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Down-to-earth Cloud Accounting


We'll help you get in touch with your numbers

And you can watch your business grow

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Accounting for the 21st Century – reduced admin costs ~ online 24/7/365 access ~ regular software updates ~ accurate, up to date information at your fingertips ~ secure document storage in the cloud

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Marion Thomson Founder of Embarc Ltd

Marion is an award winning, qualified accountant with over 20 years experience working with small businesses in the North East of Scotland. Her varied experience has been gained in a number of different industries and in accounting practice.

Marion is passionate about getting to know her clients, understanding their needs and ambitions and providing ongoing support to allow these ambitions to be met.

“There is nothing I like better than getting to know my clients and supporting them on an ongoing basis; meeting up reluctantly at the end of the year is not my style. If you want somebody to be involved with your business, take time to de-mystify the world of accounts and help you to achieve your ambitions then look no further. We are only a phone-call or email away and will do our best to respond within 24 hours.”


  • “I would highly recommend Embarc to anyone setting up a new business or looking for an accountancy firm they can actually talk to.”

    Julie McNeil Owner, Merchant Bistro

  • “Moving over to Embarc has made everything so much easier and your calm nature and good teaching has made Xero enjoyable to work with.”

    Shona Cooper Owner, Barmekin Ground Care

  • “Marion has been a fantastic help to my wife and myself. Her expert advice and helpful guidance sorted out my personal tax confusions and put my wife on the right path in setting up her business venture. We’ll definitely be calling on her expert advice again in the future”

    Derek Littlejohn

  • “Embarc Accounts have been a corporate sponsor of Befriend a Child and processed our payroll since April 2013. Marion and her team are friendly, efficient, approachable, professional and always work to agreed deadlines. The team have a quick response time (less than 24 hours) to any queries and are always on hand”

    Karen Farquhar-Marr Befriend a Child

Timely Timely


If you spend too much time booking and rescheduling appointments, then you need Timely in your business.

What you will love about Timely

Flexibility: You can run Timely on your PC, laptop, tablet or smart-phone.
Cloud Based: Because Timely is cloud based, there’s no software to install and upgrades are automatic.
Online Booking: Save time by letting your clients make bookings from your website or your facebook page.
Bespoke Setup: We can setup Timely to suit your business needs
Reminders: You can cut down on no-shows by sending automated SMS reminders to your clients
Links to Xero: You can link your appointments to your accounting software. How cool is that?
No Paper Diary Required: If you have paperless ambitions like we do, Timely can help you get there


  • When is the best time to switch to Xero?

    When is the best time to switch to Xero?

    You’ve read all about it, you’ve talked to other users, now you are finally convinced that you want to switch your accounting to Xero. But, and we get asked this on a regular basis – “When is the best time to convert to Xero?”

    Without a doubt the preferred time to do the switch is at your year-end date. Why is your year-end date the best choice?

    1) It’s neater, you end with one system and start with a new system at your year-end date.
    2) It makes reviewing your financial performance easier – you have a complete year on each system.
    3) Opening balances are usually readily available at your year-end date.

    But, are there times when we would choose a different date? Absolutely!! We have converted clients mid-year and continue to do so.

    Here are the main reasons for switching mid-year:

    1) Your current system is creating a huge headache and the benefits from Xero are just too appealing.
    2) You are impatient, you believe that there is no time like the present and your year-end date is still 6 months away.
    3) You are moving to a Xero accountant.

    Whatever time you decide on, the main thing is to plan the switch, have accurate opening balances available and check and double check all your opening entries.

    If you are interested in switching to Xero we would be happy to have a chat with you, and help manage the process.

  • No More Tax on Savings for 95%of UK Savers

    No More Tax on Savings for 95%of UK Savers

    From April 2016 there are new rules on how you will be taxed on interest received from your high street bank or building society account. At the moment individuals are taxed at their current rate of tax on all savings (excluding special accounts such as ISAs). Banks deduct tax at 20% before making any payments to account holders. If you are a standard rate taxpayer, then you have nothing further to pay. Higher rate taxpayers need to declare the interest on their self assessment tax return and pay additional tax.

    So what changes in April 2016?

    There is a new Personal Savings Allowance

    • Standard rate taxpayers will be allowed to earn £1,000 interest per year before paying any tax.
    • Higher rate tax payers will be allowed to earn £500 interest per year before paying any tax.

    However, there is no Personal Savings Allowance for additional rate taxpayers (individuals with earnings over £150,000).

    Do I need to do anything?

    Taxpayers do not need to do anything, as banks and building societies will automatically start to pay interest from April without deducting any tax.

  • Gift Aid - How It Works

    Gift Aid - How It Works

    If you regularly donate to charity you may already be familiar with the concept of Gift Aid. Or you may have heard about it, but are not exactly sure what it is.

    Gift Aid is a tax relief allowing UK charities to reclaim an extra 25% in tax on every eligible donation made by a UK taxpayer. When you donate to a charity you will be asked if you want to add Gift Aid and then to confirm that you are a UK taxpayer.

    Standard Rate Taxpayers
    You can add Gift Aid to the donations you make, the charity will receive the extra 25% and there is nothing further you need to do.

    Higher Rate Taxpayers
    If you pay tax at the higher rate, you can personally reclaim tax relief on your gross donation at 20% (i.e. the difference between the higher rate of tax at 40% and the basic rate at 20%). To claim this tax relief you need to keep a record of all the donations you have made during the tax year. If you donate through an online site such as JustGiving, there is the option to login and print a copy of your donation history for the tax year. When completing your tax return, include the amount of donations made to claim the relief.

