Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image



By Nimbus

Is your accountant really proactive?

May 5, 2012 | By |

Every accountant claims to be a “Proactive Accountant”. At Nimbus Accounting we have a strong view of what a proactive accountant should do and most firms, in our opinion, fail to deliver on their promise. At Nimbus Accounting we actually practise what we preach. We are very proud to provide a first class client experience, something that is very rare in our industry.

Proactive beating reactive

At the core of our business is a passion for customer service. We engage with our clients regularly to ensure that they are happy with the level of service they are receiving and more importantly deserve. At Nimbus Accounting we have employed simple policies as a backbone of our service, these include replying to any contact, whether by email or telephone, on the same day and making sure we deliver on what we have agreed. At Nimbus Accounting, we make sure all of our qualified accountants put customer service at the top of their agenda.

Turning this proactivity into something meaningful for a client is another area in which most accountants fail to perform. Being proactive is about understanding the client’s business, making recommendations for improvement, highlighting tax saving opportunities and making sure they are on target to achieve their goals. 

With advances in modern technology has come the cloud, the new buzz word in Information Technology. We strongly recommend that all of our clients adopt online accounting software. Nimbus Accounting specialises in and, but support other packages too. With all the accounting records in the cloud, we can remotely monitor a client’s business without requesting a backup of the data. This easy access enables us to make proactive recommendations, using the up to the minute data in the software. The days of the reactive “traditional accountants”, who engage with their clients once a year, are certainly numbered.

Nimbus Accounting clients pay a fixed fee so they can manage their cash flow. The fee includes a monthly discussion, which incorporates a business review. The fee also provides a software license and support, swift replies to all correspondence and technical queries, but above of all, you get an accountant that cares.
If you want a different accounting experience, get in touch with Nimbus Accounting.


By Nimbus

Silver Xero Accounting Partner

April 27, 2012 | By |

Nimbus Accounting are pleased to announce that we have been promoted to a Silver Xero Accounting Partner and in just six months.

Xero Logo

What does a Silver Xero Accounting Partner mean? For Nimbus Accounting clients, it shows we are committed to Xero as one of our preferred software partners and we have surpassed the first milestone on the way to becoming a gold partner. In practical terms, it demonstrates we have an excellent working knowledge of Xero. If you want to adopt Xero, we can help set you up, provide ongoing training & support and monitor your accounts on Xero. 

Xero Silver Partner Logo

We have all the tools to help migrate any businesses to Xero from another software provider. A number of new clients have come to us wanting to switch to Xero from Sage. They found that understanding their financial performance and position too difficult using the Sage software.  Xero has given them the financial control they need to run their businesses effectively. Xero is packed with powerful reporting functions and it’s user friendly dashboard provides a financial performance & position update every time you logon.

If you feel it is time to change and would like a free demonstration, please contact Nimbus Accounting to see if Xero is right for your business. 


By Nimbus

How can FreeAgent and Barclays Bank help your business?

April 16, 2012 | By |

At Nimbus Accounting we have previously blogged about how great FreeAgent is for small businesses, but now it has got even better. FreeAgent now offers live bank feeds for Barclays customers, which is a good reason to bank with Barclays. But Barclays has much more to offer their customers than their FreeAgent integration.

We have been searching the market for a Bank that truly wants to help small businesses. We visited the major high street names and Barclays came out on top by some way.  At Nimbus Accounting we recommend our clients consider Barclays. We believe the package they offer small businesses is hard to beat. It has all the essential tools that you need to start and run your business. If you combine that offering with a qualified chartered accountant, you will have the peace of mind that all the back office components required to run your business are in place, leaving you free to do what you do best.

The Barclays MyBusinessWorks package costs just £14.50 + VAT a month and includes the following tools:

·        FreeAgent – online accounting software (a subscription for a limited company would cost £25 + VAT a month)

·        LivePlan – online business planning software

·        Legal Manager – Employment, Health & Safety and Legal Compliance service

·        MindLeaders – online e-learning to develop and maintain business skills

·        MozyPro – automatic and secure data backup service

·        Moonfruit – website builder, hosting and domain service

If you would like more information on the above services please visit:

Not only does Barclays offer all of the above in their MyBusinessWorks package, but you will also get your own dedicated Barclays business manager. This will be the same person you meet when you walk through the door, another nice touch which we didn’t find in all the banks we visited.

