Posts by Hill Amanda

Bookkeeping and GDPR; Payroll

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) starts from May 25th, 2018. This means complying with new regulations. The regulation gives more rights to individuals, about the way their personal information is used and increases obligations of businesses, to ensure that any personal data they collect has been obtained with agreement from the individual.

In accordance with GDPR, bookkeepers who run payroll must keep all personal data up to date and must ensure that it is secure. As a bookkeeping organisation, we are here to help and here is our advice on helping you with GDPR:

Firstly, start by understanding what information is stored, why it is stored, and how is it stored:

  • What information is stored?
  • Why is the information stored?
  • Is the information stored securely?
  • Can the information be stored differently?
  • Do multiple members of staff have access to information?

Organisations outsourcing payroll to a bookkeeper means that information such as names, date of births, national insurance numbers, addresses and salaries are needed. Go through each item of data stored on an individual and ask the question ‘Is this needed for the payroll process?’ Any information that is not needed and confirmed with the client as not needed, delete it. Every item of personal data being processed or stored needs to be logged with a clear reason stating why it is being stored or processed, and for how long the information will be kept.

However, the information identified as not needed for payroll may still be needed to be stored by the client for their records. The client should fully understand your role as a bookkeeper and the need to store or delete the information as necessary. The information needs to be checked and updated regularly, so a process needs to be in place to make this happen, between a bookkeeper and their client. With GDPR, any information held must be reviewed and brought in line with the new regulation or deleted.

As a bookkeeper, your organisation or yourself as an individual, understanding GDPR for your client’s sake is essential. A number of your clients may be smaller businesses, sole traders or self-employed individuals; who are unsure of the implications of GDPR to them as a business owner. Ensure you understand the basics of GDPR:

  • Fines for non-compliance are significant, based on a percentage of turnover; up to £20 million pounds or 4% of annual turnover.
  • Individuals can request copies of their personal data electronically and this must be complied with, for free, within one month.
  • Organisations can no longer assume implied or negative consent with pictures. In the past, organisations have been able to assume consent unless people advise otherwise. This is not the case with GDPR; these cannot be used unless specific consent has been obtained. It is not enough to have a sign or statement asking people to opt out.
  • Organisations are required to formally document what data is processed, why it is processed and make this clear within Privacy Statements.


The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is a useful website to visit, which provides helpful guidance on complying with GDPR, as well as easy to understand blogs to read that cover IT security, the myths of GDPR and how your organisation needs to adhere to GDPR. You can visit their website here.

Read more

How You Can Achieve a Healthy Work Life Balance

While many of us may not see it, working too hard is affecting our free time more these days. This means less time with family and friends, as well as losing out on sleep and relaxation.

The world of business is more competitive than ever, so our automatic reaction is to work as hard as we can. Although this can mean financial success, it could also mean that our personal health may suffer as a result.

Here are our top tips on how you can achieve a healthy work life balance:

Do Not Let E-mails Rule Your World…

This can be very difficult, especially for those who are self-employed, but constantly monitoring our emails just means that we are not getting the rest we need, which neither benefits us or our clients. As such, you should make it clear as to what times you can be contacted. An out of office reply also allows you to politely inform your customers or clients of a time you will be back in the office to respond to their e-mail.

Of course, not all companies and individuals can follow this process, but they shouldn’t assume they must tackle e-mails alone, as even self-employed individuals can hire help should they require it. As such, if you have e-mails that need to be constantly monitored or replied to, then why not consider a virtual assistant service? Not only can this be a cost-effective solution, but it also ensures that you’re getting the rest you need.

Sometimes, You Simply Must Say No…

While it’s not easy to admit, the fact is that some of us can be too nice for our own good. Many people like to appease their employer by trying to meet a series of challenging demands, but sometimes, it’s just not realistic. In this regard, you shouldn’t be afraid of saying no. Consider the other option, you take on the work and find that you’re just not able to complete it. This will have a more detrimental impact on your character than saying no, so don’t feel you must be superhuman; we all have our limits!

Work Smart…

Many would assume that the harder we work, the more we get done. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, as many will be able to testify. As such, we should look to work smarter, rather than harder. Some may struggle with this, but you’d be surprised at how productive instilling such a habit can be.

