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Down-to-earth Cloud Accounting

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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.”

Testimonials

  • “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

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

Blog

  • Using Tracking in Xero - A Step by Step Guide

    Tracking

    As a business owner, it is very important to know how much profit you are making on an on-going basis and also to be aware of where in your business your profit is being generated. Setting up tracking categories in Xero allows you to see how different areas of your business are performing.

    Here are some examples where our clients are using tracking:

    • A property investor uses tracking to track by property.
    • A retailer uses tracking to track by shop location.
    • An architect uses tracking to track by project.

    When you set up tracking categories in Xero you can then assign a tracking category to any of your transactions in Xero. Assigning a tracking category is optional, so you can ignore it when it is not relevant.

    Let’s look in greater detail at how this works for our property investor. Firstly the tracking categories are set up as follows:

    Settings
    General Settings
    Tracking
    Add Tracking Category
    Tracking Category Name – Property

    Category options
    This is where we list the individual properties, which might be
    12 High Street
    23 Grove Crescent
    55 Ashgrove Lane

    We would enter these in shortened form as follows:
    12HS
    23GC
    55AL

    Xero allows you to enter up to 100 items in your category list. Once all properties have been listed, click on Save.

    Now let’s look at how we actually do the tracking. The property investor invoices monthly for each property. When the sales invoice is prepared in Xero there is now a new tracking field available called Property. From the drop-down menu we can select the property or add a new property if required.

    When the property investor records a purchase invoice in Xero it can also be tracked by property.

    When it is not relevant to track a transaction by a property, the property field can just be left blank.

    Now to the exciting part! Let’s look at how our client benefits from Tracking when viewing the Profit and Loss Report in Xero.

    To view the profit and loss account:

    Reports
    Profit and Loss
    Show Date Range
    Enter from and to dates
    More options
    Filter by Property – All Properties
    Update

    We now have a profit and loss showing the performance of the business property by property.

    From this simple step-by-step guide we hope that you agree that using Tracking in Xero is a great way to see how different areas of your business are performing.

  • Why is my Xero Profit and Loss Report not accurate?

    To produce a profit and loss report in Xero, all you do is go to Reports, All Reports, Profit and Loss Account and hey presto you will see your profit and loss for the last 4 months and year to date.

    But wait, these figures don’t look right! And guess what, they probably aren’t right. Many users we come across think that if they input all their sales invoices, their purchase invoices, employee expenses and bank transactions then Xero will produce an accurate profit and loss report. Well unfortunately, that is not the case. But… armed with a little bit of accounting knowledge, some Xero training and a desire to see accurate figures each month the situation can be rectified. How can you plan for the future if you are not aware of how much your business is making (or losing) on a monthly basis?

    So what do you need to do to make the figures represent the actual business performance? Here are the top 6 reasons that your monthly profit and loss account is not accurate …

    1.) THERE ARE NO FIGURES FOR DEPRECIATION INCLUDED
    When you purchase high cost items such as computers that will last more than a year they are treated as fixed assets in your business. You then want to write off the cost of these assets over their useful life and this cost is called depreciation. Although depreciation is not a cash cost, it still is a legitimate cost which should be recorded in your business each month. In Xero, depreciation can be calculated from the Fixed Asset Register. Here’s where you can find help on how to set up your Fixed Asset Register in Xero.

    2.) PAYROLL COSTS ARE EXCLUDED OR ENTERED INCORRECTLY
    If you have employees your payroll costs need to be included each month. This will happen automatically if you use Xero Payroll but if you outsource your payroll or use different payroll software the figures will need to be entered manually. Your payroll costs are not the same as the amounts you pay to your employees each month. The payments made are for net wages, but the cost to the business is the gross salary amounts plus any employer’s national insurance.

    3.) STOCK LEVELS ARE NOT TAKEN ACCOUNT OF
    If your business holds stock, and the levels fluctuate then you will not have an accurate profit and loss each month without adjusting for the value of your stock at each month end. If you do not hold stock, or the levels remain fairly consistent this will not be an issue.

