Common Problems when working with accountants

If you are a business owner, you probably have an accountant. The relationship you have with your accountant is very important.  Your accountant prepares and helps you to interpret the accounts for your business and ensures that you  comply with various regulations re reporting and taxation. If this relationship is not providing you with the […]

Review of Collsoft Payroll 2018

Your Payroll needs to be well managed Most business owners I know are a little bit frightened of payroll. If you don’t manage it properly, you can end up with a big bill at the year end.  If you agree to pay an employee’s wages on an after-tax amount – agreeing to pay, say, € […]

Review of Sage 50 Accounts

Choosing new accounts software can be a challenge.  You want something that you can use yourself so that you won’t always be dependent on someone else.  You want it to be reliable so that when your review your Profit and Loss you can believe it and you can be confident when you are submitting your […]

Tax Allowable Deductions

Are you claiming all of your allowable expenses when doing your taxes? Most people know about the PAYE tax credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.  They also know about Pension allowances and Medical Expenses. Not as many know about what the Revenue call Flat Rate Expense Allowances. Flat Rate Expenses Flat-rate expenses are those […]

Why are accountants so expensive?

I understand.  You are running a business and it’s hard to make money.  Then your accountant comes along and presents you with a big fee, anything from € 600 to possibly €1,500 or more per day for his or her work.  You struggle to understand why it can cost so much. I have been running […]

Understanding Financial Statements

Do you understand financial statements and how they relate to each other? Over the years, I have developed and delivered workshops on Finance for non-financial managers.  As part of those, I developed some simple scenarios to explain the key points. This series of videos uses those scenarios to explain what each of the three main […]

How to calculate your breakeven point

One thing I am often asked about is how to calculate your breakeven point. Video on how to calculate breakeven (6 min) Other relevant articles If this topic is relevant for you, you may  also be interested in the following blog posts. The nuts and bolts of accounting How to prepare financial projections How much […]

AIB Online Banking v BoI Online Banking

AIB Online Banking v BoI Online Banking Do you use internet banking in your business?   Maybe you’re a bit frustrated with the online banking product that you are currently using and you are trying to decide if you should switch.  You might just be frustrated with your bank for other reasons and want to know […]

How difficult is changing accountants?

Are you worried about changing accountant? Maybe you are dissatisfied with your existing accountant but worried about changing, fearful that it would be a lot more hassle than it’s worth? From time to time, I get asked by prospective clients how difficult is it to change accountant.  Some accountants like their clients to think it’s […]

Allowable Motor Expense Rates (2017)

Allowable Motor Expense Rates (2017) Revenue amended the rates for claiming motoring expenses with effect from April 1, 2017. Given that most businesses use these rates as the basis for Revenue-approved motor expense claims for businesses, you should be aware of the changes. The key changes are: They have increased the number of distance bands […]

Xero Certified Advisor

Is Xero right for your business?

What is Xero? Xero is a cloud accounting application that provides similar functionality as most of the standard accounting packages such as Sage 50 or QuickBooks. Being a cloud service, the data resides in the cloud and the application is accessed via a web brower.   Xero is  an example of software that are classed as […]

Struggling with your work-life balance?

One of the most common problems for self-employed people is achieving or maintaining a good work/life balance. I recently had a client who was finding that he was overwhelmed by the amount of work that had to be done and was seriously considering pulling back from the business because of work life balance issues.  So, […]

Turning your financial transactions into insightful information: an engineering perspective

Understanding the nuts and bolts of your accounting really does give you an advantage as a business owner. As we outlined in our last blog post, breaking down your transactions into inputs and outputs (and thinking like a process-driven engineer) is the first step in getting in proper control of your accounts and finances. The […]

How to avoid accounting surprises

One issue that often comes up with new clients is the frustration they feel when the accounting results turn out to be significantly different from what they expected.  They may have had a very busy period, worked hard and expected to show good results and, yet, when the accounts are finalised they are disappointed because […]

Seven Drivers of Highly Engaged Staff

This months Blog Post comes from Mindshop Colleagues Mark Buckland and Wayne Lockhart In his highly acclaimed book ‘Good to Great’ Jim Collins suggests that employing, leading and managing staff is like taking a bus trip. In doing so he outlined two philosophies related to how business owners get the best out of their people […]

PDCA or PDSA – What’s the difference?

I have been thinking recently about PDCA and PDSA. When I first encountered Business Improvement Theory I learned about the Deming or Shewhart Cycle – usually referred to as PDCA. This is short for Plan-Do-Check-Act. As I understand it, Shewhart first came up with the concept but Deming popularised it. The theory behind it says […]

How to overcome the Knowing-Doing Gap

Many people go on courses and learn some very powerful techniques but don’t go on to apply the techniques. Some of these people are serial course/workshop attenders. They have all the knowledge. They can tell you how to solve your problems but they don’t seem to be able to apply it to themselves. This phenomenon […]

Why is change so hard?

Today’s guest blog post comes from Mindshop colleague, Mark Ellsworth ( Have you ever wondered why some companies seem to thrive despite economic uncertainty, while many of their competitors seem to struggle for survival? Is it that one company’s products are so much superior to that of another? Possibly, but not likely. Is it that […]

Why you should invest in Management Development

While attending a recent induction session for the SCCUL Mentors Programme, I became aware of a 2010 report by Forfás on Management Development in Ireland. The Report quotes findings from a McKinsey review of management practices across 14 countries which found that Management Practice in the high value manufacturing sector is above average . […]

Finding time for Strategic Thinking

This blog update comes from Mindshop Colleague, Paul Hopwood. ( Paul is a longtime Mindshop Member and is one of the Support Coaches for Mindshop members. “Very often, the biggest constraint for business owners is their time. Those who make time to think strategically tend to punch above their weight. We know this intuitively, but […]

Tools for organising ideas

Affinity Diagrams are a tool used to organise information by identifying some commonality. In improvement projects, they can be used to organise a large number of issues or ideas into logical groupings. Affinity Diagrams are usually created by recording ideas onto post-it notes and then physically moving or organising the notes so that they are […]

Unit Price v Total Cost

Today’s blog update comes from Mindshop founder, Chris Mason. “In today’s ever increasingly competitive global market the question on how to compete on price always comes up. People believe that the only way to compete is to be the lowest price supplier of their goods or services. Unit price is only one factor in deciding […]

Making Time for what’s important

There is a lot of good information available from my colleagues in Mindshop that will be very helpful to readers of this blog. From time to time, I plan on sharing some of the best thinking with you. Today’s blog post was written by David Duffy of PrincipleFocus in Australia ( Here’s David’s article. “Most […]

AccountsPLUS partners with Mindshop

AccountsPLUS has recently become a member of Mindshop, a leading, global provider of strategic and personal development solutions for business leaders and advisors with over 700 members in 7 countries. Mindshop empowers AccountsPLUS to provide customized and powerful business solutions to our clients through access to a wealth of business tools, regular training and a […]

AccountsPLUS now on Enterprise Ireland’s Lean Consultants Directory

AccountsPLUS are pleased to have been approved by Enterprise Ireland for Inclusion on their Lean Consultants Directory. The Lean Consultants Directory as been put in place to support Enterprise Ireland’s Lean Business Offer, details below. Lean Business Offer Enterprise Ireland has developed a Lean Business Offer which is designed to encourage clients to adopt Lean […]

Arts and Innovation

It’s been far too long since I posted here. However, I came across an interesting article lately that I should deserves a wider audience. The story refers to an article in Psychology Today which makes the case that the more arts a person masters, the more likely they are to become an innovator or creator. […]


I recently attended a workshop on Lean Business, organised by Enterprise Ireland. There were some very good presentations there where companies showed the gains they had made by implementing lean practices. In the course of one presentation, the presenter was asked about bonus or rewards schemes. He answered by saying that he was not in […]

Can Accounting really be fun?

I know most of you think that’s a strange question but Dennis Howlett, who blogs regularly on accounting topics, on recently posted an article headed “Accounting is Fun.” I have posted extracts from his article below. The full article can be found here is fun. Since I have started using online accounting, I […]

Murphy’s Laws of IT

Murphy’s Laws Of IT1. When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen. 2. When you get to the point where your really understand your computer, then it’s probably obsolete. 3. The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you least expect to find it. […]

Lessons from this year’s tax season

Earlier today, I had a conversation with two friends, one an accountant and the other an owner-manager. The owner-manager commented on the rush of the tax season being over for this year and we got to talking of how some clients lose themselves money through their actions or inactions. I think it would be useful […]

Markup and Margin

In the past week, I have had discussions with three different people on the difference between markup and margin. In my own experience, I have come across a number of business owners who thought they had a margin of a certain percentage but they actually had a markup of that percentage. There’s a big difference […]

Tips for Managing Cash

In the past year, I have spoken to a number of different audiences on Managing cashflow. In the course of my work as a mentor on Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Builder Programme, it is clear that managing cash remains an issue for many companies. So here are the key points from the presentations that I […]

Tax Tips

Income Tax Returns for 2009 must be filed by 31 October 2010. Failure to file on time will lead to surcharges. The way our system works, we pay a preliminary Income Tax for 2010 on 31 Oct 2010 and we file the actual return for 2010 in 2011 and at that time, we balance up […]