We have put together the answers to the most common questions we get asked, please feel free to contact us if you want to know anything that is not on this list.

AAT stands for the Association of Accounting Technicians. It is the first step into accountancy and delivers a firm basic understanding of accounts.

ATT stands for the Association of Taxation Technicians. It is aimed around dealing with taxation issues and tax law.

CIMA stands for Chartered Institute of Management Accounts. It is one of the highest accounting qualifications there is. CIMA accountants specialise in management accounts; it will allow you to make a much more informed decision on what direction to take your business.

A direct payment is an amount of money that a local council, for example Cornwall Council pays to meet the needs of you or the person you are looking after. The money is given to enable you/them to purchase services that will meet your/their needs, as assessed by the local council. We can help you with all your payroll needs, paying your employee(s) and completing your end of year declaration.

Under the Pensions Act 2008, the law on workplace pensions changed. Now, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called 'automatic enrolment'. This means that if you employ at least one person whether you're a hairdresser, an architect or employ a personal care assistant, you are classed as an employer and you have certain legal duties. We can make sure that you're prepared for automatic enrolment and help you with all aspects of the process. From checking your Staging Date, acting as your point of contact, checking who to enrol, working out your costs, assessing and enrolling staff as necessary, ensuring you fulfil your ongoing duties, completing the Declaration of Compliance and dealing with re-enrolment.

Business First Network (BFN) is a leading commercial UK membership organisation. We are proud to be their recommended accountant for Cornwall.

No - we deal with individuals, businesses and seafarers from all over the UK. We can get information through the post and electronically; allowing us to be able to do your accounts and tax returns.

Of course. It is very simple to change accountants. Just let us know you would like to change and give us your old accountant’s details; we will write a professional clearance letter and sort the rest for you.

We deal with all sizes of businesses from large to small, from turnovers of £1,000 per year to £6,000,000; we treat each company with the same importance and care.

Not all businesses need management accounts doing on a monthly or quarterly basis, it depends on the size and nature of your business. Management accounts will give you a greater insight into your business, where you're spending your hard earned money and if there are ways to improve.

Cashflow is one of the most important aspects of your business and is the number one reason a business either succeeds or fails. It is really important to know what money is coming in and going out, when it is happening and planning for future events.

This is probably the most common question and the most difficult to answer. There are many factors to consider when deciding how to run your business. The first thing to consider is how much profit you believe you will make, by the time you take into account the extra administrative responsibilities and cost. Of course this is a purely financial decision. You will be better off as a Ltd Company if your profit is roughly £22,000 or more. However, there are more factors to take into account than purely financial, like pension schemes, less risk, prestige etc. Call or email us to discuss this more before you make your decision.

The UK operates a rolling registration threshold. Meaning businesses must track their sales over the previous 12 months to determine if they have exceeded the threshold, If your turnover is £85,000 or more in the twelve month period, you will have to register for VAT; the current rate is 20%. You may voluntarily apply if your turnover is below £85,000. Please call us to discuss, as VAT is a very complex area.

You need to keep all of the receipts you want to claim as an expense for the whole year, plus details of all income (duplicate books, copy invoices, records or spreadsheet). It also helps if you can provide all of your bank statements, credit card statements and finance agreements. If you have or had another job during the tax year I will also need your P60's and P45's.

If you owe more than £1,000 in tax for a tax year, you will have to pay the same amount for the following tax year in advance; half in January and the other half in July. For example if you owed £4,000 for the tax year ending 5th April 2015, you will need to pay £4,000 plus £2,000 first payment on account by the 31st January 2016, then another £2,000 second payment on account by the 31st July 2016. This £4,000 payment on account will count towards your tax bill for the year ending 5th April 2016.

Your tax return and any tax due will have to be submitted and paid by the end of January following the tax year ending April 5th. For example, if your tax year ends between 6th April 2014 - 5th April 2015 your tax return and tax due will have to be submitted and paid by 31st January 2016.

The amount of tax you pay is based on your net profit after add backs and depreciation. For the 2017-18 tax year the personal allowance is £11,500, this means you can earn £11,500 before you pay any tax. You will then pay 20% tax on the next £33,500 before increasing into the 40% bracket. You will also have to pay 9% Class 4 National Insurance on profits between £8,164 and £45,000, anything above this higher figure you will pay 2% Class 4 National Insurance on. There is a link below to the full 2017-18 rates.

Many people ask why should I use an accountant when I can do it myself? Firstly, the main reason to use an accountant is to make sure the accounts are accurate, claim all of the expenses that you are entitled to and fill out your tax return correctly. Secondly, we can advise you as your business grows on the most cost effective ways to expand and thirdly, we take the stress out of the paperwork side leaving you time to concentrate on your business!

When you start working for yourself you need to register with HMRC within three months to avoid any possible fines. We can do this for you at no cost. Contact us as early as possible and we can answer any questions you may have and advise on what you need to do next.

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