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Post Info TOPIC: New, Overwhelmed & Honest...


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New, Overwhelmed & Honest...


Hi everyone, 

So a little about me .. I am a 31 year old mother of two - youngest being 6 months! i have a equine degree and veterinary physio diploma however after that industry and owning my own restaurant i decided to change career totally to fit around family life!! i have always been fascinated by business and accounting & worked in admin / book keeping for years and years - i then partnered up with my accountant for a while however we were just a little on different pages so as i fell pregnant i decided to venture on my own - become an aat student on level 4 professional and start my own little company. I already have 6 clients plus i do books for my dads construction company and hubby carpentry company. 

 

So with that, I am now sat here with tons of work to do, lots of revision to keep up with and a slight baby brain from only sleeping 2 hours last night - must be the heat! and i just thought wow! i feel overwhelmed and frightened but also happy and excited for this industry has always been my forte and im so happy to already have some great clients!!

 

So a few questions and just wanting some friendly advice / support pls - be nice lol x

I currently use sage but thinking about xero .. ive used both a little in past - i love excel and think im a bit of  a whizz on it haha but i worry its not ok to just use this alone as i have been. 

Whats the best software, any recommendations for some day training courses / seminars / i just feel the urge to sit in a class room and actually listen to answers of questions im constantly asking myself. a lot of the time its will this ever all sink in and i feel nice and confident, i no it will and im also at a tricky time in my life to feel totally awake and motivated but i just want to do it so much and make my family proud and most importantly clients happy!!

Love to hear from you all and what a great website for tips and chats!!

Thank you in advance smile

 



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Shoncee

Account On Us Ltd.



Master Book-keeper

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Hi again Shoncee
I posed on your otherone
https://www.book-keepers.org.uk/t65668834/starting-up-need-software-advice-please/

Better if you answer that first please.

Please note that advertising your business name is only for long standing active members - Shaun the moderator will decide if that stays, but regardless of that - welcome.

No need to add 'be nice' - we always are. Except to spammers, business owners trying to be freeloaders and rude folk who dont say please and thank you etc wink



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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HAHA!! well im def none of the three i promise!!

sorry about the business name feel free to remove - or shall i? im just used to doing that for email signatures!!

answered your other question and looking through posts getting some good information! fab website and chuffed to be a newbie here xx

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Shoncee

Account On Us Ltd.



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Hi Shoncee and welcome to the forum



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Doug

These are only my opinions of how I see things and therefore should not be taken as advice



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I am not a bookkeeper (although my sister is and my mother - who is now 91 - was), I am a computer programmer. (Although I have done lots of things over the years).

I think programmers (and software houses) often knock Excel and other spreadsheets such as open office and Apple Numbers unfairly. In a sense spreadsheets are programming environments of their own and they allow people to put in rules such as how to total up a column of figures.

Where you have a smaller business with relatively few transactions a list of transactions analysed in various ways much like a Collins cashbook is quite an easy system to understand and does not take much learning. The problem with more complex accounting systems (and I have written a few of those) is that you poke some information in somewhere and it is not necessarily clear what it is going to do with it. Hence people have to spend a lot of time learning how things work and often don't fully understand the options. A list of numbers is pretty easy to understand (although people can always mess up the formulae).

Where you have a medium-large business it is helpful to be able to download the bank statements and do an automated bank reconciliation, but if you only have say 30 transactions in a quarter there is no real benefit to that given the learning requirements of getting the bank statements. There are environments, however, where real time computerised accounting is absolutely essential such as managing client accounts so individual clients don't get overdrawn and handling financial services businesses (two areas in which I have written accounting systems).

Similarly fully fledged accounting systems can do a lot of work producing invoices and chasing up debtors. However, there will always be some areas in which spreadsheets help. It can also be easier just to use a word processor to produce an invoice and not have to learn an invoicing system.

HMRC have confirmed more recently that bridging will always be part of Making Tax Digital so don't believe the hype from some of the vendors. However, bridging can be a little complicated for some people. Anyone with good experience of spreadsheets, however, should not have a problem with bridging.

Hence as ever it is horses for courses.




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Master Book-keeper

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If it ain't broke.....

If spreadsheets work, keep using them.

A lot depends on what you need to do, size and complexity of the business as John indicates. Plus if you need stock control, multi currency capabilities, departmental and /or project analysis and sometimes it's just what the client wants.

Each software has its idiosyncrasies and IVe never found any one that is perfect. That said, I'm not a fan of zero smeero (as I call it). Nor Quickbooks online (although I'm using it for 2 new clients). Sage business (sage one as was) at least have a help desk phone line where the staff make sense of your queries. Unlike QBO pro advisor team who tried to tell me if a Director paid for expenses himself that they clearly weren't business expenses and therefore couldn't be put through, when I queried the need for a workaround.

What sage are you referring to?

What are you going to use for Accounts production? Or are you passing that element on to an Accountant?

Do you have someone supervising you?




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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Master Book-keeper

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Hi Shoncee, welcome to the forum

For software I would look no further than VT if desktop, or Pandle if cloud (assuming your client's don't have complicated accounts)  I've also heard good things about Wave and Quickfile.

