• Management Accounts & Financial Accounts

    What is the difference and what does this mean to your business?

    Financial accounts are a legal requirement for all businesses whereas management accounts are a tool for managing the business.


    Financial information is mainly designed to provide data to entities outside of the business such as bank managers, accountants, suppliers etc.


    Management accounting, on the other hand, is aimed at supporting the people, technology and the process within the business.


    The 3 main Financial statements used within financial accounting are:

    • - Trial Balance
    • - Profit and Loss
    • - Balance sheet

    Management accounting is not a legal requirement and is not necessarily purely number-based. The most meaningful management accounts will often contain executive summaries and graphs to support the numbers and to give them relevance.

    The purpose of the management accounts is to help managers make informed decisions. If used effectively the outcomes will enhance and improve the activities of the business.

    That is not to say that financial accounts and management accounts are totally independent and that the two activities do not support each other. An investor or supplier might use the financial statements to check that the business is viable; and to use the management accounts to check that the business has a sound financial competency. Conversely, the management team will often receive specific areas of financial information relevant to their own activity or department thus enhancing their decision-making process.


    Of course, decisions can only be as good as the information contained within these accounts. If the data is wrong; and it often is; then the resultant decisions can be wrong.


    The importance of creating an accurate administrative and accountancy process is best understood when one considers that most businesses that have gone into liquidation have had “trouble with their management accounts.” Another interesting perspective is that the top 100 FTSE companies have a 99% understanding of their accountancy software, they are usually of course healthy and profitable.


    It is not known how much or how little small and medium-sized businesses understand about their software, but one suspects that is significantly less.


    This is great news; as the act of learning to use the software correctly whilst analyzing your business processes is relatively easy and forms the basis for creating an accurate administrative and accountancy process.


    We advise our clients to approach this topic with the adage of I don’t know what I don’t know, as by opening your mind to features and functions of your software and the methodology of managing your business there is very good chance that you will.


    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask?



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  • The Trial Balance Explained in 2 Minutes.

    Hello, my name is Eve from Business Nirvana.


    Today I would like to explain to you what a trial balance is and how you can use it to improve your business. The trial balance is one of the 3 main financial statements. The conventional layout of the trial balance is based on the principle of double-entry bookkeeping.


    Don’t switch off. I am not planning to turn you into a fully fledged accountant. I am just going to give you a basic explanation of double entry bookkeeping.


    The principle of double-entry bookkeeping is based on the idea that everything has a double effect on your accounts. So for example, if you buy a desk for your office at a value of £100: your bank account will lower by £100 but on the other hand, the value of your office equipment will increase by £100. And that is it.


    Needless to say, the value of your desk will depreciate in future years; but that is covered in another video.So this is why the trial balance layout has 2 columns referred to as Debit and credit.


    Both columns should always add up to the exact same figure.

    The trial Balance is the list of all the information that should be included within your Profit and loss statement and your Balance sheet. As a general rule, the figures at the top of the Trial Balance are reflected in your Balance sheet and the figures at the bottom of your trial balance are reflected in your Profit and Loss Statement.

    The trial Balance shows the aggregate values throughout your financial year so it does not make sense to print a trial balance for 1 month only.

    It is worth remembering that at the end of each year you should have some form of year-end procedure that will clear the values in your trial balance relating to your Profit and Loss account and this will move those values to your Balance sheet. This is often undertaken within your accountancy softwares year end procedure or your chartered accountant might make and most commonly this involves a combination of the two.

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  • What Happens When You Lose your Accounts?

    An alarming new report by Cisco Systems cautions us of the benefits of frequent backup and restore exercises.

    According to a recent CISCO systems study; 70% of all businesses that experience a major loss of data go out of business within 12 months. This needless to say includes the firm's accounts; that are almost never checked with regards to their ability to be backed up and restored.


    It is possible to deduce that a partial loss of your accountancy data could also pose a threat to your business.


    This raises the question, what data could you be missing ?


    One must remember that human fingers grace our keyboards, rapidly entering (or not entering) data into the companies accounts system. Those human fingers often belong to persons within fast paced departments and are connected to clever minds that have worked out how the software functions, rather than being taught the software properly.


    Humans send out and receive goods, sometimes without the correct information recorded on the docket and financial is sometimes bundled together or incorrectly allocated within the software, as it seems like a sensible idea.


    The role of Business Nirvana, is to help businesses remove gaps or risks from the wider process (outside of the software) as well as what goes on within the software.

