The 3 Most Common Financial Strategies Creative Businesses Use to Achieve Greater Profitability

Creative businesses face unique challenges when it comes to managing their finances. However, by deploying the right financial strategies, creative businesses can achieve greater profitability and long-term success. In this article, we discuss the three financial strategies that creative businesses use to achieve greater profitability.

  1. Monitor Your Cash Flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, and creative businesses are no exception. Managing cash flow is essential to ensuring that your business has enough cash to pay your bills and invest in growth opportunities. Cash flow management also helps you identify potential cash shortages before they become a problem.

To monitor your cash flow effectively, you should regularly review your cash flow statement, which shows the flow of cash in and out of your business. You can use this information to identify trends and make informed decisions about managing your cash.

  1. Set Profit Targets

Profit targets are specific goals that you set for your business to achieve. By setting profit targets, you can focus on achieving specific financial outcomes, such as increasing revenue or reducing expenses. Profit targets can also help you measure your progress and identify areas for improvement.

To set profit targets, you should start by reviewing your financial statements and identifying areas where you can improve profitability. You can then set specific, measurable goals and develop a plan to achieve them.

  1. Manage Your Expenses

Managing expenses is crucial for creative businesses who want to achieve greater profitability. By keeping your expenses under control, you can improve your profit margins and invest in growth opportunities.

To manage your expenses effectively, you should review your expenses regularly and identify areas where you can reduce costs. For example, you may be able to negotiate better rates with suppliers or reduce your overhead costs by working remotely.

You can also consider implementing cost-saving measures, such as implementing energy-efficient practices, reducing travel expenses, or outsourcing non-core activities.

In summary, creative businesses can achieve greater profitability by deploying financial strategies that focus on managing cash flow, setting profit targets, and managing expenses. By following these strategies, you can improve your financial performance and achieve long-term success.

Business Finance Options

Throughout the cycle of a business, there is often a need for some additional cashflow to support business growth. Ever assumed that only struggling businesses need extra finance? Securing cashflow finance for your business can actually mean the opposite.

Business Loans can be used to fund the growth and expansion of a business, the purchase of a new premises, additional stock, recruitment or simply to provide some extra funds in the bank to offer some peace of mind.

What different types of business loans are available?

The most common types of business finance are Business Loans, Invoice Finance, Asset Finance and Property Finance. There are also many other alternative finance options such as Revolving Credit Facilities, VAT Loans and Merchant Cash Advance.

Why would a business need finance?

There are lots of reasons a business may choose to source additional funding. Here are some examples of how the different products work, and the benefits to the business:

  • Business Loans – often used for cashflow, expansion and growth. This loan would be a fixed amount over a fixed term, and many lenders don’t charge an early repayment fee if the loan amount is settled prior to the end of the term.
  • Invoice Finance – a way to improve cashflow when you have 30/60/90 day invoice terms. For example, a construction firm who has to pay out for materials and labour before their client clears the invoice, which heavily impacts cashflow. With Invoice Finance, the construction firm could borrow up to 90% of the invoice amount in advance, automatically paying the balance back when their client pays their invoice.
  • Property Finance – covers a variety of products including Commercial Mortgages, Bridging Loans and Development Loans. A property developer looking to fund their next project could utilise property finance to purchase the property or land and cover all projected costs.
  • Asset Finance – a facility which allows businesses to purchase new assets, including vehicles, plant, machinery and hardware, without using cash from their bank. You can spread the cost of the asset over a fixed term with a fixed interest rate.
  • Revolving Credit Facility – works in a similar way to an overdraft and allows you to withdraw, repay and withdraw again, whenever your business needs a cashflow injection. You only pay interest on what you use of the facility. A flexible solution which grows with your business.
  • Merchant Cash Advance – an additional financing solution for businesses such as retail, leisure or hospitality who take payments via a card terminal. You can borrow against forecasted revenue and pay back using the transactions taken, either in person or online.
  • VAT Loans – a type of borrowing specifically to spread the cost of an unexpected VAT bill. A VAT Loan can be arranged prior to the VAT being due, or can be put in place shortly after the VAT has been paid, helping to maintain cashflow within the business.

