Category Archives: Services

Bookkeeping

What is book-keeping?

In simple terms bookkeeping is the recording of your income and expenses for you or your business.

Why is book-keeping important?

Your receipts determine how much tax you pay. The more legally claimable receipts you have the less tax you pay.

See HMRC notes re poor record keeping (link)

What do you need to do?

  • All you need to do is send us a monthly envelope with your information. See below what you need to send.

Sole Trader

Limited company

What we would do.

  • We will filter and sort through claimable receipts
  • Process your monthly envelope
  • Post sales invoices onto our systems
  • Reconcile your sales
  • Query your unknown bank entries
  • Inform you of any missing information.
  • We will let you know if an invoice has not been paid.

What does this mean to me?

  • You don’t need to spend any time filling in spreadsheet
  • Simple system = easy life
  • Your information is up to date so we can give you real time advice
  • You get real time advice (See the benefits of real time advice.)

 

“Not having a head for figures myself, TBSP take the stress out of my accounts. In fact all I have to do is buy a stamp each month!”

Charlotte R | TV Associate Producer

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Sole Trader – What do i need to send?

Monthly Envelopes – What to Send

Things to send every Month

  • ALL your invoices that you have issued in the month and all remittance notes received to tell you your invoice has been paid
  • ALL your bank statements (business and personal) for that month
  • ALL your business and personal Credit card statements for that month
  • ALL your receipts (business and personal)
  • ANY correspondence from the Taxman or the VAT man

 

The points below can help to make the process easier for you

  • If you use online banking why not either simply download your statements as a file and email them to us OR get your bank to send the monthly paper statements posted to you but addressed “care of” our office address

 

  • When you buy things over the Internet email us a copy of the purchase invoice

 

  • When you raise an invoice email a copy directly

 

  • When you email us any of the above please use thecrew@blue-skies.tv as the email address and use your/your business name as the subject so that we can easily identify that it is from you.

 

  • Ensure that all the money you get from your agent or from your invoices always goes straight into the same bank account. If you ever receive non-business money into that account (gifts of money, etc) into let us know where it was from.

 

  • When you receive money into your business account immediately transfer the VAT and Tax amounts into your VAT and Tax savings accounts. If you are not sure of the VAT and Tax percentages to use – simply ask us.

 

  • As we go forward please feel free to ask your team any questions on what you are sending or how you are sending it. It is important that it is easy and comfortable for you yet enables us to properly look after you. Likewise, we will get back to you on ways that we see the envelope process could be improved.

 

“I send everything off, I sign some documents, they do everything else! Brilliant- no stress and they save me money.”

Seb R | Freelance Animator

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VAT under the Flat Rate Scheme

How does VAT FRS work?

You would charge VAT on top of your invoice at 20%. You are not more expensive to companies that are VAT registered as they directly get the VAT back from the government, so they are never out of pocket. You personally only have to pay over a percentage of your income based on your trade – the average rate for your trade is set by the government. Since you don’t spend too much on vatable items such as car repairs, hiring equipment and agents it is beneficial for you to be VAT FRS registered.

If you earn £15k or over a year you will make savings by becoming VAT Registered under the FRS Scheme.

You can also reclaim the VAT you have been charged on a single purchase of capital expenditure (i.e a computer) goods where the amount of the purchase, including VAT, is £2,000 or more.

However, if you do have a rental property it may not be beneficial for you to be VAT Registered.

What we would do.

  • We will register you for VAT from the date you confirm
  • Every 3 months, we will send you an email to confirm the amount of VAT which is due and how much you have saved by being registered.
  • We will lodge VAT Returns for you on a quarterly basis.

How much will this save me?

  • Depending on how much you earn and what you spend this could save you money.

Why don’t you contact us or give us a call so we can discuss it with you?

Sole Trader

Sole trader is basically you trading as your business. You are personally liable for all your businesses debts which puts you at risk at losing your personal assets.

The main advantage to being a sole trader is flexibility and you make quick decisions such as easily changing your trading identity as your business grows.

Another advantage to you as either a sole trader or partnership is that in the event you make a loss you can deduct your losses from future profits, provided these profits are made from the same business. You can also deduct losses from other income you have gained either in the year you sustained the loss, or the previous year, including any personal income you might have.

What we would do.

  • We will register you to become a sole trader with HMRC
  • Send you the relevant forms for you to sign so we are able to talk to HMRC
  • Bookkeeping
  • Preparation of sole trader accounts
  • Preparation and submission of personal Tax Return and advise of personal Tax Liabilities

What you need to do

  • Give us a call so we can establish whether is beneficial for you to be a sole trader.
  • Let us know a few details so we can register you with HMRC.
  • Send us a monthly envelope. What do i send?

Real Time Accounts

What does this mean???

With monthly envelopes received we aim to have your envelope processed within three weeks. This means that your accounts are always up to date so we can provide you with the best advice based on your current situation. Questions also arise like the following:

How much to save for your Tax?

Are you saving enough for your Tax?

Should you be VAT registered, either on the FRS Scheme or Normal Scheme?

Should you be a limited company?

With envelopes coming in on a regular basis we can also avoid any penalties that may be liable due to late registration for VAT etc.

Information can help us provide you with?

Numbers for a mortgage

Numbers for child tax credits

Rate Comparison

 

“Even my daftest questions answered professionally and well. I enjoy dealing with Blue Skies.”

Paul B | Executive Search Consultant

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Networking

Why do you help me network?

Networking is not just networking in terms of meeting new people. Networking includes putting you in contact with other people to help you move forward. Blue Skies will help by pointing you in the right direction.

