Editor | 21 January 2019
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If you are a NatWest or Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) small business customer, you can access the FreeAgent cloud accountancy software platform for free.

If you use either of these services, Cloud Accountant can help you get set up on the software for free, with additional support from a team of qualified accountants.

You can also sign up for the software for free on the NatWest or RBS website.

Four simple tips for managing your own books

So you’ve set up your own business. Now the hard work begins.
Your head is probably swimming with ideas, possibilities and strategies that could help your business grow.
One thing you probably aren’t thinking about is bookkeeping. Recording financial information is not really the fun part of starting a new business – but it is crucial to start-up success.
You don’t have to waste money employing someone to manage the books for you, handling it yourself doesn’t need to be daunting.

Tax changes for small businesses and freelancers

The new tax year has brought a fresh wave of tax bracket and regulatory changes that many small businesses and freelancers will need to adapt to.
Some of the changes will have a positive impact and some will be more negative.
We have summarised the most important changes and detailed who they are likely to affect.

The pound won’t be ‘round’ much longer. But what do business owners need to do to adapt to the change and how much will it cost them?

The new 12-sided pound coin will be put into circulation shortly after Christmas. The unusual looking coins has already caused a bit of a stir with the general public, but the Royal Mint says that a more ‘secure’ coin in necessary because the current ones are too easy to counterfeit.

Chancellor George Osborne delivered his fourth Budget statement in the last 12 months on Wednesday and there were some important announcements for contractors and small business owners.
We have summarised the most important changes below.
Increase in the tax-free allowances
The government will increase the tax-free personal allowance threshold from £11,000 to £11,500. The higher rate threshold will also increase from £43,000 to £45,000. Both changes will take effect from April 2017. This is a positive move for basic rate taxpayers who will be taking home an extra £56 each year. The government believes that 1.3 million lower earners will not be taxed at all.

we reveal five apps that will help you stay on top of your business finances and grow your business.
Editor | 26 February 2018
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On average, people are supposed to check our phones 85 times a day. But we bet that entrepreneurs use their phones an awful lot more than that.
Many entrepreneurs run their lives via their mobile phones, keeping appointments, organising staff and managing tasks - so doesn’t it make sense to manage your business finances there too?
In this blog post, we reveal five apps that will help you stay on top of your business finances and grow your business.

If you have a Business PayPal account, you can set up an automatic bank feed in Xero.

If you have a Business PayPal account, you can set up an automatic bank feed in Xero. New transactions are imported every 24 hours. If you use multiple currencies in PayPal, then you can import each currency separately using Xero’s multi-currency capability, powered by XE.com.

PayPal bank feeds are far superior than importing your PayPal statements manually. As you may have experienced, PayPal statements have the tendancy of having line items in there that do not actually affect your balance. When you import this into Xero it can become difficult to reconcile the bank. To keep your accounts clean, Xero will only import transactions that change your PayPal balance – so you don’t need to deal with credit card purchases on your PayPal account or with currency conversions.

At the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced changes to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme that could cost some small businesses thousands of pounds a year.

The Flat Rate Scheme was initially designed to simplify record keeping and get more small businesses paying VAT.

The government is now worried about abuse of the system so the scheme’s advantages are being watered down. But in tackling abuse of the scheme the Chancellor will increase bills and bureaucracy for thousands of innocent companies as well.

Corporation tax cut: Finally some good post-Brexit news

Much of the business news to come out since Britain took its decision to leave the EU has had a gloomy edge to it. The results of a YouGov poll released on Thursday showed that the number of businesses pessimistic about the future had almost doubled from 25% before the referendum to 49% afterwards.
Also earlier this week, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) urged political leaders to step up, after their small business confidence index slipped to a four-year low.