“As for you, be strong and do not give up – for your work will be rewarded….” We did it!

“As for you, be strong and do not give up,
for your work will be rewarded”

2 Chronicles 15:17

We did it!

We are pleased to report that Team CC Associates have all survived the craziness of January!

We want to thank each and every one of our clients for trusting us with their work, and helping us get through January (…especially those who brought us chocolates, tissues – and gin! – when times got tough and we all wanted to leave and just work in Tesco instead!)

Some things we’ve noticed that will help us help you out – and help reduce fees to the client…

Open your envelopes and bills!

You would be amazed how many people don’t even do this. Think of mine and Tara’s nails, please!

Check out http://www.zhoozh.co.uk/ 

Put your paperwork in monthly order!

Tara loves her job, but sitting on the floor surrounded by paper is probably against some kind of health and safety practice!

Unfold your receipts…

We cry inside every time records come in with fuel receipts folded into tiny pieces – and then each and every one has to be unfolded, which takes time. We love millions of receipts and piece of paper, but Origami is definitely not our forté! 

Remove non work-related expenses…

Tim loves a good curry, and is a rather amazing curry chef himself (see pic, looks good eh?) – but he really doesn’t need to see what you and your friends ate for dinner at the local Indian restaurant!

Likewise, we don’t need your receipts for the lovely shorts and trainers you bought in the sports shop.

Sadly, this is not tax deductible, even though Richard thinks it should be, and is probably campaigning behind the scenes to make it be in the future. 

He may love football and cricket, but we just don’t think he is going to change the taxman’s mind, sadly..!

In other news…

As you may know, the filing deadline for reporting income between 6th April and 5th April every year for Self Assessment Tax returns is 31/01 every year. 

https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns/deadlines

Tim has a saying in our office: “Some people think it’s a target, not a deadline!”

What this means is that people can file as early as April 7th every year, but some leave it to the following January to actually do it.

This comes with its own issues, not just for us. Facing huge amounts of processing and tax work (and black bags of random pieces of paper..) being brought to us unceasingly during January, but for Clients as well.

Let’s take an example of one of our clients, who brought us a stack of information to process on 22nd of January.

By the time we go through everything and produce a tax return, it is only at that point that the Client then finds out how much tax they owe.That tax is then due to be PAID by 31st January. 

This comes as a shock, and usually the client has no idea until right before the payment deadline how much they need to pay. 

There is a worse shock to come if they can’t pay it all, HMRC can then add the further penalties:

5% of tax unpaid after 30 days, another 5% of tax unpaid after 6 months, another 5% of tax unpaid after 12 months…!

So, what is the solution to all of this? How can people ease the burden of leaving things right to the wire and expecting and hoping all will be well?

Here are some handy basic tips (Not involving any maths at all!) 

• Keep all your records of income and expenses in monthly order

• Every month, go through these pieces of paper and put them into categories (Fuel, Purchases, and
Repairs etc. etc.)

• Work out how much money you have taken (Sales) – and how much money you have spent

You will now have a very basic idea of your “Profit” – which is what is subject to tax (at 20% or 40%, depending on your level of profit)

If you do this every month, and then get your paperwork in as soon as possible after April 6th, you will then know, in plenty of time, how much tax will be due in 9 months time – the following January.

If you are feeling a bit computer-savvy, and can input even the most very basics of information, take a look at our special software here, and let us know if you would like to use this. https://www.diamondwebapps.com/ccassociates/signup.pl

Some people think if they get us to calculate their tax returns just after 6th April, they have to pay the tax then. That is incorrect, the tax is still not due until 9 months later. So it is a no brainer to not do it as soon as possible after 6th April, every year.

We look forward to seeing you all on April 7th, lined up in an orderly queue at our door with your beautiful records, ready to start your next years returns!

Thank you from us all. WE DID IT!!!!

DON’T DUCK THE DEADLINE!