How does a business owner know if they are eligible to apply for a business loan and how much could they borrow?

A businesses eligibility is based on lots of factors including company trading history, the directors’ personal circumstances and company financials. A business would typically need a minimum of 3 months trading history, but the longer you’ve been trading and the more evidence you can provide of your affordability, the more attractive your business becomes to a lender which is then reflected in the rates, amount and term offered.

How can a company apply for a business loan?

The first place a business will usually go for a loan is their bank. The risk appetite of a bank is low, so applications can be rejected unless the business is extremely favourable. If your bank says no, you can then approach an alternative lender directly, or via a finance broker. A broker will use their experience to match you with the most suitable finance product, and as they generally work with a large panel of lenders, they have lots of options to choose from.

How does a business owner know what type of business loan is right for them?

There are so many different products in the market, so it’s hard to know where to start. Having a conversation with your bank or a finance broker is a great starting point so they can understand your requirements, and suggest some options that suit your needs and that you would be eligible for.

Where would a start-up business look for funding?

If you are a start-up or have been trading for less than 3 years, you may be eligible for a British Business Bank loan, which are backed by the government. You can apply online at and they will assess your application along with your business plan, cashflow forecasts and directors experience in order to make a decision. You may also be able to raise funds via private investors or crowd funding, and your Local Enterprise Partnership should be able to offer advice on any grants and funding that you may be eligible for within your local business community.

When is the right time to start thinking about business finance?

Often business owners only start to think about business finance when they need it, by this time your eligibility may have suffered, or there may be limited options available to you. By forecasting your cashflow for the year ahead, you may be able to identify any opportunities that may require additional funding, for example an upcoming VAT bill, dips in revenue due to seasonal trading or planned expansion costs. By applying when your finances are healthy, you are ensuring you have as many options available to you as possible, on the best terms.


Grange Business Finance are an FCA approved commercial finance brokerage based in Suffolk, sourcing cashflow solutions for your business. For more information on their services, visit


3 Fail-Safe Business Growth Ideas

There isn’t a small to medium sized business that isn’t looking to manageably scale and grow their business. Yet growing a business can be difficult for many companies. If nothing else, attempting to work on the business whilst you’re working in it, is exhausting. However, we have three fail-safe ideas which we always tell our clients to follow if they want to start making meaningful differences in growing their company.

Simple Business Growth Ideas for SMEs


  1. Put Your Prices Up!

The majority of clients rarely think to put their prices up, or worse — feel like they can’t. However, everyone else is putting their prices up; so of course, you must also. Price is often tied up with concern over a. worth or b. demand. The truth is, if people want your product or service, they will pay for it. If you are competitive and professional, why shouldn’t you expect to charge the correct price?

Undervaluing and underselling a product or service is not only detrimental to our mental states as we start to believe our worth is akin to the charge amount, but also terrible for our industries. Repeatedly I witness horrifically low hourly rates on agency sites. Not only are these personally unsustainable, but it devalues the sector as a whole. At some point, the people who are initially selling their work for such low rates have to put their costs up to survive, then guess what? Clients will look for the cheaper option – pushing these guys out of the sector as they can no longer afford to remain with these sorts of clients. Very simply, cost your work properly and charge what is required to offer a first-class service or product, the right people or companies will pay for the best. It is these clients or customers you should be looking to align your company alongside.

How to easily raise your prices

Try answering these questions:

  • Are you charging enough?
  • How do you measure your profit margin on each sale you make?
  • What does a 5% increase in sale price do to your profit margin?

Now try two simple exercises:

  • Look at all your services and simply add £50 to them. What does that increase look like? What difference does that make?
  • Now consider your clients: if you have 10 clients bringing in £1,000 per month each, put £50 on each (5% increase). What would £500 extra per month mean to you? See how much more you can earn by adding a slightly greater increase.
  1. Sort out your sales and marketing!

Yup, if no one knows you exist how do you expect to sell anything? Marketing is essential for bringing in new leads to convert into clients or customers.

Have you ever considered how many new clients or customers you actually need to earn the money you’re looking to achieve?

