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FAQ

Where are you based?

We are based in Sandwell, West Midlands, we are a virtual paperless bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparer service that works with female-led sole, micro and small businesses within England and Wales.

Can I visit you in person?

Unfortunately, our insurance does not allow for visits, but you can communicate with us via e-mail, telephone and video conferencing.

 

I am located close to you and want a traditional bookkeeping service; can I be your client?

Sorry, no we only offer a virtual service.

 

Who/what is Abelha?

Abelha is the Portuguese word for bee. We love bees because they create sweet honey. Our goal is to create sweet honey with your books.

 

Who will be my main point of contact? 

I (Marie) will be your main point of contact. Visit our 'About' page to learn more about me.

How regularly will we meet if I hire you as my bookkeeper?

In the early stages, we will speak frequently. After that, we will meet via video conferencing or speak via telephone at least every other month if you wish, but you can contact us anytime.

 

What are your opening hours?

Our opening hours and availability for Zoom meetings are different from our business opening hours as we offer early morning and evening Zoom meetings (see availability below).

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.

 

Can I message you on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger?

Absolutely! Our availability is the same as our business opening hours above.

 

Why do I need to provide an ID?

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations require an ICB practice (which we are) to collect identification from anyone who holds 25% ownership in a business that wants to work with us. We will NOT commence work before receiving all owners’ (with 25% or more ownership) identification and other required documents.

 

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, to aid in your making 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 to accounting software.

 

Is accounting software included with your bookkeeping packages?

Yes, accounting software plus other necessary software can be included in the bookkeeping packages we offer.

 

Do you use FreeAgent/QuickBooks/Sage/Xero?

Within our practice, we use FreeAgent and Xero. We no longer work with clients who use Quickbooks and Sage but can facilitate the move to FreeAgent or Xero. Please note we do not work with any desktop-based (non-cloud) accounting software.

 

What's your preferred accounting software?

We don’t have preferred accounting software because one can be great for one 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 and Xero have apps. After we (you and us) decide on the best accounting software for you, you will have access to its accompanying app.

 

What's the best way to track my mileage?

The FreeAgent app has a mileage tracker which can be made available to your staff members. If we use Xero for your payroll, you will have access to 'Xero Me' which tracks mileage. These apps can limit your staff members' app access to the mileage tracker only.

 

What qualifications do you have?

Via the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), I (Marie) have completed their Level 3 bookkeeping, Payroll Agent, and Level 4 Self-Assessment Tax Returns courses. I am currently studying Financial Statements.  

 

How much experience do you have?

Marie: I have approximately four years of experience before opening Abelha Bookkeeping and as of January 2024, Abelha has been open for three and a half years. 

 

Can you provide a reference?

Yes, we can.

 

Which professional body regulates you as a bookkeeper?

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

 

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-based 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 check that we are meeting GDPR requirements frequently.

 

What happens next if I decide to start working with you?

If you have never contacted us before, please contact us by phone/Whatsapp (07309305105), website contact form or email (info@abelhabooks.com).

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 (30 days notice required) 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.

 

Will I get a monthly report?

Better than a monthly report, we can have a video conferencing call to review your books (which you will see via Screen Share). 

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 if 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, 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 document/receipt capture as you get them, but we will remind you frequently to 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 at 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 conference video call. 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 set during onboarding. Once you have set up your payment details, payment is automatically deducted monthly.

 

Can I pay by bank transfer?

No, but during onboarding, you can set up a direct debit.

 

Can I pay by direct debit?

Yes, we will send you set-up details during onboarding.

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.

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