So if you are considering, or currently using, FreeAgent online accounting software and would like to reduce your monthly fee, or you are unhappy with your current bank, feel free to contact us at Nimbus Accounting to discuss how Barclays and FreeAgent can help your small business.

Tel: 01273 782742 Email:

Nimbus Accounting is a specialist in FreeAgent accounting solutions and does not receive any money for promoting this Barclays product.


By Nimbus

Why you should pick a qualified chartered accountant?

April 4, 2012 | By |

Why should I use a qualified accountant? 

There is nothing to stop anyone setting up a firm of accountants. There are some good firms of unqualified accountants, but in our experience they are few and far between.  You can of course eliminate this risk by engaging a firm of chartered accountants.  By way of a background to the qualification, it takes a minimum of three years, within which there are several exams and practical experience in a registered training office. There is then at least two years post qualification experience required before a practising certificate will be considered. So if you engage a firm of chartered accountants you can be confident that you are getting a fully trained and experienced accountant.

Other benefits that a client receives from engaging a firm of chartered accountants include the strict ethical guidelines that all members must adhere to, compulsory professional indemnity insurance and comprehensive requirements for ongoing professional education, to keep all member firms up to date with changes in legislation and maintain a consistently high level of skill within the membership community.

New Business Start-Ups 

For someone who is starting their own business for the first time, they may not be aware of the potential drawbacks of choosing an unqualified accountant.  Instinctively in business price is used as a benchmark, but this is quite often where the unqualified accountant gets his foot in the door. Clients who have come to us from unqualified accountants often have tales of poor service and a lack of technical ability. If the fundamental training is missing from your accountant, it is fair to say that you will probably be increasing the chances of a HMRC enquiry and could be paying the incorrect amount of tax – which could result in substantial penalties.

It is clear to see a qualified chartered accountant has worked hard to obtain their qualification and continues to work hard to maintain it. For this and the other reasons above we recommend that you pick a qualified chartered accountant to work alongside your business. It may cost more in the short term but the benefit over the long term will be well worth the investment.

Nimbus Accounting is a firm of Chartered Accountants. The backbone of Nimbus Accounting is the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW), our professional body and regulator. All our client managers hold their own individual accountancy qualifications, ensuring the best possible advice is at your fingertips.  If you feel that your business could benefit from one of our qualified accountants we would be very happy to help.


By Nimbus

What are the penalties HMRC will impose if you file your tax return late?

April 4, 2012 | By |

Historically, if you filed your tax return late any penalty could not exceed the tax liability. So if you had a zero tax liability, you would incur no late filing penalty. However, things have now changed and the penalty system has got very harsh.

What is a late tax return going to cost?

• From 1 day to 3 months there is an initial penalty of £100
• From 3 months late there is a daily penalty of £10, up to a maximum of £900
• From 6 months late there is an additional £300 or 5% of any tax outstanding, whichever is the higher amount
• From 1 year late there is a further £300 or 5% of any tax outstanding, whichever is the higher amount

As you can see, the minimum penalty for filing 6 months and 1 day late is £1,300 – even if all your tax due is paid on time or you are due a tax repayment.

What about late payments?

If you are late in settling your self-assessment liabilities a penalty of 5% of the unpaid tax will be added to your bill at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months. Additionally, interest will be due until the debt is cleared.

At Nimbus accounting our advice is quite simple, appoint a proactive accountant to help manage your deadlines and take care of filing your tax return.


By Nimbus

What to do before 5 April 2012?

March 4, 2012 | By |

Is it that time of year when you should be hearing from your accountant, that’s if you have a proactive one, to explain what you should be doing in preparation for the 5 April 2012 financial year end.

Here are our 5 key tax planning tips to help you save tax:

1.    Is it time to purchase new equipment?

If you make a purchase of qualifying equipment before 6 April 2012 you should be able to write off 100% of the cost against your profit for 2011-12. The current limit is £100,000. The bad news is that from 6 April 2012 this £100,000 limit is being reduced to just £25,000. (There are complications if your trading year end straddles the tax year end. In this case the amount of tax relief you can claim may be reduced.) Accordingly if you are contemplating a significant equipment purchase it would be worth your while to see if savings in tax can be made if you purchase before 6 April 2012.