Marketing consultant and founder of Sasa.Marketing, Cat Bowyer, offers three genuinely helpful pieces of advice to companies looking to get better noticed:

A. Do you really know who your customer is?

  • Do you know their motives?
  • What are their communication channels?
  • What concerns do they have?
  • What size are their budgets?

Understanding your customer will ensure you’re investing your marketing spend in the right places.

B. Make sure your marketing objectives reflect your business objectives. Are you looking to achieve growth through new customers, or growth through increased sales per customer? What about your profit margin and sales relationship? Do you have a high margin and low sales or a low margin but high sales?

C. Websites and social media content are great, but you still need to let people know you’re online. Otherwise it’s like having a box of leaflets under the desk. Make sure there’s a mix of campaign and brand awareness activity.

From a bookkeeper’s perspective we look at the figures involved in marketing from a time and value ratio.

  • Do you know your conversion rates? (The conversion rate is the percentage of new leads who take a desired action and become paying customer.)
  • How many leads do you need to generate, so they eventually convert into the desired number of clients or customers?

For example, conversion rate of new leads to paying customers is 5% and you would love to gain two new clients in a month. How many leads do you need to generate? The answer is 40 new leads, which at 5% conversion rate will secure you two new clients.

Marketing is a numbers game! The more people you attract, the more customers or clients you’ll retain! The greater your marketing efforts, the greater your gain.

  1. Capacity

To improve capacity, it is essential your organisation runs efficiently. Rather than taking on more costly staff members, place in better systems and processes that actually work to reduce labour time in all departments.

  • Train your current work force with your new systemisation to effectively utilise your current team, before looking to employ more staff to cope with an increase in demand.
  • To systemise your organisation, you will need a plan. It’s essential you understand your figures and have a visualisation of the profit you require to achieve the kind of growth you’re looking to make. If the figures and goals aren’t attainable or tangible, how do you expect to get great results?
  • To get an idea of how to create a financial model and plan that will work for you, read our article: Financial Clarity – How To Sleep At Night.


Business growth doesn’t have to be confusing:

  1. Create a plan
  2. Put your prices up
  3. Market yourself
  4. Improve your efficiency.

However, if you want to chat through these ideas or look at figures you can achieve with a professional bookkeeper, get in touch! Call 01206 700 252 or email

How To Save For Tax Payments

In 1716 Christopher Bullock wrote in his comedy play The Cobbler of Preston, “Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes”. Whilst tricky to argue with, it’s not a terribly inspiring thought!

If we’re honest, the death part is not really in our realm of services. But understanding tax and making it less scary, is definitely where we help businesses!

To get on top of tax payments there is only one simple trick you need to know: plan and save!

I know, you’re thinking that’s easier said than done, and of course it is! If it was so super simple, nobody would ever find themselves worrying about how to pay their next tax bill.

However, all is not lost! This article explains the simple steps you can take to easily save and pay your tax bills, keep on top of your ins and outs, and maybe if you’re lucky — have some money left in reserves to put towards your dividends!

Cloudit Bookkeeping’s simple steps to saving for tax

  1. How much will you pay in tax?

Before beginning to work out how much you can save, you first need to establish how much you estimate to pay in tax each year.  This depends entirely on your business structure: are you self-employed (sole trader or partner in a partnership), or is your company limited? Limited companies have to pay what is called corporation tax. This is charged at a flat rate percentage (check the percentage applicable in that year, but in 2021-2022 this is 19%) on taxable profits. If you’re self-employed things get a little more complicated as there are various different tax rates which kick in at different tiers, plus national insurance and student loan repayments.

Limited companies

If your company is limited, you’ll need to pay your tax bill nine months and one day after your year end. Corporation tax must be paid on both your company’s profits and on any gains you made from selling assets that increased in value.

If you’re keeping your accounts up to date, it’s most likely you have a rough idea of how much net income you earn each month. You’ll be paying set percentage on your profits — the money you make in that accounting period, minus overheads and allowable expenses. It’s worth knowing that any expense your company incurs for the running ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ of the business can be deducted from your company’s profits, before you pay tax. Expenses include:

  • Goods bought for resale
  • Purchase of materials
  • Freelancer costs
  • Salaries of all employees
  • Employers’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
  • Employer pension contributions
  • Business insurance
  • Business-related travel and accommodation
  • Office running costs
  • Accountancy costs

There are other expenses, but these are the main ones. Sadly, equipment and plant you buy and keep for the business cannot be claimed, as these are considered capital assets.

