Category Archives: Run My Business

Jill Morris, director of PM+M’s Run My Business division, cuts through the confusion of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

What is Making Tax Digital?

Making Tax Digital (‘MTD’) is an attempt to do exactly what its name suggests. Businesses will have to keep electronic records of their accounts (using HMRC MTD approved software) and file their tax information digitally.HMRC claims it wants to make tax administration more effective, more efficient and simpler.  In practice, it means that business and taxpayers will need to start using accounting software to digitally submit the returns instead of completing their VAT returns by typing numbers into the existing online HMRC portal.

When does MTD for VAT come into force?

Officially on 1st April. There is a stagger depending on the business quarter end date. This is when affected businesses will no longer be able to keep manual records. After that date, digital records must be maintained in software or spreadsheets which can connect to HMRC via an Application Programming Interface (API).

Who will be affected?

All VAT-registered businesses and organisations with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 per annum.

Are there any exemptions?

In the main, no. HMRC’s online VAT return will remain available only to businesses and organisations that are not within the scope of MTD for VAT. So, just those which complete a VAT return but have taxable turnover below £85,000.00 per year. However, the only exception to this is a small minority of VAT-registered businesses and organisations with more complex requirements. These include trusts, ‘not for profit’ organisations that are not set up as a company, VAT groups, VAT divisions, traders who are based overseas, annual accounting scheme users and any organisation that makes payments on account. Those which fall into any of these categories have a six month deferral until October 2019.

What do businesses need to do to be ready for MTD for VAT?

Firstly, take time to understand the facts and what MTD actually means for you. It’s a huge change and one that can’t be avoided. On a more practical level, speak to your accountant or carefully research the types of compatible software products that use HMRC’s API platform. There are a lot on the market – some better than others.  It will also take time to learn how to use so don’t leave it until the last minute.

What are the implications of not being compliant?

If your business is affected by MTD for VAT and you don’t use compatible software then you simply won’t be able to submit your returns and pay what is owed. If that happens, HMRC will consider your business to have defaulted on its VAT bill. When a   business fails to pay its VAT, it enters into a 12-month period called a ‘surcharge period’. During which time, it will be charged an additional fee on top of its VAT bill based on its annual turnover and past default history. If it still fails to pay VAT, its account will go into arrears and HMRC will take steps to recoup the monies – often through the courts.

PM+M can offer a wide range of services and support to help you become MTD compliant (including reviewing your current VAT procedures, guiding you towards a suitable solution, assisting with quarterly submissions to HMRC and even providing training for your team). Get in touch with our specialist MTD team to find out more by emailing or by calling 01254 679131.

Introducing new Xero Expenses

Expense claims are a part of running any business, from fuel to office supplies and everything in between. However, a what should be simple task of reimbursing employees can quickly turn into a laborious, paper work nightmare.

Well, not anymore. Recently Xero launched their new Xero Expenses to tackle several issues within Xero. The new function will run along aside the existing and gives accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses all the tools needed to process expense claim simply and efficiently.

What’s new?

  • Faster expense capture – Reduces the need to keep paper receipts, a quick picture taken on a smart phone can be automatically scanned in.
  • Push notifications – To keep businesses, employees and advisors up to date with claims from anywhere.
  • More flexible user permissions –  Giving complete control of who can view, submit, and approve an expense claim for or on behalf of someone else.
  • Simple and intuitive workflows – Making it easy to monitor, review and approve any unpaid expenses.
  • Greater insights and powerful analytics – Helping businesses to understand their spending habits and patterns with a detailed and real-time understanding.

If you have been using classic expense claims in the six months prior 10 July 2018, you can continue using it for the foreseeable future. However, you’ll also be able to try out Xero Expenses for free until 28 September 2018.

For any further information, help or advice with Xero, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01254 679131 or email

VIDEO: Welcoming Our New Run My Business Partner, Andrew Cowking

We are very pleased to announce the recent appointment of Andrew Cowking (Run My Business Partner). Andrew will be bringing his many years of experience advising SMEs and family owned businesses to help grow our Run My Business service.

