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Small Business

Can A Smart Meter Help With Business Costs | Advice on Business Costs | Accountancy Advice Business Rates
Can a smart meter help with business costs? 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Can a smart meter help with business costs?

Staying on top of your costs is important for a small business and adopting a policy for best practice cost savings can be extremely beneficial. As the UK economy continues to fluctuate, we are seeing increasing utility charges. Focusing on running costs and energy usage should form an integral part of the businesses best practice cost saving policy.

Clearly staff have a responsibility for embracing cost savings, areas such as keeping temperatures to an optimum level, switching to energy efficient lightbulbs, switching off devices rather than leaving on standby and moving to a paper-free ethos are just some areas that can be focussed on. However, ultimately it is the business owner who must lead by example and make sure all the best practice savings are deployed.

Something which will help almost immediately is the installation of a smart meter. This device will allow better understanding and control of the business’s energy usage and costs. The UK Government are big advocates that the business community start to benefit from the introduction of smart meters.

A smart meter will provide real-time analysis on energy usage which is then fed directly back to the energy suppliers. This information can put a business owner in better control with greater visibility of how to make the business cleaner whilst also saving on running costs.

3 key benefits of why your business should install a smart meter:

  1. A smart meter gives immediate data which results in accurate billing. In essence, you will only pay for the energy that you use so from a budgeting perspective you can accurately predict your energy costs and help to successfully manage cashflow.
  2. You have total control and can easily manage every aspect of your energy usage.
  3. Not only do you benefit from real-time energy analysis, but you can also make use of historical data. The smart meter will give you access to energy statistics dating back 12 months. This helps with monitoring the success of cost saving activities that have been deployed and with budgeting.

Whilst we are not experts with the installation of smart meters, we are a firm of proactive accountants looking to help the small business community.

If you have any questions or need some help, please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail You can also book a free 30-minute call with Yarka –

A Simplified Tax Reporting for Small Businesses | Making Tax Digital (MTD) | Simplifying Tax
A simplified tax reporting for small businesses 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

A simplified tax reporting for small businesses

As part of the Government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) plans to simplify the tax system and to speed up the time it takes for self-employed professionals and small business owners to complete their tax returns, the Government are proposing changes to the existing tax reporting rules.

The changes, planned by 2023, would mean that any business not incorporated would be taxed on profits arising in the tax year as opposed to profits on accounts ending in the tax year.

In short, the changes will see all businesses having to align their basis period with the 5/6th April tax year. Whilst the majority of businesses already do this, there are about 7% of sole traders who choose not to as it fits better with their business model.

For example, a business who runs their accounts to the 30th of June each year, their income tax for 2023/24 would currently be based on profits for the year ending 30th June 2023. Under the new rules the income tax for 2023/24 would be based on 3/12 of the income for the year ending 30th June 2023 in addition to 9/12 of the income for the year ending 30th June 2024.

The Government estimates that around 3% of sole traders and 15% of partners will face an increase in costs as a result of these proposed changes but believes that they will reduce errors and overpayments and bring tax returns in line with other assessments such as property income.

Whilst the changes are broadly welcomed and the consensus is that it will simplify life for business owners, the consultation period is due to conclude on 31st August. Some claim that this is too quick and businesses need more time to prepare and propose a delay of 12 months in order for business to provide proper feedback and ensure that the scheme works for everyone.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please feel free to call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail

Do I Need An Accountant | Accountant Advice Bristol | Business Accountancy Help
Do I need an accountant? 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Do I need an accountant?

At some stage, a business owner will inevitably have asked themselves the question, “do I need an accountant”? They will all have also found themselves unsurprisingly faced with the answer, “yes, I do”. No matter what stage your business is at, an accountant can offer help, support and guidance.

From the outset

At the initial start-up phase of a business an accountant can offer support for:

  • Helping to finalise business plans – giving advice and feedback on business direction, goals and funding.
  • Business structure – providing recommendations on how to structure the business to become a sole trader, private limited company, public limited company or limited liability partnership.
  • Licenses – advising what business licenses you need to set-up and what your legal obligations are in relation to monthly, quarterly and annual accounts.
  • Accounting software – advice and recommendation on the best type of software to use along with feedback on what modules would be most beneficial.

Tax and compliance

Throughout the life span of a business there will be a requirement to seek specialist tax and compliance guidance such as:

  • VAT – giving guidance on when to start charging VAT or if already on the scheme whether to continue.
  • Payroll – helping to keep on top of all payroll commitments and ensuring wages / compliance matters are correctly adhered to.
  • Reporting – providing support in relation to tax liabilities, regular reporting processes, creditors, and debtors.

Small business support

All small businesses will benefit from meeting regularly with an accountant. They can assist with:

  • Being smart – having some expert advice on hand to help make smart decisions, especially during key growth stages helps to avoid costly mistakes.
  • Liabilities – as a business grows so does its liabilities, making sure you recognise what these changes will be and how to account for them requires specialist help.
  • The bigger picture – business owners can often become consumed in day-to-day activities and unable to recognise blind spots within the business, an accountant can help with seeing the bigger picture to assist with ongoing growth.

If you are looking for some specialist accountancy support both for you and your business, then please feel free to call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail

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