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Are Self-Employed Traders Vulnerable to Cash Crises? Protect Yourself with Xero and Stay HMRC Compliant

HMRC form with cash
Xero Helps You Stay Tax Compliant

Introduction: The Cash Flow Challenge for Sole Traders

Welcome to JacRox, a brand division of Jack Ross Chartered Accountants in Manchester. We are dedicated to offering expert Xero services to a wide variety of clients, from sole traders to large corporations. If you are in need of state-of-the-art cloud accounting software, use the contact form on the right and one of our JacRox team will be in touch to discuss next steps.

 
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, and for sole traders in the UK, managing it effectively is even more critical. With tax compliance, late payments and financial forecasting complexities, sole traders often find themselves walking a tightrope. This article explores how Xero, an award-winning cloud accounting software, can help you mitigate financial risks and secure your business.
 

Understanding tax liabilities

 
HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) has complex tax rules that sole traders must navigate. From income tax and national insurance contributions to VAT returns and corporation tax, keeping on top of your tax liabilities can be a daunting task.

Making Tax Digital: The new norm

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is an HMRC initiative launched in April 2019 to make it easier for businesses and individuals to get their taxes right. For sole traders, MTD has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it simplifies tax reporting. Conversely, it requires tech-savvy skills to interact with compliant software solutions such as Xero.

Xero: A partner for compliance and financial management

Why choose Xero?

Xero offers a range of features tailored to the needs of sole traders. Its user-friendly interface and robust features make it easy to track income and expenses, generate invoices and even plan for tax.

Xero and Making Tax Digital

Xero is fully compliant with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital requirements. From managing your VAT returns to preparing your self-assessment tax return, Xero ensures you seamlessly meet all your compliance needs.

The Jack Ross Team has been an absolute delight. Professional, nice and fast during the Audit procedure. Thank you Jack Ross Team.

Very good service from the Jack Ross Team. They gave us good advice and completed a very efficient audit. They have a friendly and competent team. I would surely recommend them.

Brilliant service from the Jack Ross team in setting up several companies in very quick time, along with providing associated accountancy advice. Can recommend wholeheartedly as a leading accountancy practice with a can-do attitude.

Dan Gazzard 25/02/2022
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First class service for many years from a first class team. Highly recommended. Prompt, commercially aware, personable.

Been using Jack Ross for a number of years. Good clear advice and nice people to do business with.

Jack Ross is based in Manchester and provides tax planning and Xero accounts. They are a long-standing and well-regarded firm with an excellent reputation. They provide their clients with exceptional service and a wealth of advice. I have no hesitation in using their professional services.

aj shelton 22/12/2021
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Jack Ross has been my accountants since I set up my business in 2016. From the outset I was helped with advice, support and encouragement. I cannot commend them highly enough. Always on hand to answer any question and responsive to any changes in the economy which might concern their clients. I don’t have to worry about the financial side of my business as all of that is taken care of and dealt with by Umar and the brilliant team. If you are looking for a top class accountancy firm which maintains the personal touch they are for you!

I would recommend this account, knowledgable and helpful

syra bano 16/11/2019
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I can confidently recommend Jack Ross Accountants. They are continually improving their service, greatly benefiting our company as well as me personally. The team at Jack Ross have helped suggest and set up innovative accounting software, adding training and support. This alone has been a massive step towards having more control and understanding of our company finances.

J 13/08/2018
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We have enjoyed a solid and constructive relationship with JackRoss and Can highly recommend them for accountancy services.

We have been working with Jack Ross for over two years and the service has been fantastic. They have a great and knowledgable team who have taken good care of us and our accounts.

Meeting to review annual accounts and discuss future plans. Very productive as they definitely talk my language - on reflection probably the best such meeting in recent years. Many thanks Umar and Jamie

Jack Ross has serviced my Personal Tax requirements for the last 5 years. During some complicated challenges their advice was excellent and the customer service second to none and left me with no doubt all was in hand.

Following a recommendation, I have used Jack Ross for all my accounting needs (including payroll) since the inception of my business over 12 years ago. The relationship has been completely hassle free and I greatly value their service, which goes well beyond preparation of accounts. Their tax planning advice has been really helpful and I have always felt that they have ‘got my back’. Can’t recommend them enough.

We have finally found the Accountancy firm that we have been looking for! We switched over to Jack Ross towards the end of last year and from the very first contact to the recent submission of our end of year accounts the service provided has been fantastic and has easily exceeded our expectations. Thank you!

oliver kirk 22/03/2018
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Excellent service; very helpful people and work done much quicker than I expected.

Paul Clark 29/09/2017
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I have used Jack Ross as my accountants for a number of years. Their service is professional and accurate. They deal with queries promptly and I can always get hold of the person I need to speak to. Their digital product has made a big difference to the efficiency of my business. I would not hesitate to recommend them.