    Here’s an example:
    You donate £100 to a charity.
    They claim Gift Aid, increasing the value of your donation to £125.
    As a higher rate taxpayer you pay tax at 40% so you can personally claim back 20% of the gross donation.

    20% x £125 = £25 to be claimed back

    In your tax return you normally only report items for the previous tax year, but for Gift Aid you can also claim tax relief on donations you have made in the current year (up to the date you send your return). There are 2 reasons why you might choose to do this:

    • To get tax relief sooner
    • If you were a higher rate tax payer in the previous tax year but no longer are

    When we prepare tax returns for our clients we always ask them if they donated to charity under the Gift Aid scheme to ensure that all relevant claims are made.

    So giving just got a whole lot better!

  • New Dividend Tax Rules

    Dividend Rules


    Many of our clients are limited company owners who pay themselves regular dividends as part of their remuneration package. This has long been seen as a tax efficient way to extract funds from the business, mainly because there is no national insurance to pay.

    From 6th April 2016, there is a radical change in the rules, which in many cases will mean that company shareholders are going to be worse off.

    What are the current rules?
    Under the current rules, dividends are paid net of a notional 10% tax credit. The gross amount (i.e. the dividend actually received plus the tax credit) is added to the individual’s earnings when calculating their personal tax due. Dividend income is taxed at 10% for basic rate taxpayers, but because of the notional tax credit there is no tax due. The current tax payable on the amount of dividend actually received is:

    • Basic rate taxpayer nil
    • Higher rate taxpayer 25%
    • Additional rate taxpayer 30.6%

    The reason behind this was that dividends had already been taxed in the company at corporation tax of 20%, so it would be unfair to tax dividends further. But this is about to change …

    What are the changes?
    From the start of the 2015-16 tax year the dividend tax credit will be abolished, so dividends will no longer be grossed up. The first £5,000 of dividend income in the tax year will be tax-free for every individual. For dividends in excess of £5,000 taxpayers will be taxed on the amount actually received at the following rates:

    • Basic rate taxpayer 7.5%
    • Higher rate taxpayer 32.5%
    • Additional rate taxpayer 38.1%

    Who are the likely winners and losers?
    If an individual has dividend income of less than £5,000 per year they may benefit because there will be no tax due. For basic rate taxpayer, however this is no change to the previous rules.
    Many company owners will be penalised, because previously they paid no tax on dividends in the basic rate tax bracket. Now they will pay tax on any dividends over £5,000 in the year.
    If a higher rate or additional rate taxpayer has high non-dividend earnings and a small dividend they may pay less tax than before.

    What should company owners do now?
    As the rules change on 6th April it is important to maximise any benefit from the old rules before that date. This may mean increasing dividends paid out prior to 6th April 2016.

    What are we doing at Embarc?
    We will be advising all our clients between now and the end of March on what is the best course of action. If anybody is concerned about the changes, they should get in touch with us now and we can calculate the likely impact of the new rules for them. We have also prepared a factsheet with some examples which is available on request.

  • Why is Data Entry Quicker using Xero?

    Why is Data Entry Quicker using Xero?

    As trusted Xero advisers to our clients, we are often asked the benefits of using Xero. One of the top benefits is the time that can be saved on data entry.

    So why is data entry quicker using Xero?

    Here are 3 areas where you can definitely save time entering your transactions in Xero:

    Sales Invoices
    1) Repeating invoices – if you issue monthly invoices to your customers for the same amount, you can set up repeating invoices so that they are sent out automatically.
    2) Create default nominal codes for your customers so that they are entered automatically as you prepare a sales invoice.
    3) If you are preparing an invoice that is similar to a previous invoice you can select the previous invoice and then copy the layout.
    4) If you issue a Quote to a customer, once it has been approved it can be converted to an invoice with a few clicks.

    Purchase Invoices
    1) Repeating bills – if you receive a regular bill for the same amount (e.g. your monthly mobile phone bill) you can set up a repeating bill in Xero and all you need to do is complete the date, invoice number and then approve.
    2) Create default nominal codes for your suppliers so that their invoices are coded automatically as you enter the details.
    3) Use the Files option in Xero to save copies of bills as you receive them and then do the data entry in batches. Your bills can be emailed or uploaded to Xero.
    4) If you use Purchase Orders in Xero, once your order has been fulfilled the PO can be converted to a bill with a few clicks.
    5) Use a Xero Add-on such as Receipt Bank, your bills will appear as drafts in Xero for you to approve.

    Bank Transactions
    With Xero, monthly bank reconciliations are a thing of the past. Your bank can be reconciled daily and here’s how your data entry will take no time at all.
    1) Your bank transactions can be automatically fed into Xero on a daily basis. An increasing number of UK banks now have direct feeds to Xero.
    2) When you receive payment from a customer, Xero will try to match the cash to an outstanding invoice. This works great if you are paid for one invoice only. If your customer is paying several invoices, it is still very straightforward to find and match the invoices.
    3) Xero recalls previous bank transactions, and will make a suggestion on how to code a transaction if it is similar to one before.
    4) You can create Bank Rules in Xero for recurring transactions such as bank charges and HP payments. Xero will then enter the transaction if you accept the suggested rule.

    These are only some of the reasons why you will definitely save time on data entry if you switch to Xero.

    If you are interested in finding out more about Xero do get in touch.

    If you are already a Xero user we would love to hear what your tips for saving time on data entry are!

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