Have you spotted the latest Tweets and FB posts from HMRC?

‘Submit online by the 31st January’, they say!

‘Why not do your Self Assessment online today?’, they say!

And if you can manage to trawl through the rest of the endless bumf, it makes the whole process sound as simple as doing your weekly grocery shop online with Tesco or picking up a bargain online at Ebay. https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns. In reality though this is simply not the case.

Sure, If you have already ‘Received your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), enrolled for the online service and activated your account using the code you received in the post.’ And of course you have all your receipts, invoices etc. prepared and you’re fully aware of your allowable expenses, capital investments, blah, blah, blah… jump right in and get it done!

Haven’t got these in place hmm? Then may I suggest you might want to hire the services of your local accountant, – us here at CC Associates. It will save you more money and time than you can possibly imagine.

To start with, if you haven’t registered for your online account this can take the average individual up to 10 days to complete. CC Associates are registered HMRC agents and can submit your tax return on your behalf without any of the hassle.

Even if you are uber organised and have all your receipts and invoices filed nicely in month, week, and day order are you 100% sure of what can be claimed for in accordance with the law? You could be losing ££££’s. CC Associates Accountants are members of IPCA (Institute of Certified Practicing Accountants) with Nicola Thomas having recently been awarded Fellowship of IPCA. Their knowledge is 100% current, lawful and immense.

Most importantly, as the old cliché goes ‘Are you running your business or is your business running you?’

Call CC Associates now to take the strain of the dreaded tax return, but don’t leave it too late, only a few New Client appointments remain for January 2020.

Works Christmas Party and Gifts during the Festive Period

SantaChristmas is almost here again and our emails are ding a linging and our phones are ringing with clients asking us about tax allowances for their works Christmas party.

HMRC also gets into the festive mood and (if you work within the rules) you can have a tax-free works Christmas party.

The rules apply to a works Christmas party or similar function, providing you give all staff the opportunity to attend. You can spend a total cost per head of £150 (or less) and this applies to everything provided at the party, so be very careful especially if you are also providing transport.

The tax-free limit applies for the whole tax year, so if you held a summer event and a works Christmas party, they would qualify as long as the total cost for both is £150 or less per head of persons attending. This means you can bring partners and spouses and they get £150 allowance as well, yes that’s £300 per couple.

Be careful and keep control of costs, the sum of £150 applies to the total cost per head. It is an exemption not an allowance -if you exceed the £150 limit every penny becomes taxable. Also, the amount becomes taxable on the workers and they will become liable for extra national insurance contributions as well.

If you want to give gifts to employees you should be aware that these are taxable.

Cash presents, such as Christmas bonuses or vouchers redeemable for cash, also have to have tax and National Insurance contributions paid through your PAYE system. The alternative for employers who want to give, but without a tax charge attached, is to set up a PAYE Settlement Agreement with their tax office.

Gifts to your customers are not an allowable business expense and will be treated in the same way as business entertainment.

So go and enjoy the festive season with a works Christmas party. Stick within the rules and let the taxman help with the expense.

If you need more information on what is and what isn’t allowable, at Christmas or any other time of the year, or if you want us to help you to apply for a PAYE settlement agreement give us a call today for a free, non obligation informal chat.

Tel: 01656 729488

Email: advice@ccassociates.info

Nadolig Llawen iawn

It’s all in the stars

Nothing helps a local business like being recommended and given a great review and this short guide will show you how you can do this for us on Google and Facebook.

To write a review on Google you will need to go to our page on Google Maps here.

Click on our name then scroll down until you find the review summary where you will find the link to write a review. Go ahead and give it a try here and please don’t forget to give us some stars!

To recommend us on Facebook go to our business page here and click on or scroll down to Reviews.

If you haven’t already you will be given the option to recommend. Go ahead and try it here.

You may find us at other places on the Web too and we’d love it if you could spare a couple of moments to review us wherever you see us and don’t forget those stars!

