CASE STUDY 1: Chasing your debts
I started with a ltd company that had already been trading for 3 years. The company had grown quickly and was unable to address the number of overdue invoices that had built up. The result was a debtor book in excess of £100k with an average of 80 debtor days. Time restraints and lack of resources added to the increasing problem. They had employed a debt collection company that took 25% of any recovered amounts. Very little progress had been made so I took all the debts back in house.
I developed a robust system to tackle the aged debts, which reduced to £60k within 6 months, with less than £2k being written off as bad debts. The average debtor days also reduced to 35.
I introduced new office procedures from the issue of the invoice to the submission of money claim online to ensure that every opportunity was taken to tackle any non-payment issues.
CASE STUDY 2: Changing software
One of my clients was a sole-trader with a haphazard accounting regime. All invoices were produced on a word document without a numbering system, so just recorded under a customer’s name. Receipts were kept in a carrier bag (some were always missing) and often the business and personal receipts were muddled together. Months were mixed together and it was always a rush to get the account balance before the quarterly VAT return. The accounts were completed through a desktop SAGE.
I am highly organized so needed to change the process so it didn’t cause me a headache and it reduced the calls to the client chasing copy invoices and missing receipts.
The answer was simple. A cheap easy to use cloud accounting package – Kashflow.
It didn’t take long to convince my client that for approx. £15 per month this software could save him time and money. Once I had migrated the accounts from SAGE, he then started creating his own invoices in Kashflow. The software links to his bank account so all the entries are imported, so that was the end of manual bank reconciliations. I still get a bag of receipts but now at the end of each month and all in date order. What I have noticed it my client actually taking an interest in how the business is doing and understanding the numbers. Kashflow opens with a dashboard giving a clear timely overview of the business.
At a glance, you can see how much you owe, who owes you, and what your VAT liability is.
This was a win-win situation. One happy client who even found features on the software before I did!
CASE STUDY 3: Changing old habits
A small sole-trader client approached us in early January wanting us to submit her year end at the end of the month.
The previous bookkeeper had left and not completed the last six months' accounts. No software, lots of paper, and a scrappy one-page spreadsheet providing a summary that didn’t match the bank statement. All paperwork had been kept but in event order, so difficult to split out income from expenditure.
We went back to basics and started in a logical way to record all the business entries. The important issue was getting the client on board to use a system that they were happy to implement and that they could see benefits from. Bank account statements were moved to month end to tally with accounting periods.
A simple spreadsheet set up for the client to record income & expenditure and then a summary sheet for the self-assessment. Year-end doesn’t cause a headache anymore & by May it is usually done & dusted. This has now been transferred one step further to a digital platform. One happy client and one less frustrated bookkeeper!
CASE STUDY 4: One-off software training
We were asked by a potential client to assist with the set-up of an accounting package they had purchased.
They were skeptical about the additional expense of a bookkeeper and only wanted us to oversee the year-end figures before all the accounts were submitted to the accountant.
We provided one-to-one training in all aspects of bookkeeping to ensure the client was able to use and interpret the information the accounts gave. The client ran a niche business so the training was tailored to their needs. We held their hands until they were confident the in-house staff could take over the reins.
We were on hand for any additional questions and we followed up the following quarter to iron out any discrepancies. They were delighted that at year end they had very little extra to do before submitting the accounts and commented it was well worth the investment.