Oh No – an inch of snow! Let’s not panic……

Oh No – an inch of snow! Let’s not panic……

It’s cold, damp and foggy out there – and snow may be on the way, if it hasn’t already arrived. Fear not, Halbert Accountancy is here to inject a little sunshine and warmth in to the winter landscape. Weather-wise, the first three months of a new year can be unpredictable and, as such, sometimes we can feel uncertain how to approach each day or week. Business wise, this same period – the last three months of the financial year – also potentially presents a myriad of challenges that have to be addressed. The crucial difference is, in business, we really do need a sound, reliable plan. Unsurprisingly and perhaps as a result of the ever changing conditions, it’s this time of year when weather forecasters and news reporters seem to get a tad over excitable. Typically this is most in evidence at any sign of snow in the offing, which, if more than an inch is expected, puts them in a dizzy tizzy and leads to dire predictions of a road network melt-down and warnings of a multitude of other unavoidable perils. That isn’t to say that we should ignore the advice we’re given, but a step back from the circus-like melee, allowing a comprehensive and thoughtful overview of things and the application of a rational plan of action, would surely be helpful. For example, consider the very real possibility that, less than a week after the winter apocalypse has been announced, terrified citizens may emerge from their hurried hibernation behind locked doors and sandbags, to report the first daffodil appearing in the garden. Then we are told that...
Home Office Expenses

Home Office Expenses

  ‘Home Office’ expenses Many small business can carry out most of the accountancy work themselves, with the use of a spreadsheet or an accountancy package, whilst others choose to have an accountant for the full process.  This choice will depend on your skills. If you are completing accounts yourself, you should be aware that the HMRC allows the use of your own home as an expense in your accounts.  There are two ways in which the HMRC allows business owners to calculate this amount: Flat rate, known as ‘simplified expenses’ for those who use their ‘home office’ for more than 25 hours per month Allocation and Apportionment Method for those who use a more significant part of their home to run their business.   Flat rate Refer to HMRC’s website for the current rates. Extract: https://www.gov.uk/simpler-income-tax-simplified-expenses/working-from-home (03/02/15) Allocation and Apportionment Method These are split into Fixed and Running Costs of the home. Fixed costs include council tax, mortgage interest, insurance, general repairs and rent. Basically, one way to find the business element is to add all the annual fixed costs (listed above) together and then find an appropriate way to apportion them for the business use.  A common way in which to do this is to firstly ‘allocate’ by floor space i.e. divide the total of the fixed costs by the number of rooms in the house (excluding kitchens and bathrooms) and then ‘apportion’ this cost by the time used for  business.  For example, if the fixed costs of your house are £12,000 and you have seven available rooms, you would allocate this by the seven rooms. The...