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Best Franchise Award Winner EWIF New Franchisor of the Year 2013

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Entrepreneurs at Kent 2020 Vision live 2013 business show

Entrepreneurs at Kent 2020 Vision live 2013 business show

Winners of Best Franchise Award 2012 – November 2012

Winners of Best Franchise Award 2012 – November 2012

Cloud Bookkeeping are over the moon winning Best Growing Franchisor 2012 at the recent Best Franchise Awards held in Oxford and sponsored by Lloyds Bank TSB. The awards were presented by Nick Holzherr, 2012 Apprentice Finalist.

The awards are based on feedback from thousands of franchisees and the winners represent those franchisors that best deliver on their promises, have proven franchise systems and support, and offer the best franchise opportunities. Cloud Bookkeeping scored an impressive 95% overall satisfaction from its franchisees and scored 100% for 24 out of the 29 criteria.

Top franchisors from the franchisee feedback were then invited to present to a judging panel led by Richard Holden, Head of Franchising at Lloyds TSB.

Cloud team meet up to hear inspirational speakers

 

Last Friday saw the second Cloud Development Day this year, where everyone descends on Head Office for a full packed day of networking, talks and the latest Cloud Developments from Mandy.

We picked some invaluable, practical and inspirational tips from Brad Burton (Founder of 4Networking). He certainly knows how to motivate people!

 

copy4_of_AngusfromActionCoach.JPGAngus Lyon from ActionCoach was also one of our speakers on the day and again he shared some great business insights for all of us which was really helpful.

We also learnt about the requirements for the new Real Time Information regulations coming into action next year from our Payroll Division Specialist, Alison Godwin. As you can see from this photo, we’re pretty excited about this!

As usual, we had great feedback from our expanding Cloud team with everyone saying how good it is to meet up quarterly to bounce ideas around and feel part of such a great, unique team of people who are passionate about delivering an outstanding bookkeeping service to our clients.  We’re looking forward to our next one in December. In fact we’ve already booked it along with our Christmas dinner!

Business Success Show in Berkshire

We had a really productive time at the Business Success Show in Berkshire held at the Madejski Stadium in Reading.

There were over 60 stands at the show and as usual our stand attracted a lot of people!

As well as getting client leads we had the opportunity to meet up again with the many business owners and contacts we meet at all the  networking events we attend.

It was lovely to be told  that Cloud Bookkeeping, the brand, is becoming very well known in Berkshire!

Here’s a photo of the Berkshire Cloud Bookkeeping Team. Harriet Disdale (Wokingham), John Cox (Newbury), Sue Raison (Reading) with Mandy Bagot the Founder.

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Another excellent franchise show!

The Cloud Bookkeeping team always love attending franchise shows. It’s great to meet so many different people who are looking to set up their own business.

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As usual, we came back to the office with some excellent leads of potential prospects for vacant Cloud Bookkeeping territories but we also were able to advise other people who visited our stand on how to set up a highly effective bookkeeping system for their new business. We know that for many new business owners this often slips down the list of priorities but something we hear time and time again from our clients is, “We wish we’d started working with you sooner!

It was great to network with other suppliers at the show too and again we were able to explain how Cloud based bookkeeping software would help them to manage their accounts even more effectively!


It was great to hear that our franchisee for the Romford area, Dharam was fully booked for all his sessions of ‘A Day In The Life Of A Franchisee’. This was such a popular slot and we hope we can offer this session again at future franchise shows.

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We’re on ‘Cloud Nine’ seeing this great coverage in the Reading Post!

Excuse the pun but it had to be done! We’re absolutely thrilled with the write up in the local Reading Post following our attendance at the excellent Franchise Expo in Reading.

Our local Cloud Bookkeeper for the Reading area, Sue Raison, and myself set up our usual bright, fresh stand and immediately attracted a lot of attention!

Sue was able to answer lots of questions about keeping good records ‘in the cloud’ and explained a lot about the various cloud based software that we use. This was particularly useful for many of the attendee’s as many of them were going into business for the first time (by purchasing a franchise).

And here’s a picture of me sitting on the experts panel at the event answering questions from women interested in franchising.

Great day all round!

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Magical Networking!

For those of you who follow my blogs and social networks, you know I’m a huge advocate of business networking. The Cloud Bookkeeping team regularly attend BNI and 4N meetings and we also support Athena and W.I.B.N groups too.

We share best practice around the team so we can all help each other to make the most out of attending the groups, both in terms of what we’re able to contribute as well as take from the meetings.

I have to share a story with you about an event I attended last week. There was the usual mix of interesting business owners but it was the business magician who really wowed me with his ‘business lesson magic trick’. Believe me, it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to this sort of thing but since meeting him my mind has been buzzing with ideas as to how we may be able to weave in some bookkeeping lessons at our Business Development Days!

