“We’ve found CEM’s service fantastic. Clare and the team proactively make suggestions for how our financial systems can work better. ”

Gordon Smith, Director Dotwise Digital Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

Bookkeeping is a regulated profession. This means that when you choose an ICB registered Bookkeeper you can be confident you have someone qualified and experienced managing your books. So many business decisions are based on the numbers and you need those numbers to be reliable.

At CEM, we believe it’s a false economy to work with any bookkeeper who isn’t ICB registered and we are qualified to provide the full range of ICB services.

You can find out more at www.bookkeepers.org.uk

You could get £4000 from the government towards your Employer NICs, just by clicking the right button on your payroll and submitting a P30. You can do this yourself or your bookkeeper will do it for you. If you’re unsure what allowances you’re entitled to do, give us a call.

You can find out more at www.gov.uk/employment-allowance

A Profit and Loss Account tells you how profitable your business is from the day-to-day running of your business. It looks at your sales and expenses.

A Balance Sheet tells you the value of your business at any given point. This is more about the structure of the business as it takes into consideration your assets (fixed and current) and your liabilities (current and long term). This gives you a picture as to whether your business is growing in value.

Your Profit and Loss Account might tell you the business is running profitably – more incomings than outgoings. However, the Balance Sheet might identify that you have assets that are losing value – e.g. if you rely on certain machinery and it will need replacing in a couple of years. Interpreting that information helps you prepare for those important investments and keeps your business growth on track.

CEM can advise you on how to be more profitable and at the same time increase the value of your business.

Just because you are making a profit, doesn’t mean there is cash in the bank. Your clients may not have paid you for your services. You may have bad debts. You may have to pay your rent and insurance up front. And at the same time, you may have suppliers who demand payment with less than 30 days credit.

Sound familiar?

These are common problems for small businesses in particular and managing your cash flow can be critical to keeping your business going.

Managing your cash flow means:

  • ensuring prompt payment from your clients
  • using supplier credit to its maximum effect
  • ensuring HMRC is paid in a prompt and timely fashion


When you manage cash flow effectively, you see the benefits of your profits. It also means you’re set up to survive the storm if .

A budget is really just a plan and it’s essential if you want to ensure your business grows and makes a profit. It could help you decide if you can employ staff or if you can pay yourself more.

A budget takes your business plan and your objectives and represents them in number format with a series of written statements that support and justify the numbers. It lets you see the real financial impact of your plans.

CEM helps you get your ideas from your head and onto paper. We help you challenge your assumptions and help you spot opportunities. And then we help you to make those plans a reality.

The law on workplace pensions changed in 2008. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has new duties, including enrolling those who are eligible into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it.

This is called ‘automatic enrolment’ because it is automatic for staff – they don’t have to do anything to be enrolled into a pension scheme, but it is not automatic for employers.

We’re qualified to advise you on the best pension scheme for your business and can take you through your options. Find out more about the CEM auto enrolment service or read up on the schemes and find out when your auto enrolment staging date is at Pensions Regulators Website

Automation is about using cloud-based software. It’s paperless and means we upload files e.g. jpegs and PDFs onto the cloud. Most accounting cloud-based software has been approved by HMRC for auditing purposes.

Xero is an accounting software package. It allows you to manage all your accounting needs. There are other packages such as Sage and Quickbooks but we Xero and we use it for client accounts. Xero is user friendly with a clear logical layout and we believe that they are working the hardest to keep their software up to date with the new banking regulations and HMRC requirements. If you want to manage your accounts in-house then it’s a very good option. We run Xero training courses to help you get the most out of its services.

You can find out more on the Xero Website

Accordion ContReceipt bank and Hubdoc are both automation tools that make managing your expenses much easier, letting you scan bills, receipts and invoices and converting it into data you and your company can use. You can also ensure the information comes directly to us so we can include it when managing your books. Historically CEM have used Receipt Bank, but recently Xero have started offering Hubdoc for free, integrated with their software – we are happy to support both, so you choose…

You can find out more on the Receipt Bank Website

Fluidly is a cash flow software that works with your accounting software (e.g. Xero or Quickbooks) and forecasts your future cash flow. You can assess the viability of business choices by giving it different scenarios such as buying new equipment or taking on a new employee and Fluidly will show you the impact on your cash flow.

You can find out more on the Fluidly website