How Cloud Accounting Can Save You Time and Money 

When our clients join us here at NM Group, they become part of our growing family – and we make it a point to take care of our people. We’re always on the lookout for ways to stay at the forefront of developments in accounting, and love to save our awesome clients time and money.

Cloud accounting software is just one of the tools that helps us to do that; we’ve talked about cloud accounting more generally in one of our earlier blog posts, but today we’re going to zero in on the software we use to get the job done – Xero. Right off the bat, we can tell you that Xero is simple to use and very visual – but here’s a closer look at why we think this one’s a real winner for us and for our clients.

1. Your finances on the go

You can use Xero on any device, whether you stick to your desktop or download the app to your phone.

That means that you can be productive on the go and stay on top of the financial side of your business wherever you are in the world (as long as you’ve got access to the internet, of course). Xero allows you to get an accurate, real-time view of your company’s cashflow, so you’ll always know exactly what’s going on and be fully informed when it comes to making  your next business decision.

2. Save time and get paid faster

Thanks to Xero’s mobile invoicing, online payment facilities and automated reminders, you can take the hassle out of creating and sending invoices to your clients, and cut down on costs by doing it yourself instead of passing it on to your trusted accountant.

Get paid faster, save time, use your accountant’s time more efficiently, and cut down on paperwork with automated bank transaction imports, reconciliation, payments and more. With Xero on your side, chasing after pending invoices is a thing of the past. Oh, and when it comes to payroll, you’ll save even more time (and money) by minimising the need for manual data entry with maximum compliance through Xero’s combined payroll and accounting facilities. Simple!

3. Collaboration central

Working as a team is a big part of day-to-day life here at NM Group, whether that means collaborating with our colleagues or working hand in hand with our clients to help them thrive.

Xero allows you to collaborate with your accountant, bookkeeper and fellow team members with ease; all you have to do is invite the right users to work with you on your business. Each profile gets access specifically to those areas of your business that they need to do their job, and it’s all up to you. Plus, our staff is fully Xero-certified, which means we’re not only pros at using it, but we can help you become a pro too!

4. Serious data security

You have absolute control over who sees what. Xero allows you to decide who has access to your company’s data, and what kind of permissions each user profile enjoys.

Other users can only get access through an invite that you send, and the software employs high-level, third-party services in the US to host all its online and mobile services. That means that any personal info is safely transferred to servers in the States, with all the necessary legal agreements in place to ensure everything is in line with EU regulations.

5. Keep hackers at bay

One of our favourite things about this software is that all your business data is backed up and protected with layer upon layer of top-tier, industry-standard security and data encryption.

As an added security measure, Xero gives you the ability to use two-step authentication as an added barrier to your sensitive information. This method is trusted by many prominent internet banking/online services, and makes it a lot harder for hackers to do their dirty work. If anything suspicious is detected in your account activity, Xero takes action and raises the alarm right away.

With five benefits like these, you’re probably kicking yourself for not discovering cloud accounting sooner, right?

Do you want to know more about how NM Group can help you take things to the next level? Get in touch with us today and let’s have a chat about it!

Starting Your Own Business: Limited Liability Company vs Self-Employed

The time has come to finally embark on that project that you’ve been dreaming of – but there’s one big question mark ahead of you. How should you register your business?

The two most common options are to operate through a limited liability company or as a self-employed individual.

Each of these options come with their own pros and cons, some of which really depend on your business model and the level of risk you’re willing to take.

Let’s start by looking at Limited Liability Company registration:

Pros

  • In the eyes of the law, a company is a separate legal person. As such, the company shall carry out its trading activity in its own name by providing the company director with full powers and responsibilities in relation to company operations. This implies that if anything had to go wrong with a company stakeholder (employee, supplier, customer), such stakeholder would have to resolve the issue (whether in Court or otherwise) with the company – and not its shareholders, personally.
  • The liability of a company is limited to the amount of authorised share capital. As such, if the company had to be sued and its assets do not suffice, the liability imposed on the company shareholders is capped / limited to the amount of authorised share capital. This does not imply that the company can be used to carry out fraud or any other criminal activity. In such cases the court can decide to lift the corporate veil.
  • It is considered to be more professional to trade under the name of a company because it implies a structured set-up. The company is also subject to an annual audit that is considered to be a plus when it comes to securing bigger clients/suppliers, dealing with banks, and tendering for work.

Cons

  • A Maltese-registered company has mandatory statutory reporting obligations.

    Any company registered in Malta must submit 3 annual reports;
    (1) Annual Audited Financial Statement (Malta Business Registry)
    (2) Annual Corporate Tax Return (Commissioner For Revenue)
    (3) Annual Return (Malta Business Registry).


    These reports must be submitted regardless of whether the company is in operation or not. In the case of a trading company, there also is the obligation of registering for VAT purposes and submitting quarterly VAT returns.
  • The formal closure of a limited liability company entails the formal process of a liquidation, which also would trigger additional costs.

Moving on to Self-Employed Registration

Pros

  • The reporting obligations of a self-employed individual are far less stringent and frequent than that of a company. Nonetheless, a self-employed individual still has its own reporting obligations as follows;
    (1) Preparation of an annual Profit & Loss statement
    (2) Filing of an annual personal tax return
    (3) Payment of National Insurance Contributions in 3 instalments (Apr / Aug / Dec)

Cons

  • A self-employed individual operates under his/her personal name, meaning that they will carry unlimited liability. Any issues with business stakeholders are to be resolved with the self-employed individual on a personal level. Furthermore, there is no limitation to the liability that can be brought against the self-employed individual.

Here are some other considerations worth weighing up

  • Corporate / Personal Taxes: Companies are subject to a flat income tax rate of 35% on profits. On the other hand, self-employed individuals are subject to progressive tax rates starting at 0% and gradually increasing to 15% then to 25% and finally to 35% (beyond €60,000 in profits). Overall income would probably be your deciding factor here, as in terms of taxation, this can be managed very easily with the help of a good accountant.
  • Grants / Tax Credits: Generally, grants and tax credits are normally equally available to all registered businesses regardless of whether they operate as a company or self-employed business.
  • Set-Up Procedures / Costs: The incorporation of a company requires one to draft the companies Memorandum and Articles of Association. Such documents will regulate the governance of the company in line with Malta’s legislation (The Companies Act). Furthermore, such a process would also require the submission of additional applications/disclosures and the registration of the company for VAT and Tax purposes. The set-up process of a self-employment is less bureaucratic and thus less costly. In terms of timelines, both set-ups can be managed within one week.
  • Malta Tax Refund System: Malta’s tax refund system for international investors can only be availed of by corporate structures and thus not by self-employed individuals. 

If you’re looking to start up a new business and require assistance for anything ranging from company incorporation, VAT registration, government funding, tax refunds and much more contact NM Group today!