The Smart Accountants combine beautiful accounting software from Xero with our bookkeeping and accounting expertise to form a seamless online service
Bookkeeping & Accounts Software
We set up Xero online accounting software for your company bookkeeping and accounts and give you access.
Sales Invoice Creation
We will provide you with a choice of invoice templates so that you can raise your sales invoices directly through Xero.
Automatic Bank Transaction Feeds
We will get your bank linked to Xero so that transactions can be automatically pulled through and posted.
Invoices & Receipts
Your purchase invoices and expense receipts are scanned and forwarded to a specified email address so that they get loaded straight into Xero.
VAT Return Completion & Submission
We will ensure your records are up to date, produce your VAT return for approval, submit it and advise you the payment due.
Accounts & Tax
We will produce your annual accounts and Corporation Tax Return and advise you when tax liabilities are due.
When it comes to getting help dealing with your business finances, we believe that it’s not just a question of price, but also a question of quality, efficiency and above all trust.
After all, you need to know your business is in safe hands.
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Like it or not, bookkeeping is an essential part of running a successful business; big, or small. Many small business owners start out by doing their bookkeeping themselves and then perhaps progress to employing a part-time bookkeeper as their business grows. Quite often, as businesses continue to grow, a bookkeeper might even become a…Read More
The Smart Accountants
Who are The Smart Accountants?
The Smart Accountants have been carrying out bookkeeping and accounting services for businesses and organisations for over 20 years and helping them to develop and grow. We have been at the forefront of cloud accounting and bookkeeping since 2012.
When it comes to your bookkeeping and online accounts, we solve two of your biggest issues. Firstly, doing it yourself can be downright confusing. Secondly, it can take a lot of time and effort which could be put to better use if dedicated to growing your business.
What bookkeepers and accountants do you use?
The Smart Accountants has a team of bookkeepers and online accountants with qualifications ranging from AAT to ACCA to ACA. The junior members of our team will be studying for one of the bookkeeping or accounting qualifications. This means you can be safe in the knowledge that your finances are in experienced hands.
Why do you use Xero as your bookkeeping software?
Xero is now the leading online accounting software in the UK for small businesses.
As online accountants, we have been successfully using Xero since 2011. Our team helps you get set up with Xero and ensures that you can make use of all of its features and benefits. We will go over the things that you need to do before getting started and with years of experience of cloud accounting, we will have your financial safety at the centre of all that we do.
How much does your bookkeeping service cost?
That really depends on the level of service that is appropriate for you both in terms of the number of transactions and the level of bookkeeping and online accounting that you require. The simplest way to find out is to complete our enquiry form and have a chat with one of the team.
Most online accountants charge hourly rates which mean that you can never be sure what your final bill will be. At The Smart Accountants, we believe in carefully defining our services to you so that we can offer you a fixed monthly fee to cover your work.
What will I save by using online accountants?
As well as getting your online bookkeeping and cloud accounting dealt with cost effectively you will be saving time by not having to deal with your books yourself or you will save staff costs and not have to worry about holiday and sickness cover.
Think about how much of your time now gets taken up with bookkeeping work or issues. Or, for example, dealing with the periodic bank reconciliation. Then add in the stress that it causes you. Did you know that added stress decreases not just your productivity but also your creativity? On average you could be missing out on at least 20% of potential business growth.
Outsourcing your financial record keeping and accounting to a company like The Smart Accountants will allow you to be able to fully track your transactions without the hassle of recording it all yourself. It's simple - you just log in and check on progress and that's it! No need to worry about numbers not matching - let us worry about that for you.
How do I switch to using The Smart Accountants online bookkeeping services?
The simple process starts with a chat and a review of what you are doing already. Then after the most appropriate solution has been discussed and agreed we will help you transfer your data into Xero and continue your bookkeeping within that software.
We will guide you step by step through the process of setting up online, using the software and anything else you may need to do to get up and running.
What is cloud accounting?
Cloud accounting is the common name given to carrying out cloud accounting using online software. This is where Xero is the preeminent software and with it being hosted on the internet means you and The Smart Accountants can have access to your records 24/7 if needed.
It is a solution that’s being chosen by more and more small business owners today and it’s easy to see why. Gone are the days where small business owners had the luxury of their own in-house accountant with their own office and car parking space. In fact, even accountants with a High Street presence are losing out to the clever and effective online accounting solutions that are available now.
There is no need to install anything on your computer or buy any kind of hardware; online bookkeeping was created to make your life easier and to make it possible for small business owners to keep their books up to scratch without hassle or stress. Our services provide you with an account on the Xero bookkeeping software which you can check from anywhere in the UK, or the world, from any computer or mobile device, all you need to do is input your login details and keep track of your bookkeeper’s work.
