Not being accountants, sometimes we struggle with all the terminology and ever increasing legal requirements of accounting within a British business.
Tax and PAYE live and online - oh my!
As the growth of our business increased and with the advent of the new UK PAYE rules for RTI (Real Time Information), we decided it's time to upgrade our accounting package.
Armed with a big mug of coffee we poked around the HMRC site (zzZ) and after browsing around for a bit we discovered a reference to an accounting platform that seemed to match all our requirements.
- Automatic VAT submission
- Automatic PAYE RTI Filing
- Automatic EC Sales list submissions
- Semi-Automatic Bank Requisitioning
- Semi-Automatic Company Credit Cards Requisitioning
- Automatic PayPal transactions
- Multi-Currency Invoicing
All this for just £15 a month. The package that met nearly all of our criteria was called KashFlow:
You can stop reading here, however if you want to learn more about our experience in the first few days of using this package, then please read on..
We signed up for the free trial (initially we only trialled the kashflow Payroll service) and after poking around for a few days we new this was the application for us. So we then signed up for the Free KashFlow Accounts application trial.
This gave us 14 days to test things out, in addition we got a call from the Kashflow people, who offered to extend the trial if we added our credit card details (they did not take any money at this stage). We figured - why not!
Journalling (hidden by default)
It's surprising how much is hidden under the hood of this online accounting platform. The first thing we needed to do is enable journalling (using there excellent help screens we found it under:
Settings > Chart Of Accounts > Show advanced configuration options > Enable Journal > Update.
Then we needed to add our own Nominal Codes which can be done semi-automatically under each section e.g. Under Bank there is an option to add/edit Bank Codes or you could just go to:
Settings > Chart Of Accounts
Where you can add the codes, but you also have to define the type and area it is used in. An example Code is:
|2200||VAT Control||Current Asset/Liability||Bank Transaction Type|
We also needed to add our VAT settings, we found this (predictably) under:
Settings > VAT Settings
Where there were a lot of options for things like MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) and FRS (Flat Rate Scheme) and one important feature we were looking for Online Filing.
Once we entered our HMRC login details and VAT number we were all set to go and we can confirm that we recently did a quartly VAT return and all was submitted ok!
Hot Tip: Make sure you do not put any spaces in your VAT number of this section as it may fail when trying to auto post your returns!
EC Sales List
At first we couldn't find how to auto submit the EC Sales list to HMRC, we contacted KashFlow support who told us it wasn't supported (even though this article indicated it was possible).
However we discovered (once we did the first VAT return) that it auto submits the EC sales lists as art of the VAT return process. Bit annoying we werent told this earlier as we had by this time manually submitted the List at HMRC, but hey ho!
Bank and PayPal Transactions
Here's where KashFlow (for us) really began to shine. We chose our bank from the list, entered our login details (scary) and voila! All our historical banking transactions appeared, where possible it auto assigned the transactions to existing invoices and where not, we just picked each transaction and assigned it to the relevant customer invoice then it filled it all away nicely! Very impressed!
Then we added PayPal and that was even better, it grabbed our PayPal transactions, correctly auto filled the PayPal Charges into the accounts and allowed us to assign the transactions to the customer invoices. It was a dream to use!
We sell a number of our Apps from App Stores that are situated abroad and so we need to invoice in Euros and other currencies, again Kashflow shone here. We added the Customer, flagged them as being registered in another EC Member State and set the default currency to Euros. Now when we raise invoices to that custmer, it not only chooses Euros as the invoice currency but also uses the current exchange rate to indicate what the rough figure is going to be in pounds as well!
A little bit bigger than we initially anticipated, but we hope you got some idea from it about some of the capabilities of this very useful business tool?