If anybody owes you money, then today, which is Wednesday 27 February 2019, 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 February 2019
It is quite common to invoice a customer with terms of “30 days or nett 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 January 2019 would be settled by Thursday 28 February 2019.
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 February listing all outstanding invoices. Typically the cheque run would be about the 25th of the month, which is a Monday this month. 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 advisors as well.
The “nett” in “nett monthly account” has “net” as an alternative spelling.
Value Added Tax returns for the quarter ended 31 January 2019 should be submitted by 7 March 2019, and any payment which is due should be made electronically by the same date.
Most of the printed matter we get is standard three-column A4-size bank statements for which we use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on a flatbed scanner. We get the occasional credit card statement without any running total, and our own bank statements, which we receive once a month, happen to be in A5 format.
We could scan A5 format by rotating it before and after scanning, but this is quite a bit of faffing about. What we will do instead for both credit card statements and unusual bank statements is to scan them using an OCR pen scanner. Every February we will look on Amazon for the most recommended pen scanner, and try it out if it is different from last year. This year we have purchased a “Scanmarker” pen and it looks as if it will be able to do something useful. We will adapt our software to work with it.
Credit card statements and unusual bank statements we will collectively call “Irregular Printed Matter”. We don’t see that much of it, but it is nice to have a policy for dealing with it. At least we give the clerk more toys to play with, which takes the boredom out of accountancy.
Small private companies with a year end of 31 May 2018 and into their second or later year of existence should submit their accounts to Companies House by Thursday 28 February January 2019 in order to avoid a Late Filing Penalty.
Direct Mail means writing to prospective customers to tell them what your business has to offer. This may look expensive, but the costs of a direct mailing campaign are easy to control and the results are easy to monitor.
We suggest that many businesses might find it advantageous to do a bit of direct mailing during their slack season. The aim to to acquire some extra business and keep activity going when trade is falling due to the time of year.
Our slack season as accountants is February and March, and also the middle of every month between February and December. We will practise what we preach with a bit of direct mailing when we have little else to do. It will also put us in a better position to advise clients.
One thing we established this January is the sheer speed of our accounts production system, which often leaves us with nothing to do, so direct mail is something to fill in the time.
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 January to 5 February 2019. In that case you must submit electronically an Employer Payment Summary as a NIL return by 19 February. This bureaucratic requirement 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.
If you no longer want to have a payroll scheme, then you need to close it down in a formal way. You cannot just assume that you can stop sending in monthly returns.
Construction Industry Scheme returns for the month from 6 January to 5 February 2019 should be submitted online by 19 February. 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.
If your company had a deadline of 31 January 2019 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 28 February 2019 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.
All our tax returns were submitted by the deadline, so thanks everybody for your cooperation. We are feeling a bit groggy today!
One thing that worked really well this year is our technology. There were no jobs that we struggled with. OCR plus the blink comparator can now gobble up bank statements, while handwritten records can be typed in quickly by the column. After that, it’s all-electronic processing.
What we will do each February is to look on Amazon for the OCR pen scanner with the best reviews. If it’s new to us, then we will buy one and try it after reading the reviews. We would use it for processing printed matter such as credit card statements where there is no running total to serve as a check. Since we don’t see all that many credit card statements, the pressure on us to find a good OCR pen is not that great, but we will still look for one as an annual exercise.