Once you’ve looked at how much you earn each month and have considered expenses and any tax reliefs you may be entitled to, you can then estimate the corporation tax amount you need to save for each month at the current tax rate.

Self-employed, sole traders and partners in a partnership

If you’re self-employed you’re required to pay your Self Assessment tax bill, Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions on your business profits, after deductions for expenses. You need to know these figures before you can start saving for your tax bill.

Our advice? Use HMRC’s self-employed ready reckoner to help you budget for your Self Assessment tax bill. (Yup, they’re trying to help you pay your taxes!)

Here you simply place in your estimated weekly or monthly profit to get an idea of how much Income Tax, Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance you’ll be asked to pay. However, if you need to make payments on account, these are not included in this tool. The tool also assumes you have no other taxable income and receive the standard personal allowance.

  1. Accounts

Next, open two current accounts. One will be for income, the other for expenses.

  1. Savings accounts

Once you’ve opened the current accounts, you also need to open two savings accounts: one you will use to save for your tax, the other for your reserves.

  1. Expenses

How much do your expenses cost you each month? Work out every cost to your business from business rent and staff payments to stationary bills and water bills. Now you can calculate how much income you need to move into your expenses account to ensure your monthly bills are paid.

  1. Tax

Go back to your estimated figures you worked out for your tax and now calculate how much income needs to be moved into your tax savings account each month to ensure there’s enough to pay HMRC.

  1. Reserves

Whatever is left, gets moved into your reserves account to pay your dividends. This can also be your pot for expensive equipment required in the future and other big purchases.


Ta-dah! Saving for tax made simple! For those of you who are up-to-date with your accounts, payments can be made twice a month, but this is only possible if you have good record keeping and a great bookkeeper.

If, after reading this article, you’re still not entirely sure how to begin the process of sensibly saving each month, just ring Cloudit Bookkeeping!  We’re here to make sure businesses not only succeed but thrive!

Don’t let tax get you down; there are always ways to help businesses cope and a great bookkeeper is one of the best ways of helping yourself. Please call and we will assist in helping you remove the fear of future tax payments.

6 Reasons your bookkeeper is harming your business

Whether your bookkeeper is someone you have employed years ago, maybe it’s the admin assistant, or even your wife or mother in law, you need to be confident that they are doing a good job and looking after your business’ bottom line. A competent bookkeeper could be the difference between helping your business grow or letting it spiral out of control with mounting costs and decreasing margins.

As a busy business owner, you have plenty of other responsibilities that come with running your business and you might not know if your bookkeeper is taking you to the cleaners. The stories we year about bookkeepers defrauding hundreds of thousands of pounds from the businesses they work for and spend it on nice cars, expensive holiday and designer clothes. And these are the ones that got caught and were sent to prison!

How do you know what good bookkeeping actually looks like, let alone spot the warning signs that your bookkeeper is bad at their job and hurting your business?

To help, we’ve put together this list of tell-tale signs to help you determine if you’ve hired a bad bookkeeper who is harming your business or one worth keeping.

  1. They’re not qualified and not backed by professional body

Anyone can say that they are a bookkeeper just because they can enter invoices into your accounting system. However, bookkeeping is much more than just data entry. Someone without formal training can create chaos and confusion with the figures in your accounts, make VAT or PAYE errors and give you wrong information which you then use to make business decisions. To avoid hiring a bookkeeper that can’t do the job and do it well always check whether they have bookkeeping qualifications such as The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) or Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). A qualified bookkeeper would have certification and backing of their professional body and would have to adhere to professional standards set by them too.

What you can do: Before hiring the bookkeeper ask to see their training certificates or practice licence. If they do not have formal qualifications, you would have to assess if their experience is extensive enough to support your business appropriately.