 2.    Dividends

If you take regular dividends from your company you may want to consider the timing of the dividends you receive in March and April 2012. Dividends voted and paid on or before 5 April 2012 will be taxed in 2011-12, dividends voted and paid on 6 April 2012, a day later, will form part of your income for 2012-13. Everyone’s circumstances will be different but this is a planning exercise that is well worth thinking about. This should enable you to see if you can achieve an overall reduction in tax, or second best, be able to defer tax payments due for a year.

 3.    Annual tax allowances – capital gains tax

You are entitled to tax free gains up to £10,600 during 2011-12. If you have made no chargeable disposals so far this tax year you have until 5 April 2012 to take advantage of this allowance. If you don’t use it, it will be lost. Take a look at your share portfolio and see if you are sitting on any gains that you would be willing to realise. Take care not to buy back shares disposed of as they will likely be caught under the ‘Bed & Breakfast’ rules.

 4.    Employees provided with private fuel

If you have company car users and the company pays for business and private fuel both the company and the employee will suffer a tax charge. These charges can be eliminated entirely if the employee refunds the private element to the employer. The simplest way to do this is provide a log of private mileage and multiply this by HMRC approved fuel rates.

5.    Annual gift allowance – inheritance tax

Have you taken advantage of the £3,000 annual gift allowance? And last year’s if not utilised?

If you have not considered these tax planning options, Nimbus Accounting would be more than happy to discuss the value of applying these tips before the 5 April 2012 cut-off date. 


By Nimbus

What to look for in a Xero Accountant?

March 4, 2012 | By |

Nimbus Accounting working with XeroWith more and more accountants realising that they need to offer Xero online accounting software to their clients, what should you be looking for when choosing your Xero friendly Accountant?

If you are migrating to Xero from another accounting package or completely new to Xero, then a modern accountant is what you need. With real time data available in Xero, you need an accountant who will monitor and check your data in the cloud. If your current accountant just produces your year end accounts, then you are not fully utilising the software or benefiting from the enormous power at your fingertips.

You need an accountant with an intimate knowledge of Xero and one you can contact day or night, should you have a question. The service shouldn’t stop there, your Xero accountant should also call you to discuss your Xero data. A Xero accountant should be checking your data as least every month to correct mistakes, look for tax planning opportunities and business growth strategies.

The year end process of completing your accounts for HMRC and Companies House adds no value to your business, unless it is followed up with a meeting with your accountant to discuss the past, present and future. Unfortunately, the fiscal year has finished and many of the potential opportunities will no longer be available – this is typical of the traditional accountancy service. However, modern accountants will have constant contact throughout the year, so when you approach your year end you will be fully informed and will have taken full advantage of tax planning opportunities.

When looking for a Xero accountant, think carefully what you want. Do you want a proactive or reactive accountant?

Nimbus Accounting is at the forefront of a changing industry, we believe that your accountant should be in constant contact, with monthly conversations about your business and tax planning opportunities. The days of seeing your accountant once a year can be a thing of the past, get in touch with Nimbus Accounting today to find out how we can help.




By Nimbus

What type of accountant do you need?

February 22, 2012 | By |

As the gap between what different accountancy firms offer widens, is it time you started to question your current accountant and what they have to offer you?

There are two distinct types of accountant, both able to satisfy you statutory obligations, but have you thought about the other services that your current accountant offers? Accountants can be grouped into one of two categories, traditional accountant or modern accountant. Remembering that the key difference between the two is that a traditional accountant is very reactive to your needs and a modern accountant is proactive and has an active role to play throughout your fiscal year.

If you want an accountant to complete your year end accountants & tax returns and stop there, then a traditional accountant is what you need. You will find these accountants make up the vast majority of the market and easy to find. They sell their services like a commodity and compete on price. They do not actively deliver value added services, but they are more often priced accordingly.

