Posted by Jon on 13 April 2017
By default all emails that you send from your organisation in AccountsPortal will use your profile name and login email address. However, if you have multiple users logged into a single organisation, you may find it preferable to have all emails originating from a single email address, irrespective of who is logged in.
If you want all emails from your organisation to come from a single From Name and Email Address, then our newly released Custom Email Settings are for you! You now have two options for outgoing email addresses - the logged in user's or a custom email address.
For more information, please read the Email Settings help document.
Posted by Gidon on 30 March 2017
UK users registered under the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) should be aware of the changes commencing 1 April 2017. For more information please read VAT Notice 733.
If you are certain you will be considered a Limited Cost Trader moving forward, then we recommend you create a new 16.5% Flat Rate Tax Status in your organisation's Settings prior to entering any invoices or bank transactions.
We will be enhancing the VAT Report in the next few weeks to assist with users that are 'periodically' Limited Cost Traders.
Please pay particular attention to section 12 and 9.6 if you are leaving the FRS scheme as a result of these changes.
Set up a new Tax Status in the Settings of your organisation, and ensure that the Valid From Date is set to 01-04-2017. This must be done before before you enter any April transactions (even if you are deregistering from VAT entirely).
The system will calculate the correct values in your VAT report unless you are leaving the FRS 'cash basis' and do not plan on continuing under the Standard VAT cash accounting scheme. Under this specific scenario, you will need to enter payments against any outstanding invoices and credit notes to get them included in the VAT Report as per the section 9.6 requirements.
Replacement invoices and credit notes should be created with the Tax Treatment in the header set to 'No VAT/Out of Scope'. This will ensure that they are not included in any future VAT Reports but the Accounts Receivable ledger account and customer balances are set back to the correct amounts.
Posted by Gidon on 27 February 2017
Up until now, the approach for Customer and Supplier Overpayments was to enter separate bank transactions for the invoice amount and the overpayment amount. The overpayment amount was entered as a General Receipt or Payment against a nominal ledger account. This was not ideal because the amount didn't update the Accounts Receivable/Payable account or appear in the Ageing reports or Statements.
The release of the new overpayments functionality removes the manual steps and vastly improves the reporting gap. Overpayments is now done in a single step and is correctly reflected in all relevant customer/supplier reports. The feature can also be used for Advances and Deposits where VAT is not applicable.
Overpayments can now be entered as follows:
This release also includes the display of amounts available to credit against an invoice when viewing sales or purchase invoices. The credits can be allocated directly in the invoice view, greatly speeding up transaction entry.
Posted by Gidon on 01 February 2017
As part of the Autumn Statement released on 23rd November 2016, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that there would be changes to the VAT flat rate scheme (FRS) effective 1st April 2017. A policy paper was published on the 5th December 2016 to coincide with an 8 week consultation period whereby businesses would be given an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes.
The changes are being introduced to remove what the HRMC see as ‘unfair’ advantages that some small businesses enjoy when using the FRS.
Currently the flat rate percentage used by a business is determined by their trade sector. Going forward, however, HMRC intends to introduce a new cross-sector rate (set at 16.5%) for businesses deemed to have limited costs, otherwise known as ‘limited cost traders’.
A limited cost trader will be defined as one whose VAT inclusive expenditure on goods is either:
less than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover in a prescribed accounting period; or
greater than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover but less than £1000 per annum if the prescribed accounting period is one year (or pro-rated for periods less than one year)
Goods, for the purposes of this measure, must be used exclusively for the purpose of the business but exclude the following items:
food or drink for consumption by the flat rate business or its employees
vehicles, vehicle parts and fuel (except where the business is one that carries out transport services - for example a taxi business - and uses its own or a leased vehicle to carry out those services)
If you fail the tests above, it is likely that your VAT liability each period will increase. The policy paper states that an online tool will be made available to enable current and prospective FRS users to determine whether they must use the new rate. The added administration burden is that businesses are expected to review that they are using the correct rate at the time each VAT return is completed; i.e. on a period by period basis.
In essence, the policy aims to remove most service orientated companies (such as freelancers, consultants, etc) from being able to benefit from the Flat Rate Scheme. If your business provides services, rather than goods, then it is highly likely that you will fail the relevant tests.
It therefore makes sense that all businesses using the FRS review their position before April 2017 to ensure that there are still advantages to using the scheme.
ABC Ltd, a Computer repair services company, currently uses the 10.5% sector rate when calculating FRS VAT. For the VAT quarter ending 30 June 2017, they have VAT inclusive sales of £10,000. Based on the ‘limited cost trader’ test, the flat rate they should apply to their sales be determined as follows:
|Scenario||Goods Spend in quarter||
Less than 2% (£200) of quarter Sales
Less than £1,000 p.a. (£250 per quarter)
In the first scenario, the business exceeds both tests (i.e. the purchase of goods exceeds 2% of the quarter's sales and is more than the £250 quarterly threshold) and can accordingly use the 10.5 Flat Rate. However, in the second scenario, the business only spends £240, which is less than the £250 quarterly threshold, and must therefore use the 16.5% rate. Lastly, in the third scenario, the business fails both checks, and must use the 16.5% rate.
With sales of £10,000, the business can only apply the 10.5% rate once their spend on goods (including VAT) has passed £250 for the quarter. Below this amount and they will fail both checks.
AccountsPortal will be monitoring the results announced at the end of the consultation period. We will endeavour to incorporate the changes into our FRS feature and will notify users as soon as we have more information.