Benjamin 22/02/2017
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Jack Ross have been my family and business accountants and financial advisors for over 50 years. The delivery of services is second to none and i would recommend them to anyone. We have also built up great friendships over the years, above and beyond that of a normal business relationship which i value greatly.

Rob Cowan 22/02/2017
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We have been looked after by jack Ross for a number of years. They have given us fantastic tax advise and helped our company grow from strength to strength. A & f

Fee Munshi 16/02/2017
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Excellent advice and an understandable explanation of a very complex area of tax and corporate law which other (so called) advisors managed to totally confuse me. Thank you.

I have had a relationship with Jack Ross for several years and continue to be impressed by the proactive support and diligent advice received across the breadth of the firm. Excellent at signposting.

Holly Jones 14/02/2017
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Jack Ross have acted for our law company for over 5 years and have been professional, prompt, and knowledgable in all aspects of our dealing with them.

The impact of IR35 legislation

 Understanding IR35

IR35 tax legislation is designed to combat tax avoidance by employees who provide their services to clients through an intermediary, such as a limited company, but who would be an employee if the intermediary were not used? While it is primarily aimed at contractors, sole traders should also be aware of it as potential future legislation could bring them within its scope.
 

IR35 and Xero

 While Xero does not directly deal with IR35 compliance, understanding your income and expenses through the software can help you assess whether the legislation could catch you if it were extended to sole traders.

Financial Forecasting and Cash Flow Management

The importance of forecasting

Financial forecasting is crucial for any business, but even more so for sole traders with limited resources. Xero provides tools to help you create realistic forecasts to prepare for the end of the year and avoid any nasty surprises.

How Xero helps with cash flow management

Late payments are the scourge of small businesses and sole traders. Xero provides features to track payments and send automated client reminders, improving your cash flow.

Outsourcing: Is it worth it?

The pros and cons of outsourcing your accounts

Given the complexity of tax laws and financial management, many sole traders consider outsourcing their accounting needs. While this offers the benefit of expert advice, it is an additional cost to consider. Xero offers a cost-effective alternative by automating many functions you might outsource.

Year-end preparation and succession planning

 Prepare your accounts with Xero.

As the tax year ends, usually on 6 April in the UK, preparing your annual accounts becomes a priority. Xero simplifies this process and helps you allocate income and expenses accurately.

Succession planning for sole traders

Succession planning may seem far-fetched for a sole trader, but it is a crucial aspect of business continuity. Xero can help with this planning by providing a clear snapshot of your business performance, assets and liabilities.

Industry-specific accounting with Xero

Tailor Xero to your type of business.

Different industries have unique accounting needs. Xero allows for customisation, which can help you set up industry-specific accounting features to make your financial management more accurate.

Xero and e-commerce

For those in the e-commerce sector, Xero offers integration with platforms such as Shopify. This makes it easier to manage transactions, inventory and even cross-border payments.

Webinars and additional resources

Xero offers a range of webinars and online resources tailored to sole traders. Whether you are a freelancer or contractor, these resources offer valuable insights into tax, finance and accounting.

Bottom line: Protect your sole trader business with Xero

Running a sole trader account comes with its own unique set of challenges. The responsibilities can be overwhelming, from complying with HMRC regulations to managing your cash flow and planning for the future. But with Xero’s comprehensive suite of features tailored for sole traders, you can easily tackle these challenges. Xero helps you stay compliant and empowers you to take control of your financial future.
 
For more specific advice, contact an accountant who understands the needs and responsibilities of sole traders. Use the contact form below and one of our JacRox Xero specialists will be in touch. Your journey to financial security and business productivity begins here.
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Depending on your sector and size, setting up as a sole trader can be relatively straightforward, although tax registration can take longer. To set up as a sole trader in the UK, you must first register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and notify them of any other sources of income, such as employment income or benefits. You will also need to keep records of all transactions relating to your business.

Your self-assessment tax return shows how much money you owe in tax based on your income from different sources over a while (usually a year). To calculate it accurately, you need to make sure that you accurately record all your income, calculate any allowable expenses against that income and deduct any relevant allowances from it before arriving at an annual total.

You must file your self-assessment tax return by midnight on 31 January following each financial year that ends on 5 April. Late filing penalties apply after this date, so you must file on time.

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Speak to a Xero Expert Today!

Take advantage of harnessing the full potential of Xero for your business. Whether you're a start-up, a thriving SME, or a larger enterprise, our Xero-certified accountants are ready to guide you through every step. Please fill out the form below, and let's begin your financial transformation.

Request a Call Back Now to get access to Xero experts 

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