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Struggling with Finances? Here’s How Accountants Can Help

Running a small business can be an extremely stressful and challenging time, as with so much to juggle all the responsibilities lie with you. Many small business owners are reported to be working seven days a week, including early morning starts and busy evenings, which can of course put a great strain on your work life balance. You will probably find yourself having to manage recruitment, family time, sales, school runs, business development, marketing, strategic planning, time for your partner, bank accounts, health and safety and many, many more tasks … the list of commitments is endless and seems ever growing.

It is therefore no surprise that business finances take a back seat and drop down the list of your priorities. With so much time needed to manage your finances correctly, it is easy to let invoices and receipts pile up, expenses and bank reconciliations lay untouched for months and the real financial status of the business to be left an unknown quantity. Unfortunately, this only aims to stunt the business’ future growth as it becomes impossible to know if you can afford to invest in new equipment or resources.

But don’t worry, by reaching out to an accountancy company in Peterborough, or one local to yourself, you will be provided with the assistance you need as accountants will provide a wide range of services to help with both personal and business finances. Therefore, helping to take the lion’s share of financial demands and responsibilities of your shoulders.

From a business perspective, they will initially advise on the most beneficial structure for your company. This will help ensure you are trading in the correct way as a limited company, partnership or sole trader and taking advantage of the best tax options available. They will also offer information on the latest financial software packages to use and help you decide which is the best fit for the size and function of your business. By choosing the right software, you will get back ownership and speed up the transactions of simple day to day financial tasks, such as recording your expense receipts.

Accountants will also cover all the standard financial reporting procedures which are integral to the business, but which would take your valuable time if you planned to do these alone. These include the quarterly business reporting and reconciling along with the annual task of completing and submitting tax returns.  On top of this, your accountant will of course be tracking your expenses, supplier accounts and will be able to flag when you need to revise your contracts or renegotiate the prices you pay. They will also offer advice on more complex financial planning, setting future financial forecasts or targets and monitor any strategic investment decisions. Accountants will also be available to help with any audits, and if the time ever comes to sell your business, they will provide advice and resources to both value the business and assist with all the financial aspects of the sale.

Having an accountant by your side will help you to focus on the all-important growth of your business and help you aim for that work life balance.

Elderly couple forced to live apart

Elderly Couples Forced To Live Separately

Senior judge condemns practice of separating elderly couples

Thousands of older couples are being separated in order to have their care needs met – a situation a senior British judge has branded as ‘absolutely shocking’.

Recent reports have found that many elderly couples who require additional care and support are being separated against their wishes – a practice condemned as ‘inhumane’ by High Court judge, Sir James Munby.

According to Sir James, couples who have been together for decades are often refused shared accommodation and instead are split up into different care homes, or face a situation where one partner is housed in residential care, while the other remains at home alone.

This separation can have a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of the couples involved, causing trauma and exacerbating feelings of loneliness (already a common problem in Britain’s elderly population), as well as having a knock-on effect on people’s physical health.

In a speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Sir James said,

“We do know that people die of a broken heart. I have read of cases where one person died and then the other dies a couple of days later. How long do people last if they are uprooted? A very short time.”

He also branded the practice of separating couples as “a profound indictment of our society”, and suggested that forcing frail and elderly people to leave their homes and their partner is not always the best course of action as it can have a substantial negative impact their happiness.

In light of this, Sir James believes that alternative options should be explored and has urged social workers to do all they can to enable couples to remain together in later life.

Live in care

In order to avoid separation and being forced to leave their homes, many older couples are turning to live in care as a potential solution. A live in carer is an around-the-clock carer who lives in the client’s home and provides a package of personal care and household management services based on a personalised care plan.

By hiring a live in carer, couples are able to stay together in their own home whilst receiving a level of care and support that is tailored to their individual needs. Furthermore, hiring a carer to look after a couple can bring significant savings when compared to the costs of two separate residential care places.

Additional benefits

As well as helping couples to stay together, live in care also offers a number of other benefits. By the very nature of the role, a live in carer is on hand 24/7 to offer one-to-one care and support. This, unsurprisingly, has a positive impact on health and safety, with clients suffering a third fewer falls than those in residential care. Live in care also enables older people to hold on to their much valued independence and continue with their daily routine. Clients also benefit from remaining in familiar surroundings, something that’s particularly beneficial for people suffering from dementia.

If you and your partner are looking for an alternative care solution, your local authority or social services should be able to offer help finding a live in carer, enabling you to remain safe, independent and, most importantly, together in your own home.