  1. They don’t understand basic bookkeeping terminology

Your bookkeeper should know standard bookkeeping terms, including double-entry bookkeeping, cash and accrual basis, aged debtors/creditors, assets, liabilities, journals and so on. This relates to point 1 above too. Worryingly, we have spoken to other ‘bookkeepers’ who didn’t know what ‘reconciliation’ meant and also some have never seen or entered a journal. Lack of understanding of these terms will reflect in the basic bookkeeping entries and in turn the overall picture of the business’ financial position. One of the major jobs we do when taking over clients books from other bookkeepers is untangling their accounts by correcting wrong postings of payroll costs, VAT and PAYE liabilities, fixed assets and simple duplication of costs.

What you can do: Speak to your bookkeeper using the terms you want them to use. If they don’t use the correct terminology and it remains an issue, consider replacing them. A competent bookkeeper must be able to talk the talk.


  1. They are always behind on the books

Your business can’t grow if your books are always behind and you are forever catching up. You need to have correct and up-to-date information when you are making business decisions, such as how much can you spend on marketing, can you hire another person, can you find savings if you moved office – to name a few. Things can come up to cause delays, just as they do with any job, but a good bookkeeper looks for opportunities to get caught up and maintaining deadlines.

What you can do: Set clear deadlines at the outset of your relationship with the bookkeeper and hold them to these. Check in regularly to make sure they are on track and have everything they need to complete their tasks.

  1. They don’t let you see the books

A bad bookkeeper will want to keep you out of the know and will be unwilling to let you see the books. This is a major sign that they are hiding something, like mismanagement of your books, or worse – they could be stealing from you. If they become defensive or overly protective when you ask to see the books that is the time you must step in and seek transparency. Remember, with cloud accounting software like Xero transparency is always there and all parties can see the same live date using their own access. It becomes more difficult to hide bad work or blame someone else.

What you can do: Demand control of the books and take ownership of account login. If your bookkeeper puts up a fight or denies you access, seek an alternative bookkeeping solution. Such behaviour is not part of professional conduct of a certified bookkeeper.


  1. They don’t ask questions

You might think that bookkeeping is a repetitive, mundane chore that doesn’t require any sort of inquisitive thinking. But that’s wrong. A good bookkeeper is not afraid to ask questions and dig deep to find answers. This helps them identify problems and suggest costs cutting opportunities, find areas to improve on, which helps drive your overall goals of growing your business. If your bookkeeper never asks questions, do they care about your books or your business? Indifference will lead to missed opportunities to help your business.

What you can do: Ask your bookkeeper questions, challenge them, and request suggestions on how to cut costs.


  1. You question their work

Trust your gut – deep down you know when things are not right. If you don’t know what your bookkeeper is up to because you only hear from them after you’ve chased and chased again and you have no idea where your business is financially, then it’s time to take action right away. Similarly, you have that feeling that your bookkeeper is doing it wrong, or you’ve seen the same mistakes over and over again, then it’s time to find a new solution.

What you can do: Trust is important when working with your bookkeeper! After all you are sharing your business’ (and personal) most sensitive information with them. If you can’t trust them, you need to find someone you do.


In the end it all comes down to your bottom line. Are you happy with your current bookkeeping solution? Or do you need to review your approach and find a better solution?


Talk to our experienced team to find a trusted bookkeeper for your business, have less stress and gain clarity for yourself and your business.


What does Balance Sheet tell you about your business?

Balance sheets are used internally to guide management decisions. Externally, they can be used to report the financial status of your business to lenders, investors and other stakeholders.

The balance sheet gives you a snapshot of how much your business owns (its assets) and how much it owes (its liabilities) as at a given point in time. That might be today, or it might be at the end of your business’s accounting year.

It summarizes the financial health of a company, showing how it is funded and what it has done with that funding. This is why a balance sheet is also recorded as a ‘Statement of Financial Position’ in accounting terms.

What is on the Balance Sheet?

The balance sheet is presented in three sections:
Assets such as properties, furniture and fittings, equipment, stock for sale, cash and money owed to you.
Liabilities such as your bank overdraft, loans and other money you owe.
Equity such as share capital and Retained Earning.

What does Balance Sheet tell you about your business?