Posted by Jon on 12 November 2016
You can now take our great invoice templates and give them your own makeover - styling the CSS of invoices, credit notes and purchase/sales orders is
This gives you the ability to completely change the colours and style of your online invoices, and make adjustments to the layout. We're excited to see what kind of designs you can come up with! You'll need some experience in HTML and CSS - head over to our Customise CSS help document for more information.
Posted by AccountsPortal Jon on 16 January 2016
Stripe is one of the leading online payment providers and has shaken up the market with its seamless integration and highly competitive rates. The pricing model varies from country to country but in the UK, for example, charges are as low as 1.4% + 20p per transaction. This makes Stripe a great option for just about any business or individual looking to accept online payments and keep the associated costs as low as possible.
We are very excited to announce that you can now accept payments through Stripe directly from your AccountsPortal online invoices. This means that you can now get paid even faster, thereby improving your cashflow and have all the information automatically reconciled in your online accounting software.
The entire setup only takes a few minutes.
Posted by Gidon on 06 July 2015
This change is only relevant to VAT registered organisations based in the United Kingdom and will be implemented on 11/07/2015. It impacts the use of the following VAT Treatments (all of which do not allow the use of Tax Rates greater than 0%):
· Sales of Goods to Customer outside EU
· Purchase of Goods from EU Supplier
· Purchase of Services from EU Supplier
· Purchase of Services from Supplier outside EU
Previously, there was no specific Tax Rate defaulting when one of these treatments was used in an Invoice or Bank Transaction. This resulted in Exempt Expense usually being selected as the next available option.
As of 11/07/2015, whenever one of these VAT Treatments is used, the default Tax Rate will be No VAT unless the default is taken from a Bank Import Rule or Product setting. The motivation for this change is that the use of No VAT results the more commonly required outcomes defined in the help document VAT UK – Box by Box.
Posted by Jon Behr on 04 July 2015
If your subscription is associated with one of our Accounting Partners (your organisation was initially set up by your accountant), the accountant’s details will now be displayed in the top right hand side of the screen just below your login information. Please keep in mind that Accounting Partners have full access to your organisation’s financial information.
If you no longer use the services of the accountant, please notify us and we can remove their access accordingly. This is not to be confused with accountants that you may have given access by inviting them to be users from within the Settings of your organisation. You can remove user access in such cases as per the help document on User Permissions.
Posted by AccountsPortal Gidon on 23 March 2015
You can now lock your accounts in AccountsPortal, which will prevent you (or anyone else) from entering any transactions up to a specific date. For example, you may wish to lock your accounts after you have prepared your Annual Financial Statements at the end of the year, or after each VAT report.
To lock your accounts, navigate to your company's Financial Settings and adjust the Lock Date field. You can manually set this to any date that you wish, and as often as you wish.
Once the changes have been saved, then you will not be able to create or edit any transactions with a date on or before the Lock Date.
To change your lock date, update the date displayed in the ‘Lock Date’ field and select ‘Save’.
You can remove all locks by removing the contents of the lock date field. This will allow transactions to be saved with any date.
You can optionally choose to have the lock date automatically updated. If you enable the Auto Lock Date option, then the Lock Date will be automatically set to the End Date of when a VAT/GST/Tax report is saved. Note that if the End Date of the tax report is earlier than the current Lock Date, then the Lock Date will not be updated.
Posted by AccountsPortal Gidon on 09 February 2015
With effect from 1 January 2015, the EU introduced new rules affecting the VAT place of supply for sales of digital services (or eServices) from a business to a consumer. The place of taxation is now determined by the location of the consumer.
Where digital services are supplied on a business to consumer basis, the supplier is responsible for accounting for VAT on the supply to the tax authority at the VAT rate applicable in the consumer’s EU member state. For example, if your company is located in the UK, then this means that a customer who lives in France will need to be charged VAT at the French rate instead of the UK rate.
The new rules only apply where a business meets all of the following criteria:
Businesses outside the EU (for example, the USA) that supply digital services to consumers in one or more EU member state are also affected by the changes.
Only sales to 'consumers' are affected by these changes. Business to business transactions are not affected by these changes - the EU defines a business to business transaction as one where the purchasing business has provided a VAT registration number to the seller. You can also accept other evidence, for example, a link to the customer's website or other commercial documents. If you accept that your customer is in business, then the supply does not fall under the scope of these regulations. Everything else should be treated as 'business to consumer' and is covered by these changes.
An 'eService' is one that is delivered over the Internet (or an electronic network which is reliant on the Internet or similar network for its provision) and is heavily dependent on information technology for its supply - i.e. the service is essentially automated, involving minimal human intervention and in the absence of information technology does not have viability. The definition of electronically supplied services, transcribed from Annex 11 to the 2006 VAT Directive is contained in Section 2 of the VAT Consolidation Act 2010 as follows;
"electronically supplied services" includes -
In order to correctly account for Digital Services transactions in AccountsPortal, you must first create a a new Tax Rate for each country that you are (or intending to) make EU Digital Sales to. Once you have done this, you will be able to use these tax rates in your transactions, where appropriate. You can also create a Digital Services report across any time period, so that you can easily create VAT MOSS reports.
You should carefully follow the appropriate regulations in your country to ensure that you are meeting the requirements. If you are based in the UK, then the relevant documentation can be found on HMRC's website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-supplying-digital-services-to-private-consumers/vat-businesses-supplying-digital-services-to-private-consumers