Philip Fierlinger, Xero – Yammer (2:44)

Xero iPhone & iPad icons

Just wanted to let iPhone and iPad users know that we’ve just uploaded icons into the Xero application and Help Center so that you have handy one-touch access to these sites from your home screen.

They look pretty snazzy on my iPhone, and obviously I’m rather partial to the Help Center one!

Note these are shortcut icons that display if you log into Xero (go.xero.com) or the mobile version of Xero (m.xero.com) or go to Help Center (help.xero.com) and choose ‘Add to Home Screen’ from your device’s browser.

The Cloud

Financial snapshots

Today we’ve launched Financial Snapshots – personalised email updates that let you know how you’re tracking with your finances in Xero Personal. These are a great way to keep on top of things, especially if you’re time poor.

You get to choose the exact details you’ll be sent. For instance this might include bank account balances and planned payments. You can also include summary details of how well you’re doing on your spending and savings goals to keep you motivated.

You decide how often you receive the Snapshots, which can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly or you may choose to turn them off.

If you’re a Xero Personal customer you’ll receive your first Snapshot in coming days. Be sure to update your preferences so you get the right information at the right time. See Help for how for to do this.

Online bookkeeping programs

Below is a list of Online bookkeeping programs. I have used them all and my comments are below each link.

Xero is my personal favorite. I have my own practice accounts in Xero. Its reliable, its easy to use and it integrates with a lot of other SAAS applications from CRM packages like Sales force to POS systems.
Kashflow Just like Xero, Kashflow is beautifully simple to use. Based in the UK Kashflow is slightly easier for UK based businesses in terms of VAT reporting.
Outright Unlike the other packages Outright is completely free. It is very much US focused and only supports dollars.

Yodlee bank feeds update for Australia

We’re making excellent progress with the first phase of our Yodlee integration which will extend our bank feeds to many more financial institutions in Australia. We had been hoping to launch this new service on Monday 18 October, but we need some more time to complete the testing to ensure that everything works as it should from day one.

We’re now planning to release this service in the week after the 18th. We’ll post a release outage notification in Xero a few days before, confirming the final release date and time.

We’re sorry for this short delay, but we promise you it is worth the wait. Thanks for your patience!

5 iPad apps for business

I’ve been using my iPad for about a month now and Im finding it very useful for business. The big advantage for me is the boot up time. Even from hibernate my laptop takes a few minutes to get going and the keyboard on my iPhone is a little too small for typing.

Below are my 5 favorite iPad business apps

1. Evernote I’ve been using evernote on my PC and iPhone for about 6 months now and I love it. Simple to use. Great search function which can even search text or handwriting inside photos and of course its free.
2. iSpreadsheet Being an accountant I couldn’t do without a spreadsheet app. iSpreadsheet has a pretty decent free version which I have used to edit a few spreadsheets when my laptop wasn’t nearby. Apple have their own iWork numbers app which I have used and its excellent but for most light business users iSpreadsheet is fine.
3.Good Reader As well as being an excellent PDF reader GoodReader can also view Word, Excel, PNG, TXT, JPEG files. I’ve a few massive 500 page technical documents on Goodreader and there easy to browse and easy to read. GoodReader has a WiFi transfer option and can read files from a web-server.
4.Whiteboard Pro I use whiteboard pro for taking very quick notes or drawings and emailing them off to clients and colleagues. Theres also a pretty good free version.
5. Drop Box Is great for mobile worker. Its cloud storage solution with a 2gb free plan. Dropbox works on iPhone, iPad PC and mac Automatically syncs when new files or changes are detected.

Professional services withholding tax

What is Professional Services Withholding Tax?
Professional Services Withholding Tax(PSWT) Is a deduction from payments made by certain public bodies for professional services provided to them. These bodies are known as accountable persons for the purposes of the PSWT scheme.

Is Professional Services Withholding Tax Another form of Taxation?
(PSWT) is not an additional tax. It is a deduction on account, made at the point of payment, of the final liability of the person who provides the professional service. PSWT is deducted at the standard rate of income tax.

It should be noted that PSWT is deducted from the total amount of the payment for the professional service involved, including, in general, any amount in respect of expenses, outlay or third party costs, but excluding any VAT charged by the person providing the service.

Which public bodies must deduct PSWT?

