff to adhere to. As the business leader, it is always helpful to lead by example and organise your own holiday in advance.


Having implemented an early request policy, you should then be able to ensure leave is staggered, so that operations are covered throughout the summer months. This can depend on whether or not you have different departments, but it is always important to be sure that a manager is present to oversee things and make executive decisions.


What this means is to get staff to discuss their holiday needs amongst themselves to ensure that they are structured in a staggered way. If you have clear rules about holiday entitlement, staff should be aware that they cannot all put in for holiday requests during the same time. Getting them to arrange it not only delegates responsibility, but it also means that it can be shared out fairly.


One of the best ways to be sure that you’re covered is to consider outsourcing a finance department, writer, social media consultants, marketing team or whoever is necessary. Many freelancers and remote departments essentially take on the same commitment as the rest of the staff, on the understanding that it is on a temporary contract. Why not get the jobs that take you the longest covered in this way to free you up for day to day management?


Recruiting an intern can be a valuable way of ensuring that the essentials are covered. Many interns like to feel that they are actually gaining valuable skills, and as such are happy to be given responsibility. Having someone fresh and enthusiastic look at the skills that are missing could free up your time to get on with the day to day business.

The trick is ensuring that you find someone self-motivated and able to work on their own initiative so that their presence helps you out. Naturally, they may need mentoring, and so this needs to be considered carefully.


Depending on the size of the business, you may wish to recruit someone on a temporary basis to cover the absences. Going down this route could require some investment of time at the beginning in order to find the right person. This is also a potentially costly solution to ensuring you have the correct skills in place.



At the Finance Department, we offer a remote team to help run the most important part of your business smoothly. This ensures that staff are still paid and all accounts are kept in order.

For more advice call us on 01392 495483 or email [email protected].

Should I take a salary or dividends?

Should I take a salary or dividends?

This is a question we often get asked. And to be honest, quite understandably too as it is one question that causes a lot of confusion for small business owners who trade through a limited company.


What are dividends?

Dividends are an alternative way of paying yourself using the profits from your company. Limited companies can issue dividends at the end of the financial year (final dividends), and at points throughout the year (interim dividends), which is common when the directors or shareholders rely on this for income.

As long as your company is making a profit, or has reserves from previous years, you should be able to draw dividends to top up your monthly salary. Your company does not need to pay tax on dividend payments, but shareholders may have to pay Income Tax if they’re over £2,000. However, you cannot count dividends as business costs when you work out your Corporation Tax.

Dividends work differently than a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) salary because they are not liable for any National Insurance and you pay less Income Tax than a salary.

So despite paying corporation tax (currently 19%) this makes them a very attractive option for many directors. As an employee taking a salary, you are liable for tax and National Insurance contributions, which will be taken as a proportion of your earnings.


Tax on Dividends (above your allowance)

The tax you pay depends on which Income Tax band you’re in.

Tax On Dividends
Dividend allowance £2000 0%
Basic rate £12,500 0%
Basic rate £37,500 7.5%
Higher rate £150,000 32.5%
Additional rate Above £150,000 38.1%

To find out your tax due, add together your income from dividends to your other taxable income to work out your tax band.

The personal allowance rate for salary rose from £11,850 to £12,500 in April 2019 and the dividend allowance remained at £2,000.

These changes mean that it could be more beneficial to pay yourself a slightly larger salary and reduce your level of dividends.



For this example, we compare the income after taxes for three scenarios, all of whom have earned £80,000 in gross contracting fee income.
  1. is paying themselves via a salary
  2. has taken an £8,632 salary (2019/20 NiC Primary Threshold) and is taking the rest in dividends, and
  3. is splitting the income via salary and dividends between two equal shareholders
1 2 3
A Gross income 80,000 80,000 80,000
B [A-D] Salary 70,299 8,632 17,264
C [A-B] Gross profit before tax n/a 71,368 62,736
D Employers NIC 8,510 n/a n/a
E Employees NIC 5,373 n/a n/a
F PAYE 15,620 0 0
G Corporation Tax n/a 13,560 11,920
H [D+E+F+G] Tax Sub Total 29,502 13,560 11,920
I [A-H] Net profit, therefore dividends payable 50,498 66,440 68,080
J Tax on dividends n/a 10,311 8,937
K [I-J] Income After Tax 50,498 56,129 59,143


If you would like us to calculate which formula of salary v dividends is better for you, please contact us at [email protected] but please remember….


Focus on your business and making as much money as possible – tax is a consequence of being profitable and shows you and your stakeholders that the business is doing well.


Which is the best finance solution for my business?

Which is the best finance solution for my business?

You want to grow your business, but how?

Your available operating expenses are taking up in the day-to-day running of the company. You can see a pipeline forming, yet you don’t have the staff to meet the fulfilment of the work that is on the horizon.

Sound familiar?

The team at the Finance Department have recognised that as a small business wanting to grow, cashflow is often the problem. Being able to get enough money in the bank to fund marketing, staff, equipment, office space etc. is a challenge. And when the ‘Oh my goodness I need more staff / a new computer / bigger office’ comes, what do you do?


To help make your business growth journey smoother and easier, we have teamed up with Capitalise to offer you a financing solution that could see your business steam ahead of your competitors.

It can be a minefield trying to find a lender whose experience and lending criteria matches the specific needs of your business. As a trusted partner of Capitalise we can support your business needs by matching up your business financial requirements with specialist lenders within your industry.

Being a Capitalise partner, we have access to over 300 finance lenders so whether you’re looking for additional finance to complete a merger, a new business acquisition, or simply need some working capital to keep your company ticking over, we can help to match you with a specialist lender that meets your cashflow and business needs.

The Finance Department is delighted to be a Capitalise partner offering you a financing solution that can take your business to the next level.

Just a few ways business finance can help:

• If you want to invest in new equipment, but don’t have the funds, asset finance could be a cost-effective way to fund purchases and spread the cost of equipment over its economic life. We have lenders specialising in hire purchase, leasing and refinancing.

• Invoice finance allows you to use your business invoices to get paid up to 95% of their outstanding amount upfront. Payment can be quick with invoice finance – usually in under 24 hours, one approved for the facility.

• A merchant cash advance also offers quick access to capital and is an established alternative to traditional bank loans. You use your credit card transactions to secure funding – and pay back a small percentage when your customers pay with a credit or debit card.

• With trade finance, you use your purchase orders to get funding. Our lenders will fund your suppliers upfront based on confirmed orders and finished goods. Funding can be received in a few business days, once approved for the facility.

• Working capital finance is intended for everyday business costs such as salary payments. Working capital loans are an easy and hassle-free way to secure funding and again, once approved for a working capital loan, funding can be received in just a few business days.

• Property finance has become a staple form of funding that now features in almost every commercial property purchase or redevelopment project. You’ll also have access to rapid bridging loans, development and commercial finance.

For more information about how you can grow your business, please get in touch and we will be happy to help. Not only can the Finance Department help with finding the right financing solution for your business, but we can then complete the plan, budget and forecast for you to really make a difference.