Get a handle on your finances!

Are you a small business owner in the UK looking to get a handle on your finances?

Good bookkeeping is crucial for the success of any business, large or small.


In this blog post, we will cover some key tips and best practices for keeping your finances in order.

First and foremost, it is important to keep accurate and up-to-date records of your income and expenses.

This means keeping receipts for all of your business-related purchases, as well as tracking your income from sales and other sources.

By doing this, you will be able to see exactly where your money is coming from and where it is going.

Finance Tracking

One way to keep track of your income and expenses is to use a spreadsheet or accounting software.

Our Software of choice is XERO

This will allow you to easily enter and categorize your transactions, and generate reports that give you a clear picture of your financial situation.

Another important aspect of bookkeeping is reconciling your bank statements.

This means checking that the transactions recorded in your accounting records match the transactions that appear on your bank statements.

By doing this on a regular basis, you can catch any errors or discrepancies and make sure that your records are accurate.

In addition to keeping track of your income and expenses, it is also important to regularly review your financial statements.

This will give you a better understanding of your business’s financial performance and help you identify areas where you can improve.

One financial statement that is particularly useful for small businesses is the profit and loss statement.

This statement shows your business’s income and expenses over a specific period of time, and indicates whether your business is making a profit or a loss.

By regularly reviewing your profit and loss statement, you can see how your business is performing and make any necessary adjustments.

Another important financial statement is the balance sheet. This statement provides a snapshot of your business’s financial health by showing your assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time.

By regularly reviewing your balance sheet, you can see how your business is growing and identify any potential financial issues.

We can help you

In conclusion, good bookkeeping is essential for the success of any business.

By keeping accurate and up-to-date records of your income and expenses, reconciling your bank statements, and regularly reviewing your financial statements, you can gain a better understanding of your business’s financial health and make informed decisions about its future.

We at Stars Accounting Ltd are experts in this field. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee

To commemorate this special event:

We are offering the first 10 self employed individuals who contact us currently without any accounting support:

3 months free support

This includes:

  • XERO software managed on your behalf – The most efficient way to record and prepare your financials for self-assessments and returns (e.g. VAT, where applicable)
  • Setting up your Sole Trader / Ltd Company if required
  • Monthly management of your accounts
  • 24/7 support and advice

Contact us now to get your business up and running

When you should hire an accountant, how about now…

Stars Accounting Ltd

Accountants can help out at various stages during the growth of your business. They can handle much more than just your payroll and tax returns. So when should you consider hiring an accountant for your small business?

Challenges for growing small businesses

There are good reasons for hiring an accountant at different stages of your company’s growth. From a business plan to company formation, loan application to tax investigation, an accountant can make life easier for you at each step.

That doesn’t mean you always need to employ an accountant full-time or hire one on a retainer basis. Sometimes just a couple of hours of their time will be enough.

Like all small business owners who are looking to save money, you may think you can’t afford an accountant. But look at how long it would take you to do certain tasks (such as taxes), and ask yourself, is that a good use of your time?

For example, let’s say it takes you 10 hours to do your taxes, and your time is worth £100 an hour. That’s a cost of £1000 to do your taxes yourself. And there’s always the risk you’ve made errors – especially if you’re multi-tasking like most business owners.

However, if you get an accountant to take care of time-consuming tasks like taxes, it’s quite likely they will cost less per hour than you would pay yourself. You’ll not only have extra time to free you up to generate revenue, but you’ll have peace of mind that an expert is taking care of the details.

So what other moments during the life of a typical small business, might you want to hire an accountant to help you?

You’ll need advice when you write a business plan

If you involve an accountant while you’re writing your business plan, they will be able to use accounting software to add financial projections and other reports to it. This will help you create a business plan that’s realistic, professional and more likely to succeed. Our business plan template can help you get started.

Hiring a professional at this early stage will mean you get the benefit of their financial knowledge and advice right from the start. That could save you time and money compared with hiring one later.

You’ll need advice about your company’s legal structure

Not all businesses have the same legal structure – there are different types that are determined by a number of factors. Some might be called limited companies, limited liability partnerships or corporations, others could be sole traders or proprietors. These vary from one country to another.

You should carefully consider each type before deciding which one best suits you. For example, you may do business as a sole trader or sole proprietor, working on a self-employed basis and invoicing under your own name. If this is the case, you might be able to offset some of your living expenses against tax.

However, this also means you could be held personally liable for any business-related obligations. If your business fails to pay a supplier, defaults on a debt or loses a lawsuit, the creditor could legally come after your house or other possessions.