Like any service that is provided from a remote location, cloud accounting is a cheaper option than face-to-face accounting. Although cheaper doesn’t always equate to better, in this case, you really can have the best of both worlds. By using the likes of Xero, a highly respected accounting software solution, using online accountants mean that you have easy access to your accounting information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Working with the likes of Xero cloud accounting is the preferred solution of a growing number of accountants and small business owners today. Not only does it allow a working dialogue between accountants and their clients, it’s easy to use and extremely versatile. With a great range of intuitive tools, Xero allows you to do as much or as little as you want to, with your accountant taking over to complete the process when you want them to. There’s no need to take any kind of course or training in order to navigate this online accounting software; Xero is a very easy to use, it works exclusively online, it’s completely self-explanatory and it’s absolutely private and secure. We only give out the password to you and we make sure there are no irregularities in your account’s security.
Even if you needed a little help working with the software you wouldn’t need an online bookkeeping course; instead, our team would explain and guide you through the software and how it works. There is also full online help and training.
How will I know that my bookkeeping data will be secure within my online accounting?
Both The Smart Accountants and Xero take the security of data extremely seriously. As online accountants, we operate from secure premises and operate appropriate levels of security over network and internet access. Xero maintains your data on secure services and encrypts data in storage and transmission.
Only people you allow access to your account can get access. We have taken great pride in ensuring that our customers have a level of protection that will keep your data safe. As online accountants, we know that your business depends on it!
In order to access any data available in our software you need the login details which we only give to our clients, in this case, that would be you. If you don’t want anyone else to see this data it’s as simple as not sharing your login information; our cloud accounting is secure, private and reliable. You will have the opportunity to review your user accounts and make sure that no one else has been tampering with your financials. We take your security and privacy very seriously and our team have been delivering online bookkeeping services to small businesses for many years with an outstanding track record.
Your data can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device that has an internet connection but only by authorised users with correct usernames and passwords. Only the online accountants assigned to your account will have access to your information; our team has years of experience and it has always been our first priority to maintain the safety and confidentiality of our customers, our software allows you to track and keep records of your data so everything it’s out in the open, transparent transactions and responsible professionals are part of our most important features.
What about getting help if I am starting a business?
We regularly take enquiries from people looking to start a business and assist them in achieving that. As well as getting the online bookkeeping set up we can provide strategic and tax advice if necessary.
I’m used to dealing face-to-face, I’m not sure I like the idea of working remotely.
If you’re used to doing your accounts face-to-face, it’s reasonable to expect that cloud accounting and cloud bookkeeping will take a little bit of time to get used to. That said, as quality providers of online accounting services, we know and understand this issue. That’s why we do all that we can to make your transition to online as easy as it possibly can be. Here at The Smart Accountants, we select our staff based on their knowledge and experience of course, but also on their excellent communication skills and their ability to put our clients at ease. While expecting overnight transition isn’t all that realistic, within a surprisingly short space of time, you’ll realise how efficient, easy and effective online accounting really is.Do you just deal with bookkeeping and cloud accounting for small businesses?
The beauty of Xero is that it is scaleable to cover a wide range of business sizes. We certainly have clients with turnover measured in millions who are happily using us and Xero to deal with their online bookkeeping records.
What about if I am self-employed?
Many have the misconception that if they are self-employed they do not have to apply the same rigour to their record keeping as if they were operating through a limited company. This, however, is just not correct. Ultimately HMRC will expect you to be paying the correct amount of tax and expect your record keeping to be sufficient to calculate your turnover, profits and taxes correctly. Should they ask to inspect your books then severe penalties can be applied if they are not up to a good standard. You will also likely have to spend heavily in professional fees to get them brought up to date and deal with HMRC.
Keeping a record of all your transactions when they occur is by far the smartest way to proceed and will keep you legal and penalty-free.
Will I be able to stop having to store paperwork?
The ideal online accounting arrangements for you will normally include using a Xero add-on package called Receipt Bank. This software scans your invoices and receipts and by using OCR technology posts the data straight into Xero. We keep an eye on the postings and make adjustments where necessary. You get a stored scanned image of each piece of paperwork and these are acceptable records for HMRC meaning you can destroy the original paperwork and save on online accounts storage costs and space.
Will The Smart Accountants be able to help my business grow?
By taking away the hassle of having to worry about the daily grind of bookkeeping you will naturally have more time to spend on your business and that in itself should ensure both you and the business benefit. Online bookkeeping allows you to keep track of how much money your business is making and spending; it also allows you to have an organised filing system and it provides you with templates to make your online accounting as easy and painless as possible.