    4.) WORK IN PROGRESS IS NOT ADJUSTED FOR
    The sales figure in your profit and loss report will be based on the sales invoices issued during the month. This is fine if you invoice for all the work done each month, but if you undertake projects which last several months and only invoice at the end of the project then each month you need to adjust for any work in progress (i.e. not yet invoiced).

    5.) YOU ARE BILLED FOR ITEMS IN ADVANCE
    The accountant geeks call these prepayments; think about the insurance bill that covers the whole year. The cost for a year will appear in your profit and loss report in the month you have been invoiced, but this needs to be spread over the period it relates to.

    6.) YOU ARE BILLED FOR ITEMS IN ARREARS
    The accountant geeks call these accruals; think about the subcontractor who works for you each month but takes 3 months to send you his invoice. If you have costs which have still to be billed, you need to include these costs if they are significant.

    So how do you make your profit and loss more accurate? Apart from depreciation, all other adjustments referred to above can be dealt with in Xero by entering Manual Journals. As Xero certified advisers we can teach you how to make the required adjustments, allowing you to plan for the future based on your current (accurate) business performance. If you would like to arrange a Xero audit or a personal Xero training session, please get in touch.

  • 5 STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR XERO SKILLS - EASILY!

    Xero on Mac

    You are enjoying the Xero experience, right? You’ve been using it for some time now and you’re pretty comfortable using it on a day-to-day basis. But deep down you know that you are not using Xero to it’s full potential. You would love to learn more about it’s capabilities, but you just don’t have the time.

    We understand this and that’s why we have created these 5 easy steps which are guaranteed to improve your Xero skills – both easily and quickly!

    The first step is to read this article, so sit down, grab a coffee and here goes …

    1. READ YOUR NOTIFICATIONS
    See that envelope icon at the top right of your screen? The one that sometimes has a number beside it that you find easy to ignore! Well, next time a number appears there check it out as any new features added to Xero will be shown here. Maybe you are struggling with recharging costs to your customers and are unaware that this is a feature in Xero? Maybe you didn’t realise that Xero now lets you send reminders to your customers when their payments are overdue?
    If you check your notifications, you will see new features as they are made available and will find links to explanatory videos and notes.

    2. USE THE XERO HELP SCREENS
    If you are struggling with something in Xero, the chances are you are not the only one. Xero help pages are amazing, and it’s very easy to access them. Here’s how:
    ~ Click on the ‘Question Mark’ at the top right of your screen to access the Help menu.
    ~ Type in what you are needing help with e.g. Repeating Invoices.
    ~ Clicking on the spyglass will then bring up a list of Videos, User Guides and FAQ’s.

    For Repeating Invoices there is a video that will take up less than 2 minutes of your time.

    We also explained how to prepare Repeating Invoices in an earlier blog post.

    3. EXPERIMENT IN THE XERO DEMO COMPANY
    If you are doing something for the first time in Xero and unsure about how it will work, you can always try it out in the Xero Demo Company first. Every Xero user has access to the Demo Company. Here’s how to access it …

    At the top of your Xero screen you will see an icon with 3 rows of dots and lines to the left of your organisation name. Clicking on this icon will then let you select ‘My Xero’. From ‘My Xero’ you will then see the clickable ‘Try the Demo Company’ link. Once in the Demo Company you are free to experiment, and even make mistakes, without messing up your own live data!

    4. REACH OUT TO OTHER XERO USERS
    If there are other Xero users in your organisation, talk to them and share your experiences. If you are a solo Xero user in your organisation, there is still a huge Xero community to reach out to – 100,000 UK users and over 600,000 users worldwide. On social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter you will find active Xero groups sharing Xero updates, tips and expertise.

    5. INVEST TIME IN XERO TRAINING
    Have you heard of Xero U? Xero U is the online hub for Xero’s educational content, where you will find education, training and events tailored for small businesses.

    If face-to-face training is more your thing, we will be running Xero workshops during 2016. Feel free to drop us an email to training@embarc-accounts.co.uk and we will make sure you are the first to know about our plans.

    So there you have it, 5 easy steps to improve your Xero skills. Happy Xeroing!!

  • 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.

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