How do we know that equity Crowdfunding has finally arrived on the scene?….well Crowdcube have just raised £1.5m, through their own Crowdfunding platform, in just three days from just over 250 investors. The investment, which sets a new world record for funds raised via an equity crowdfunding platform, will be used to fuel Crowdcube’s next phase of growth.This comes on the back of FSA approval meaning investors using Crowdcube will now be able to claim compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and access the Financial Ombudsman Service if they have a complaint, giving people have that confidence of the additional protection they’ll get as a result.
Crowdcube has helped 36 small businesses raise a combined £5m since it was founded two years ago. Consumers can back small businesses by buying stakes with as little as £10.
For small businesses, selling shares through crowdfunding remains a very niche activity, but it is an option that is growing in popularity.
Seedrs, another UK crowdfunding website, is already authorised by the FSA, but it does not facilitate direct investment in small businesses. Instead, it holds shares in a company as a nominee and manages them on investors’ behalf.
It is obvious the UK’s financial services industry and its regulators are reacting dynamically to new models of business finance, such as equity crowdfunding, so that the UK can maintain its position as world leaders in this space.
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You can attract investors money by offering them up to 98% tax relief and guaranteed gains from a relatively new and little-known shelter intended to encourage investment in small companies. Investors can make use of the scheme to reduce an income tax bill and avoid capital gains tax altogether. For example, a recent client bought a £10,000 […]
One of the most startling developments in accountancy I have seen over the last 20 years is how the role of bookkeeping has changed. Bookkeeping has moved from a key service offering from accountants to many more clients choosing to ‘do the books’ themselves. This is mainly due to technology and the increase in computer literacy among all generations, clients have become more confident about using accounting software packages themselves.
But is the ease of bookkeeping making the role redundant, and is there a place for it in the modern accounting world?
As with every area of accountancy in the changing, increasingly technological world, the message from responding members was simple: You need to adapt to survive.
So What are the Challenges for bookkeepers?
Cloud accounting packages such as Xero, Kashflow & FreeAgent are being developed that don’t require the user to have a detailed knowledge of debits and credits.
Apart from technology, regulatory simplification has played a part in aiding clients to do their own bookkeeping.
The new cash basis accounting will simplify things further for bookkeepers and clients when it comes in, but some members are still apprehensive of the regulatory change. The cash basis for VAT and SA returns also means some businesses clients no longer need sales nor purchase ledgers, especially as a lot of businesses don’t offer credit anymore, they get payment up front or on delivery by BACs or credit card and have no use for a sales ledger.
Utilising Bookkeeping Skills
Good bookkeeping is worth its weight in gold. It requires knowledge and skills; good bookkeepers can never just be replaced by a cleverly designed spread sheet
Using methods like cross collaboration in the cloud and providing clients with ‘ownership’ of their accounts in a limited way, provides scope for the bookkeeper to retain the prestige of their skillset.
The members of Cloud Accounting NI have found that giving clients an ‘ownership’ of their accounts through such a system gives clients and accountants a different outlook on bookkeeping.
Cloud accounting and Cross Collaboration opportunities
There is a place in modern accountancy for bookkeeping, but appear to offer services that perhaps a traditional bookkeeper might not have previously. Bookkeepers have the opportunity to produce monthly management accounts for clients within five to seven days, and provide an ad hoc bookkeeping services for when businesses whose in-house bookkeepers struggle. Cloud helps with this, and bookkeepers can use remote access via Skype in extreme cases to provide client support.
While Cloud Accounting technology may be reducing fees and workload on the number crunching side, it's given many bookkeepers and accountants the opportunity to do more beneficial and enjoyable work and reduce the size of the business to a much more comfortable level.
In short, the successful bookkeeper of the future will be one who has created collaborative alliance with Chartered Accountants to provide a full service to both their clients to the benefit of all parties, simply by logging in and accessing the same information, real time, from any device, anywhere in the world.
If you want to join our alliance, and discover how we have helped bookkeepers increase their charge out rates by, on average, 40% while giving them, on average 33% more time to find additional clients or spend time with their family, then contact Richard Graham at Cloud Accounting NI. The best contact is 07868 663 538.
At Cloud Accounting NI, we have been using cloud based accounting software packages to help our entrepreneurial clients keep their records efficiently and use them to help maximise profits. Here are just a few of the functions our clients have benefitted from:
1. No more waiting for bank statements to arrive
In recent years there has been a revolution in bookkeeping software. Entrepreneurs, or their bookkeepers, no longer need to type the information from their bank statements into their computer software. Often having to wait for it to arrive in the post first. It is now possible to have the information sent directly from your bank to the software electronically. Most high street banks will now accommodate this function. Obviously, this saves a lot of processing time and the software will also try and match the items on the electronic bank statements to the invoices showing as unpaid in your records.
2. Getting a computer to process your invoices
It is now possible to simply scan your purchase invoices into your computer and allow software to read the information on the invoices and add to your bookkeeping records. You will need to help the software identify the information on the invoices the first few times but after that, sophisticated software will read your invoices and extract the key information. The benefits here are not only the obvious processing hours saved but also the risk of human error is significantly reduced with a computer doing the work.
3. Records are kept online and can be shared
When software is cloud based the records can be accessed online by authorised users. This allows the entrepreneur to share up to date financial data with their accountants instantly, who can then review results quickly and give the entrepreneur timely advice. This is invaluable for those looking to grow their businesses.
Budgets and cash flow can also be monitored using these online software packages. It cannot be stressed enough how important these are for successful business planning.
4. Sales invoices can be raised away from your desk
Branded sales invoices can be raised on the software and emailed directly to customers. They can even be raised from smart phones and tablets allowing invoices to be produced when on the move or at customers’ premises. This is efficient as it does away with the need to keep a sales ledger that is later used by a bookkeeper to update the accounting software.
In summary it is not just important to keep accounting records on a software package, but it is also highly recommended that a cloud package be adopted. The benefits in time saving, and in many cases costs too, are simply too significant to ignore.
At Cloud Accounting NI we help our entrepreneurial clients find the right software to allow them and us to monitor their financial data. Should you wish to discuss how we could help you, please call Richard Graham on 07868 663538 or skype @ rgandco1