Thank you for helping local businesses survive and thrive.

Kidnapped! By Fur Babies

We are the fur babies of Romania known as the garbage dogs and we’ve kidnapped Nicola Thomas of CC Associates and unless you pay the ransom she won’t be back to do your accounts. SO PAY UP NOW! Seriously though, she’s come all this way to visit us and we’ve kidnapped her heart.

So friendly and loving

Nicola is currently spending a week in Romania volunteering with the very worthwhile cause https://m.facebook.com/MihaelasAngels/ who are tirelessly fighting to save the lives of these gorgeous animals, some of whom have been lucky enough to be rescued to the UK and elsewhere. Only a few can be shipped out at any one time, so many more dogs are left behind, being protected in run down, make do shelters, still awaiting their forever homes if they’ll be fortunate to survive long enough.

A small donation from you can make such a huge difference to the well being and safety of these dogs. While they are on the streets they are in constant danger. Your money pays for the food and shelter needed to keep them safe.

Please help by giving via PayPal to donations@hopeforanimals.co.uk

A Small Business Is For Life And Not Just For Christmas

Christmas Community Spirit – and why small businesses need it all year round

At this time of year, we all see the online reminders to try and buy things from local businesses, how much it supports them etc, and I am sure most of us pay attention to this and do our best to think of something we can buy locally to gift those we buy for.
We may get a warm fuzzy feeling when we do this, but why do so many people forget about it for the rest of the year?

Where I live, in Aberkenfig, we have a brilliant array of shops and businesses that rely entirely on people personally visiting their shops on a regular basis. They are not multi-nationals with e-shops and 24/7 online shopping availability that we can click when their doors shut after hours.
When I moved to the village around 12 years ago, I decided my mantra would be “If I can buy it in Aberkenfig or Bridgend, that is where I will buy it”.
Sounds easy enough, and I can hear people yelling that “It is more expensive” or “They don’t have everything I need” at the screen as they read this.
So this is where a change of consumer habit has to come in, and that starts with every one of us.

Why would I drive all the way to one of the big DIY superstores in Bridgend, when I can walk into Bakers DIY

and say to Simon, “Have you got a thingy to fix this thingamabob? whatchamacallit? What do you call it please?” and he will not only know what I mean, but will either have it there and then, or in a day or two at the very most.

By shopping locally, I have not driven my car, not used fuel, so not had a diverse effect on the environment , but I have actually personally interacted with staff, other customers, and the owner. How different this is from the big stores, where our money just goes to invisible shareholders, with no concern for their customers other than how much they can put in the till.
Over the years, I have bought everything from a sink plug, dog food, paint, recyclable cleaning products to a wood burning stove with Simon in Bakers and have never once had to take anything back and got the right thing, first time, every time. Visit Bakers DIY on Facebook.

We are even lucky enough to have a Bike sale and repair shop still in our village,

run by Jason Vernon, another local man who has been there over ten years now and is still going strong thanks to his brilliant ability to know exactly what someone needs. He is able to fix things at the drop of a hat due to his exceptional personal experience in the bike world, with his son Taylor being a professional cyclist.

Not only have we bought bikes in this shop, we’ve ended up becoming such friends that when his dog Gem had two separate litters of puppies, we ended up with one each of those as well! Visit Bike It on Facebook

For the last year, we have been graced with a lovely new shop by Chris Gwylim – Vale Flooring and Furniture.

Since the shop has opened, I have managed to find amazing and unusual gifts for people I know who are a nightmare to buy for. The quality of the items sold there is second to none, and there is a lovely friendly atmosphere that can’t be found in a department store gift section anywhere.