For example, all high-priority tasks should be given a realistic time limit for completion. Giving unrealistic turnaround times only means that your personal time is being affected as a result.

Many people now outsource what they simply do not have time to do; bookkeeping, social media, marketing, recruitment, admin and so on. Of course, many may assume that they cannot afford such a service but consider this. If you’re able to keep on top of all your tasks with such a small investment, it can only furnish you with more rewards moving forward, especially when it comes to money.

Work is Work & Home is Home…

While it can be difficult to split the two, it’s important that where possible, we know when to leave work alone. Again, in today’s hustle and bustle, it can be easy to feel lazy for doing so, but we’re all entitled to some much-needed respite.

Again, it’s completely understandable that some of us become anxious when trying to commit to such an endeavour, but outsourcing tasks can mean that you’re able to rest up, without the constant worry of an overwhelming inbox when you return.

It also means that you’re able to maintain a healthy relationship with loved ones at home, as they will not be frustrated that you’re constantly engaging with work, which can also help reduce stress and anxiety.

Set Your Own Guidelines…

When it comes to dealing with overwhelming amounts of work, it’s easy to bury our head in the sand and hope for the best. However, a more pro-active way of addressing such issues is to be clear in the beginning as to what your availability is, and when they can expect to receive the finished work.

Some of your clients may not be happy that their work is not top priority, but they will be disappointed when they don’t get the completed work by the expected deadlines. As such, clarity is key, and it stops unwanted bouts of stress.

Read more

GDPR Checklist for Businesses

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) starts on 25th May 2018. Businesses will have to comply with the GDPR requirements, or face the possibility of a fine; up to £20 million pounds or 4% of annual global turnover.

The regulation gives more rights to individuals, about the way their personal information is used and increases obligations of businesses, to ensure that any personal data they collect has been obtained with agreement from the individual. Some of the current obligations already exist, under the Data Protection Act.

Here is a basic check list for businesses regarding GDPR:

  • Ensure that they have a lawful basis for collecting and using personal information; such as consent from the individual concerned or a contractual agreement.
  • Provide more information about the collection and processing of personal information upfront and in a more transparent and easily accessible way.
  • Maintain records about all the personal information they hold and how it is collected, stored and used.
  • Appoint a Data Protection Officer within the business or a virtual Data Protection Officer.
  • Respond to requests for rectification within one month or three months for more complex requests.
  • Inform third parties who have received personal data where the data in question needs to be restricted or erased.
  • Immediately stop using personal information for direct marketing where a request for this has been made.
  • Comply with stricter requirements where personal information is held about children.


If you would like any advice or guidance on GDPR for your business, visit The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO); you can visit their website here.

Read more

New GDPR Rules for UK Businesses

Data protection rules across the United Kingdom and Europe are set to changeIf you run a small business and collect personal data from customers, then you need to know what’s happening.

The new set of rules is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it comes into play on the 25th May, 2018. Described as, “the biggest change to data protection law for a generation,” every small business must be up to date with this.

Many people are asking a very relevant question; what will these new rules mean for the way small businesses approach their online marketing? For sending marketing emails to promote their business?

An Overview of Data Protection

The aim of data protection laws is to stop non-regulated businesses misusing personal information and to make sure that businesses keep private information secure. Personal information can be anything from someone’s name, to their credit card number or other financial data.

Some examples of misuse include selling email addresses to spammers or sending unsolicited marketing material. Simply speaking, if your business collects personal information (which most businesses do) and misuses that information, or fails to keep it secure, then you could face a fine.

How will the new rules change the way my business does online marketing?

The aim of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to introduce a standard set of data protection rules across the European Union. In the United Kingdom, we already have a reasonably strict set of data protection rules in place. This means that small businesses that comply with existing legislation will not have to change a huge amount to make sure they comply with the new rules.

However, there are a couple of important changes which you will need to take into consideration, especially if you use the personal data you collect to send marketing messages to people. If you want to market your business to someone using their personal information, then you need to get complete permission from each person. For online marketing, that means asking users to tick a box, indicting they are happy to be sent marketing messages from you.