The following public bodies are regarded as accountable persons and are required to deduct PSWT from payments made by them in respect of professional services:

Government Departments and Offices
Local authorities, etc.
The Health Service Executive
Commercial and non-commercial semi-State bodies and their subsidiaries.
A comprehensive list of accountable persons is set out in Schedule 13 Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

What professional services are subject to PSWT?

Basically, all professional services are subject to PSWT, including:

Services of a medical, dental, pharmaceutical, optical, aural or veterinary nature
Services of an architectural, engineering, quantity surveying or surveying nature and related services
Services of accountancy, auditing or finance and services of financial, economic, marketing, advertising or other consultancies
Services of a solicitor or barrister or other legal services
Geological services
Training services provided on behalf of FÁS.
What is the rate of PSWT?

The rate of PSWT is equal to the standard rate of income tax.

From whom should PSWT be deducted?

Subject to certain exclusions specified in the law (see Exclusions at the end of this leaflet), PSWT should be deducted by accountable persons from all payments made for professional services. The persons providing the services may be individuals, companies, partnerships or persons who may not ultimately have a liability to tax (e.g. non-residents).

How is PSWT collected?

When an accountable person (public body) makes a payment for professional services, it is obliged to deduct the PSWT from the total amount of the payment due,

including any amount in respect of expenses, outlay or late payment interest, but
excluding any VAT charged by the person providing the professional service and/or any Stamp Duties, Land Registry fees, Deed of Registration fees, Company Office fees or Court fees paid by that person to the appropriate authorities.
How does a person get proof that PSWT has been deducted?

Where a person provides professional services to an accountable person, the person providing the service is obliged to provide the public body with:

in the case of an individual, his/her Personal Public Service Number (PPS No.), and
in the case of a company, its tax reference number.
If VAT is included in the payment, the person’s VAT registration number must also be provided, if different from the PPS Number or tax reference number. Non-resident persons are required to state the tax reference that they use in their country of residence.

Those providing professional services for accountable persons should always ensure that the accountable person is aware of their PPS No. or tax reference number at the time payment is being made for services. The accountable person will, when making a payment for professional services, give the taxpayer person providing the service a Form F45 confirming the amount of the payment made and the amount of PSWT withheld.

Where exceptionally the Form F45 originally issued to the person providing the professional service is lost or destroyed, a Form F43 may be issued by the accountable person. A Form F43 may also be issued where the original F45 needs to be corrected. Requests by service providers for Forms F43 should only be made to accountable persons in these limited circumstances.

How is PSWT credited to the taxpayer?

Credit for PSWT deducted, as confirmed in Forms F45, should be claimed by taxpayers when submitting their relevant tax return forms. Forms F45 are valuable documents and should be presented to the taxpayer’s Revenue office, if requested, for verification.

For individual taxpayers assessable to income tax, credit for PSWT is normally given for the tax year in which the PSWT was deducted (however, see Commencing Business below).

For companies assessable to corporation tax, credit is given in for the accounting period in which PSWT was deducted.

Commencing Business
For an individual commencing business, credit for PSWT deducted in the first year of business will not normally be given until the second year of assessment. This arises because the first 12 month’s’ accounts form the basis for two years of assessment and the PSWT is deemed to be deducted in the second basis period. However, such an individual may qualify for an interim refund – see “Interim Refunds of PSWT”.

Preliminary Tax
A taxpayer who has had PSWT deducted can take this into account when paying Preliminary Tax. For example, if a taxpayer estimates Preliminary Tax liability for a tax year to be (say) €15,000 and has PSWT credits of €10,000 available, these can be used as part payment of the Preliminary Tax liability, leaving the balance of €5,000 to be paid directly to the Collector-General, under the Pay and File rules of the self-assessment system.

Interim refunds of PSWT

Where a taxpayer considers that the amount of PSWT deducted from payments is in excess of likely final liability to tax, an application may be made to the taxpayer’s Revenue office for an interim refund of any excess, instead of waiting to have it credited against final liability.

Application is made on Form F50 (available from Revenue Forms & Leaflets Service at LoCall 1890 306 706 and from the Revenue website at: Form F50 – Claim for an Interim Refund (PDF, 42KB))

The following three conditions must be satisfied before an interim refund of PSWT deducted from a payment can be made:

The profits of the period immediately preceding the period of claim must have been finalised,
The tax payable for that preceding period must have been paid in full, and
Forms F45 for the PSWT in question must be provided to the taxpayer’s Revenue office.
An interim refund is claimed in relation to PSWT withheld from a payment made on 1/7/2008. Accounts are made up to 30 September each year.

For an individual to qualify for an interim refund, the profits of the basis period for 2007 (i.e. 30 September 2007) must have been finalised and the tax payable for 2007 must have been paid. For a company to qualify for an interim refund, the profits of the accounting period ended 30 September 2007 must have been finalised and the tax payable for the period must have been paid.

From the PSWT withheld, an amount equal to the tax liability at (ii) above is deducted (this is taken to approximate the likely liability for the year 2008). In addition any outstanding VAT, PAYE or PRSI liability is deducted. The balance of PSWT withheld, if any, is refunded to the taxpayer.

Commencing Business
A person who has recently commenced in business may wish to apply for an interim refund. Because such a person would be unlikely to satisfy the three conditions outlined above, Revenue applies special treatment whereby likely current tax liability is estimated and any excess PSWT deducted is refunded.

Particular hardship
Interim refunds may also be claimed in situations of particular hardship, even though all of the three conditions outlined above may not be fulfilled.

Some or all of those conditions may be waived where amounts of PSWT withheld are substantially in excess of likely final liability and failure to meet the conditions would not permit an interim refund in certain circumstances, such as:

due perhaps to a once-off or unusual receipt, a once-off or unusual reduction in income, or a demonstrable permanent reduction in income, or
if, through no fault of the taxpayer, there is a delay in finalising liability to tax for a particular year due to illness or other exceptional circumstance, or
if income tax liability (net of PSWT credited) paid in a period of claim together with PSWT deducted in that period exceeds an amount arrived at by multiplying the taxpayer’s income for the period by the higher rate of tax which applies for that period.
All applications for interim refunds should be made to the taxpayer’s Revenue office.

Catherine Davis – Urban Ledgers

Catherine Davis – Urban Ledgers (2:52)

KashFlow releases new web-based product for accountants

I was initially quite excited to see Kashflow announcing a web based platform for accountants to manage their client base. Then I seen the price. £999 per year with client licenses for Kashflow at £99.

I believe Kashflow have made an error at this point. If Orbit the web based platform was free accountants are quite likely to take it up. If accountants are using it you can be sure they’ll want to automate the process and have their clients using it too. By charging a relatively high amount their turning off accountants. Getting accountants on board means having a massive group of professionals pushing your product across the country.

Further details are below.

If you would like to sign up to Kashflow at a discount there’s a code and link here: Kashflow Discount

If you would like to discuss using Kashflow online accounts in Ireland please contact Ralph on
KashFlow Software Ltd, the London-based makers of the successful online accounting application for small businesses, today introduced Orbit Accounts – a new software product specifically for accountants that want to take advantage of the growing popularity of cloud computing.

Orbit Accounts is web-based software that provides accountants a host of tools and features to enable them to monitor, control and collaborate with their SME clients whilst using the already established and mature KashFlow product as the core accounting software engine.

Orbit Accounts has been in development for the last 12 months and focuses on enabling accountants to leverage web-technologies to better serve their SME clients. As well as letting accountants customise the software by removing features and reports, specifying account codes and locking transactions – Orbit Accounts also provides the accountant the ability to co-brand the software with their own logo and colours. A fully re-brandable white-label option is also available.

KashFlow see accountants as a key channel through which they can continue their impressive growth. Currently around 70 businesses sign up to take a free trial of the KashFlow software every working day. The majority of the businesses don’t currently work with an accountant so they’ll be offered an introduction to accountants that use Orbit Accounts.

“Other accounting software vendors tend to just offer accountants pricing incentives to get them engaged with their products”, said Michelle Gorsuch, Sales Director at KashFlow “We’ve gone a big step further by developing software that’s tightly integrated with our core KashFlow product and specifically tailored to assist the accountant in practice.”

Earlier this week, KashFlow Software was listed in The Guardian as one of the top 100 technology innovators. The software is delivered using the Software-as-a-Service or SaaS model. This means the software is delivered via a web-browser so there’s nothing for users to install whilst updates and backups are taken care of automatically. Rather than buying the software outright, customers pay a fixed-price subscription that includes all upgrades and support.

The software is available on a 30 day free trial. An annual subscription to Orbit Accounts costs £999/year with client licenses for the KashFlow software costing £99/year. The company will be offering discounts to early adopters until the end of October 2010.

For more information, visit http://orbitaccounts.com