VT+ costs £75 + VAT a year although if you're a VAT agent you will need VT Accounts which is £150 + VAT.  Lovely bit of kit imo.

Pandle costs £5 + VAT a month per client but if you pay it on behalf of the client it is half price.

The PII Joanne mentioned is from Arlington  http://www.bookkeepers.network/bkn-pii-scheme



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



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johnhemming wrote:

I am not a bookkeeper (although my sister is and my mother - who is now 91 - was), I am a computer programmer. (Although I have done lots of things over the years).

I think programmers (and software houses) often knock Excel and other spreadsheets such as open office and Apple Numbers unfairly. In a sense spreadsheets are programming environments of their own and they allow people to put in rules such as how to total up a column of figures.


Hi John,

don't think that we have spoken before. Thats also my background. brought up on Mainframe developments (COBOL, CICS, IMS, DB2).

I fear that many developers look down on Excel for two reasons

 

1) because they have no comprehension of the actual power of it.

2) The mess that many accountants get themsleves into by not understanding basic programming comcepts.

 

Last two sites that I have worked with had spreadsheet based financial reporting that would make your toes curl. relatively simple spreadsheets made horrifically complex through poor design, with non automated macro's that took 40+ minutes to process. Incorrect calculations and general lack of data integrity or input control.

Rather then blame those who wrote the poorly performing rubbish they seek to blame the software and replace it with expensive alternatives.

To my mind the combination of Excel VBA with SQL databases in the most powerful, most adaptable combination available and I have yet to encounter a challenge that I have been unable to resolve using that toolset. Unfortunately it seems that anyone who can record a macro thinks that they are a programmer and that is seriouysly effecting businesses delief in Excel based solutions.

My proposed solution to the issues facing Excel of allowing me to slap the knuckles of any accountant who his Alt+F11 with a ruler has so far been met only with derision and not been adopted by any company.

Lol. Good to have you on board John. Hope that you enjoy posting here.

All the best,

Shaun.



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Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



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Hi Shaun,

Although I started with an SDK 85 in 1977, my first job as a programmer was the midrange IBM GSD systems with RPG in 1981. I used that for the first company I founded (JHC Systems Ltd initially John Hemming & Co.) although the company now uses a wide range of development environments. More recently (since the 1990s) I have worked in Basic/VB, C++, Java and Javascript (and I used assembler for some cryptography in the mid 90s) although I spent my time on politics rather than programming from 2004 until 2015. The company I founded more recently (Cirrostratus Exedra Ltd) is based around Java and Javascript.

I think you are right that people don't recognise how powerful Excel is. I have also used the VB coding there and had a little go in Open Office.

I run server based systems on the net (aka the Cloud) because I find it easier to provide a good level of support and keep things up to date.

I am pleased to have found this forum. I find it helpful to discuss the practicalities of systems as that helps me in my design work. I also find AWeb useful as people get to the key issues about what the legal requirements precisely are. I personally think it is a mistake to separate out design and coding and take the view that coders need to understand the law itself. If you have too many people involved in the writing of changing a system of rules into software the communications problems get in the way of doing a good job.




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Thank you everyone for your replies. To answer a few of the questions asked - yes I have an chartered experienced accountant supervising me. We meet couple times a week and anything I dont feel confident with he will help me / take on. His only problem is hes not a teacher and sometimes when trying to teach me hes so fast and just doesnt give me a minute to process what hes saying. He knows Im a quick learner and been working with accounts for years so he just assumes I know everything he does sometimes haha he is soon corrected when I dont get it tho!! Yes I love excel and will def continue to use it, thank you. Couple questions. Books Im doing for one couple (sole trade / business partnership with rental properties) their accountant has told me he prefers xero and did look down at me when I said Ill do the books on excel. However if I do can he then upload it on xero with ease or will it be a pain for him? The clients are happy for me to use excel as they can then understand the numbers too! Also accounting for everyone do a 12 module online course for £50. Anyone recommend this, reading the website it looks very interesting and clear way of learning. Sometimes reading my Kaplan text books and testing on myaat can get a little tedious this could just give my knowledge a boost and help me towards my work plus my exams?? Can anyone advise of any day classes or online lectures which really helped them? Thanks so much everyone x

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Shoncee

Account On Us Ltd.



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In the end I would be careful about upload interfaces. If you have a way of uploading data that just works then there is no problem. However, it also can take a lot of work it things don't work smoothly.

Hence if you are going to keep data in Excel (which is an entirely reasonable thing to do) it is best to run a test run through whatever systems you intend to use. You need to work out what your objectives are and why you are using different systems. For example you could take data from excel and upload it say Xero and then that can be used to upload to MTD. However, you can also upload from Excel via bridging.

It may be possible to keep the data in Excel in a particular way that then makes upload really easy, for example.



-- Edited by johnhemming on Monday 1st of July 2019 07:11:41 AM

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Master Book-keeper

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accountonus wrote:

 Couple questions. Books Im doing for one couple (sole trade / business partnership with rental properties) their accountant has told me he prefers xero and did look down at me when I said Ill do the books on excel. However if I do can he then upload it on xero with ease or will it be a pain for him? The clients are happy for me to use excel as they can then understand the numbers too!

 

Also accounting for everyone do a 12 module online course for £50. Anyone recommend this, reading the website it looks very interesting and clear way of learning. Sometimes reading my Kaplan text books and testing on myaat can get a little tedious this could just give my knowledge a boost and help me towards my work plus my exams?? Can anyone advise of any day classes or online lectures which really helped them? Thanks so much everyone x


 Hi Shoncee.  

If your client is happy for you to use excel, then the accountant should accept that. I work with whatever my clients want me to, although to be fair 99% are not bothered so I use VT smile  Presumably you can produce a profit and loss sheet and balance sheet?  He should have some year end software that he can upload the figures into, as Xero is essentially accounting software, not filing software.

Not too sure on that course, but it sounds like a basic introduction to bookkeeping.  I would imagine with AAT level 4 you would be above that level now.

 



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



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Leger wrote:
accountonus wrote:

 Couple questions. Books Im doing for one couple (sole trade / business partnership with rental properties) their accountant has told me he prefers xero and did look down at me when I said Ill do the books on excel. However if I do can he then upload it on xero with ease or will it be a pain for him? The clients are happy for me to use excel as they can then understand the numbers too!

 

Also accounting for everyone do a 12 module online course for £50. Anyone recommend this, reading the website it looks very interesting and clear way of learning. Sometimes reading my Kaplan text books and testing on myaat can get a little tedious this could just give my knowledge a boost and help me towards my work plus my exams?? Can anyone advise of any day classes or online lectures which really helped them? Thanks so much everyone x


 Hi Shoncee.  

If your client is happy for you to use excel, then the accountant should accept that. I work with whatever my clients want me to, although to be fair 99% are not bothered so I use VT smile  Presumably you can produce a profit and loss sheet and balance sheet?  He should have some year end software that he can upload the figures into, as Xero is essentially accounting software, not filing software.

Not too sure on that course, but it sounds like a basic introduction to bookkeeping.  I would imagine with AAT level 4 you would be above that level now.

 


 The Accountant is probably trying to make some money from pushing zero!   Agree with Jon - you use whatever your cleint wants you to use and if they have no preference then you use whatever you want to use.  You are the one doing the work, not the Accountant.

Some Accountants will always look down on newbies/bookkeepers and dont need an excuse. Ignore them when they do - thats their problem not yours.Do a good job and they might stop!

He will need the TB at the year end, along with (if he is a decent Accountant) your backup documents/calculations and can drop that into whatever software he is using for final account production very easily. You might even find he does his Extended TB in excel before he plugs it into the accounts production software anyway.

Course - answered on the other post (just to be awkward, lol!)

 

 



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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Amazing responses thank you guys!! Ill continue enjoying excel. And what is VT? Im intrigued and heard good things about it on here so far..

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Shoncee

Account On Us Ltd.



Master Book-keeper

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VT is a naff looking, at first glance. Its not all fur coat and no underwear like some of the cloud stuff. Under that there bonnet its a piece of software that is actually pretty bloody good. Especially when it comes to accounts production.

Good for dumping into/out of excel so you will love it!

Free cash book modules. Rest is cheap as chips for a one off fee, if you dont want the accounts production bit, co house filing or MTD bit. Inexpensive if you go for the whole kit.

www.vtsoftware.co.uk/

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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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accountonus wrote:

Thank you everyone for your replies. To answer a few of the questions asked - yes I have an chartered experienced accountant supervising me.

I hope you don't mind my interfering at this point, as I cant see another response, but I think the original question was to do with who is supervising you for AML?  Unless the Chartered Accountant is employing you, or all you clients have you on the payroll, you need to be supervised in your own right for AML. 

But welcome to the forum. I was here in the earlier days but have been away and now returned. I like to stir things up, but no malice is ever intended.



-- Edited by YLB-HO on Sunday 7th of July 2019 07:48:57 AM

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Frauke
BKN Book-keeper of the year 2011



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Im not employed by him no. I was never made aware this was the case? I currently have 4 clients. 2 sole trade (SA returns & book Keeping), 1 limited company (vat returns, CIS & book Keeping) & 1 partnership (sole bookkeeping). I wouldnt take on anything more than book keeping work / small jobs until I have completed my exams. I was honest with hmrc and they granted AML & agent codes for SA, vat, paye & ct. welcome to give advise. Its so helpful and interesting learning from experienced people in the field and sometimes its difficult to learn by reading websites & text books lol. Once my baby is older and in pre school I would love to either get a little part time job in an accountants to gain more on the job knowledge or perhaps a day course but right now distance learning and couple clients from home is all I have time for. Xx

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Shoncee

Account On Us Ltd.



Master Book-keeper

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accountonus wrote:

Im not employed by him no. I was never made aware this was the case? 


 Hi Shoncee

Frauke was saying if you didn't have AML cover you would need to be employed by the accountant or the clients.

As you've indicated you have AML cover from HMRC you're absolutely fine.



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.

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