In the past, some businesses may have used a pre-ticked box and asked people to untick it if they didn’t want to receive marketing messages, but under the new rules this will not be allowed. If any disputes arise about whether someone has opted in to receive marketing messages, it will be down to your business to prove that they did. Ensure you keep a record of all the people who opted in to receive marketing messages. People who you contact will also have the right to ask you to delete any data you hold on them (regardless of whether that data is used for marketing), so consider this when updating your records.

What about my existing marketing lists?

If you are already marketing to people who actively opted in to receive messages from you, then you don’t have to ask them to opt in again when the new rules come into force. However, if they didn’t actively opt in, you will need to get complete consent from them, to continue sending messages. It is a good idea to be safe rather than sorry here and make sure you have this consent on record, before GDPR takes effect.

Can I send marketing messages without permission?

Yes, but they must be considered for a legitimate use. Marketing messages are allowed, only if they are considered a legitimate use of the data your business holds.

For it to be considered a legitimate use, there must be a clear relationship between your business and the person you send marketing messages to. For example, existing customers would except to hear from you. They may have recently purchased a product from you or they may have an account with you.

To ensure you are adhering to the new rules, it is best to obtain complete consent wherever possible.

What about physical marketing messages?

If you are sending out things like letters or special offers to people, then the General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) will also apply to this kind of marketing too.

What about Brexit?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into play in May, 2018. This is at least one year before the Brexit process is complete. That means whatever happens, there is a period where UK firms must comply with the new rules. It is also possible that the United Kingdom will decide to keep the new GDPR rules, even after Brexit happens.


“If your organisation can’t demonstrate that good data protection is a cornerstone of your business policy and practices, you’re leaving your organisation open to enforcement action that can damage both public reputation and bank balance. But there’s a carrot here as well as a stick: get data protection right, and you can see a real business benefit.” Information Commisioner, Elizabeth Denham.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a huge topic, so you can find out all the information you need here on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

You can read the ‘12 Steps to Prepare for GDPR’ here. This has an updated and more focused guidance on the need to prepare for the new data protection rules which will take place from May 2018.

Read more

5 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping

When you started your business, did you do so with the intention of spending countless hours dealing with your finances? We didn’t think so.

As a business owner, delegation is key to the success of your company growing. Why? You need to concentrate on running your business and if you are doing the bookkeeping, social media, wages, recruitment and so on…how can you possibly manage everything? There’s an old saying, “You can do anything, but not everything.”

You should consider outsourcing your bookkeeping for many reasons, but especially due to the importance of keeping your finances up to date and let’s be honest; they are the experts in what they do.

Here are our top 5 benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping:

  1. Saves You Time: If you have your own business, you know there is never enough time! There is never enough time to do everything and often, not enough time to enjoy the rewards of running your own business. So, by outsourcing your bookkeeping, you can concentrate on running your business and maybe even enjoy some you time.
  2. Saves You Money: Outsourcing your bookkeeping not only saves you time, but it is also surprisingly reasonable price wise. We understand that money can be restricted if you run a small business; which is why affordable packages are available. Tailored to your needs and not ours, bookkeeping packages start from just £15 per month.
  3. Gives You Access to Expertise: All of our team are members of various professional financial institutions, and we are specialists in most areas of business. Whatever particular business niche your company operates in, we can provide you with excellent bookkeeping services that will really save you money. As a firm, we are incredibly proud to be recognised as the number one most recommended bookkeepers in the UK, out of 3,350 listed bookkeepers.
  4. A Team of People on Standby: We have a team of people available to match to your industry and size of business. The way we work enables everyone to work in the same way and this means our bookkeepers expertise can really benefit your business. If you need a question answering or a real conversation, you can just pick up the phone and we can offer our knowledge and expertise. So, you receive the best service possible, for a reasonable price.
  5. Keeping Up to Date: Your bookkeeping being up to date is important and if you haven’t got time, a week can quickly turn into a month and before you know it, receipts are piling up everywhere! The reality is, by having someone else do your bookkeeping, you never have to worry about it.

 If you would like to find out more about the benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping, please get in touch with us by email , call us on 0203 6331340 or visit our website

Read more




Telephone number:






Telephone number:






Telephone number: