Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Accountants

The XpressoBooks Accountants Admin software is totally free now and in the future. XB only charges for the Client App which, can be paid by subscription , Monthly (invoiced every 3 months to the accountant and either put into the fees or if you feel it is saving you more time than it costs then it can be absorbed – your choice.

There is no trial period for the Accountants’ Client Admin software. There are no low cost “specials” to reel you in and then wack you with the upgrade cost in 3 months time.

You can download the software which comes setup with a “Play” account already to test. You can setup clients and send an invitation to a client to download the App. The client can use the App to enter his figures (or you can do it within the Admin Program). You will be billed for each client upto 45 days after setup depending on when in the month the client was set up.

Any data entered by your Client within the app will be “Synced” to our “Cloud Servers” (a marketing term for what used to be called just a server). The data will then be Synced onto your machine so you can work even if the Internet is unavailable.

To make things as simple as possible – XB Pops-up EXACTLY the same interface as the App on the phone. This means that you can show your client how to use the App without needing to use your phone (although you can), thus  the learning curve and hand holding is greatly reduced for you and your clients.

The Client App is paid by you via subscription which bills you for all the clients you have “live”.  £10 + VAT a month for yearly) amount on to your fees or the subscription can be paid by your client. Either way the Client will save time and hence more money than the cost of XB.

The free XB Admin Software runs on Windows and Mac. It will also run on 10 inch windows Tablets to make it easy  to work anywhere – for instance on a commute on a train or plane where there is no internet access. When you get to a place with an internet connection your data will sync as before.

Xpressobooks believes that your data is yours. Client data is saved in the cloud. We also save the data on your computer in a non proprietary format. Each of your Clients’ data is stored in it’s own Sqlite  file which you can copy to USB or extract the information with publicly available tools. You do not need to do this as XB allows you to export all the information in Excel, CSV and JSON  format.

Your Clients’ data is store on our Cloud Servers (and copied in real time to a second server for an automatic switch over if anything goes wrong). The data is stored with 256 Bit encryption  using the MariaDB SQL database (fully MySql compatible but with better encryption facilities).

Just to make sure the data is backed up to Amazon AWS AND is also stored on your computers.

Nope we don’t ask you many questions and you can download from the Apple or Microsoft store for peace of mind.

Although the program and data is  stored on your computer for redundancy and offline use, you do not need to install SQLServer or MySql. XpressoBooks admin runs on your Computer not through a webpage so will work without Internet access.

XpressoBooks will work for most businesses, but is aimed at the Cash Based small to medium sized business, that has been forgotten about by the big boys.

If you send out a lot of invoices a month XB version 1 will not be a good fit (but version 2 will).

If you send out fewer than 10 or so invoices a month the time you will save will be enormous.

AS an example the businesses that will gain the most from using XB are Fish & Chip Shops, Hairdressers, Pizza Places, Restaurants, Contractors, Sole Traders and LTD companies that have few or no invoicing.

The SOHO (Small office/Home Office) and SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) market is also a good fit for XpressoBooks (XB).

Version 2 will extend our reach with both Invoicing and Payments but without sacrificing ANY usability.

In a word – NO!

Although to get maximum time saving for your Clients and you,  a Smart Phone (Iphone, Generic Android, Samsung, Sony, etc) is preferred this is not a requirement.

We believe (no – we know for a fact) that your practice will benefit immensely from the time you will save by entering your client’s information directly from the Shoebox/Carrier bag brought as before. You can register a Client who for some reason chooses not to use (or can’t) use a smartphone and they do not need to know that you are using XB.

You will be able to submit the Quarterly VAT figures for a Client (the Client App does not allow this as there is too much room for error by Business owners who WILL make mistakes). When the government has finalised it’s MTD initiative you will also be able to submit MTD figures as mandated by HMRC.

XpressoBooks was conceived as a Cashbook system and a preliminary version was created 4 months before the governments MTD announcement. Originally the end user was going to be able to run it on a laptop as well. IN the end we decided that entering information on a laptop would make people procrastinate – so the “always with me” smartphone was chosen as the only entry system for the Business Owner.