Why do I need help with networking?

When you sit still your business sits still. If you are busy working you may lose sight of the industry and what is going on. To be successful you need hard work as well as having a bit of luck.

Why do you offer helping me network?

Your business is the key. The more we talk to you the more we can help you. If you don’t talk to us we can’t help you. Let us help you make your business more successful.

Want to know more?

Contact us today!

Five top tips for effective networking

Be genuine. Ensure that you are authentic, while looking to build trust and relationships. This includes seeing how you can help others.

Communication is the key. Ensure that you ask open-ended questions. Yes and no answers make it extremely difficult to create and build a relationship. Question asking the five bums on a goal post (How, where, what, who and when.)

Make sure you know what you do and what the benefits are. Why are you different from others doing the same thing? In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily communicate with others.

Make sure you know what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.

Follow up. Ensure that you talk to people shortly after you have met them. Express that you enjoyed chatting to them, and suggest if you could get together and share ideas.

If you would like to learn more about our TV and media specialists, or would like to talk to our business and tax advisors, feel free to get in touch now!

Alleviating the Stress of Tax Investigations

If you’re a business owner or freelancer in the TV and media industry, then a Blue Skies media specialist accountant could help you to manage your finances and avoid problems with HMRC. Every business person and contract worker knows that they have certain responsibilities in terms of their financial record keeping and tax assessments. However, in such a fast paced industry as the media sector, it can be hard to juggle work and contracts with the administrative responsibilities that you also need to take care of.

It has recently been revealed that HMRC intend to undertake business record checks and tax investigations on a large proportion of small and medium sized businesses. With between 40 and 50% of these companies being targeted for these record keeping checks and the potential tax investigations that they can elicit, it has never been more important to ensure that your business accounts are up to date and in good order.

A Blue Skies Media Specialist Can Help

By using a media specialist to help you with your accounts, not only will it free up more of your time to enable you to focus on growing your business, but it will also give you peace of mind. If you’re one of the selected businesses to be put under the scrutiny of these record checks, or subsequent tax investigations, you won’t have the stress of worrying whether or not you have got your self assessments and tax returns correct.

It’s important to bear in mind that the tax inspectors at HMRC are only doing their job; however, that doesn’t necessarily eliminate that feeling of worry that most small businesses face when they know that their financial records are going to be looked over by an inspector. Because fines can be imposed for the late filing of tax returns and for poorly managed accounts, it’s important that your record keeping is kept up to date every month, so that not only do you know exactly where you stand, but in the event of a tax investigation, you’ll be confident that everything is in order and you won’t face additional payments to the tax man.

Approachable Accountants and a Friendly Service

By employing the services of a media specialist at Blue Skies, all of your records will be kept current and in line with tax legislation. Unless you have experience of managing your tax accounts, it’s easy to overlook things and to make mistakes. While these may be unintentional, it still poses a potential risk that your tax returns have been completed incorrectly and that you haven’t paid the correct amount of tax. The business record keeping checks and tax investigations that are currently being rolled out are there to identify any inconsistencies or mistakes which could lead to an additional tax bill for to you to pay.

Besides providing a professional and comprehensive accountancy service, by using Blue Skies’ media specialist accountants, you’ll also receive a friendly service and the opportunity to contact us at any time you feel you may need some additional support, guidance or advice.

If you’d like to find out more about tax investigations , please follow the link. Alternatively, why not take a look at our media specialist accountancy services .

Self assessment – a misnomer?

Make no mistake about it, if you’re a business owner or a contractor, you can’t avoid the responsibility of keeping company accounts and filing your self assessment. Like it or not, as soon as you make the choice to work for yourself in any capacity, you have reporting obligations to HMRC and there’s nothing you can do to wriggle out of it.

While this realisation hits some freelancers and new businesses hard, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you might first imagine. After all, experts exist in all disciplines, and tax is no exception. To that end, the phrase ‘self assessment’ could be said to be a bit of a misnomer, as you’re not actually legally obliged to carry out this process yourself – as long as it is carried out according to the rules.

Help with your self assessment

If the mention of company accounts leaves you cold, and the sight of a self assessment form strikes fear into your heart, don’t worry – help is at hand. Whether you choose our accountants here at Blue Skies, or any other professional accountancy firm, you can simply leave this necessity to somebody else – as long as you’re certain they have the knowledge and ability to complete the process correctly, you can relax and get on with the bits of your business that you actually enjoy!

Updating your company accounts

Accounting and tax services can be very flexible; some people choose to keep their company accounts up-to-date themselves, setting aside an appropriate amount of time every week or month to complete them and then pass them on to a professional at the end of the tax year so they can have their self assessment done on their behalf. However, by far the most popular (and possibly most sensible) choice is to ask an accountant to deal with both aspects. This gives you continuity, best value and also the opportunity to get the best reduction in your tax liability, as a professional knows all the little tax breaks that can work to your advantage, and will fill in your self assessment accordingly.

Here at Blue Skies, managing company accounts and self assessments are just a small part of the comprehensive services that we provide. If you’d rather pass these elements of your business life over to the experts, feel free to drop us a line to discuss your requirements – we will happily keep your company accounts in order while simultaneously giving you instant access to the figures that matter, and complete your self assessment at the end of the tax year for you to make sure that you’re fully compliant and paying the least amount of tax as is legally possible – and all of this at the right price!

If you would like to learn more about our TV and media specialists, or would like to talk to our business and tax advisors, feel free to get in touch now!