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Post Info TOPIC: New client. New software. Help please


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New client. New software. Help please


Hi everyone

 

I have my first client! His year end was feb 18 and his accounts have just been submitted. He is currently processed on sage (desktop)  but has asked me to me to process his business goinf forward on sage online.

 

My question is how do i swap accross in the easiest way without loss of data. Do i just post the balances on each nominal code? 

 

Any advice greatly appreciated

 

Ruby x



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Ruby



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Hi
So hows about an intro before we start. We always ask newbies!

Usual stuff - what prof body do you belong to, do you work for yourself or in a practice/ firm, are you a bookkeeper or accountant, what qualifications, how long in role, where up to in your studies-what exams passed/with what body/in midst of doing, where based, what you did before this role? That sort of thing. Helps get to know you but also how best to pitch answers.

Pease add your first name so that it appears under the signature bar on your posts? Saves everyone looking it up each time!! (Edit profile --->signatures)

Why oh why is he moving from desktop to online? Desktop is working and fully paid for. You can backup and restore exactly when you want and need to. There is NO need to keep up the subscription so he can have free use of the better software. Online ....he has to keep paying, only works when the Internet does, it's nowhere near as good. Despite what he might've been told, by sage or others, he doesn't need to upgrade each year, he doesn't need to use cloud based software for MTD/digital record keeping.

Mid year move is asking for trouble, especially as you don't know the process.

So what EXACTLY is his reason for moving? Get to the bottom of that and Then talk him round to staying where he is, rather than wasting his money.

Out of interest , who did his year end accounts?



-- Edited by Cheshire on Monday 17th of December 2018 10:22:50 PM

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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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Hi! Thank you so much for the reply! Im Ruby. Worked in practice as a trainee accountant/bookkeeper for 4 years. Studying CIMA. Just passed my first 4 exams. Previously i did AAT level 2. This is a client i used to bookkeep for at a practice but when i moved firms he decided he wanted to as well. I agreed to do his bookkeeping on the side as a favour and for a bit of extra income. He is open to the software used but as he is based a little way away from myself i thought the cloud based software would be beneficial as i could do it from home rather than from his office. We use the cloud at work and the automatic bank feed works so well it qas another push for me to move him over to it as he has a lot of bank transactions!! Thanks for any advice Ruby

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Ruby



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His previous accountant did his year end accounts!

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Ruby



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Hi Ruby
One more important Q, who is your MLR with?

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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Master Book-keeper

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Oops and another, do you have the year end adjustments.

I still think the move is very shortsighted paying through the nose for new software when he has already got software that works.

You could access his PC and therefore software from home with an easy set up.

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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

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Hi Joanne,

His accountant paid for the sage so he currently doesnt have any software at all. He could get the sage backup from the old accountant though and if he got the software i could restore it on and just continue whats been started.

Mlr? Sorry, Im new to this. What is mlr!

I could get the year end adjustments from the working papers if the old accountant let me have them. Not sure if he would or not.

Ruby

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Ruby



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MLR = Money Laundering Regulations

Basically, if you're doing any bookkeeping, accounting, etc, for a company, not as an employee for that company, you either have to be a member of a body that acts as a supervisory one for MLR, or registered yourself directly with HMRC.

www.gov.uk/guidance/money-laundering-regulations-who-needs-to-register

But to the question:

The general rule with changing accounts software is that if it's going to be done, the best time to do it is at year end. (Simplified as much as possible: everything up to and including the year-end date is keyed into the old package, everything dated in the new year is keyed into the new package - along with opening balances and, where necessary, some of those previous year transactions where they make up an opening balance).

If doing so partly through the year, the choices are to:

* Either re-key all the data for the year so far. This may or may not be a big job depending on the size of the business and level of transactions - but it can also be a useful exercise in making sure the figures produced by the new package match those produced by the previous one to date.

* Or you try to adopt the change-at-year-end procedure outlined above. (Making sure you keep hold of the old data in a readable form - which is necessary anyway for the legal minimum period, but extra important in this situation, I think).

You say that the accountant bought the Sage software, so the client doesn't have it - that suggests to me the previous accountant also did the bookkeeping. Is that right? If so, do you have any idea the methodology used? i.e. does he do the work on a regular, ongoing basis, or just in the nick of time for when stuff needs to be done - such as quarterly, for VAT returns? (This might give an idea how much work there would be if you went down the route of re-keying everything).

TBH, though, if Sage's desktop software was used before, you could get the client to invest in the cheapest Sage desktop software now, and just ask the previous accountant to send you the latest backup to restore into it. (That backup would be up to date in terms of any work the accountant has done since the year end, and would probably already incorporate his year end adjustments).

Another thing to remember is that, if my guesses and assumptions are right, it doesn't sound to me like you need anything more than the basic (cheapest) version of Sage - Essentials. That can be had for IIRC about £120 as an outright purchase (perpetual licence - not a subscription) from SJ Software. (There is an MTD add-on for it, and that is on a subscription basis - but that's another matter).

If you ARE going to change software, then consider alternatives. If you can't just restore a backup from Sage, and have to deal with transferring data, then is there any real need to move to another Sage product? (Especially - again, if my assumptions are correct - the client doesn't see or use the software or data at all in any way). In which case, consider investing in VT Transaction+

That's moving to a subscription model with the move to support MTD, but for IIRC £75/year, you get to use it for as many clients as you want.


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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

(I only came here looking for fellow apiarists...)



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hi Vince,

Thank you so much for this detailed reply.

