Carrying on from our blog last week, hopefully most businesses are now adapting to the new normal, but our advice is that you should not settle back into the same old ways. It is time for the next normal.
So, what does this next normal look like? This is a great opportunity to look at the way you currently do business, ask yourself what variations you could make so that your business is more competitive. What about ensuring that you have now adopted all the modern ways of working. Is there a niche you can develop that can be your USP (unique selling point)?
Covid-19 has made many of us adapt our business practices so we can carry on working. For us, like many others in the service industry, face to face meetings with our clients stopped overnight. We had to work from home and adopt technology such as MS Teams and Zoom so that we could carrying on working with each other and our clients.
For you it could mean a similar change. You may even ask yourself similar questions about working from home and the need to have a large office. If not in the service industry you may be thinking of reaching customers outside your catchment area via e-commerce. Updating your website would be one way forward. Although we are not experts at this, we know people who are so if you need advice please get in touch.
As for Myers Clark we will keep a degree of the new style of working in the interest of offering our team and clients more flexibility. The last four months has demonstrated that we can carry on working with you and connect with each other, without necessarily meeting face to face. The need for our clients to come by the office just to drop in paperwork will diminish as most will adopt cloud accounting going forward.
Why do we always talk about cloud accounting?
We have been early adopters of the cloud accounting software such as QuickBooks Online and Xero. The advantages the software offers are just brilliant and apart from some little disruption and cost in the transition period we cannot see any disadvantages. Take the plunge and you will see all the following advantages:
Time saving – a simple example is the automated task of preparing a bank reconciliation. Clients are always amazed how quickly the bank is reconciled compared to the previous almost manual function. All cloud accounting software connects directly to your bank so no need to key in entries.
Bit More Time Saving – Automatic receipt capture by using an App on your phone. No need to store receipts somewhere dark only to bring them out once a month or quarterly to do your books.
Real Time Data – how can you make decisions about your business based on figures that are over a year old (your last set of accounts). The data is updated daily with reports at your fingertips – literally. Take control of your data and make informed decisions.
Collaborative Approach – we have seen first-hand in the last four months that if we have sight of your finances then we are able to help you make those informed decisions, help you with cash-flow forecasting and whether financing will be needed. In fact, we have gone further in some cases where there was a need to obtain finance, we can also assess within minutes your chances of success in obtaining a loan.
As your Accountants and Business Advisors we can use the tools we have to hand because we have connectivity to your cloud accounting records.
We can have more meaningful discussions around your business aspirations. It is no longer enough just to look at your accounts from last year, we need a more relevant discussion about what is happening now and what you want to happen in the future.
When we first started the conversations about transitioning clients to the cloud, there was always the impression that this was going to be an expensive exercise. It is not! The cost of software even if you add some time saving Apps will be far outweighed by the benefits you will receive.
We know this because we have done it ourselves.
We are very passionate about the environment, after all no one wants to be responsible for leaving this planet in a worse situation than we found it. We also know that we can only do what we can do. So basically, we encourage all our clients to think about the environment. Do we really need so much paperwork, do we need to send paper invoices to customers when they can be emailed? Do we need to print bank statements and so on?
As a firm we will be very happy to support you through the conversion to the cloud as we have done with many clients over the last six years. In fact we believe that it is so important we will even pay for the cloud accounting software for the first three months.
All we ask from you is that you keep an open mind and trust that we have your best interest at heart. Also take confidence from the fact that we have done this many times now and successfully converted lots of clients onto a suitable cloud platform. We want to work alongside you and help you achieve your goals – automation will help.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still”- Chinese Proverb
What about Making Tax Digital (MTD)
The Coronavirus outbreak has demonstrated to the government that if they had more up to date data then they could have provided better support. This is particularly true for the self-employed. HMRC only had tax returns for 2018-19 as their latest data. So, this week the road map was confirmed for the next stages of MTD:
April 2022 – All VAT registered businesses will have to file their quarterly VAT Returns using a cloud software.
April 2023 – Self-employed businesses and landlords with gross income of £10,000 will need to comply with MTD and submit quarterly returns using digital technology.
Whilst we knew the MTD changes were always going to come, primarily because HMRC believes that revenue (tax) is lost with manual records, the timing is probably due to the fact that recent government spending has to be funded somehow by the taxpayer.
Adoption of new technology and a brand-new way of working on your business should not be forced on you. You need to believe that it will be a rewarding change for all the reasons above.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you plan your next normal.