If anybody owes you money, then today, which is Friday 28 September, would be a good day to send them a statement to remind them of the fact. This is just a statement which you are entitled to send: it is not a threat.
Archives for September 2018
It is quite common to invoice a customer with terms of “30 days or net monthly account”. Small customers will be expected to pay within 30 days, while large customers will be expected to pay at the end of the month following the month of the invoice, so an invoice sent in August 2018 would be settled by 30 September 2018.
Large companies do it this way because they may receive several invoices from a supplier, and will want to settle all of them with a single payment when they do their computerised cheque run. It would therefore be a good idea for the supplier to have sent a statement at the start of September listing all outstanding invoices. Typically the cheque run would be about the 25th of the month, which is the date of this posting. If you give credit and have debts to collect, then you might like to have a discussion with us. Most accountants are also general business advisers as well.
The “net” in “net monthly account” has “nett” as an alternative spelling.
Value Added Tax returns for the quarter ended 31 August 2018 should be submitted by 7 October 2018, and any payment which is due should be made electronically by the same date.
Small private companies with a year end of 31 December 2017 and into their second or later year of existence should submit their accounts to Companies House by 30 September 2018 in order to avoid a Late Filing Penalty.
Should we use optical character recognition on credit card statements? It can be done, and the fact that there is no running total to check by is not necessarily that much of an issue because we can still check at the end of each statement and the transactions are seldom all that large.
We have decided not to do it because it would make our software over-complicated. Few clients have many credit card transactions, and we have a good system to type in data by the column which we use for handwritten records when they resemble bank statements. We think that it would be better to treat credit cards and handwritten records in the same way and then concentrate on having the best possible system for processing them. There is still work to do on streamlining our system.
Our columnwise data entry system for credit cards and handwritten cash transactions will use entry in the order numbers, dates and narratives. As we enter each statement or page, the software will detect the delay in going to a new page and set a “datepoint”. Positive numbers that we enter will be treated as debits, while negative numbers will be treated as top-ups and moved to the appropriate column automatically.
We then go to the first datepoint and enter the date from a 31-button keypad. The month and year are copied down or requested as necessary, and then we jump to either the next datepoint, or the next material item costing more than £100. We won’t bother dating a mass of small transactions, but at the end we will run a routine which just interpolates the dates so every transaction does get a date after all.
Narratives are then entered by Narrative Prediction. It will help if motor fuel payments all have the same narrative, such as “Diesel Fuel” or “Petrol”, and many credit card payments are just for motor fuel anyway. We still have work to do on improving NP.
We will work on developing this system as the alternative to OCR. It can be used for some difficult bank statements as well. We could actually be wrong in our decision not to use OCR on credit card statements. Well good luck to any of our competitors who can show this !
It can happen sometimes that when you are an employer, you have not actually made any wage or salary payments for a PAYE month such as the month from 6 August to 5 September 2018. In that case you must submit electronically an Employer Payment Summary as a NIL return by 19 September. This is too easy to overlook.
If you engage a local accountant and business adviser or a payroll bureau to do your wages, then this will be taken care of. In our case we keep a diary and do a batch of payrolls at about the same time each month. Our payroll files are bright yellow like the old P30BC booklet so we do not overlook them. We colour-code all the taxes so green is VAT, red is income tax, blue is corporation tax and yellow is PAYE.
Construction Industry Scheme returns for the month from 6 August to 5 September 2018 should be submitted online by 19 September. This includes NIL returns.
It is only too easy to get caught out by the need to submit a NIL return when no payments to subcontractors have been made. If you engage a local accountant to do your CIS returns, then this will be taken care of. In our case we keep a diary and do a batch of work at about the same time each month. We aim to be the Carlisle accountants that businesses will turn to for a range of advice and services. Our payroll files are bright yellow so they are hard to overlook, and CIS files also have a green line around them so they are easy to pick out.
Cheddar is a small town in Somerset which I have visited a few times. Corton is a village in Suffolk where my relatives used to live. Corton is also the name of a famous vineyard in Burgundy, and I have drunk a few bottles of Bonneau du Martray myself when it used to be affordable.
Now suppose I own a vineyard in Corton in Suffolk and I label my wine for sale as “Corton”. This is illegal under the law of the European Union because Corton in Burgundy has the prior claim. It goes to market as Corton Appelation d’Origine Protegée (formerly Appelation Controlée) and no one else is allowed to use any similar description. The Corton vineyard is in fact so famous that only the vineyard name appears on the label and there is no mention of the village of Aloxe where it is located (and confusingly the village has changed its name to Aloxe-Corton). The English equivalent of AOP or AC is PGI for Protected Geographical Indication and some cheeses such as Stilton PGI have it.
However, Cheddar does not have it despite the fact that the caves of Cheddar Gorge and nearby Wookey Hole are considered to be good places to mature Cheddar Cheese. It would need to apply for PGI status, and obviously lots of other Cheddar manufacturers, including French manufacturers, would object.
One argument is that “cheddaring” is the name of an industrial process. Well so is “Champagne method” but Corton in Suffolk would not be allowed to put this on the bottle for its sparkling wines since it is also protected.
The best that Cheddar can do is West Country Farmhouse Cheddar PGI and you may wish to look out for it.
On the whole this system is just too political and the British do not get a fair deal out of it, though it can be said that they are the Johnny-come-latelies to the AC system which began in Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone Valley.
On March 30th 2019 after Brexit, this system could just vanish if there is no agreement reached. Then any vineyard in Britain will be able to put “Corton” on the label unless we adopt our own new system. Since Britain is a major market for French products, this does give us a bit of bargaining power and we will need to wait and see what happens.
If your company had a deadline of 31 August 2018 for the submission of its accounts to Companies House, and this deadline has been missed, then you still have something to play for, and you should contact Carlisle accountants such as David Porthouse and Co at once. You will incur a penalty of £150, but this penalty rises to £375 after 30 September 2018 if you still haven’t submitted your accounts. These penalties are £300 and £750 if you miss the deadline two years’ running. We can readily prepare and submit your accounts within the month if you contact us straight away.
Just stating the obvious, if you miss a deadline and incur a penalty, you still have the obligation of preparing and submitting accounts. That doesn’t go away and your penalty is just extra money you will need to pay.