Value Added Tax returns for the quarter ended 31 July 2018 should be submitted by 7 September 2018, and any payment which is due should be made electronically by the same date.
Small private companies with a year end of 30 November 2017 and into their second or later year of existence should submit their accounts to Companies House by 31 August 2018 in order to avoid a Late Filing Penalty.
We use standard colours of blue for companies, red for unincorporated businesses, green for VAT and yellow for payroll. We can add some new colours to reflect the technologies we use.
Optical Character Recognition is our blue sky technology and will be represented by cyan as a computer colour. Narrative Prediction is our golden technology. Reprogramming the function keys to generate custom narrative is our silver technology. Anything new to do with dates is represented by magenta.
The default typeface is Times New Roman. With gold and silver, we will use the typeface Imprint MT Shadow whenever it is possible, because it has a metallic look and resembles TNR.
For every client we will have an aide-memoire to remind us how to process the client from year to year. Usually we will use OCR for bank statements (cyan reminder in TNR), but where we need to drop to typing in by the column, our aide-memoire will remind us how to begin doing this by switching on datepointing, and will plug the usefulness of NP. The aide-memoire is a colourful document which is achieved in Excel by picking the option from a list and using conditional formatting.
For cash records, we can type in by the column (gold reminder in orange + Imprint plugging NP) or by the row (silver reminder in grey + Imprint plugging function keys). We get an additional reminder (magenta + TNR) about what to do with dates. We can add handwritten notes and have the coloured ballpoint pens to do it, with silver being represented by pencil.
The object of this is to encourage the clerk to use our full repertoire of technologies. It is quite possible to enter some cash records and overlook the usefulness of Narrative Prediction. We will just accept that we are “all fingers and thumbs” in the first year and cannot be superhuman, but we will make a note for next year not to overlook it again. As far as we know, some other people are using blue sky technology, but nobody is using the gold, silver or magenta technology, and so we want to press our competitive advantage. The colours we use, blue sky, gold and silver, do represent our estimation of the usefulness of these technologies and the difficulty which our competitors will have in duplicating them.
Life is easy once we have the client data captured on a spreadsheet, which is why we put so much effort into doing it. Subsequent processing is all-electronic and fast all the way through to the final accounts. We normally expect to use OCR for printed matter and typing for handwriting, so we need a range of technologies to cover various possibilities.
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 July to 5 August 2018. In that case you must submit electronically an Employer Payment Summary as a NIL return by 19 August. This is too easy to overlook.
If you engage a local accountant and business advisor 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 July to 5 August 2018 should be submitted online by 19 August. 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 July 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 31 August 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.
We feel that our work on optical character recognition for bank statements is complete. We are now aiming to automate the rest of our business to a consistent standard. Among the points to note are:
We have a Staff Procedure Manual to tell us how to do various things, particularly where we interact with the Revenue. We aim to make the most effective use of online systems of varying quality, and a combination of set procedures and our own spreadsheet proformas is the way to do this.
We have little databases of company and unincorporated clients, so we do not miss deadlines for the submission of the accounts or the Confirmation Statement. We can provide any other qualified accountant with a free blank copy if they contact us.
Most accountancy firms now use a spreadsheet-based system for their working papers of a type where the client details are typed in at the front and they appear on every page. On our system, there are many extra pages which are normally hidden away, but which can be summoned up as needed. As an example, there is a page which deals with the depreciation of a revalued asset. We have another page to use as a ready reckoner to add up a pile of sales invoices where many of the invoices have the same value, which speeds data processing in some cases. Since many pages like this are only used occasionally, it makes sense to keep them hidden until required.
Everything is colour-coded, blue for companies, red for unincorporated clients, green for VAT and yellow for PAYE. These colours can be subdivided dark blue for company secretarial and light blue for corporation tax, orange for partnerships (sometimes), and emerald, apple and olive green for the three VAT months. In the VAT month coming up (end of July), we will know to pick out all the emerald files. We often include views from the Revenue website or from a spreadsheet in our e-mails to clients, giving a colourful result.
When we have to type in a pile of invoices, we use logically the fastest possible procedure which uses the least number of keystrokes. When we have to process handwritten records, we believe that OCR is useless, at least for the time being. We can still type in by the column and use a Narrative Prediction routine to help out. Also the keys F1 … F10 on the keyboard can be reprogrammed to help out.
Coding up transactions uses last year’s coding table plus this year’s new items which are manually coded. Our table has a direct link to allow things to be looked up on the Internet.
We use a spreadsheet-based Extended Trial Balance to prepare the accounts, but this is cross-linked to a ledger with entries alternately in black and blue. We maintain full audit trail.
We have separate systems to deal with overdrawn directors’ loan accounts where we usually charge interest on a daily basis, and to deal with hire purchase accounts where we always use the actuarial method.
We are expecting some other accountants to use OCR in the near future. Our plan will be to out-compete them across the board, so we are not just a one-trick pony. What might take us by surprise is the use of OCR on a pile of invoices and/or on handwritten records. Well good luck to any competitor who is aiming to do this, but we will consolidate on the systems that we have. Probably someone somewhere will take us by surprise with something we didn’t think of, but we can insure ourselves against this with all-round competence in implementing new technology.
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 June 2018 would be settled by 31 July 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 June 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 advisors as well.
The “net” in “net monthly account” has “nett” as an alternative spelling.
If you claim Tax Credits then the deadline to renew your claim is Tuesday 31 July 2018.
Value Added Tax returns for the quarter ended 30 June 2018 should be submitted by 7 August 2018, and any payment which is due should be made electronically by the same date.