With a limited liability company structure, it’s different. As the name suggests, the liability of the business is limited to the assets owned by the business, not you personally (though there may be exceptions in some circumstances).

An accountant can explain the legal business structures available and help you choose the one that best suits you.

You’ll need an accountant to help with the finances

Small business accounting can quickly become complex if you do it on your own. If you feel you’re losing control of who owes you money and how much, an accountant can help you get back on track.

You may also want to measure key business metrics, such as the ratio of salaries and other employee payments to total revenue. An accountant can help here by managing your payroll and producing graphs so you can see how the ratio changes over time.

If your accountant uses cloud-based accounting software, they’ll be able to share your business accounts with you quickly and easily. And they can produce tables and charts that will help you understand your company’s current financial situation at a glance. This will help you monitor the pulse of your business and keep track of important things like cashflow.

Hire an accountant when you’re ready to delegate

As a small business owner, no doubt one of the things you like best is that you have control. You can set your own working hours, craft your business strategy, regulate your workload (at least to some extent) and determine your own finances. And being the master of all of these things is a wonderful and liberating feeling.

But sometimes it can stop you from delegating. Business owners can feel overworked, partly due to a reluctance to allow other people to help out. You might feel that no one can possibly know your business as well as you do, therefore nobody can handle any part of your business as well as you can.

Inability to delegate can mean you’re left feeling overworked and stressed. At some point you will have to let go, and learn to trust other people to handle some parts of your business so that you can look after the rest.

Delegating your company’s financial affairs is a good start. You need to choose the right accountant and make sure you trust them with your company’s financial information. Once you’ve handed over your company’s finances to someone more experienced in accountancy than you are, you will have more time to concentrate on other aspects of your business.

Some of the most successful business owners in the world are experts at delegating work to the right people – so try to learn from them.

Hire an accountant when you have to deal with the government

It can be daunting dealing with government paperwork when you run your own business. This is why so many small business owners hire an accountant when the first tax filing is due.

But they can also help you cope with more than just tax returns. They can help your company interact with the government in other ways.

A good accountant will be able to:

  • Complete and file the required legal and compliance documents for your business
  • Keep your company up to date with the latest tax laws
  • Prepare statutory accounts
  • Keep your company’s status updated in the government’s company register
  • Maintain records of directors and other administrative personnel
  • Organise and record share/stock allocation, such as when the business is formed, when a business partner leaves or a new partner joins
  • Handle your payroll and ensuring that all employees’ tax codes and payments are recorded correctly.

Preparing your tax documents correctly could save you money – perhaps more money than your accountant charges you. And a good accountant will use their knowledge of tax laws and legislation to suggest ways you can free up cash flow, save money and raise capital for expansion.

Hire an accountant in case you have a tax investigation

It’s statistically unlikely that your company will be investigated, because there are so many small businesses and relatively few tax inspectors. But if it does happen to you it can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming.

If you don’t already have an accountant at this point, it’s a good time to hire one. They can give you advice on how to work within the investigation process. They can also help ensure you don’t violate any tax laws afterwards – because the HMRC will almost certainly be watching.

But it’s better to hire an accountant before an investigation ever happens, especially if you can find one who will offer tax investigation insurance. Tax investigation insurance covers the fees you would have had to pay if your business needed to respond to an official enquiry, review, or investigation by a tax department. An accountant who offers tax investigation insurance means they won’t charge any extra for the considerable amount of work they’ll have to carry out during the investigation process.

Good accounting software incorporates an audit trail. This makes it easier for you and the tax office to see exactly what transactions have taken place over time – and who authorised them.

You’ll need an accountant when you apply for a business loan or overdraft

Banks like to know they’ll get back the money they lend out. Since the credit crunch, lending to small businesses has dropped in most countries. This makes it all the more important that you have a sound business case when you apply for a loan or overdraft.

An accountant can help improve your chances. Even the fact that you have an accountant might sway the bank in your favour, as it implies you’re serious about your business. With good accounting software, your accountant can present facts and figures that back up your application for funding. They’ll also be able to answer any questions your bank might have about revenue projections and expenses.

Your accountant can also help you choose which loan to go for, and tell you whether your bank’s terms and conditions and interest rate are favourable to you.

When your company is growing, hire an accountant

Companies don’t always grow at a steady rate. A new client or a big project can mean you need to grow your business more quickly than expected.

An accountant can help you handle growth transitions, such as hiring employees or taking on more office space. They’ll look after the detail (payroll, employee tax management, property tax, utility payments and so on), leaving you free to look at the bigger picture of the way your business is growing.

