How to be Most Effective When Working from Home

How to be Most Effective When Working from Home

Working from home is a position in which many of us have unexpectedly found ourselves in. Some of us have relocated to dining room tables; others are holed-up in spare bedrooms, laptops balanced on piles of books; some are juggling meetings and childcare all at once. Quiet, calm offices with tidy desks are a distant memory and, for now, it looks like they may stay that way for some time! Here at Your Finance Team, we know how difficult working from home can be and have therefore set out a few simple steps to help you maximise your working from home effectiveness as we navigate this final part (hopefully!) of the pandemic.  Routine is Key Setting and maintaining a routine that works for you is key to maximising your effectiveness when working from home. Things like waking up at the same time each day, dressing in work-appropriate attire, leaving time for coffee and breakfast before sitting down to work will ensure that you are in the right mindset to be productive and will set you up for a successful day.  Workspace To begin with, working in your home can feel quite alien. You’re bringing all the stresses of our working life into your safe space, which is why it’s a good idea to designate just a small area of your home to work. Try picking a space that is away from rooms you would usually relax in (living rooms, bedrooms) and one that is free from as many distractions as possible. Doing this allows you to maintain some semblance of work-life balance and will enable you to work effectively...
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Finance Director

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Finance Director

As your business grows, so will the need for effective financial management. You may already have hired a bookkeeper to keep the basics in check, but as your business continues to prosper, you may feel that you need a more substantial service. This next step could be the hiring of a Virtual Finance Director – someone who will manage your finances with the knowledge, expertise and experience you would expect from a loyal, full-time member of staff, in your offices or remotely, but for a fraction of the price. We’ve rounded up a plethora of benefits that could come from hiring a Virtual Finance Director if you are considering this as your next step: 1. All-Seeing, All-Knowing The primary role of a Virtual Finance Director is to oversee all financial activity with an objective, unbiased eye. This means having someone on your team who can actively monitor your finances and report back to you with clear, detailed information that will help to inform positive business decisions. Having access to a consistent, real-time overview of your financial situation at all times via a Virtual Finance Director can help you to understand your business and move forwards in the most profitable way. And you won’t have to break the bank to do it. 2. Affordable Access to Experience and Expertise Choosing to hire a Virtual Finance Director means that you’ll be working with a fully qualified accountant with years of valuable experience in senior financial leadership. While hiring someone full-time with a similar status can be expensive, going Virtual means that you’ll only have to pay for the time you need...
Entrepreneur’s Relief – One of the Best Kept Secrets

Entrepreneur’s Relief – One of the Best Kept Secrets

Entrepreneur’s Relief Since April 2008, Entrepreneur’s Relief (ER) has been one of the best kept secrets of British business life. Perhaps the way that successive governments have handled Entrepreneur’s Relief explains why this excellent scheme is not as well recognised, or as used, as it should be by the business community. The Benefits of Entrepreneur’s Relief Qualifying businesses can save between 8% and 18% Capital Gains tax. Each individual’s qualifying amounts are subject to a lifetime limit which is related to business period. Businesses disposed of between: April 2008 to 5 April 2010 up to £1 million 6 April 2010 to 22 June 2010 up to 2 million 23 June 2010 to 5 April 2011 up to £5 million or after 6 April 2011 up to £10 million. Spouses or civil partners working in the same business are classed as separate individuals. Therefore claim individually. Because each person is entitled the full amount of Entrepreneurs’ Relief, this makes the benefit doubly attractive. Especially to family firms. It’s clearly an attractive benefit, so how do you ensure you qualify? Qualifying for Entrepreneur’s Relief Qualifying conditions for this benefit must be maintained throughout a 12 month qualifying period. This can be before the date of disposal or before the date the business ceased trading. Both individuals and some qualifying trustees of settlements can claim the relief. But, it’s not available to personal representatives of the deceased nor in relation to trusts where the entire trust is a discretionary settlement. The relief must be claimed, in writing, by the first anniversary of the 3rd January following the end of the tax year...
Go Cardless – How to get paid on time, every time!