From the start XpressoBooks  was designed so that the App was so easy to use, anybody who could text would be able to use and understand it with very little training.

XpressoBooks has been designed as a coherent  system,  not as an afterthought added to a unwieldy and complicated accounting system that caters for every large business  but makes it difficult for the small business.

A  Cash based business does not need to know about debits and credit, sales ledgers and purchase ledgers or even accruals, reserves and nominal codes. All they want to know is money in and money out.

Small Business Owners don’t  want a program that expects them to have access to the uncharged family Laptop at 10:30 at night so they can “do their accounts” in time for the VAT submission deadline.

What is needed is a quick way of entering maybe 4 figures a day in a device they always carry with them – that’s Xpressobooks in a nutshell – Easy to use, Simple to Understand.

But XpressoBooks hasn’t forgotten you the accountant. Our co-founder Michael Scordis  has  over 50 years of “coalface” experience, using the original Visicalc an Apple ][ computer before Lotus, Multiplan  or Excel . All that experience is now distilled into XpressoBooks..

Frequently Asked Questions for the Business Owner.

Short answer Yes!

Long answer …

The government is expecting businesses’ financial information on a Quarterly basis instead of the current yearly income tax submission.

This  will allow you to “pay as you go” (in theory) as you will have an idea of the final figure. The upshot is that erroneous submissions will  be followed up by HMRC with more vigour than previously as currently  HMRC has a backlog of Tax cases to follow up, and as such many of the “small fry” manage to sneak under the radar.

With the new MTD  system the backlog should ease and the net will be be “cast wider” to catch the “minnows”. These are not people who are trying to avoid paying VAT but genuinely have made mistakes.  As a consequence VAT submissions that fall foul of the rules have more chance of being caught. Fines will be 5% of the money owing, which on a £10,000 VAT bill  is £500. This is why Xpressobooks requires having an accountant to.

A later version of XpressoBooks for those whose financial situation does not warrant an accountant will be made available.

XpressoBooks (XB ) was originally designed to run on both computers and phones, but early on it was decided that best input device was the one  we all carry around – our smart phone.

The Accountants software runs on his computer for obvious reasons,  but the phone allows  entry of a few transactions per day whenever it is convenient for you.

Waiting for the staff to clean up, while your supplier counts his money, sitting in front of the TV, waiting in a queue at the bank.

The benefits are many, on-top of the time (which equates to money) you will save.

  • No more fighting for the computer to “do your accounts”
  • No filling in paper cashbooks and manually totalling figures
  • No Posting  a bagful of receipts to your accountant
  • Save petrol and time by not having to physically take Bills and receipts to your accountant
  • Not forgetting to send the Bank statements
  • No more forgetting to tell your accountant about staff rota  changes for the payroll.
  • NO more missing paying in slips
  • Know your Cash Position – this  causes most problems at year or quarters  end.
  • Knowing your Bank position.
  • Know your Gross profit – if it’s too high you have missed an expense.
  • Find your documents if you need to by searching the App not your house
  • Spend  time looking after your business not fighting accounts programs.
  • Spend less time on the phone to your accountant using the message facility.
  • No need for a computer to run MTD compatible software, which HMRC mandates.

XB will take on average 1 to 2 minutes a day – and your “paperwork” is done.

If you leave it for the weekend (assuming you have all the supplier invoices) maybe 5 to 8 minutes.

You will find more benefits guaranteed.

Not at all.

 

The only thing you need to know is Money in and Money out – Income and Payments.

Everything else will be monitored by your accountant who will have access to your data in real-time.

In version 1of XB,  Invoices can’t be created, but if you are a contractor or sole trader who sends fewer than 10 invoices a month you will still gain from using XB.

Version 2 will have invoicing and payment systems without sacrificing usability.

In a word NO.

You will be able to see what your accountant will submit but not submit it yourself. This is done so that the figures can be checked for accuracy before submitting.

Do you submit them yourself now, if you do congratulations – most businesses equate their time with money and don’t want the stress of dealing with “THE VATMAN”.

If for any reason you lose, or do not have access to internet in your shop or place of work, you can still enter your takings and payments and XB will syncronise your phone with your accountants system when you next get a reliable connection