Every business owner knows the importance of having control over their income/expense ratio and a bookkeeper will keep track of your expenses, monitor your income and calculate the profits your business is making. Top online bookkeeping software like Xero will take all the pressure off your shoulders and allow you to grow your business without having to worry about filing or organising paperwork.
If you are concerned about what your accountant does then be assured that we have access to accountants who specialise in growing businesses and they can assist you if you are in that situation.
What is the difference between accounting and bookkeeping?
Although both are very similar and closely related, there are some differences between the bookkeeper’s job and the accountant’s job. Bookkeeping is about organizing your financial paperwork, keeping all your invoices and other financial papers orderly, reconciling bank accounts and preparing and submitting VAT returns.
The bookkeeper’s job entails:
- Keeping a record of all financial transactions
- Updating bank accounts
- Generating invoices
- Managing sales and purchase ledgers
The accountant’s job entails:
- Recording transactions that fall outside of the online bookkeeping routines
- Preparing the business financial accounts
- Evaluating business performance
- Completing and filing business tax returns
Our online accountants and online bookkeeping teams do all of this and more. We take charge of your financial needs and we make sure that you are satisfied every step of the way.
Will you take away the hassle of doing my bookkeeping?
Of course! That goes without saying as The Smart Accountants specialise in outsourced bookkeeping and online accounting. We agree with you how to access your invoices and receipts and we then get them input into Xero to an agreed timetable so that you can have confidence that your cloud accounting records are up to date. The aim is to make the whole process as simple and hassle-free for you as possible.
Bookkeeping has changed from the days when you needed to keep thousands of pieces of paper to maintain your finances and keep yourself legal. Now everything can be done online and paperwork can be stored electronically. With just a few clicks you are then able to access your complete business data.
With online bookkeeping more routine transactions, such as bank transactions, will be entered directly through a bank feed. Purchase invoices and expense receipts can be scanned and fed directly into Xero. This means that the need for journals and interaction with a General (or Nominal) Ledger is hugely reduced.
Both Xero and cloud accounting service are designed to mean that your interaction with the technicalities of your financial records is kept to a minimum. You just give us access to the source data and then you view the results that you need to see.
When you are looking for an online bookkeeping agency to handle your accounts you want to check that they have a top of the line online bookkeeping software and cloud accounting as well as excellence, professionalism and some years of experience. The Smart Accountants have excellent online accountants with over 15 years of experience in online bookkeeping and cloud accounting; we provide the best and most complete services for your business and we use the top-of-the-line Xero software. We set up our clients with cloud accounting and our packages have the best value for money in terms of online bookkeeping services.
Online accounting software allows you to monitor what others are doing on your books of account on your behalf.
Will I lose control of my company if I outsource my bookkeeping?
No, that will never happen.
By outsourcing your bookkeeping to us you are simply giving us permission to handle your books and to set up your accounts in our online accounting software. You will still retain all rights and control over your company and business. You can check your accounts at any given moment from anywhere you are with this online software. We are in the business of protecting your finances and making sure you get the best services for your money. Your business data will be fully secured.
As soon as you start your business you should start to use a bookkeeper. It’s very important that you start off your business the right way and that means keeping track of your income and your expenses; you’ll be able to track the success of your business by the profits it brings you and you’ll stay up to date on financial regulations and taxation.
The best way to do online accounting in this new age of technology is by signing up for online bookkeeping and accounting; you’ll be able to check on your accounts from anywhere in the UK, from anywhere in the world even. We make your online bookkeeping safe, private and easy.
What other accounting services do you provide?
The Smart Accountants concentrate on your bookkeeping and management accounts information. However, we can take the information from Xero and produce annual accounts and tax returns and provide a business advisory service for you. It's your choice!
At the end of every financial year you must prepare annual accounts for your business and file them; this can be time-consuming and even confusing for some people but with our help, you’ll be able to deal with it without any problem. We’ll provide you with detailed instructions and templates to make things as easy as possible for you; if you’ve signed up with our cloud accounting software, then all the information you’ll need will be available to you with just one click. Preparing financial statements can be quite daunting but don’t leave it to the last minute; contact us now and we’ll arrange "bookkeeping freedom" for you.
Can auditors provide online bookkeeping services for my small business?