Go Cardless – How to get paid on time, every time!

How to get paid on time, every time Small businesses are open to a wide range of risks. One of the biggest is cashflow. Getting the money you’re owed when you need it can make or break an SME.  Which is why any solution that gives a business the chance to get paid faster has to be good news. Go Cardless – an online direct debit management system – gives a business owner more options, at less cost, than ever before. Before Go Cardless entered the market place setting up direct debit facilities for small businesses was time consuming and costly. Controlling cashflow – keeping your business on track So how does Go Cardless help? The first, and most crucial feature that benefits business owners is the ability to reduce bad debt. Getting paid on time, every time doesn’t just help with cashflow, it also assists the organisation in other ways too: Improved cashflow. Frees up your business to do what it was set up to do. No more credit control. No time spent chasing up bad debts or dealing with the endless excuses of those who don’t want to pay. Swift set up. Crucial to being able to run your business effectively is the ability to manage payments by importing your existing customers into the Go Cardless system. With its simply plug and play features, Go Cardless immediately allows you to start taking payments. Transparency. Go Cardless charges are very clear and minimal. You don’t get any nasty surprises, unlike traditional banks which can impose unexpected charges without warning. Speed of payment. Go Cardless doesn’t hang on to your money. With its...
Research & Development Tax Credits – Are you eligible?

Research & Development Tax Credits – Are you eligible?

Any new business needs all the tax relief it can get. Which is why it is all the more surprising that for many SMEs, the government’s Research & Development Tax Credits aren’t being more widely utilised.   What activities qualify for Research & Development Tax Credits? HMRC has clear guidelines about qualifying criteria and they are much broader than you might expect: Expenditure on staff (salaries, employer’s NIC and pension contributions all count). Expenditure on subcontractors (including freelancers). Spending on materials and consumables (including heat, light and power that are necessary to, or used up by, the R&D process). Even some types of software expenditure. It’s important to note that your project doesn’t need to succeed to qualify for tax savings. You can reduce your tax by applying for Research & Development tax credits even if you’re not certain if the project is possible, scientifically or technologically. Or if it’s theoretically possible but you’re not sure if you can put it into practice. HMRC calls this ‘resolving uncertainties’ and this qualifies for Research & Development tax credits. In fact, so does enhancing an existing product, process or service. As long as that enhancement requires an Research & Development spend. Another surprising aspect of the tax relief process is that an SME that is undertaking work for a client, for example a software developer creating a bespoke programme or application, can apply for the Research & Development tax credits. Even if they themselves won’t be the final beneficiary of the research process. Research & Development tax savings Research & Development tax credits can be worth as much as 33 pence in every £...
Top tips for selling your business

Top tips for selling your business

Someone told me never get into a business venture unless you know how you are going to get out of it! For most entrepreneurs defining their exit strategy early on, is a critical part of achieving business success. Strategies will differ, but for all there will come a point where they want to exit the company. This normally means passing the business on to a successor, winding it up or selling your business. For many business owners, real value is only achieved when they sell their business. For entrepreneurs, this is their reward for the hard work and dedication put in to building a successful business.  Selling your business – here are our tips on preparing: Timing of the sale Think about when you want to exit the business. You may plan to retire at, say, 60, so work backwards to set yourself a timeline from now to that exit point. Once you have a time line in mind consider carefully the industry you are in. Think about what trends will impact the industry both positively and negatively between now and your exit point. The big influences will be the financial climate and state of the overall economy. It is well known that mergers and acquisitions activity dips in times of recession. Also consider whether a potential buyer would want to keep you on as an employee or a consultant for a period of time. This is becoming more and more common as buyers know that by retaining you the odds of a successful integration are improved. Consider the timescales for the sale itself. Even with motivated buyers and sellers and good legal teams,...

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