An accountant can also use accounting software to analyse your cash flow, stock management and pricing. They can also provide insight into how to properly grow the business through financial analysis. They could even help determine when is the best time to introduce a new product or service offering to your range.

Get an accountant’s advice before you take on a franchise

Taking on a franchise is a popular method of starting up in business, especially in areas such as car valeting, cosmetics supply, lawn-mowing, courier delivery operations and fast-food restaurants. With a franchise, you can still be your own boss, yet in return for a share of the revenue or business equity, the franchise company will support you with brand marketing, sales, product supply and other important matters.

This can take some of the risk out of starting a new business. But on the downside you will have less commercial freedom and increased overheads, because some of your income will go to the franchise parent company. Franchise contracts vary, so the amount you pay and keep will also vary.

It can be hard for someone new to running a business to tell whether it’s worth taking on a particular franchise. That’s where an accountant can help. They can look through the franchise contract to find out the fees and percentages charged, then help you estimate your likely income after those costs have been deducted.

Only you can decide whether you then want to take on the franchise or not. But armed with detailed knowledge of the finances, you can make that decision with greater confidence. 

Get an accountant’s advice before you buy a business

Some people start their new business from scratch, others prefer to buy one that’s already up and running. You should always consult an accountant before buying an existing business. They will be able to look into the company’s accounts in detail and find out if anything looks wrong.

For example, they can check whether the company’s assets (like equipment), are fully owned or leased or part-paid for, and whether the company has any outstanding debt.

It’s a good idea to consult a lawyer too. Working together, your accountant and lawyer should discover all there is to know about the company you intend to buy and run. This will give you peace of mind that you’re getting everything you’re paying for.

Get advice from an accountant before you sell your business

It’s unlikely that you’ll have run your business for years without employing the services of an accountant. But if you have, you should seriously consider hiring one before you sell up.

An accountant will put your company’s financial records in order and produce statements of accounts that you can show to prospective buyers. Using high quality accounting software they can create useful charts and tables to show your company in a good light. They can also talk to any potential buyers’ accountants during the due diligence process, which is often a legal requirement when a business is being taken over.

And, perhaps most importantly, an accountant can help you structure your financial affairs so that you get the most money from selling your business. Depending on how the sale is structured, the amount of money you receive after tax can vary considerably. For example, a lump sum might be less tax-efficient than monthly payments over a period of years.

Every company sale is different, and a good accountant will help you get the best result when you sell up.

Accountants can help you every step of the way

As you can see, accountants can help you out during every stage of your company’s development. That doesn’t mean you have to hire one, but the right accountant should make life easier for you, so you can concentrate on what you love doing.

Your speciality is running your business. Leave the financial detail to an accountant. If you and your accountant use cloud-based accounting software, you’ll be able to keep track of what your accountant does, and always be able to see your company’s financial situation at a glance.

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Winners in Partnership

We at #StarsAccountingLtd have partnered with #Xero due to the fact that they are well established business, well versed in the #acccounting and #bookkeeping space.

In doing this we can provide people like Jessica the chance to get on with providing the service they are skilled in without having to spend endless hours on their accounting and bookkeeping.

Contact us to find out how we can help you manage your business effectively in these and other areas of financial services. Or perhaps you are starting a new business and are not sure where to start…

Contact us now
[email protected]
01279 291538

Xero Certified Advisor

Warehouse Space – Fantastic demand taking the UK by storm.

If you want to know the facts keep reading…

If you are fortunate to have access to Warehouse space but not sure how to use its full potential contact us at [email protected] with the subject heading ‘SHEDS’ or call us on 01279 291 538.

With our partners in logistics, we can broker the usage of your warehouse space for medium to long contracted periods of time.

Now, back to the facts…

It wasn’t that long ago that warehouses were unloved by investors, who continued to pour money into retail and office space.

But things look very different now. Our High Streets and town centres are grappling with too much retail space and the logistics sector can’t build warehouses quickly enough.

The Stats.

New research from Savills, commissioned by the UK Warehousing Association, shows the dramatic increase in warehouse space in the last six years.

In 2015, there was 428 million square feet of large warehouse space in the UK. That’s now risen by 32% – adding the equivalent of an extra 2,396 football pitches.

The occupancy mix has also changed. In 2015, High Street retailers were the dominant occupiers, but now they’ve been overtaken by third party logistics providers, like DHL and Yodel, who fulfil and deliver most of our online shopping.

The biggest take-up in space, as the chart below shows, has come from the so called pureplay online retailers, firms which don’t have physical stores and only sell online, such as Boohoo. These online retailers have increased their warehouse footprint by 614% in just six years.

Predicted Growth.