If you want an accountant that you speak to on a monthly basis, who is in touch with you and your financials and can provide tax saving strategies, then a modern accountant is want you need. This type of accountant will set up accounting systems in your business to help monitor your finances and proactively assist you in future planning, whilst also looking after the historic information and statutory requirements.

The beauty of a modern accountant is that they will be able to work with you remotely, opening up your choice to the whole of the UK. You no longer need a local accountant. Nimbus Accounting is a leading player in this arena. Nimbus is a modern accountancy firm and we believe our service stands out in the industry. If you feel that you could do with a new approach to your accountancy needs then give Nimbus a call today to discuss why you should have a modern accountant. 


By Nimbus

What is so great about FreeAgent online accounting software?

February 4, 2012 | By |

FreeAgent online accounting software

There are an increasing number of online accounting packages available for contractors/freelancers and small businesses. At Nimbus Accounting we evaluate all cloud accounting products regularly to ensure we are only recommending the best for our clients. Currently, the majority of our clients use either Xero or FreeAgent.

The key feature that our clients find invaluable in FreeAgent is the informative homepage. It includes an integrated tax time line, snap shot of your bank balances, outstanding debtors and creditors. This information is essential for any business owner who wants to keep an eye on future cashflows and plan for them accordingly.

FreeAgent is very user friendly, probably because it wasn’t designed by accountants, so the interface and language is targeted at the end user, something that contractors/freelancers or small business owners have not had in the past from other software providers. FreeAgent delivers everything you would expect from an accounting package, with many additional features designed to assist in the day to day management of a business. For instance, you can track your time spent on a project and create an invoice directly from this data. Once you have customised your invoice template, you can email invoices directly from FreeAgent straight to your customers.

FreeAgent enables you to upload your bank statements directly into the software and hopefully soon they will also support live bank feeds. Analysing your bank transactions couldn’t be simpler with FreeAgent, everything is completed with a click of the mouse, saving you time and removing the need for spread sheets.

FreeAgent online accounting software



If you are a contractor/freelancer or small business owner and don’t understand where you are with your business finances, then you should consider FreeAgent. As soon as you have uploaded and processed your bank statement, FreeAgent can automatically estimate your VAT liability, your PAYE payments, your future corporation tax and what personal tax you could be liable for. All of this information, including payment dates, are displayed on your fully customisable homepage.

If you are not sure what software you should be using, then please contact us and we can help you understand the benefits of Xero and FreeAgent. It may well be that some other software may be more appropriate for your business. If this is the case, we can assist you with implementing another solution. We recommend, if you are switching to an online software provider, that you seek an accountant with the relevant experience to assist in the transition.

Nimbus Accounting was set up exclusively to support clients who want to use online accounting software. We are experts in the market and we are confident that we can help you select the best package to help you grow and develop your business. Why not call us today to discuss how Nimbus Accounting can help you.


By Nimbus

When is claiming for clothing an allowable expense?

February 1, 2012 | By |

Unfortunately most claims for business clothing are non-allowable, this is due to them having an “intrinsic duality of purpose” as set out in the famous case of Mallalieu v Drummond [1983]. In this case a barrister wanted to claim for her “court clothing”, something that she would not wear outside of work, however the judge ruled that a wardrobe of everyday clothes even, if they were used solely for work, have a dual purpose in that the clothes gave warmth and decency.

There are a number of occasions when you can claim the cost of clothing; if you are an actor you can claim the cost of your ‘costumes’.  If you are a TV presenter it is allowable to claim a suit if acquired solely for use in front of cameras. If you were so lucky to be attending the premiere performance of your latest film, then you can claim the cost of your gown. However, the gown is only allowable if the sole purpose was for the premiere only. Now here is the amazing part about the gown, if after the premiere there was some private use, then this DOES NOT result in a disallowable expense.

You can also claim for clothing if it is required for health and safety, such as overalls, gloves, boots and helmets etc. These expenses are typical of the construction industry, but what you can also claim for is the repairing, cleaning and replacement of these specialist clothes too.

If your current accountant has not claimed these expenses for you, then it’s time to question “are they proactive in looking after you?”  If the answer is no, then it’s time you called Nimbus Accounting to arrange a free initial meeting to discuss how we can save you tax.