I love going in here for five minutes, but it usually turns into an hour by the time I have finished catching up with Chris, talking about our mutual love of wild birds, gardens, flowers, and just about anything else that pops into our heads as well. Oh, and did I mention where I buy my carpets from….? Visit Vale Flooring and Furniture on Facebook

We also have the Watering Holes

– The Prince of Wales being our personal regular, hosted by yet another local man, Jeremy Matthews – or Bear

to those who have known him even longer than me… And ably assisted by the lovely Sarah

Not only is this a pub, it’s a place where friends meet, racing lads gather, Karaoke is sang along to by everyone, and a true sense of community exists in this place. Where would I have been a year ago if I lost a favourite much loved bracelet somewhere else, in an anonymous Chain pub? Minus a bracelet – that is where I would be! But not this place, an amazing local lady who was there found it outside, handed it in, and it was back on my wrist the next day. It is a safe environment for all ages, my daughter is 22 and she goes there with her Darts team friends, and there are folks there aged over 80. Everyone looks out for one another, and that is why it is a special part of the village. Visit Prince of Wales on Facebook

But of course Sarah and I simply couldn’t be seen in the pub without our beautifully manicured nails created by Debbie of Zhoozh Nails and Body who is based just above the pub on the 1st floor. She does gorgeous eyelashes too! Visit Zhoozh Nails and Body on Facebook

I haven’t been lucky enough (yet….) to have my lovely husband agree to a brand new dream kitchen, but when he does, Kitchen and Bathroom Dreams

with the lovely Rob Addis and Lee and Michelle Phillips (Again, locals!) who have been there over ten years will be where we go. I have friends who have gone there for their kitchens, and they are totally fabulous, very professional, friendly and down to earth. Visit Kitchen Dreams at Facebook.

As the local Accountant, from a business point of view, there are not only the businesses you can see, in the actual shops, but there are also those amazing self employed trades that live and work in the area as well. We have amazing plumbers, hairdressers, Nail Techs, Beauticians, builders, cafes, that all are an important and vital part of our local economy. Their contribution is also vital to sustaining the work ethic and overall well being of where we live and I tip my hat to them.

I am sorry I haven’t been able to mention every single business here, but in the New Year I am going to blog about every business locally individually.
In the meantime, whilst you are feeling festive and buying a little something here and there locally, please do your best to keep this up in the New Year and beyond. We are so lucky to have all these things on our doorstep, long may it continue. Without your continued and extra investment into these businesses, we will all have no choice than to go to huge business parks out of town, and line the pockets of the big businesses. And none of us want to do that now, do we?

Rent Smart Wales – CC Associates: Helping You Through The Confusion

Recently we have been dealing with a significant number of our clients who are Landlords, and have been struggling with the Rent Smart Wales requirements to register deadline.

The issues they are encountering seem to be broadly categorised as follows:

  1. Registration on the website: setting up user names, passwords etc
  2. What to do about the training course (many don’t realise that they can do it online for just £30)
  3. What to do on the website once they have passed the course
  4. The process of registering for a licence and paying the licence fee
  5. How to register each property again on the website once all of the above has been completed.

As experienced Landlords ourselves, we have been through the process personally, and also helped many of our clients with the same issues. As a result we are now really familiar with it and have no problem in following it all through to a successful conclusion.

We would like to let any Landlords know that we are happy for them to call us or email us if they need help!  We can offer up to date advice over the phone or by email, or even book a time for them to come and use our office and internet/ computer so we can guide them through the stages of the process and make sure they are all up to date.

We are not charging a fee for this service, we are simply offering our help as we know how confusing it can be for people.

If you, or any other Landlord that you know, would benefit from this help please get in touch!

Happy Birthday Tim!

img_8194Another year has come and gone for Tim Evans, FMAAT, ICPA so we had a little celebration in the office today.

We hope you will join us in wishing him a very happy birthday and an amazing year ahead.

How Much Should A Professional Bookkeeper Cost?

14487120338_36ac64c309_zOnce you have decided that you need to use a bookkeeper you need to decide how much you are willing to pay for their services, so how much a professional bookkeeper should cost?

A lot depends on you, your business and the time you can allocate personally to doing the books.