    1. The scope of the project is to ensure the correct and accurate collation of data, and seeing that it is entered into the accountancy system with minimal risk to the integrity of the data.
    2. The second step is to identify the processes that the management team believe that they are using in respect to any action or decision that may generate income or lose money.
    3. The third stage is to review these processes with the management team, and either agree to make those processes official policy, or to stop them or to modify them.
    4. The agreed policies are then written down as a protocol (instruction manual) on how to ensure the financial data pertinent to the business is collated (before it gets to the accounts department) and how that data is stored both as paperwork and within the accountancy software.
    5. The (instruction manual) is then presented to the management team and all parties are coached to use it.
    6. The process is then reviewed to ensure that there are no deviations and that the resultant data (now contained within the accountancy software) is good.
    7. Consideration is also given as to how best to back up and store data. Once agreed, frequent exercises will occur to check that data can be restored, and that the software functions correctly thereafter.

    The resultant data will shape and improve the quality of the firms P&L, balance sheet and management accounts. These can be used more effectively by the chartered accountants and management team to make informed decisions based on a clearer understanding of the business.



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  • Fake Invoices

    Are fake invoices damaging your business?

    Many of us assume that large service providers; those that provide us with insurance, electricity, gas, broadband, and telephone services have sound administrative procedures and that errors are quite rare. My experience suggests the exact opposite.


    Once again this morning I have been battling with a well-known telecommunications supplier; who has decided to invoice me twice; once as a residential customer and once as a business customer!


    I try to apply what I preach which is to develop robust systems. These make the checking of invoices easy. To do this I use Free Agent accountancy software, but the same systems and procedures can be created using any other reputable accountancy software.


    Thanks to this simple administrative process, the error was picked up as soon as the invoice was received. Such simple procedures have already saved me hundreds of pounds with this service provider alone. And that is not an exaggeration.

    My last refund was just below £400.


    This raises another important question about businesses losing money to questionable invoicing practices.


    What about your insurance policies; relating to your business, your car, and your house that are renewed blindly every year with the same provider, or with your stationery supplier because they send you “presents”.


    Saving your business from losing money to erroneous billing can make a massive difference, not just to your bottom line but also your cash flow, and whats more, diligence is free.


    So my tip for today is to question every service providers bill and assume that it contains an error. Of course, this can be made much easier if you use accountancy software so that it does the checking for you.


    If you would like help in implementing robust systems and procedures within your business; then please contact me at businessnirvana.co.uk.



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  • Disclosure Barring Service

    How secure is your accounts system?

    Administrative staff often handle sensitive information such as databases, pin numbers, cash, and payments. Such staff can be employed directly by your company or they could be external contractors; IT experts, bookkeepers, and tutors.


    The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).


    Business Nirvana suggests that when you hire a new member of staff in a position of responsibility that you undertake a DBS check. This should certainly so in the office, administrative environment or where persons are interacting with the public or fellow workmates.


    Only employers and licensing bodies can request a DBS check.


    Job applicants can’t do a criminal record check on themselves. Instead, they can request a basic disclosure from Disclosure Scotland (you don’t have to be from Scotland to do this).


    Needless to say, Business Nirvana has obtained a clean DBS check from the disclosure for any of its team that will be interacting with your business.


    For more information with regards to the disclosure barring service please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about



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  • How qualified is qualified?

    Self taught or Self Taught & Accredited? What is the effect on your business?

    Whilst it is standard practice for most of us to teach ourselves how to use software such as Word, Photoshop or Excel, this should not be the case with the lifeblood of your business; your companies accountancy software. In fact, evidence suggests that our knowledge of word, photoshop and excel is actually quite poor. Estimates suggest that the average business person knows how to use just 7% of the functions provided by Microsoft word and just 4% within Excel. If this were to translate to your accounts system, well the consequences do not bear thinking about but could include lost invoices, unbilled clients, artificially high profits and a false sense of reality.


    It is therefore advisable to employ administrative staff that has attained the highest levels of proficiency in your chosen accountancy software. This includes external bookkeepers and accountancy staff.


    We, at Business Nirvana, have attained the highest level of training in Free Agent and Sage 50 accountancy software as well as various other accounts software packages.


    Eve Baker is one of the most highly qualified persons in her field.


    Her array of formal qualifications include; BA Hons Accountancy and finance, Sage Accredited Accounting Partner (one of just three issued in South West England), 7303 teaching certificate (schools, college, universities). Free Agent accredited and is conversant with finance director duties and responsibilities.