As well as conventional accountancy services, Run My Business offers all-inclusive, menu driven and fixed fee service that covers bookkeeping, accounts, payroll, VAT and tax returns.

Andrew said of his new role: ‘I’m really excited about joining the firm as I feel it is the right fit for my clients and my own way of working. The firm also boasts a high level of expertise and a culture that is firmly focussed on delivering a first class client service.”

Jackie Fisher, head of Run My Business, added: “Andrew’s appointment is a great addition to the team as he brings with him years of experience and knowledge. The last 12 months have seen Run My Business grow month on month so I’m sure he will help to further expand our client base across the North West and beyond.”

In the video below, Andrew talks about his role at PM+M:

Jackie Fisher achieves a fantastic feat of endurance

Jackie & Her Team

Jackie & Her Team

This weekend Jackie Fisher Run My Business Partner at PM+M, successfully completed a charity climb to the top of Ben Nevis. Jackie took on this challenge with her husband Rob, her son Scott as well as some friends, all in aid of the ABF The Soldier’s Charity. So far, they have raised over £1,400.

The ABF Soldiers Charity provides a lifetime of support to serving and retired soldiers and their families. The local office in Preston provided Jackie’s team with t-shirts for the climb and a flag which was proudly held up at the top of Ben Nevis.

Jackie said “We are delighted to reach the summit and the climb was most certainly a challenge. However, raising money for a charity that we believe in so passionately was our inspiration and that really helped us to get to the top.”

If you still wish to donate to this fantastic charity, it’s not too late! Donations no matter how big or small can be made via their Just Giving page:

Jackie near the summit

Jackie approaching the summit

The team near the start

The team at the beginning of the climb

6 Key Tips to Reduce your Business Growing Pains

On 15th May PM+M hosted a joint seminar with the East Lancs Chamber of Commerce and Taylors Solicitors entitled ‘Growing Pains’.  The seminar was held at the Chamber premises at Red Rose Court in Accrington.

With 6 speakers in total there was a lot to get through in the allotted time and it was a great turnout with over 35 attendees.

The team - Growing Pains

The presenting team L-R Emma Swan, Darren Grantham, Helen Binns, Colin Emmett, Julie Mason, Antony Keen, Jackie Fisher

Darren Grantham from the Chamber started the proceedings with a quick summary of the work that the Chamber do and played a brief video.

I then took to the floor to talk through the journey of Spencer and Mark who own a growing business.  The story highlighted the dangers of insufficient planning and it gave some indicators of the best way to move forward and succeed with a growing business.  The importance of producing management information was emphasised and Helen Binns demonstrated some practical examples of financial ratios.

Spencer and Mark’s journey was then picked up by my colleague, Colin Emmett, PM+M’s director of IT who gave a detailed critique on choosing the best IT system and whether or not the Cloud is the way forward vs the traditional desktop approach to IT.

After a quick coffee break Julie Mason, PM+M’s payroll bureau manager gave an update as to all matters payroll.  Julie discussed the new RTI system and how firms who have been using the system for some time have been affected.  It sounds like HMRC have been experiencing some teething problems as well!

Following on from Julie, Antony Keen from PM+M Wealth Management highlighted recent developments in auto enrolment including some horror stories of the fines already being levied for non compliance.

AK - Growing Pains

PM+M’s Antony Keen covers auto enrolment

Last but certainly not least was Emma Swan, employment partner at Taylors Solicitors who gave a very engaging insight into the many pitfalls of HR.  Concentrating on contracts of employment and the dangers of not having the correct procedures in place, Emma expanded onto the consequences of this, outlining the potential costs involved with an employment tribunal.

6 Key things to take away from the seminar were:

  • It’s never too early to plan
  • Speak to the experts
  • Find an IT system that suits your requirements
  • Make sure everything is in place for RTI
  • Planning for auto enrolment should commence 12 months before your staging date
  • Contracts, contracts, contracts!

Hope you find these tips helpful and if you want any further advice drop me an email or call me on 01254 604359.

Jackie Fisher – Run My Business Partner