Unfortunately accountants come with a bit of a bad rep, it’s not clear what they do, not the most exciting of individuals and they charge too much – sound about right? Well as cliché as it sounds – I am definitely here to challenge that view.

I am hugely passionate about travelling and new adventures, I am known for not being able to stay still for long, so I travel around the UK in my beautiful campervan Betsy chatting to like minded people who have stepped off the hamster wheel and made their dream a reality. My aim is to help glampsites thrive, grow, diversify or just remain sustainable for their owners.

Did you know that anyone can call themselves an accountant?

Gaining an accredited qualification takes lots of time and dedication, I qualified with ACCA many years ago and subsequently became a fellow, I then transferred my membership over to the IFA who focus on smaller businesses & I hold my practise certificate with them. This means that I am regulated and insured which is something I would advise you to check when entering into a partnership with a new accountant – after all you are sharing confidential data with them and putting your trust in them to do their best for you!

‘Cash is short so I’d rather just appoint an accountant when I absolutely have to’

HMRC issue deadlines, for Limited companies this is usually 9 months after the year end date. For a glampsite just starting out – this is a really long time to be running your site ‘blind’.

I work differently, my team ensure your bookkeeping is up to date and your bank is reconciled on a monthly basis, that way you can see clearly how your business is currently performing. So why is this so useful? Here are a couple of examples:

  • You decide you want to take some money out of the business, working with me, it would be clear for you to see how much money is available and how that would affect the cashflow of the business, if you are just looking at your bank balance as your only reference – this isn’t showing you a true picture.
  • Cash seems to be tighter than you had planned, and you are unsure why, We could quickly run down our income & expenses for a given period, and see what we are spending most on and make some decisions on cost savings or ways to increase bookings. Having a budget to compare actuals to really helps in this example.
  • Avoiding the VAT Threshold, my advice would be not to be scared of VAT, it could be a way to get some money into the business (Most first VAT returns are a refund!), but either way once your sales reach £85,000 you must register for VAT, therefore it’s important for you to know your sales level at any given time.

The team : It’s not just me, I have a wonderful bookkeeper, an accountant, and an assistant manager who all help keep the wheels turning. I also partner up with ETC Tax who are a property tax specialist company for all of the weird and wonderful glamping queries that come up, it’s important to me to know that I have them on hand and can always get a second opinion on something if it’s needed.

My top 5 tips when setting up your glampsite

1. Set up a business bank account – if you are a Limited company this is compulsory but not so if you are a sole trader, however it does make life so much simpler to keep business and personal finances separate

2. Decide on some financial software – the two we use are Xero and Quickbooks which are both tailored towards small business

3. Keep all receipts (including pre trading) – you can put expenses through your business that relate to the setting up of your business

4. Do a rough plan of income and outgoings & make sure you include paying yourselves if this is your only employment

5. Appoint an accountant – or a bookkeeper as a minimum to keep everything in check from day one

Other useful bits of information:

  •  The VAT threshold isn’t the 12 months of your financial year, it’s a rolling 12 month period so an ongoing check is required
  • Company tax is cheaper than personal tax (Corporation tax is currently 19%)
  • You can take a dividend of £2000 tax free from your company each year providing you are making a profit, dividends are then taxed at 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers
  • Accountant fees are a deductible expenses – meaning that rather than pay money over to the tax man, you can spend it on your accountant who will in turn be trying to save you and your business money.

I look forward to either waving at you on my travels or being able to help you with your finances now or anytime in the future – Lisa