Spotting Scammers: Protecting your Business from Fraudulent Activity

Spotting Scammers: Protecting your Business from Fraudulent Activity

Scams and fraudulent activity are notoriously hard to spot – that is, after all, why they work so well. Scammers are malicious, quick to adapt and are always coming up with new ways to pose as trusted organisations, concealing their real agenda from their victims. Here at Your Finance Team, we have recently seen growing numbers of our clients contacting us to help determine whether communications they have received are legitimate or fraudulent. Worryingly, many of these have turned out to be the latter. Despite every effort from the government and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), vast numbers of scammers are still at large and can pose a real risk to you and your business if you are not aware of the red flags to look out for. Tips for Spotting a Scam 1. Offers and Threats Usually, scam communications will use either an offer or a threat to encourage engagement. For example, the latest HMRC scam plays on the economic struggles caused by the COVID 19 pandemic – it offers tax rebates to individuals and businesses to aid them during these difficult times. This email or text comes with a clickable link that then requires you to input your personal details to receive your rebate. Any communication that is offering or threatening something unexpected is likely to be fraudulent, and any interaction should be avoided. 2. Personal Details One overarching rule for spotting a scam is the attempted data collection of personal details. Legitimate organisations, like the HMRC, will never ask for your personal information or the details of your business via email or text, something that...
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...
Your Finance Team Achieves Xero Gold Partner

Your Finance Team Achieves Xero Gold Partner

But what does this really mean and is it important? Xero is an incredibly fast growing cloud-based accounting software that Your Finance Team (YFT) have been using for the past 5 years and consistently grown their expertise and client base alongside its own growth and popularity. Xero allows companies to keep control of their finances in the most efficient way possible giving access to live data anytime, anywhere. We are really pleased to have been awarded Gold Partner Status by Xero due to our extensive knowledge of the system and the number of Xero clients that we now support. YFT can get any business setup on Xero swiftly and efficiently, simplifying and adding value to your business. Our gold status also means that we have loads of experience of installing the brilliant range of Xero add-on software apps.  These apps are all aimed at making our clients lives easier: Our favourite apps include: Receipt Bank – a receipt scanning app Chaser – a credit control and invoice chasing tool Pleo – to process and manage expenses GoCardless – enables business to take direct debits simply and easily. Syft – produces some great management accounts so our clients can see and track their performance in real time. The staff at YFT are all Xero qualified and as Xero Gold Partners we can: Get you setup on Xero and provide training for your team Assist in the migration of data from your existing accounting software – Quickbooks, Sage or an excel spreadsheet. Show you how to use the functions in Xero to understand how your business is performing Advise on the...
Add-Ons for your Cloud Accounting Software

Add-Ons for your Cloud Accounting Software

Add-Ons There is a quiet revolution going on in the world of small business finance as people grasp the advantages of cloud based accounting. Many business owners are taking it one step further and buying ‘add-ons’ to their packages. These add-ons are programmes which integrate with cloud based accounting systems like Xero and Kashflow to give the business owner greater functionality and help them speed up internal processes. In the case of Xero they have now got 400+ add ons, which cover a range of requirements. The systems include CRM systems, stock management, debtor chasing, automated payments and reporting – the list goes on. The only downside with so much choice is selecting the right add-on for your business. Fortunately many add-ons give free trial periods (often 14 or 30 days) so you can link the package up with your accounting software and give it a test run. In some cases the add-ons are feature rich which can be daunting when you first use them, but do persevere. The better add-ons also have friendly support teams who can guide you through the start up and any problems. Xero also has an Amazon style review system for users to rate the add-ons. A quick look at the reviews will give you a sense of the pros and cons of the add-ons of each package. Here is an overview of some of the more main stream add-ons currently available on a subscription basis. Receipt Bank Receipt Bank is a useful tool to reduce the time it takes to manually load receipts and invoices into your accounting system. The user has a...
Cloud Accounting – a Layman’s Guide

Cloud Accounting – a Layman’s Guide

There is certainly a lot of talk about the ‘Cloud’. Whole industries seem to have sprung up recently which use the ‘cloud’ to deliver their services. Lots has been written about how this technology is changing the way we work. The accounting industry is no different; there is a quiet revolution going on as forward thinking accountants try to get the best possible business and accounting solutions for their clients. In simple terms, the cloud refers to using the internet to access software and save material, rather than using traditional software which is downloaded onto a desktop or server. Companies using this technology can then move away from the restrictions of desk top computing. So what are the benefits of using cloud based accounting packages and should I switch to a cloud based package? One of the greatest advantages of switching to a cloud based package is that you get a real time view of your financial position. This can transform your ability to appraise your business and make better financial decisions. Traditionally, accounts have been prepared at the end of an accounting period. This could be at the end of the month, end of a quarter or end of a year. Cloud based packages are updated in real time, often with live bank feeds so that you always have the most up to date view of your business. The system will show how much you have invoiced, who owes you money, who you will have to pay this month…all at the touch of a button. Your business data is available anytime from any device with an internet connection,...

We are a member firm of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants and a certified Xero advisor

cima-accountant-surrey XERO Silver Partner FSB Member