The old accountant did the bookkeeping quarterly for the VAT returns. As i used to work for this accountant, I was the one who did this bookkeeping and I know from experience its a hell of a lot of transactions, so the idea of redoing it all from March is not appealing in the slightest. I estimate it would take around 5/7 working days.

I think that reading what you have posted above, my best bet is to get a desktop sage software package and restore the backup form the old accountant, and then check through it to make sure its been posted correctly (which i believe it would be as i was the person who did it all up to 3 months ago)

I think that from 1 March 2019 (his year end is Feb) I will see if he wants to move to a cloud based software or remain on the sage desktop.

In terms of money laundering regs, I will register with HMRC i think.

Thanks again for all your help :)

Ruby x

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Ruby



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You need to licence via HMRC for MLR asap, before taking any payment to avoid a massive fine and possible prison sentence.

You also need to issue a professional clearance letter to the existing accountant before you go any further. Failure to do so will result in no information flow from them, rightly so.

Also check your previous contract as despite the physical distance you could still be sued for poaching a client if there were restrictive covenants.

Probably better if they finish the financial year given its so close and then take over.

Don't go with sage for MTD software, rip off.





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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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Hi Ruby, welcome to the forum

As Joanne says you need to make getting supervised for MLR a priority

I do seem to remember an old post on here about MLR where there was a reply (I think by John, but maybe not) where HMRC do allow you to trade whilst your application is being processed which would be handy as it can take ages to get the actual certificate so I would check that out just to make sure



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Doug

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Not sure it was me Doug but it could have been. As far as I'm aware you can trade whilst getting your MLR approved (I agree that Ruby should check to be sure) but I'm thinking, whilst I absolutely agree that you should be able to trade whilst waiting to be approved, given the extraordinary amount of time it takes, shouldn't HMRC be at least checking people are an "approved person" first.  What happens if someone signs up, trades for a few months, then find out they haven't passed the "approved person" test



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John 

 

 

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I thought it was you John, but worth checking what they say.

Its just another fee generation exercise isn't it John?

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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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Cheshire wrote:

I thought it was you John, but worth checking what they say.  

Its just another fee generation exercise isn't it John?


 Absolutely Joanne, I can understand them checking for unspent dishonesty offences, and I agree with that, but a soft DBS check costs £25, I believe, so quite why HMRC are charging £40 I don't know.



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



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Leger wrote:

Not sure it was me Doug but it could have been. As far as I'm aware you can trade whilst getting your MLR approved (I agree that Ruby should check to be sure) but I'm thinking, whilst I absolutely agree that you should be able to trade whilst waiting to be approved, given the extraordinary amount of time it takes, shouldn't HMRC be at least checking people are an "approved person" first.  What happens if someone signs up, trades for a few months, then find out they haven't passed the "approved person" test


I agree with HMRC checking people first, I have been supervised by HMRC for 3 years now, first 2 years all I did was post a cheque and the last year I just filled out the online form, they have still not asked for the £40 fee for the checks so not sure if they have actually carried this out

I will try and find that old post later when I get a bit more time



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Doug

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Hi all,

Thanks for all this help.

As I was going to do it as a favour to him, not really as a big money maker, and due to the fact I am working full time and trying to complete my exams, I think I will just tell him not to use me.

He has a new accountant who has done the professional clearance and has the information, but he was going to use me for bookkeeping as I already had lots of experience in his bookkeeping already.

His new accountant was going to draft his year end accounts etc but I will advise him to use them for the whole lot now.

Ruby x

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Ruby



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While on the one hand that's a shame, on the other it's quite understandable. The cost of registering for MLR is now something like £270 (£100 registration fee, £130 premises fee, and £40 for the 'approval' check mentioned above - have I missed anything?) For someone with just one client, that's a potentially large cost against what they earn from that client.

(In fact, although I have none like this now, I've had clients where my annual income from them was LESS than that. That means it's entirely plausible to have one or two clients to supplement other income, where it does nothing of the sort because the cost exceeds the extra income. Nice. Everyone give HMRC a clap. No, not like that - slower. No, slower still...)

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Yep, seems like a lot of expenditure for something which will get fully checked by a qualified accountant in the end anyway! Plus they have carried out all the relevant money laundering checks etc.

Just a far fetched thought, not one I am going to follow through on, just something which popped into my head:

If the client were to employ you on a zero hours contract, that would make you an employee, and therefore able to do the bookkeeping without all this fuss? I believe his wife is employed like this, so could i reasonably suggest to him that she does it? I believe she is unemployed and handy with Sage!

Ruby x

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Ruby



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RubyLane wrote:

Yep, seems like a lot of expenditure for something which will get fully checked by a qualified accountant in the end anyway! Plus they have carried out all the relevant money laundering checks etc.

Just a far fetched thought, not one I am going to follow through on, just something which popped into my head:

If the client were to employ you on a zero hours contract, that would make you an employee, and therefore able to do the bookkeeping without all this fuss? I believe his wife is employed like this, so could i reasonably suggest to him that she does it? I believe she is unemployed and handy with Sage!

Ruby x


 Hi Ruby, you could do it yourself on a zero hour contract.  I have a data entry lady keys in the vast majority of my stuff, then I just go through it and correct any mis-allocations, and she is paid by the hour as and when I need her.  She's full time employed elsewhere and it works for both of us, as she can key stuff in about 4 times as fast as I can.  Just one thing to be wary of.  If you go over the paye threshold in any one period he will need to operate a payroll scheme, that is assuming you're not working elsewhere. If you are then I suggest he operates a payroll anyway if he employs you.



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



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Hi John,

This might be an idea! He is happy to employ me through the payroll for this job, so maybe thats the best solution!

Thanks for your help :)

Ruby x

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Ruby

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