The focal message for this year’s Global Bookkeeping Week is to celebrate the role bookkeepers play in helping their employers and clients succeed through Covid-19.
Our clients are made up of sole traders and small to medium businesses, many have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have continued to operate as normal and be on hand to respond to our clients 24/7.
Back in March, we launched our coronavirus support page for businesses and individuals – whether they were clients or not, documenting the financial support available, tax breaks, various blogs explaining resources such as furlough and SEISS. As well as funding options, accounting reports – both for Xero and manually on spreadsheets, mental help advice and useful contact details. This page is still updated regularly, view our coronavirus support page by clicking here.
We received a lot of calls and e mails back in March with many questions which we answered no matter what day or time.
Furlough has been a big topic with our clients and we welcomed supporting our clients by carrying out the calculations at no extra charge which we are still doing. Some have been incredibly complex, such as looking in to the contractual agreements as there are rules between contracted and non contracted over time. We have also produced furlough template letters for full time furlough and flexible as well as advising our clients on what they needed to know.
The rules for furlough state you are not able to be ‘double funded’, two of our clients were early years settings, partially funded so we had to work out how we could interpret the rules so we could claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant without contravening the ‘double funding’
rule. So, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers pulled together a ‘steering group’ to work on the early years ‘conundrum’ and asked Carol to be part of this following her work and realisation of the issue, Carol was honoured to be asked and has enjoyed being part of such a vital support group.
Even though we were not allowed to claim on behalf of our self-assessment clients, we have talked them through the requirements and ensured they were compliant.
Another issue we came across was clients losing their bookkeeper to either shielding, isolating or going out of business. We stepped in and did what Carol does best - fixing problems and mistakes. It become apparent that not every bookkeeper is using the fantastic resources that ICB have made available through their website, helplines and ICBTV sessions – we have had to re work furlough claims due to incorrect interpretations on several occasions. We are proud to be part of such a caring institute.
We continue to ensure we are up-to-date with all government guidelines on the COVID-19 support and understand the calculations and correct interpretations, providing our clients with a top class service and compliance assured, allowing our clients to concentrate on their business which is so critical at this time.