The balance sheet presents a company’s financial position at the end of a specified date. If your business owns more than it owes, then the balance sheet total will be a positive figure. If your business owes more than it owns, the balance sheet total will be negative- and that’s not good news, because it means your business doesn’t have enough money available to pay all its debts.

As well as this quick check, you can also use your balance sheet to calculate some useful ratios.

Tracking your company’s finance can help you identify potential issues before they turn into major problems. Ultimately, a balance sheet provides the information you need to sustain and grow your business over time.

Components of the balance sheet

A balance sheet has three sections: assets (what the business owns), liabilities (what the business owes both now and, in the future,) and owners’ equity (assets + liabilities). Let’s take a closer look at each.


Assets include current assets, fixed assets and other assets. Current assets include:

  • Cash
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Inventory
  • Assets that can quickly be converted to cash such as certificates of deposit

Fixed assets are long-term assets that your business will have for more than 12 months. They include:

  • Equipment
  • Buildings
  • Land
  • Vehicles
    You may also have intangible assets, such as trademarks or patents.


Current liabilities are those that need to be paid within the next 12 months, such as:

  • Accounts payable
  • Taxes
  • Payroll
  • Debt service
  • Credit card payments

Long-term liabilities will not be paid within the next 12 months. These include:

  • Outstanding loans (minus the current portion of these debts)
  • Mortgages

Owners’ or shareholders’ equity

Add together assets and liabilities to arrive at your owners’ equity or shareholders’ equity. Ideally, this should be a positive figure, but if things aren’t going well, it could be a negative number.

If your owners’ equity remains negative, it will affect not only your profitability, but also your ability to get capital from lenders or investors. Financing sources want to see that a business is doing well enough financially to service its debt or make a profit for investors before they will put any money into your business.

What does the Balance Sheet say?

It Determines Risk and Return
A Balance sheet briefly lists your assets and liabilities in one place. Current and long- term assets reflect your ability to generate cash and sustain operations. In comparison, short and long-term debts prioritize your business’s financial obligations. Ideally, you have more assets on your balance sheet than liabilities, indicating positive net worth.

Comparing your current assets to current liabilities determines whether your business can cover its short-term obligations. If your current liabilities exceed your cash balance, your business may require additional working capital from outside sources. However, a balance sheet can also show you when your debt levels are unsustainable. If you have too much debt on your balance sheet, you may default on debt payments or declare bankruptcy.

It can be used to Secure Loans and Other Capital
Your balance sheet allows people outside of your company to quickly understand its financial condition. Most lenders require a balance sheet to determine a business’s financial health and creditworthiness. Additionally, potential investors may use it to understand where their funding will go and when they can expect to be repaid.

When updated over time, your balance sheet effectively shows your ability to collect payments and repay debts. Plus, it shows lenders that you have a track record of managing assets and liabilities responsibly. If you apply for a loan, it will also show lenders that you’ll likely repay your debts in a timely manner.

It Provides Helpful Ratios
Ratios are often used in financial statement analysis to indicate a company’s operational efficiency, liquidity, profitability, and solvency. These financial ratios are particularly helpful when assessing the long-term sustainability of a business. They can be determined by a company’s balance sheet accounts.

For example, your balance sheet is a snapshot that reveals your company’s overall capital structure. It can also tell you how long it takes to sell inventory and the length of your accounts receivable process. This information can help you identify trends and see how your company’s finances and operations compare to competitors.

What’s your business worth
Ultimately, a balance sheet calculates the value of your business. Even if you are not planning to sell your business in the near future, think of it as a way to keep score.

You may find out your business is less successful — or more successful — than you thought it was. Most people greatly overestimate the value of their businesses, so getting a reality check can be helpful. By pinpointing shortfalls in your business’s finances, a balance sheet can help you make long-term changes that will improve your company’s chance of success.

  • Balance Sheet helps in knowing past and present position of an enterprise.
  • You can use it to obtain a very thorough summary of the company’s financial health by analyzing its working capital and liquidity
  • It provides an insight into the company’s likelihood of defaulting on its credit obligations or even its bankruptcy risk

A Balance sheet is actually a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes to monitor their progress and see how they’re doing. It can help you make long-term changes that will improve your company’s chance of success. Collectively a Balance Sheet is a mirror of a business.

