Where are you based?
Based in Sandwell, West Midlands, we are a virtual paperless bookkeeping and payroll service that can work with businesses and individuals located anywhere in the UK.
Can I visit you in person?
Unfortunately, our insurance does not allow for visits, but you can communicate with us through the magic of Zoom with very little notice.
I am located close to you and want a traditional bookkeeping service, can I be your client?
Yes, however, we will use accounting software to manage your books. We do not offer spreadsheet bookkeeping.
Who/what is Abelha?
Abelha is the Portuguese word for bee. There is a story behind why we wanted to name the practice something to do with the word bee. We will do a Talking blog shortly with the story.
Who will be my main point of contact?
I (Marie) will be your main point of contact. You can see a picture of me on most of our social media including Abelha’s Facebook page which I encourage you to visit and “like” even if you don’t use our services. On our Facebook page, we will share information you may need or help clarify Government announcements. You will also meet me every time we have a Zoom meeting.
How regularly will we meet if I hire you as my bookkeeper?
In the early stages, we will speak at least once a week. After that, we will meet on Zoom at least once a month, but you can call anytime you need us.
What are your opening hours?
Our opening hours and availability for Zoom meetings are different.
Our business opening hours (times you can reach us by phone and Whatsapp) are Monday to Thursday 9 am to 5 pm and Friday 9 am to 3 pm.
Our Zoom meeting availability is Monday 11 am to 7 pm, Tuesday 7 am to 12 pm, Wednesday 5 pm to 9 pm, Thursday 4 pm to 7 pm and Friday 7 am to 12 pm. We offer a variety of times because most of our clients are running their businesses during the traditional 9 am to 5 pm hours.
Can I message you on Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger?
Absolutely! Whatsapp hours of availability on our contact page, but Facebook Messenger is always available on Marie’s phone and she will generally get back to you quickly.
Why do I need to provide ID?
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations require an ICB practice to collect identification from anyone who has 25% ownership in a business which want to work with us. We will NOT commence work before receiving all owners identification.
Can I keep my accounts in a spreadsheet?
You could use this method but a major downfall is that your accounts will only be up-to-date immediately after you finish working on them. We do not work with spreadsheet only based clients as we want you to have access to up-to-date accounts, so you can take business decisions based on real-time information.
Do you set up accounting software?
Yes, if you want to manage your accounting yourself, we will set it up for you. This includes if you have been using a spreadsheet(s) and wish to move them to accounting software.
Is accounting software included with your bookkeeping packages?
Yes, accounting software plus receipt/document capture software is included in the bookkeeping packages we offer.
Do you use FreeAgent/QuickBooks/Sage/Xero?
Within our practice, we use QuickBooks and FreeAgent, but we are also Xero Proadvisors and Marie is trained on Sage. If you are using Xero and wish to continue, we will still work with you using Xero. If you are using Sage, we would ask you to consider moving to one of the other accounting software that we use. We would help facilitate the move.
What's your preferred accounting software?
We don’t have a preferred accounting software between FreeAgent and QuickBooks because the one can be great for a client but awful for another. If it is not working for you then it doesn’t work for us either.
Is there a bookkeeping app I can use?
FreeAgent, QuickBooks and Xero have apps. After we (you and us) decide the best accounting software for you, you will have access to its accompanying app.
What's the best way to track my mileage?
Both FreeAgent and QuickBooks’s apps have mileage trackers which can be made available to your staff members. We can limit your staff members app access to their mileage tracker only.
What qualifications do you have?
Via the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), I (Marie) have completed their Level 3 bookkeeping and Payroll Agent courses and am currently completing Level 4 Self-Assessment Tax Returns.
How much experience do you have?
Marie: Overall I have approximately three years experience. Most of my experience was gained in Florida where I managed the daily bookkeeping and payroll for a condominium association with over 250 units and 7 staff members. I also managed the accounts for a retail sporting goods company. In both these roles, I used QuickBooks and the double-entry system which is used as the standard in both countries.
Can you provide a reference?
Yes, we can.
Which professional body regulates you as a bookkeeper?
Do you have professional indemnity insurance?
Yes, we are insured through Qdos, the company recommended and used by most ICB Bookkeepers.
What measures do you take to keep my data secure?
One of the reasons we choose to be a paperless practice is to ensure we can protect your data. All software, cloud base storage and websites that will hold your data are GDPR compliant.
Are you registered with the Information Commissioner's Office for Data Protection?
Yes, we are. Additionally, as an ICB Practice, we have to frequently check that we are meeting GDPR requirements.
What happens next if I decide to start working with you?
If we have sent you a proposal via email, please review and accept then look for a welcome email from us.
What happens if I decide to cancel my contract with you?
We would love the opportunity to make right what is not working for you, but if not, just let us know in writing that you wish to cancel your rolling contract.
Can you do my payroll?
Yes, we can do your payroll, additionally, your staff can contact us directly with any queries if you wish.
Can you do my VAT return?
Yes, we generally do VAT returns as part of our bookkeeping packages but dependant upon how you manage your books we may be able to do a one-off VAT return.
Will I get a monthly report?
Better than a monthly report, we will have a Zoom meeting and go over your books (which you will see via Screen Share). The closest we come to sending a monthly report is a weekly email which informs you if anything is missing but you will only get those after your first month as a client (before that we will be communicating frequently with you to get your accounts up-to-date).
I haven't done any bookkeeping yet this financial year, is that a problem?
Absolutely not! We would not be a bookkeeping practice if it were. Talk to us and let's get your accounts up-to-date (shipshape and Bristol fashion as Marie likes to say).
Can you help me with budgeting?
100% yes! Please let us know that is one of your goals in working with us so we can pick the correct accounting software that has a budgeting feature.
How do I share my paperwork with you?
Via a document/receipt capture software called AutoEntry, cloud storage and/or an email address that comes with accounting software (not available with all accounting software).
What happens if I can't get my paperwork to you in time?
We hope you will send receipts via AutoEntry as you get them, but we remind you to frequently avoid late paperwork. However, late paperwork might cause a late HMRC required filing such as a VAT return that you will then be required to pay a late filing fee. We cannot guarantee on-time filing if for example a VAT return is due to HMRC by Monday/Tuesday midnight and you send us the required paperwork after 12 noon on Monday especially if there is a great volume of paperwork.
How can I make a complaint about a service I've received?
Call/email to make us aware so we can discuss and fix it promptly. We offer a service to you and excellence is important to us.
How can I find out your charges?
Contact us to schedule a no-obligation Zoom meeting. Due to every client/business being different, we like to ensure that we are giving you accurate pricing for the services you need. After the meeting, we will send you a proposal with all the details in writing so you can review our charges.
How do I pay?
Our service is on a prepaid rolling contract basis that is set up at the time of your acceptance of the proposal. Once you have set up your payment details, payment is automatically deducted monthly. You will receive a reminder of payment due a couple of days before the payment is taken.
Can I pay by bank transfer?
No, but during acceptance of our proposal you can set up a direct debit.
Can I pay by direct debit?
Yes, there is an option when setting up your payment preference.
Can I pay by Credit/Debit card?
Yes, there is an option when setting up your payment preference.
Do I need to wait until the end of the month to start working with you?
No, you do not need to wait until the end of the month but if you are transferring from another bookkeeper or accountant, it may be better to wait until the end of the month.
Abelha Bookkeeping is insured, licenced and supervised for AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation - registered with ICO) by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), holding Practice Licence Number 22224.