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Sesame prawn toast is not my speciality

On Sunday evening, I decided to have a go at making sesame prawn toast. I read the recipe and thought I had done a pretty good job. It became apparent after the first mouthful that I had not done any kind of good. It was somehow soggy and overcooked all at once. We tried scraping the prawn mix off of the toast to see if that was any more palatable. It wasn’t.

I am not a bad cook – my family tell me that I’m actually a very capable one (one of my sons is training to be a chef so I’ll take that). I try to cook from scratch most of the time rather than buying pre-prepared meals. To be fair my strengths probably lie more in Italian and British dishes.

As we were throwing the uneaten (inedible) food in the bin, it dawned on me that I had ignored the advice I give to our clients.

Focus on your core strengths and delegate everything else

Most director-shareholders recognise that they don’t have the knowledge required to prepare their annual accounts and tax returns but are still actively managing their day-to-day finances. Here are some of the things a business owner should not be doing themselves:

  1. Bookkeeping
  2. VAT returns
  3. Payroll

For some reason people think bookkeeping is easy. I have a few theories on how that train of thought has evolved (gender bias for one) and the software companies are not helpful. Processing invoices and bills is all well and good but you need to understand the concept of double entry and the difference between revenue & capital. A sound knowledge of tax laws is essential.

This brings me to VAT returns which apparently are simply a matter of hitting a button. We have a well known motto in the accountancy world: rubbish in rubbish out. The actual filing of a return is not technically difficult but that doesn’t mean that the information in the return is correct. In my experience, VAT laws are complex in their own right and must also be applied in the context of the income tax laws. This should be done by a qualified professional.

Payroll is an area that is easy until it’s not. And I am not just talking about situations like pension equalisers or 52 variable pay holiday calculations. Mistakes in payroll are costly and can damage work relations. I saved a 2-director business £957.72 last week as they’d missed their employment allowance claim. Most importantly, your employees rely on their wages to pay their rent & mortgages, credit card bills, and to put food on the table. It is your duty to get it right.


You will accomplish more than accuracy by having an expert looking after your finances. You will be liberated. Whether that is free to grow your business or to spend more time with the people you love. Maybe don’t use that time to make prawn toast though.

We can help you to achieve that goal without losing touch with your numbers – please get in touch to find out more about the Composure way of doing things.

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