Crunchers Accountants

Crunchers Accountants

Heads Up – Accounting Standards for Sole Traders Change

Archive for January, 2013

Heads Up – Accounting Standards for Sole Traders Change

HMRC is introducing simplified accounting requirements for sole traders under the VAT threshold (£77k) from April 2013.

For sole traders in this situation the reporting requirements are reduced to three lines:
  • Total Income
  • Less Total Allowable Expenses
  • Net Profit

In addition each line is calculated on a cash basis – ie money in and money out, rather than the standard invoice basis that counts income once it has been invoiced (whether or not payment has been received) and purchases once a bill has been received.

For Crunchers clients we will be reviewing the service we currently provide to see if they want to take advantage of this simplification and amend our fees accordingly.

For anyone who is not one of our clients we recommend to raise this with your accountant.

Read HMRC Guidance

Everything is Marketing – even the small print

‘Everything is marketing’ – so said, business writer, Regis McKenna in 1990.

Watching the Wally Video in this month’s seminar there was a reminder of this approach to business in one of Wally Hawryluk’s business tips: using what some would call the ‘small print’ as marketing.

In particular he was a fan of guarantees.  For the customers point of view the attraction is clear.  They have a guarantee on the service, money back promises if your product or service turns out to be substandard.  For the canny business owner the deal is potentially even better.

Probably what you guarantee, you already expect to deliver reliably anyway.  The cases where the product or service fails are likely to be few and far between.

Probably no-one else is offering a guarantee like you are.  You are already better than the competition.

On top of this you can insert conditions on the guarantee that reduce the risk to your business – ‘we guarantee our service as long as you do X, Y, Z.’  You are now managing how the client interacts with your product.

And finally it keeps you in relationship with your customer if / when things do go wrong.  They have a reason to come back to you.  You have an opportunity to put things right.  You may could easily make a new sale to them.

There are other examples of terms and conditions that can create a really good impression with clients and make the deal for you the business owner more attractive.

We have seen tip clauses (where the client pays extra if you outperform standard service), registration fees (an upfront payment for becoming a client) all used to create value in the mind of the client.

Even penalty charges can be used as marketing.  Try this out as a piece of marketing: ‘When people pay late it causes extra admin and costs to us.  We want our service to be as cheap as possible for those people demand and deliver excellence.  Why should the people who pay on time, subsidise those who don’t?’

To the kind of person who pays on time, the kind of client most of us want, that is an attractice proposition.

The Wally Video – Seminar Report

Wally Hawyluk took his local Melbourne pet shop from an over blown hobby to an international commercial success.  The interview charts his story, which he credits to educating himself as a business person, implementing small bits of business know-how piece by piece.  What makes it such a powerful video is the simplicity of what he did and the realization that these actions are open to anyone.

Reaction from the our audience was generally highly favourable with feedback scoring overall value 9/10.

Comments included:

‘I really found this so exciting and I need to speak to someone to bounce my ideas around.’
‘Good inspirational clip, very informative, gained a lot that I can use in my business’
‘Enjoyed the seminar its important for a small business to attend things like this as it boosts your self esteem and gives you the ammunition to continue in business and make it work.  Really enjoyed it.’
‘Great evening, very inspirational.  Thank you.’
‘As always with these seminars you always come away with at least one thought provoking gem that alone makes attendance worthwhile.’