Savills tracks how much warehouse space companies require and says that demand is continuing to soar, by 232% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2020.

Growth is predominately driven by increased demand in manufacturing and automotive. For example, new battery plants for electric vehicles. The general belief is because of this demand companies will want to store more goods in the UK.

If you would like to work with us at Stars Accounting Ltd to turn these opportunities into reality, contact us now.

[email protected] with the subject heading ‘SHEDS’ or call us on 01279 291 538.

Other Articles

Check out our other articles on our full blog here:

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UK Government New Mortgage Scheme – Will it help grow your property empire…?

credits: Ben Hayward March 1st

The UK government has revealed that it will be encouraging lenders to up their offerings of 95% mortgages to help people with smaller deposits get a first foot on the property ladder.  

The renewed enthusiasm for the scheme – which was pledged at the Conservative party conference last year – comes after the Treasury found that 95% mortgages had ‘virtually disappeared’ during the pandemic.

At the time of the initial announcement the Prime Minister said: “I want generation rent to become generation buy and these 95% mortgage guarantees help to deliver this promise.

“Young people shouldn’t feel excluded from the chance of owning their own home and now it will be easier than ever to get onto the property ladder.”

According to the BBC, the announcement is now set to be made in the upcoming Budget, due to be announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, in a Commons speech on Wednesday (March 3rd).

Mr Sunak has promised to use the spring Budget to support those who have struggled over the past year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – although he also acknowledged that things are going to be tough.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Sunak said: “We went big, we went early, but there is more to come and there will be more to come in the Budget.

“But there is a challenge [in the public finances] and I want to level with people about the challenge. I will do whatever it takes to protect the British people through this crisis and I remain committed to that.”

To try and ease the impacts of the pandemic and resulting national lockdowns, the government has borrowed £271bn in this financial year, an increase of roughly £220bn on the previous 12 months. 

The government has also confirmed that the deadline on its Help to Buy scheme has been extended from March 31st to May 31st this year to stop first time buyers from missing out on interest-free loans.

Under the scheme, potential buyers could borrow up to 20% of the cost of a house – rising to 40% for those in London – in the form of an interest-free loan, with the remaining cost made up from a 5% deposit and a conventional mortgage. 

However, certain eligibility requirements are in place – the house must be newly built and can cost up to £600,000, applicants must be able to show that they can afford the monthly fee and interest payments, and must not own any other properties.

Accounting Accounting and Bookeeping in Essex and Hertfordshire Accounting Finance in Herts and Essex Accounting in Sawbridgeworth Accounting software Bookeeping Bookkeeping in Sawbridgeworth England Euro 2020 Finance Football Sheds Stars Accounting Ltd Storage UK Government New Mortgage Scheme Warehouse Warehousing Xero Xero Certified

Ask the billionaires.

Did they start there businesses with the intention to spend all their time dealing with paperwork and sorting out transactions?!

Do they spend vast amounts of time sending emails, chasing suppliers, dealing with receipts and claims.

The short answer is no!

We at Stars Accounting Ltd know this and as advocates of making business owners lives easy we champion the use of software.

Our software of choice is XERO

Xero’s tools and features can free up your time to enable you to focus less on admin and more on building your business.

How does this work…?

Well, in two ways…

1.We can set the system up for you and leave you to manage everything from there.
2.We can get your accurate financial data into Xero without you having to do a thing.

Set up direct bank feeds to import bank transactions and reconcile transactions daily so you stay on top of your cash flow.

Email your bills and receipts directly into Xero or use Hubdoc, and the key details will be extracted for you ready to approve and reconcile – we do all this for you.

Manage employee expenses in one place with Xero Expenses, and use the mobile app to submit receipts and claims easily.

Accounting and Finance Books check us out

Take a look at the Stars Accounting Ltd book recommendation section:

First Class Accounting Services at cheap prices.

Here we have an Amazon search function that links directly to finance related literature.

We also list a number of books which we particularly enjoy.

Our top choice is currently ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’.

Do click the link and see if anything takes your fancy, or if there is a specific book you would like to see contact us and we’ll see if we can promote it for you.


Accounting and Bookkeeping in Herts and Essex.

We are now fully Xero payroll certified.

Give yourself the confidence that your Financial Service provider has the correct accreditation to provide the service that you need.

We are able to create a payroll system for you, whether you are a Director of a limited company or a sole trader

We can put into place full PAYE for your company employees, or migrate your payroll system over for us to manage and thus save you labour time.

This way you can use precious time on focusing on your business operations.

Contact us for more details.
email: [email protected]
tel: 01279 291 538