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February 2014

It’s only 6 months since the last edition and a lot has happened at my end. I’ve been thrown into the deep end of video blogging as part of my advertising arrangement with AccountingWeb. I’m not a Luddite, but I am very selective with which technology I use, both for business and personal purposes.

In the scramble to be seen to be keeping up to date with client engagement practitioners are too all too often rushing headlong into the wrong medium , meaning that they are wasting the most valuable of resources – time , whilst simultaneously missing the boat. If ever there was a case for following professional guidance from those who know, this is it.


North v South

...check it out for yourself

Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear about the “north / south” divide. We’ve put together our own data so you can see the most popular start-up places in the UK.



We’re delighted to announce that since joining Trustpilot, the independent website and customer review organisation we’ve achieved “Excellent” rating. We thank those of you who took the time to respond to their survey and look forward to continuing to provide unrivalled service across the board.


Helping clients with poor credit

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Join the App revolution in client engagement

Client engagement is the current buzzword and rightfully so. Accountants are in a service industry where relationships are critical especially with expectations of instant responses and data at our fingertips.

MyFirmsApp has been developed specifically to meet this need and FD’s Maximiti division is working closely with the developers to bring you the latest innovations.

Purchase once, distribute to all contacts without limit

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Fast, time effective, communication channel

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Contains great calculators, tax tables and key dates

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Visit MyFirmsApp to learn more or ring 0800 803 0826


5 tips for insuring your start-up effectively



Learn your legal and contractual responsibilities

Ask yourself - are there any insurance requirements placed upon me? If you’re not sure ask your broker for guidance, they’re there to help.

Want to put a sign outside your new shop? You’ll likely need public liability. Working with a City bank? You’ll probably need professional indemnity. Employing staff? You’ll most definitely need employer’s liability (read more here).

From industry to occupation the cover you’ll require will change, so look at your business long and hard, conduct your research and make sure know what insurance you’ll need.


Ensure you’re covering enough

Many insurers will apply penalties if you ‘under insure’ items so it’s important to get sufficient cover in place. For example, say your equipment is worth £10,000, but you choose to only cover £5,000 (50%) as you doubt you’ll lose it all and you want to cut costs on the policy. A claim of £4,000 would be reduced to £2,000 (50%) before any excess deduction.

Always look at the bigger picture. A few pounds shaved off your policy cost could set you back hundreds, even thousands later down the line.


Seek a reputable insurer

Insurers are bound by several regulated duties, but the way they choose to carry these out may vary – so choose wisely. Researching your insurer is key here and with the web it’s easier than ever.

Feefo is a good source of this research, as is consumer champion Which?. Cast an eye over sites like these and you’ll be better placed to make an informed decision.


Look for endorsements and exclusions

So, you’re on your way to building a policy with a reputable insurer, set at the right levels and fulfilling all of your requirements – what else should you look out for?

Insurers will often place certain conditions on a policy called endorsements and exclusions. You’ll usually find these highlighted or listed on your schedule and they can alter things that you might expect to be covered normally. For instance; you may find that flood exclusion means the stock cover you took out won’t apply if it gets damaged in a flood.

Bear in mind that as well as exclusions, other conditions may exist on the policy. Perhaps you’re required to carry out regular training, stock checks, audits and the like. You will only know by asking or carefully checking through your policy.


Ask where the added value is

Finally, you’ve found two policies that cover everything you need, both from reputable insurers and at prices that are almost the same. How do you choose between them?

A good way would be to search for the added value in the policies. Many insurers will include extras such as:

Legal advice lines for tax and HR enquiries

Seasonal stock increases

Personal accident cover (in case you get injured and can’t work)

Goods in transit cover

In short, take your time when choosing a policy and ask as many questions as possible. Although insuring your business can seem like a nuisance and something you want to get over and done with quickly, it’s important to invest ample time in picking that first policy – it’ll potentially provide greater security and peace of mind for years to come.

Anthony O’Toole (Cert CII), the author, is the Affiliate Manager at online insurance broker Simply Business.


FD has negotiated a deal with Simply Business that pays cashback to accountants who recommend their clients to Simply Business. To find out more ring 0161 798 9999.

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