Government ‘Kickstart’ Scheme & ATB

Below is information that could help you to make the most of the various beneficial financial schemes that are available at the moment that could be useful to your business and that ATB Accounting Training for Business can be of help with.

The first is the new £2 billion Government funded ‘Kickstart’ programme, where 100% of wages costs (including National Insurance contributions and Auto Enrolment Pension contributions) funding is provided, to create job placements for 6 months for young people.

The very interesting part of this scheme is that there is additional funding of £1,500 per job placement, for set-up costs and any support and training that might be required.  This could be to provide laptops, computer programs or training for example.  And this is where ATB Accounting Training for Business can help.

We can offer set-up and training in the use of Sage Accounting programs for business use and office systems support and training – especially Excel spreadsheets set-up and usage.

Secondly, we have just celebrated our 10 years in business anniversary as an accredited and certified course provider and are offering a discount at the moment on any courses booked.  We also have close links with Sage and we can offer their Business Cloud Accounting Plus package at special provider rates, which include FREE usage for 3 months (if signed up before 31st October and subscribed through ATB) and then preferential monthly subscription rates after that.

These are difficult times for businesses, but there are support schemes available that can help and hopefully boost your business going forward and we can help to facilitate making the most of the opportunities being made available by the Government with regard to the new ‘Kickstart’ scheme and any other training support needed.

If you have any questions, are interested in accessing the scheme or our help and services, please do give us a call or email – we are your local training provider and are more than happy to have a no obligation chat with you.

5 Key Benefits of Bespoke Training for Organisations

Every business relies on the skill of their staff to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. After all, within any organisation, it is ultimately the people in the business that drive success. Therefore, it is important that every person has the right skill-set to be able to carry out their individual roles. Often, when organisations expand and grow, they need to upskill their staff to align with their new business objectives. When this happens, team skills need to be reviewed and this is where bespoke training for organisations can be a useful and efficient way to develop your employees. 
We have listed below the five main benefits of bringing bespoke training into the workplace:

  1. Upskill staff to improve performance
    Highly skilled employees will contribute to your overall success in terms of maintaining smooth business operations and increased profit margins. Whether you are a small, medium or large-sized business, your employees’ performance will either help you move forward or leave you lagging behind your competitors.
  2. Flexibility – reduce time out of the office
    Most bespoke training courses can be delivered directly to staff in the workplace, which means they can stay on-site to carry on with their day-to-day duties. This is especially important if a course is likely to take several days, as it can then fit around busy work schedules. Plus, on-site training reduces the costs of venue hire and refreshments, as existing meeting or board rooms can be used to deliver the training.
  3. Increase knowledge and awareness
    Simply by being aware of issues relating to certain areas will reduce potential risks to your business. This is important if your business has increased its earnings and you are facing new tax or VAT requirements. As every business is different, bespoke training can be tailored specifically to your needs and industry area. The more relevant the training, the more your staff and business will benefit.
  4. Remove the need for extra staff 
    Nowadays, the cost of employing a person has risen due to auto enrolment pension schemes. Therefore, wherever possible, it is cheaper to upskill existing staff instead of employing a new person. What’s more, new starters will need inducting into your company processes, which will have an impact on staff time. For example, in larger businesses, a team may need to expand to be able to carry out the required amount of work, i.e. accounting, to ensure the company runs efficiently. Therefore, upskilling one or two team members using bespoke training methods can often prove to be a cheaper solution. Similarly, a medium-sized business may find they need a better qualified accounts person to look after important financial information – in this instance, the business and the individual may both benefit from higher accounting qualifications. Smaller businesses often lose sight of their figures when they expand rapidly because they do not know how to manage their accounts. In this case, they may not be able to afford to employ someone, or bring in a bespoke trainer, so a flexible distance learning bookkeeping or accounting course may prove more suitable.
  5. Create confidence and buy in
    When a business expands, especially if growth has been rapid or unexpected, the less confident staff may feel when it comes to fulfilling their roles. By providing tailored training courses to your teams, you will build their confidence and create buy-in to your overall business objectives. By investing in staff training, your people will feel valued, and they will understand how they fit in with your overall business operations.