It is unusual for an auditor to provide accounting services to businesses, but some revisions were made with regard to regulations which make it possible for auditors to act as bookkeepers. While it’s not against the rules it’s not usually the case that an auditor provides accounting services and it can lead to issues over undue influence and a compromise of audit independence; it’s best to use an outside source, like The Smart Accountants that will provide the best services for your small business. The revisions made to the regulations are only applicable in very specific cases and can be overturned at any time. Cloud accounting software such as Xero is safe and easy to use.
Can I use The Smart Accountants if I already have an accountant?
If you are using an accountant already then that is perfectly fine. We can carry out your online bookkeeping and then interact with your accountant as necessary.
The bookkeeping software we use doesn’t lock a transaction if another user tries to access your account as long as the second user has the security clearance to log in and see the financial data. Two people can be active on the same account at the same time and nothing will be blocked or deleted; keep in mind that the person who finished last will have authority to save their edits over the person who logs out first. It won’t even matter if one person is in London and the other one is the other side of the world, the Xero software will still work perfectly!
Can Xero software link to my bank via bank feeds?
Yes, that is one of the great things about Xero. It has links to all the main banks and data can be fed into your bookkeeping software automatically. As transactions take place and are posted, Xero learns where payments are to be go and so this makes the process very intuitive.
My business deals in different currencies so can I still use online bookkeeping software?
Yes, Xero virtual online accounting software deals with a vast range of currencies. Our online accountants have been trained to work with different currencies and exchange rates. Get a quote today to find out how you can outsource your bookkeeping to us.
What about preparing and submitting VAT returns?
Most of our online accounting clients are VAT registered and we prepare and submit VAT returns for the vast majority of them, typically on a quarterly basis. We will agree the timetable with you and you will get a chance to review and approve the VAT returns before submitted.
Value Added Tax (VAT) is a sales tax. Sellers will charge VAT to their buyers and pay it over to HM Revenue & Customs having deducted eligible VAT that they have suffered on their purchases.
In the UK and most of Europe, every business that exceeds a turnover of £82,000 in a 12 month period must be registered for VAT. Even those who are self-employed must comply with this. Very small businesses and startups can sometimes avoid this taxation because if their turnover is not over £82,000, but if this changes then our cloud accounting team will let you know that it’s time to register for VAT and they’ll handle the registration for you.
It’s often recommended to register for VAT voluntarily, especially if most of your customers and suppliers are registered as well so that you can reclaim VAT on purchases.
Can you deal with my credit control?
We have online accounting team members who will monitor your sales ledger and chase outstanding debts as necessary. They are skilled at communicating with our clients customers and have a great track record of keeping late payments to a minimum.
Will you produce management accounts?
There are various levels of service that we can provide from basic bookkeeping designed to keep you compliant with things such as VAT returns, to a more proactive service. That enhanced service will normally include the production of periodic management accounts so that you can get a regular view as to how your business is doing.
One of the reasons we use Xero software is its versatility. It is able to show you detailed reports on your data and it’ll give you the choice to print them or download them. Xero allows you to print your records and reports at any given moment without having to wait in line or even leave your office, you simply log in using the account we set up for you and print whichever reports you might need, no fuss.
Our virtual online accounting packages have been crafted to give you the best services by professionals using top of the line software; all in the hopes of making your cloud accounting easier and faster, while being private.
Can you help me with budgets and forecasting?
We use some clever software called Futrli that links with Xero and not only provides management information but which can compare that to budgets and produce forecasts. This is where the power of Xero and the online accountants running The Smart Accountants service really comes into its own in providing data that can be used to inform business decisions and strategy.
What if I am currently using Sage for my bookkeeping?
Sage has been the traditional means for businesses dealing with their online accounting for many years. That means that all of our bookkeepers have experience in using Sage. We believe that in the majority of cases Xero provides a better cloud accounting solution but if it makes sense for you to stick with Sage we will work with that for you.
There’s no need to export the data, you can simply invite your accountant into the software you are using, no matter where in the UK they might be, and they’ll have access to your financial data.
However, our services are pretty complete and ideally, we will be acting as your online accountants. We have access to all the accounting, tax and business expertise that you could need.
What happens if I have a problem?
If you’re dealing with the likes of Xero cloud bookkeeping and you come up against a problem, all you need to do is call on their 24 hours a day, 7 days a week support service. With someone constantly available to give you help, there really is no need to ever feel alone or lost. Add to this the support you can expect from your online accountants and you could soon be feeling as if you have even more support than you previously had face-to-face – all at a great price.
Can you provide a free initial meeting?
Before we take on any new client we need to make sure that we understand the service that is needed. In order to achieve that we will spend as long as it takes in face-to-face meetings, Skype calls and/or telephone calls in order to get things set up right. You will not be charged for those initial discussions.