If you need any help with understanding your Balance Sheet we, at Cloudit Bookkeeping, will be happy to assist you.

Are you wasting time processing expenses?

Expense claims are an administrative burden for all businesses. From taxis, flights, meals, supplies, and everything in between – there are countless expenses that need to be reimbursed to the people who work at the company. But it’s amazing how the simple task of reimbursing employees turns into a paper-filled back-office nightmare.

With many apps now available, the task of tracking and recording expenses is becoming easier and more efficient, saving business owners and their accounting team hours in administrative time.

We love Xero and their new Expenses function where employees can capture receipts and submit claims for their work expenses with their mobile device. Let’s have a look at how it works and how it can save you hours in dealing with paperwork.

Xero Expenses:

Xero Expenses works seamlessly with Xero accounting package, and has all the tools and insights small businesses need to efficiently track and manage expense claims. You can now Capture expenses on the go and keep everyone up to date with push notifications.

A better way to manage expense claims in Xero

The Xero Expenses offers small businesses a more efficient way to manage expense claims with:

Expenses Mobile

  • Faster expense captureto reduce data entry through automatic scanning of receipts and eliminating the need to store paper versions.
  • iOS and Android appspush notifications to let businesses, employees and advisors capture, submit and keep up to date on the status of expense claims from anywhere.
  • More flexible user permissionsto give complete control of whocan view, submit, and approve or pay an expense claim for or on behalf of someone else.
  • Simple and intuitive workflowsto make it easy to see where an expense is at, review and approve all unpaid expenses, and create batch payments to get employees paid promptly.
  • Greater insights and powerful analyticsto empower businesses and their advisors with a detailed and real-time understanding of spending habits and patterns.
  • And with multi-currency, relevant notificationsand seamless Xero accounting integration, the new Xero Expenses is smarter, easy to use, and designed to benefit both the small business and their employees.


  • Easily capture and submit expenses

You’ll find automatic receipt processing in the Xero Expenses. Small business owners can easily capture and submit expense claims through their mobile device on both iOS and Android. Simply take a quick picture of the receipt and let Xero submit the expense claim. The design and workflow improvements make it easy to capture and submit an expense claim without the paper chase or endless follow up.

  • Eliminate Hidden costs

With reduced data entry and by streamlining everything from submitting expenses through to reconciling transactions, you can eliminate the hidden costs.

  • Better visibility

You can see all the most important information at a glance, so you always know where your expenses and cash flow stand.Expenses chart

  • Enables Growth

Access valuable real-time reporting and powerful analytics to monitor patterns, plan ahead and make fast, informed decisions.

  • Flexible controls and permissions

The user permissions model gives more flexibility and control to the right people at the right time during the expense claims process. This significantly simplifies the workflow and boosts efficiency. That’s because only appropriate people in the business can view, submit, approve or decline, and pay an expense claim.

You can also find a highly-requested feature – the ability for a user (typically an accountant or owner) to submit an expense claim on behalf of other people in the organization. The relevant people will receive real-time push notifications on their mobile phones, which makes it easy for accountants, business owners and employees to keep each other up to date.

  • Easy review and payment

Xero expenses provide you list views and expense drill-down views, which can save you time and let you enjoy better functionality:

  1. The expense claim list immediately gives you a high-level view of your own or your employees’ expense claims in easy-to-consume groupings, such as by status or by employee. The most important information required for review, approval and payment are available at a quick glance. These include status, amount, expense account, description, vendor and date. From the list, just one click will let you drill down into the details of the expense – and provide a view of the receipt, tax details, tracking categories and associated label.
  2. You can view approved expenses claims that are awaiting payment within bills. Xero provide links to and from bills, so you can conveniently view bills associated to expense claim reimbursement side by side with vendor and supplier bills. This allows you to more easily make a decision around who and what gets paid in one simple view.
  • Expense analytics

Quite simply you have to know how your staff spends money and if they follow established rules and policies. An exciting new feature gives small businesses and their accounting partners deeper insights into spending and expense claims that will provide actionable findings. Accountants and business owners have access to a real-time and accurate view of their expenses.