Sometimes it might be useful to organise a training day outside of the office. This can be beneficial as it takes staff away from the daily distractions of the office and can increase their focus for learning. Any type of training must fit in with the demands of your business, and this is where bespoke training can be a highly flexible way to develop your people at minimal risk to your day-to-day operations.
If you are interested in bespoke training for your own business, please get in touch. As well as providing bespoke training both on-site and off-site for a range of businesses and sectors, we also offer a wide range of distance learning courses. For more information, please call 07903 245181 or email:

7 Benefits of Computerised Accounting Systems

Computerised accounting systems are a convenient way of recording, storing, analysing and reporting financial information. At some stage, everyone will need to use this type of system to manage and submit their accounts, i.e. tax returns. This is due to the government’s plans for Making Tax Digital, which is now set to roll out in 2019. HMRC are currently trialling systems to enable digital accounting processes, but there are various systems already available, which businesses can start using to get ready for this mandatory change. In this article, we explore the benefits of computerised accounting for businesses:

  1. Reduce the time spent on manual processes
    Computerised accounting uses sophisticated software to automate manual accounting and bookkeeping processes, such as complex calculations. For small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs), digital accounting will save hours of time and resource by enabling you to manage your accounts in a fraction of the usual time.
  2. Less errors and increased accuracy
    Digital accounting ensures all entered data is calculated precisely, which means you won’t have to manually check your accounts every time you or a member of staff inputs new data. This includes income, expenses, transactional data, account reconciliation, period end adjustments, as well as stock and VAT.
  3. Real-time financial information
    Computerised accounting systems are synchronised and aligned with your online bank account. This means you will always have access to up-to-date information on whether invoices are being paid by your customers, as well as your business outgoings.
  4. Automated invoices, credit notes and receipts
    Many online accounting systems enable automated invoicing, crediting and receipting processes, which means you will remove time spent creating manual invoices, credit notes and receipts. Some systems also send chaser emails if debts have not been paid, which is a very useful tool for SMEs who usually do not have adequate resources available for debt recovery.
  5. Innovative financial technology
    Many computerised accounting systems are cloud-based, which means you can download apps for mobile phones and tablets. This enables you to check your accounts at any time, no matter where you are in the world.
  6. Save money on resources
    By streamlining your accounting and bookkeeping processes by using a computerised system, you (or a member of staff) won’t need to spend as much time managing your financial information. This will lead to cost-savings – many computerised accounting systems can be provided by way of an affordable monthly subscription fee.
  7. Faster record-keeping leads to more business
    Due to automated complex calculations, continual awareness of your finances, and less time spent on processing and checking your accounts, you can spend more time focusing on your business operations and increasing your profit margin.

There are many computerised accounting systems available including programs such as Xero and Sage One. Each system has its own selling points, so we always urge people to review a system and check whether it’s the right fit for your business and operations.

If you would like to find out how you can implement digital accounting within your own business, please see our range of computerised accounting, bookkeeping and payroll courses. Whether you need to upskill yourself, your workforce, or you need to start from scratch, we can provide guidance and advice to help you find the right solution. 
Please contact us for details on our range of courses – call 07903 245181 or email:

Case study: Expand your business through distance learning

One of the benefits of our courses is the fact that many of our learners go on to start their own business. Some of our learners already have their own businesses, and they take one or more of our courses to increase their range of services. This was exactly the case when Dave Smith expanded his offering for Drum Business Support Services after studying through ATB Accounting Training for Business.

Dave Smith, Owner/Director, Drum Business Support Services Ltd.
Dave was already running his own business before he started our Computerised Accounting for Business Level 3 course. He decided to upskill as a reaction to customer feedback. Dave was receiving a lot of enquiries for accounting and bookkeeping, and he wanted to be able to provide a more professional level of support for his customers. Dave trained at an advanced level, learning how to use Sage accounting software within a double entry bookkeeping system to keep financial records. This course shows you how to enter data for customer and supplier invoices, credit notes and payments on account, as well as transactional data, i.e. payments made using a credit card. Plus, the Computerised Accounting for Business Level 3 course also provides training on reconciling accounts, end of period adjustments, stock, income, expenses, and VAT.

The Results
As well as the above skills, Dave learned how to effectively analyse figures to provide high quality management information and reporting. This has enabled him to offer a much more advanced level of accounting and bookkeeping support for his clients.

“I was offering management and business support services to my clients. Business was slow to start with and I found that most people were asking for help with their bookkeeping and accounts. Rather than saying, ‘Sorry, I can’t help’, I signed up to one of ATB’s intensive course offerings. I was soon able to offer my potential customers the services they needed. Four years on, and I am successfully providing my clients with business support including bookkeeping and computerised accounting – I have never looked back.”
Dave Smith

This is just one success story. Many others have similar stories to share – we always find it so rewarding when our learners go on to fully utilise our courses by expanding their business offering.

Distance learning courses have many benefits for small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) compared with more formal classroom based teaching. Easily accessible, a distance learning course can be undertaken at a convenient time to suit you. This is especially important if you are already running your own business and need to support your clients.

Our courses can form part of an SME’s training strategy to develop employees and support growth. If you are looking to upskill your workforce, ATB Accounting Training for Business has a range of courses on offer including the areas of accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and other bespoke courses.

If you are thinking of starting a business and need training to either upskill or gain professional certification, then please contact us or call 07903 245181 for more details. Email: