Written by Steve Bicknell, 21 February 2017
Expenses are more than just a recording of the outgoing cash flow of your business. Expenses also include amounts that are claimable against tax. When recorded and tracked correctly, expenses provide a clear indication of the health of your business.
Expense checking is generally fairly straightforward; it involves going through the recorded claimable expenses for business purposes. Travel is a common source of expenses such as petrol, accommodation, meals, etc. For companies that work in an industry that requires travel, this is a crucial part of managing finances.
Tracking expenses is so important, that HMRC has outlined expense payment management and how an expense checking system should operate effectively, based on the size of the business, in two internal manuals: EIM30270, and EIM30275.
... continue reading: In check? your expense checking system
Written by Whitney, 20 February 2017
If there’s something we can all appreciate, it’s a sale. Everyone loves a good bargain. This is no exception when it comes to invoicing - who doesn’t want to pay a little less on a bill?
As an entrepreneur, this is an applicable strategy for appealing to customers and encouraging fast payment of an invoice. A discount can be an effective marketing tool if used correctly and selectively, providing your business with new customers and a higher turnover.
There are several different types of discounts you can offer. The most common ones include...
... continue reading: How much discount should I grant on my invoice?
Written by Whitney, 17 February 2017
How many invoices do you make each month? 5? 30? 80? Depending on the industry of your business, these numbers can be very different, and don’t necessarily provide an indication of the success of your company.
However, no matter your business, there are five central pillars of invoicing that should always be kept in mind. We walk you through them in five easy-to-follow steps...
... continue reading: Write your invoice in 5 steps: here's how
Written by Whitney, 16 February 2017
Some invoices are simple. Others can get into double digit page numbers and feature lengthy descriptions of products or services provided. In either case, the most important thing is to make sure that you communicate clearly and effectively with your customer.
It’s an age old lesson, applicable not only to business dealings, but also to daily life. Too often, miscommunication or unclear information is the root of problems and disagreements the world over. But before I start waxing-poetic on the state of the world, I’ll get back to how this relates to you as an entrepreneur.
The format of your invoice is one place where extra care should be taken to provide detailed information in the clearest possible manner.
... continue reading: An invoice layout your customer understands
Written by Whitney, 15 February 2017
It’s clear that the two documents serve different purposes. And yet they are strikingly similar. It can often be a bit cloudy when it comes to determining when both are necessary, or whether an invoice is the only one needed.
An invoice is needed once the order is confirmed or at the end of the service, outlining the goods or service provided and the total price as well as VAT (if applicable) and any discounts as well as the total.
A quotation, on the other hand, is issued before the goods or service are delivered and provides an itemised list and expected costs.
Let’s take a look at an example to provide a clearer image.
... continue reading: When to use an invoice vs. a quote
Written by Whitney, 9 February 2017
As the title implies, a digital nomad is either always on the move, even if you’re spending several months in the same place, it’s probably not your hometown (or even home country!). Working as a digital nomad means considerable flexibility...but when it comes to managing your invoicing and accounts, you’ll need to stick to the requirements in your place of origin.
You have some options. You can create invoices by hand, using an old-reliable like Word or Excel invoice templates, and struggle with spreadsheets, or you can find online, cloud-based invoicing and accounting software that can be accessed anywhere, from any device.
... continue reading: Digital nomad? Online invoicing software is for you
Written by Whitney, 8 February 2017
The term you know all too well but may not be particularly fond of as an entrepreneur: business accounting. At times it can be downright cringe-worthy, especially when it comes to tax time, you might start to feel like a pugilist in the third round.
Thankfully, with new technology comes new software to help make this side of running a business just a little more bearable. Cloud-based accounting and invoicing software can significantly simplify the accounting experience, making it fast and easy to enter and track expenses, enter payments on invoices, and manage your cash flow.
However, most of these programmes are not meant to replace a qualified accountant. Especially when ensuring that the credits equal the debits, and everything is up to scratch for your Self-assessment Tax Return, it is more than a little useful to have a professional on your side.
... continue reading: An expert in your corner: why to hire an accountant
Written by Whitney, 7 February 2017
While the cleaning industry can be competitive, there are a number of ways to help your business stand out from the crowd. One that we have heard is particularly important is how professionally you handle invoicing and payment from customers.
Creating invoices that not only comply with all of the latest regulations, but also promote the brand of your business will come across as highly professional. An invoice template is a particularly useful way to ensure that each of your invoices includes all of the necessary information (but doesn’t skimp on design!).
... continue reading: Invoice templates for cleaning services
Written by Whitney, 6 February 2017
We’ve already touched on the purpose and format of quotes and how they can be an important part of your invoicing process. So what exactly is the point of a proforma invoice and what is the difference between it and a quote? Can you use both?
Let’s first clarify what a proforma invoice is: a proforma is not an official invoice. Although it is almost indistinguishable from an invoice (it is, in fact, identical in all ways with the exception of the title ‘proforma’ or ‘draft’ and that it has no invoice number), their value and use is very different.
... continue reading: Proforma invoices: right for your business?
Written by Whitney, 3 February 2017
An invoice template without VAT? Is that even possible? It is, in fact. And it is an important option to have if you’re working with invoice software or if you’re creating your own invoices from an invoice template in Excel or Word.
For sole traders and small business owners, the need to ensure you’re following all of the necessary VAT, invoicing and legal regulations can start to get overwhelming. Understanding whether your business is fully or partially VAT exempt can certainly make things a bit easier from the start.
... continue reading: VAT-exempt invoice templates