Networking is also a reminder about what a small world it is. I met our stationery provider who I usually only deal with online or over the ‘phone. He was able to give me further insights into his business which resulted in more business for him and hopefully some interesting opportunities for us.

Keeping your social networks secure.

Following last week’s news that over 6 billion LinkedIn users had their accounts hacked into this was just another reminder as to how vulnerable social media users can be when they’re using simple, easy to remember passwords.

Twitter account users have also had their fair share of account hacking and it’s not just social networks that get affected, websites are frequently hacked into.

All this is potentially damaging to you, your business which ultimately costs time and money.

On the Cloud Bookkeeping team, we always recommend that people use a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols and make sure the password is as random as possible. This makes it much more secure.

There are lots of Apps out there now that can help keep all your passwords together. Alternatively, a password protected spreadsheet (something which you can remember easily!) typed in ‘white’ text, so to all intents and purposes it looks like a blank document, works really well. All you need to do to see your passwords (that only you know are there!) is to go over and highlight the text to red or another colour and low and behold, they appear!

So spend a few moments making sure all your accounts are as secure as you can make them. It’s well worth investing a few moments to get this system in place.

Another highly inspirational business development day with the Cloud Bookkeeping team!

We love our business development days! It’s great to have a day out so we can focus on updating ourselves with all the latest news and exchanging ideas and best practices with one another. The room is always buzzing! If you can come up with a collective term for a group of bookkeepers buzzing (polite ones only!) we’d love to hear them!

dinner001.jpgHere’s a photo of our Marketing Manager, Louise Heasman, during her marketing session in the afternoon. Lots of great tips and advice shared between us which we’re also able to roll out to our clients.

dinner002.jpgAnd here’s a photo of us at the end of the day. Look, we’re still smiling!

dinner003.jpgAt Cloud Bookkeeping, we always like to mix business and pleasure so here’s a photo of us in a local Tapas bar having a much deserved celebration to the end of a great day!

If you run your own payroll you need to be aware of the changes being introduced by HRMC

Run your own payroll?

Will you be ready for Real Time Information being introduced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that will be compulsory for all employers from October 2013 (although this may start from April 2013)?

Here’s a scenario we’ve taken from the HMRC website:

Question : “I run a manual payroll for eight employees. What do I have to do for RTI?”

Answer: Using RTI, you will tell HMRC about tax, National Insurance Contributions and other deductions when or before you pay your employees, instead of waiting until after the end of the tax year. You will need to send this information to HMRC online before or at the time the payment is made.

If you are a small employer (i.e. with nine or fewer employees) you can use either the free HMRC Basic PAYE Tools package or commercial payroll software which will allow you to submit the data to HMRC when you complete the payroll.

We recommend that employers with more than nine employees use more appropriate software available from commercial software providers.

At Cloud Bookkeeping we’re obviously going to makng sure that all our clients are fully aware of the changes. If you’d like to find out further details about RTI please take a look on the HM Revenue and Customs website:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rti/employerfaqs.htm#1

We’d also recommend you discuss the changes with your accountant and/or you can give us a ring on 020 3137 2878.

Young Enterprise long service award

young.png I’ve always been passionate about throwing myself into the local community and one role I’m believe to make such a difference to young people is the Young Enterprise Scheme.

Young Enterprise is getting a much deserved higher profile now and I think this has a lot to do with TV programmes like Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice.

It was a real honour and a surprise though to receive a long service award from YE Harrow and Brent where I’ve been serving on the Board since March 2007.

I thoroughly enjoyed mentoring the young people running their YE businesses, judging the trade stands at the competition and recently it’s been extremely rewarding delivering the finance training using the unique YE cloud based accounting software in the after school sessions.

If you’re a business owner who hasn’t considered getting involved and would love to mentor bussing entrepreneurs or supporting your local YE board I’d really recommend you look into it. http://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/

 

Another excellent Cloud based bookkeeping solution

Cloud Bookkeeping attended the xero accounting software partner day in London run by Gary Turner who is the xero UK MD. It was a great opportunity to learn about their exciting new developments including a mobile app to take photos of all your expense receipts you pick up on your travels which are instantly uploaded onto xero, automatic bank statements transactions straight into xero and real time cash flow position on your phone! How cool is that?

Seriously, we’re really impressed with so much of the practical, innovate solutions that xero software provides for busy business owners.

At Cloud Bookkeeping, we always match the best cloud based bookkeeping solution around the needs of the business and of course the business owner.

As always, if you’d like to know more about how cloud based bookkeeping solutions may benefit your business please get in touch.

On a closing note, as I travelled by train to the event I just happened to see Gary’s face staring out at me in the latest 4Networking magazine! If you’d like to take a peek, you can find his interview on Page 12. www.4community.biz Small world!