With Xero Expenses function, expense claims are no more a burden. It makes create, review, approve and paying an expense claim not only easy but also quick. It saves a lot of time and provides you the opportunity to enjoy better functionality. If you need any help exploring Xero Expenses or any other Xero features, talk to one of our trained bookkeepers and we will be happy to assist you.

GDPR explained for small business

What is GDPR?

The GDPR comes into force in May 2018. It’s a wide-ranging regulation designed to protect the privacy of individuals in the European Union (EU) and give them control over how their personal data is processed, including how it’s collected, stored and used. It affects every company in the world that processes personal data about people in the EU.

What does GDPR mean?

Although GDPR might seem scary at first, many see it as a positive step forward for data protection. Some of the key areas GDPR covers are:

  • personal data about EU-based people (absolutely all of it)
    This includes your customers, employees, suppliers and any other individual you collect personal data from. Personal data includes names, contacts, medical information, credit card or bank account details and more
  • how you collect personal data
    You can only collect personal data if you have a legal reason to do so. You might need it for a sales contract, for example. Or your customer may have asked you to send them some information on your product or service. In all cases, you must make it clear what the personal data will be used for – and only use it for that purpose.
  • user contracts and terms and conditions (on websites, for example)
    These need to be simple, clear and easy to understand – with no complicated legal text.
  • the right to know
    Individuals can ask a business what information is being held about them. This isn’t a new right, but organisations must now respond within one month and can’t charge a fee (which they used to be able to do).
  • the right to erasure
    Customers can ask a company to delete all stored personal data about them, unless the company needs to keep that information for legal reasons, such as tax.
  • data portability
    Individuals can request a digital copy of their personal data to use however they like, including transitioning to a new service provider.
  • data breach
    You’re obliged to report certain types of data breach to the relevant supervisory authority.

The UK government will be replicating GDPR into UK law prior to Brexit, so if you’re a UK company, Brexit won’t impact your obligation to comply.

GDPR and data protection

It’s important to understand the spirit of GDPR. The legislation came into existence because of the way personal data has been treated in the past. Many companies treated personal data as a resource they could utilise without regard to the rights of individuals.

For example, some companies sold customers’ email addresses, allowed sensitive data to be seen by unauthorised people, and failed to adequately protect data against hackers.

GDPR gives control of personal data back to the people who own it and requires organisations to make data protection a core part of their operations and processes. This is likely to affect big, data-driven organisations first. But small businesses aren’t exempt. We’ve set out some steps below that you can take to make sure you’re prepared.

Goes GDPR affect data security?

Data security is a big part of GDPR. If you process personal data of people in the EU you have a duty to keep it safe so it’s important to ensure that any personal data held by you is securely stored.

GDPR also governs where companies store personal data, and what safeguards you must have in place in order to store and process that personal data outside of the EU. For example, if you’re transferring personal data to a US-based company (that will store and process it in the US), you should check that they’re certified with Privacy Shield, which is a mechanism designed to allow data transfers from the EU to the US.

Summary of GDPR for small business

There are many aspects to GDPR, but it really boils down to being clear and ethical with the personal data you process – that means treating it as you’d treat something valuable of your own. Some initial practical steps you can take to get GDPR compliant are:

Check products and services

  • Check which of your products or services collect and process personal data.
  • Ensure you have a legal basis for the processing of personal data.
  • Ensure you can comply with the obligations to your customers as set out in the GDPR (such as the right of access and the right of erasure).

Review notices and contracts

  • Update your internal and external notices for GDPR compliance.
  • Ensure your customer contracts are GDPR compliant.

Assign responsibility

  • Make someone in your organisation responsible for data protection and privacy.
  • Consider whether you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer – check out the ICO’s guidance for more info.
  • Provide data protection training for staff.

Take care over security

  • Ensure systems that collect, process and store personal data are secure.

GDPR resources for small businesses

You can get useful information on GDPR from:

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – 12 steps to prepare for GDPR.
The Federation of Small Business (FSB) – How to prepare for GDPR.

You should also talk to your legal advisers to ensure you are compliant before May 2018.