You

Are you organised, methodical, and efficient in keeping at least your paperwork in some kind of organised structure? If so,  this will reflect in the cost.

For example if you keep all your receipts and invoices in a rough date order, maybe in an envelope for each month, and note on each receipt and invoice when and how it was paid this will help the bookkeeper.

Or, do you keep everything in the glove box of your van and empty it into a bag when its full, paying little attention to obtaining proper receipts for things like fuel, keeping only the credit /debit card slip?

This will increase the amount of time the bookkeeper needs to spend just on unfolding all the bits of paper and trying to match receipts /invoices with payments -and as every business person knows, time is money.

Your business

Does your business produce a lot of paperwork or very little?

Do you have a bank account that is used only for business transactions?

Do you pay for everything via the bank or are you heavily cash based.

How do you manage and account for cash?

Your time

Does the time you allocate to “doing the books” take you away from running the business or eat into your private family time. If this is the case how do you calculate that cost?

In essence a Bookkeeper will charge for the time taken doing the work. That could include collecting the records from you, unfolding all the receipts, organising the paperwork from the bag into some order and eventually using the information to record the financial transactions in the correct place. OR, it could be receiving a folder containing organised paperwork together with relevant bank statements and petty cash records and getting straight down to work.

At CC Associates we have a tried and tested system that we have used over many years. We sit down with you, either at your premises or ours and discuss your requirements. We then do a months bookkeeping for you from the paperwork you supply. We make suggestions as to how you could present the work differently if that is required and we give you a price based on actually doing your books. If you agree we have an ongoing partnership, if you want to walk away, just do so free of any charge. We believe it’s a good system and believe us when we tell you 99% of businesses stay with us.

So depending on you, your business, and the time you give to organising your paperwork, charges could be as little as £30 per month! Get in touch today if you would like one of our friendly team to give you a call or come to see you.

Tel: 01656 729488

Email nic@ccassociates.info

Bookkeeper Cardiff: What to Look for when choosing a Bookkeeper

income-tax-491626_1920Have you decided that instead of drowning in paperwork, you need to spend your time running your business and letting someone else take care of the back office side of things?

Have you realised how time consuming, and sometimes quite difficult, keeping on top of the financial paperwork of your business is?

The next thing you may wonder is what to look for when choosing a bookkeeper?

There are a lot of questions you may be asking yourself, so here are 5 tips to consider which will hopefully help you.

  1. Make sure they are qualified and insured.

Many people say they are bookkeepers but have no professional qualifications.

Here at CC Associates you can be assured that we are all fully qualified and insured and you are in safe hands.

  1. Get recommendations from other small business owners.

Choosing someone with no way of knowing what their work is like is a recipe for disaster.We have wonderful testimonials from our happy clients, and we are happy to provide excellent work references if you require.

  1. Look for someone who has experience of your particular business.

It’s all very well hiring a great bookkeeper, but do they have experience in your specific  field?

We have helped hundreds of every kind of businesses you could think of over the last 30 years, so we have vital in-depth experience in many business areas. From plumbers  to hairdressers and pubs and restaurants to airline pilots and barristers, we have seen just about everything!

  1. A bookkeeper needs to have the  knowledge and understanding to work with your accountant at year end.

Do they know what the accountant will need, how to present the information they have completed, and how to answer any queries that may come up?

If they don’t, and they provide things in the wrong way it could cause your accountant to charge you again to re-do work you already paid the bookkeeper to do.

At CC Associates, we can either do the work at year end for you as well, as we are accountants ourselves, or you can be sure that the work we pass to your accountant will be top rate and no further issues should come up that we can’t deal with.

  1. Choose a Bookkeeper that has up to date knowledge of bookkeeping software and systems.

We are experts in all industry standard software that you may have already heard of, like Sage for example. We also have our own cloud bookkeeping software which is for exclusive use by our Clients.  If you would like a free trial of this, just let us know!