 

 

Double Dip Recession in the UK

With the unexpected news this week that we’re back in recession http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17836624 it’s absolutely vital that business owners keep on top of their figures.

A good bookkeeper should deliver monthly Profit and Loss reports with budgets along with results from last year so it’s easy to compare the figures.

This shouldn’t take a good bookkeeper any time at all to produce as it should all be available on the bookkeeping software and access (assuming its set up correctly of course!) is at the click of a button.

It will come as no surprise when I say this is simply standard practice by our team here at Cloud Bookkeeping!

Cloud Bookkeeping exhibit at the Thames Valley Franchise Show!

Thames Valley Franchise ShowWe’re still on a high following yesterday’s event! The Thames Valley Franchise show was professionally organised and we were impressed with the quality of the people visiting our stand. We have an impressive amount of leads to follow up which is great news. So lots of new potentials to recruit to our ever growing, high quality, Cloud Bookkeeping team!

Here’s a photo of me with Sue Raison our Reading franchisee. It was great having Sue on hand to speak to people as she was able to explain why she chose Cloud Bookkeeping over other franchise opportunities and also about how her own experience running her franchise area.

Book-Keeping Tip: Don’t forget about your web-based receipts!

These are often small, regular web based payments for subscriptions, IT support and purchases and obtaining the receipt is often neglected and no vat is reclaimed!

There is usually an option to request these receipts to be emailed to you after each payment is collected. Sometimes this isn’t obvious though when you sign up to these things.

It only takes a moment to change this though. Simply go into your account settings and I’m sure you’ll find the option there or alternatively give your log in details to your book-keeper and they can do this on your behalf.

Setting up this process will help you to save money by reducing the amount of time your book-keeper needs to reconcile your accounts and will often reduce your vat liability .

These ‘little’ things all add up!

Encouraging Women into Franchising Awards Event

Since the first Awards ceremony back in 2010, EWIF, is continuing to go from strength to strength. As a Director of EWIF, I find every time I attend a EWIF event that I’m always truly inspired by the ground-breaking results so many remarkable women are achieving in the franchising world.

EWIFWinner.jpgThe Outstanding Contribution to Women in Franchising went to Rosemary Conley. There was a standing ovation and clearly everyone thought she thoroughly deserved this recognition. Rosemary accepted the award and delivered a very humble acceptance speech. She’s clearly a woman of high values and this was obvious from the way she spoke in such a caring way about her franchisees and the women who attend their Diet & Fitness classes. A real inspiration!

 

EWIFfinalist.jpgThis year I also had the honour of becoming a finalist in the New Woman Franchisor of the year 2011 (I hasten to add I wasn’t on the judging panel for this award!) and here’s a photo of me along with the winner Louise Harris and the other finalists. Louise, as the only woman in a chimney sweep franchise was a worthy winner!

 

 

EWIFTeamphoto.jpgAnd final photo I’d like to share with you is one with me and two members from my Head Office Team, Tamsin Appaya-Bagot and Louise Heasman along with Sally Findlay who is one of the top performing Recognition Express franchisee’s and is also our brilliant promotional goods supplier!

 

 

We all had a fabulous day and once again it was great to network with some amazing women who are really making such a difference in the franchising world. Here’s to building an even bigger and better event next year!

President of the British Association (BFA) visits Cloud Bookkeeping

President of the British Association (BFA) visits Cloud Bookkeeping

BFA President Sir Bernard Ingham and BFA director Brian Smart with Mandy Bagot, founder of Cloud Bookkeeping

Cloud Bookkeeping were delighted when the President of the BFA Sir Bernard Ingham and the BFA director general Brian Smart came to our stand at the British Franchise Exhibition at Olympia in March 2012, to acknowledge our accreditation by the BFA to Associate membership after having demonstrated good franchising practice and meeting the BFA’s standards and Code of Ethics.

Cloud Bookkeeping exhibits at the British Franchise exhibition, Olympia

Cloud Bookkeeping exhibits at the British Franchise exhibition, Olympia

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Mandy Bagot (founder), Heather Hartley(trainer), and Dharam Singh (franchise owner Romford) on our stand at the British Franchise Exhibition Olympia, we had a busy but exciting time meeting so many people passionate about our outsourced bookkeeping based on the latest cloud technology and our Prism Process workflow templates and checklists.

Mandy Bagot was one of the main speakers at the ICB Bookkeepers Summit in London

Cloud bookkeepers exhibit at the Business Start Up Show, Earls Court, Nov 11

Our Cloud Bookkeepers had a busy 2 days exhibiting at the Business Start up which was bigger than ever before.

So many people showed an interest in our stand and we had a great response from business owners and
accountants needing bookkeepers and have lots of leads to follow up!

A busy time ahead!