My Money caught up with Jan Zalar to ask him our 10 key questions about his life as a freelancer.
- 15 Jul 2019
So, it’s the dawn of another year. Another business year, another tax season and the endless administration of it all.
Each year, there are a host of new apps and tools coming to the market designed to make our lives a little easier and more connected. Although these two don’t always go hand in hand…
It’s good to know that the self-employed have not been left out. There are some great tools, apps and services out there to help us get on top of our admin, from staying on the right side of the law to getting paid a little faster.
Here are seven tools and services that can help save you time and money, make you money and even protect what you work hard for.
Wherever you want to take your business this year, start with where you are
Knowing exactly where you are financially has never been easier thanks to apps like Albert (getalbert.com). This simple tool connects to your bank account and enables you to see what has come in, what is going out and produces quick reports so you can stay on top of things. Moreover, it can also produce customisable HMRC-compliant invoices, track and store them and even sort your accounts for you.
Staying on the right side of the law can be time-consuming and expensive
From as little as £8 a month, services like Farillio (farill.io) provide access to legal experts and tools to help you out with your business. Their experts are on hand to answer your questions; there is a comprehensive suite of ready-to-go legal documents at your fingertips; and a collection of videos to help guide you.
Don’t look down
While the majority of self-employed people enjoy the freedom and control they get from being their own boss, they miss out on the safety net their employed friends get. But services such as Sherpa (meetsherpa.com) offer free online advice on what insurance packages you need to ensure you are covered in the event of death or serious illness.
In just a few minutes, you could have your own bespoke advice and tailored package which you can either choose to go and buy yourself or buy in a few clicks using Sherpa’s own cover.
Your network works for you now
A new service called AnyGood, www.anygood.com is turning the recruitment industry on its head and creating an interesting opportunity to earn yourself a little extra money. All you have to do is sign up and once approved, you can recommend people you know for the roles they have posted. If your candidate is successful, you receive £1,500 as a thank you. Not bad for a few minutes’ work.
Business insurance, your flexible friend
Clients can often insist that you have the right Professional Indemnity or Public Liability insurance. In the past, you would have to buy an annual policy, even if you hardly needed this type of cover.
But with Digital Risks (digitalrisks.com), you can switch it on, switch it off, increase it, decrease it as you need to, making it work for your business and your different clients’ needs.
How far do you go to claim expenses against your tax bill?
This can be hard to judge. All those little trips and longer trips in the car need to be added up and many people undercount rather than overdo it, just to be on the safe side. Either way, one thing is for sure – you have to have good record keeping when it’s time for the tax return.
MileIQ (mileiq.com) is a great little app that tracks your business mileage for you and then produces simple reports to help you record and claim exactly the right mileage.
Still using your personal bank account for your business?
If you are thinking of opening a bank account just for your business then here’s a little fact for you. One in 12 business accounts opened last year were with a bank called Tide (tide.co).
Why? You can open an account in minutes, get a contactless card, get access to credit and link it with your accountancy tools. It is incredibly easy, plus you can even use your cards abroad at no extra charge.
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