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    All Posts
    Our term and conditions are dependent on the type of service that we will be supplying to you and on the nature of your business activities and the organisation setup. No work will be undertaken until the all of the check have been performed and a letter of engagement has been signed by both parties.
    Business Nirvana Ltd understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used and shared online. We respect and value the privacy of everyone who visits this website, www.businessnirvana.co.uk (“Our Site”) and will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a manner that is consistent with Our obligations and your rights under the law.
    Please read this Privacy Policy carefully and ensure that you understand it. Your acceptance of Our Privacy Policy is deemed to occur upon your first use of Our Site and You will be required to read and accept this Privacy Policy when signing up for an Account. If you do not accept and agree with this Privacy Policy, you must stop using Our Site immediately.
    1.	Definitions and Interpretation 
    In this Policy, the following terms shall have the following meanings:  
    “Account”	means an account required to access and/or use certain areas and features of Our Site;
    “Cookie”	means a small text file placed on your computer or device by Our Site when you visit certain parts of Our Site and/or when you use certain features of Our Site. Details of the Cookies used by Our Site are set out in section 13, below;
    [“Cookie Law”	means the relevant parts of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003;]
    “personal data”	means any and all data that relates to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified from that data. In this case, it means personal data that you give to Us via Our Site. This definition shall, where applicable, incorporate the definitions provided in the [Data Protection Act 1998] OR [EU Regulation 2016/679 – the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)]; and
    “We/Us/Our”	means Business Nirvana Ltd, a limited company registered in England under company number 10590730, whose registered address is 8 Whitsand Bay View, Torpoint, Cornwall PL11 3DB, and whose main trading address is 8 Whitsand Bay View, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 3DB.
    2.	Information About Us
    2.1	Our Site is owned and operated by Business Nirvana Ltd, a limited company registered in England under company number 10590730, whose registered address is 8 Whitsand Bay View, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 3DB and whose of 8 Whitsand Bay View, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 3DB.
    2.2	Our VAT Number is:
    2.3	Our Data Protection Officer is Mrs E. Baker, and can be contacted by email at eve@businessnirvana.co.uk, by telephone on 01503 230 385, or by post at 8 Whitsand Bay View, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 3DB
    2.4	We are regulated by the ICO
    2.5	We are a member of the IAB.
    2.6	Our website are created and Hosted by Strikingly who’s own term& Conditions and Privacy Policies apply to this agreement as well. There term and conditions can be found at https://support.strikingly.com/hc/en-us/articles/214364828-Strikingly-s-Terms-of-Service and there Privacy Policies can be found at: https://support.strikingly.com/hc/en-us/articles/214364818-Strikingly-s-Privacy-Policy
    3.	What Does This Policy Cover?
    This Privacy Policy applies only to your use of Our Site. Our Site may contain links to other websites. Please note that We have no control over how your data is collected, stored, or used by other websites and We advise you to check the privacy policies of any such websites before providing any data to them.
    4.	[Your Rights
    4.1	As a data subject, you have the following rights under the GDPR, which this Policy and Our use of personal data have been designed to uphold:
    4.1.1	The right to be informed about Our collection and use of personal data;
    4.1.2	The right of access to the personal data We hold about you (see section 12);
    4.1.3	The right to rectification if any personal data We hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete (please contact Us using the details in section 14);
    4.1.4	The right to be forgotten – i.e. the right to ask Us to delete any personal data We hold about you (We only hold your personal data for a limited time, as explained in section 6 but if you would like Us to delete it sooner, please contact Us using the details in section 14);
    4.1.5	The right to restrict (i.e. prevent) the processing of your personal data;
    4.1.6	The right to data portability (obtaining a copy of your personal data to re-use with another service or organisation);
    4.1.7	The right to object to Us using your personal data for particular purposes; and
    4.1.8	Rights with respect to automated decision making and profiling.
    4.2	If you have any cause for complaint about Our use of your personal data, please contact Us using the details provided in section 14 and We will do Our best to solve the problem for you. If We are unable to help, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with the UK’s supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office.
    4.3	For further information about your rights, please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.]
    5.	What Data Do We Collect?
    Depending upon your use of Our Site, We may collect some or all of the following personal [and non-personal] data (please also see section 13 on Our use of Cookies and similar technologies [and Our Cookie Policy <>]):
    5.1	name
    5.2	gender
    5.3	business/company name
    5.4	contact information such as email addresses and telephone numbers
    5.5	demographic information such as post code, preferences, and interests;
    5.6	IP address;
    5.7	a list of URLs starting with a referring site, your activity on Our Site, and the site you exit to;
    5.8	Any other messages and notes you will have sent to us using the website.
    6.	How Do We Use Your Data?
    6.1	All personal data is processed and stored securely, for no longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected. We will comply with Our obligations and safeguard your rights under GDPR at all times. For more details on security see section 7, below.
    6.2	Our use of your personal data will always have a lawful basis, either because it is necessary for Our performance of a contract with you, because you have consented to Our use of your personal data (e.g. by subscribing to emails), or because it is in Our legitimate interests. Specifically, We may use your data for the following purposes:
    6.2.1	Providing and managing your Account;
    6.2.2	Providing and managing your access to Our Site;
    6.2.3	Personalising and tailoring your experience on Our Site;
    6.2.4	Supplying Our products or services to you (please note that We require your personal data in order to enter into a contract with you);
    6.2.5	Personalising and tailoring Our Products and services for you;
    6.2.6	Replying to emails from you;
    6.2.7	Supplying you with emails that you have opted into (you may unsubscribe or opt-out at any time by contacting us by email at: eve@businessnirvana.co.uk or by post at Business Nirvana Ltd, 8 Whitsand Bay View, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 3DB;
    6.2.8	Market research;
    6.2.9	Analysing your use of Our Site and gathering feedback to enable Us to continually improve Our Site and your user experience;
    6.3	With your permission or where permitted by law, We may also use your data for marketing purposes which may include contacting you by email, telephone , text message and post with information, news and offers on Our products and services. We will not, however, send you any unsolicited marketing or spam and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that We fully protect your rights and comply with Our obligations under GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
    6.4	Third parties (including LinkedInn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Strikingly, FreeAgent, Xero, Sage, ) whose content appears on Our Site may use third party Cookies, as detailed below in section 13. Please refer to section 13 for more information on controlling Cookies. Please note that We do not control the activities of such third parties, nor the data they collect and use and advise you to check the privacy policies of any such third parties.
    6.5	You have the right to withdraw your consent to Us using your personal data at any time, and to request that We delete it.
    6.6	We do not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected. Data will therefore be retained for the following periods (or its retention will be determined on the following bases):
    6.6.1	Personal and financial Data will be retain for a period of 5 years following the end of our contract or the deemed last transaction ;
    7.	How and Where Do We Store Your Data?
    7.1	We only keep your personal data for as long as We need to in order to use it as described above in section 6, and/or for as long as We have your permission to keep it.
    7.2	Some or all of your data may be stored outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using Our Site and submitting information to Us. If We do store data outside the EEA, We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the UK and under the GDPR including:
    7.2.1	Online servers. All files stored online by are encrypted and kept in secure storage servers. Storage servers are located in data centres across the United States.
    7.3	Data security is very important to Us, and to protect your data We have taken suitable measures to safeguard and secure data collected through Our Site.
    7.4	Steps We take to secure and protect your data include: 
    7.4.1	Reviewing the term and policy of the service provider, use of password where appropriate, destruction of the data as soon as it is legally, rendered unnecessary and logistically practical.
    8.	Do We Share Your Data?
    8.1	We may sometimes contract with third parties to supply products and services to you on Our behalf. These may include payment processing, delivery of goods, search engine facilities, advertising, and marketing. In some cases, the third parties may require access to some or all of your data. Where any of your data is required for such a purpose, We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data will be handled safely, securely, and in accordance with your rights, Our obligations, and the obligations of the third party under the law.
    8.2	We may compile statistics about the use of Our Site including data on traffic, usage patterns, user numbers, sales, and other information. All such data will be anonymised and will not include any personally identifying data, or any anonymised data that can be combined with other data and used to identify you. We may from time to time share such data with third parties such as prospective investors, affiliates, partners, and advertisers. Data will only be shared and used within the bounds of the law.
    8.3	We may sometimes use third party data processors that are located outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). Where We transfer any personal data outside the EEA, We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the UK and under the GDPR including:
    8.3.1	 Reviewing terms and policies of third parties;
    8.4	In certain circumstances, We may be legally required to share certain data held by Us, which may include your personal data, for example, where We are involved in legal proceedings, where We are complying with legal requirements, a court order, or a governmental authority.
    9.	What Happens If Our Business Changes Hands?
    9.1	We may, from time to time, expand or reduce Our business and this may involve the sale and/or the transfer of control of all or part of Our business. Any personal data that you have provided will, where it is relevant to any part of Our business that is being transferred, be transferred along with that part and the new owner or newly controlling party will, under the terms of this Privacy Policy, be permitted to use that data only for the same purposes for which it was originally collected by Us.
    9.2	In the event that any of your data is to be transferred in such a manner, you will not be contacted in advance and informed of the changes. When contacted you will not, however, be given the choice to have your data deleted or withheld from the new owner or controller.
    10.	How Can You Control Your Data?
    10.1	In addition to your rights under the GDPR, set out in section 4, when you submit personal data via Our Site, you may be given options to restrict Our use of your data. In particular, We aim to give you strong controls on Our use of your data for direct marketing purposes (including the ability to opt-out of receiving emails from Us which you may do by unsubscribing using the links provided in Our emails and at the point of providing your details and by managing your Account
    10.2	You may also wish to sign up to one or more of the preference services operating in the UK: The Telephone Preference Service (“the TPS”), the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (“the CTPS”), and the Mailing Preference Service (“the MPS”). These may help to prevent you receiving unsolicited marketing. Please note, however, that these services will not prevent you from receiving marketing communications that you have consented to receiving.
    11.	Your Right to Withhold Information
    11.1	You may access certain areas of Our Site without providing any data at all. However, to use all features and functions available on Our Site you may be required to submit or allow for the collection of certain data.
    11.2	You may restrict Our use of Cookies. For more information, see section 13
    12.	How Can You Access Your Data?
    You have the right to ask for a copy of any of your personal data held by Us (where such data is held). Under the GDPR, no fee is payable and We will provide any and all information in response to your request free of charge. Please contact Us for more details at eve@businessnirvana.co.uk, or using the contact details below in section 1
    13.	Our Use of Cookies
    13.1	Our Site may place and access certain first party Cookies on your computer or device. First party Cookies are those placed directly by Us and are used only by Us. We use Cookies to facilitate and improve your experience of Our Site and to provide and improve Our products and services. We have carefully chosen these Cookies and have taken steps to ensure that your privacy and personal data is protected and respected at all times.
    13.2	By using Our Site you may also receive certain third party Cookies on your computer or device. Third party Cookies are those placed by websites, services, and/or parties other than Us. Third party Cookies are used on Our Site for Collecting analytic information and marketing. For more details, please refer to section 6, above, and to section 13.6 below. These Cookies are not integral to the functioning of Our Site and your use and experience of Our Site will not be impaired by refusing consent to them.
    13.3	All Cookies used by and on Our Site are used in accordance with current Cookie Law.
    13.4	Before Cookies are placed on your computer or device, you will be shown a prompt telling you that we use cookie and the purpose of the cookies we are using and asking you to either accept or learn more about it. By giving your consent to the placing of Cookies you are enabling Us to provide the best possible experience and service to you. You may, if you wish, deny consent to the placing of Cookies; however certain features of Our Site may not function fully or as intended. 
    13.5	Certain features of Our Site depend on Cookies to function. Cookie Law deems these Cookies to be “strictly necessary”. These Cookies are shown below in section 13.6. Your consent will not be sought to place these Cookies, but it is still important that you are aware of them. You may still block these Cookies by changing your internet browser’s settings as detailed below in section 13.10, but please be aware that Our Site may not work properly if you do so. We have taken great care to ensure that your privacy is not at risk by allowing them.
    13.6	Our Site uses analytics services provided by Strikingly. Website analytics refers to a set of tools used to collect and analyse anonymous usage information, enabling Us to better understand how Our Site is used. This, in turn, enables Us to improve Our Site and the products and services offered through it. You do not have to allow Us to use these Cookies, however whilst Our use of them does not pose any risk to your privacy or your safe use of Our Site, it does enable Us to continually improve Our Site, making it a better and more useful experience for you.
    13.7	In addition to the controls that We provide, you can choose to enable or disable Cookies in your internet browser. Most internet browsers also enable you to choose whether you wish to disable all cookies or only third party Cookies. By default, most internet browsers accept Cookies but this can be changed. For further details, please consult the help menu in your internet browser or the documentation that came with your device.
    13.8	You can choose to delete Cookies on your computer or device at any time, however you may lose any information that enables you to access Our Site more quickly and efficiently including, but not limited to, login and personalisation settings.
    It is recommended that you keep your internet browser and operating system up-to-date and that you consult the help and guidance provided by the developer of your internet browser and manufacturer of your computer or device if you are unsure about adjusting your privacy settings.]
    14.	Contacting Us
    If you have any questions about Our Site or this Privacy Policy, please contact Us by email at eve@businessnirvana.co.uk, by telephone on 01503 230 385, or by post at Business Nirvana Ltd, 8 Whitsand Bay View, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 3DB. Please ensure that your query is clear, particularly if it is a request for information about the data We hold about you (as under section 12, above).
    15.	Changes to Our Privacy Policy
    We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time (for example, if the law changes). Any changes will be immediately posted on Our Site and you will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the Privacy Policy on your first use of Our Site following the alterations. We recommend that you check this page regularly to keep up-to-date.