Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Vultures have landed-What do I do?

August 1, 2018

The term Vulture Fund is not new as this was the method used by Nama, IBRC, Anglo, Bank of Scotland and National Irish bank (to name a few) who used the sale of their loans books to 3rd parties to clear up their under performing loans.

These Vulture Funds or Investment Funds as they prefer to be called, have bought these bad loans from the main banks at a substantial discount and their only mission is to recover as much as possible from the debts they have bought. Given that both PTSB and Ulster bank announced earlier this year that they will sell circa 25,000 loans to Vulture Funds; this is already a hot topic in 2018 with demonstrators gathered outside the Ideal Homes Exhibition at the RDS on Saturday 21st April 2018 to protest the event’s main sponsors Permanent TSB.

This sale of loans by PTSB has now come to fruition by todays announcement that PTSB has sold 10,000 loans to an investment fund managed by Start. The portfolio contains around 10,700 non-performing loans, 7,400 of which are owner-occupier mortgages.

I think that no more than the IMF 10 years ago the advent of Vulture Funds entering our financial system is a wake up call that the years of kicking the can down the road by the Irish banks is now over.

Unlike the main Irish banks these vulture funds are not concerned with the negative publicity of pursuing these debts through any means possible. This could be through debt collection agencies, legal proceedings, home repossession and general harassment from their arrears support teams.

The Vulture Funds business model is short-term, they have no interest in having a long-term arrangement or relationship with their new customer. They just want cash!!!

Where does this leave the hundred thousand plus home owners who are in fear of losing their homes…….it leaves them in a tough spot.

Despite the fact that debt solutions were introduced by the Government in 2012 through the personal insolvency legislation less than 2,000 people have availed of the legislation.

The main reason in my experience is that they don’t understand that this solution applies to them and that it can help them. There is a lot of misinformation (I call it pub talk) about the legislation but from my hands on experience there is no other method to resolving your debt than by getting Court protection to save your home through a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) or a Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA).

The good news is that 90% of those that avail of the personal insolvency legislation through a PIA retain their family home and at the end of the process they end up with a sustainable mortgage and their other debts are written down as part of the process.

The personal insolvency legislation is the only method to protect yourself from your creditors and to protect your family home.

These arrangements are working and we have put 100’s of people through the process in the last number of years. In some cases they have already exited the process and they are out the other side and they have started to finally move on with their lives.

There is not a specific profile of an insolvent person as each case is different. For example the problem could be a split loan on a family home that can never be paid, a property portfolio that will never recover, debts or judgements due to a business failure, revenue debts or residual debt left after the sale of a property or development site etc.

In my experience most of the people I meet know they are in trouble they just don’t know how to solve that problem.

I am one of less than 30 active PIPs in Ireland who specialise in the Personal Insolvency Legislation. I would recommend that you contact an active PIP to see how the personal insolvency legislation can help you to resolve your debt problems. The first question I would ask your PIP is how many cases they manage and how many cases they have gotten approved.

If you are struggling to manage your debts and you want to know how to get help then please click on the links below for more information on personal insolvency and on Abhaile which is the Government’s free mortgage arrears support scheme, which includes a free Personal Insolvency Practitioner consultation for those worried about their debts and under threat of repossession of their family home.

Alternatively please send me an email setting out your situation to and I will get back to you with a plan on how to solve your debt problem.

Kind Regards,

Mark Ryan, CPA,

Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP),

Director, Quintas

Mark Ryan is authorised by the Insolvency Service of Ireland to carry on practice as a personal insolvency practitioner.


Employment and Investment Incentive (EII)

September 22, 2014

tax savings

Employment & Investment Incentive (“EII”) scheme is one of the final remaining opportunities for individuals to claim Income Tax Relief at the Marginal Rate of 41%. While it provides Tax Relief for individual investors it also provides companies with an instant cash flow benefit. This investment scheme is designed to promote both job creation and investment in Small & Medium Size Businesses using investment capital.

EII gives opportunities to individuals to invest up to a maximum of €150,000 in exchange for shares in a particular Corporate Trade for a 3 year period. EII promotes a 3 year investment period which is evident from the 41% refund available being spread out between the start and the end of the holding period. The initial Tax Relief of 30% may be claimed in the year of investment once the shares are issued. The additional 11% benefit is only received by the investor if the company has met its requirements of increased employment or investment in Research and Development.

There is a claw-back of the 30% relief claimed by the investor if they sell their shares within the 3 year period or if the company does not continue to qualify as an EII company for the duration of the investment.

It is worth noting that Finance Act (No. 2) 2013 removed EII from the high earners restriction for a period of 3 years. As a result of this the scheme has become more attractive for high net worth individuals.


The following are the potential returns available based on various investment amounts, assuming an overall return of €1.00 for every €1.00 invested.

Amount Invested 10,000 50,000 150,000
Tax Saving 30% in 2014 3,000 15,000 45,000
Tax Saving 11% in 2017 1,100 5,500 16,500
Sale of Shares in 2017 10,000 50,000 150,000
Total Received from Investment 14,100 70,500 211,500
Net Gain on Investment 4,100 20,500 61,500


If you would like to find out more please contact Quintas on 021 4641400.



Lights Camera Action……

August 7, 2014

film image

If like me you always had an interest in film but never quite made the cut in acting class, there is still an opportunity for you to get involved. Section 481 TCA 1997 film relief allows individuals to get tax relief for an investment in a qualifying film or television series. This investment relies on the successful completion of the film/television project.

Successful shows which have availed of this scheme include Penny Dreadful, Mattie, Tashi & The Widower to name but a few.

Film Relief is available, generally for high income individuals, who invest up to a maximum of €50,000. Individual investors can invest amounts exceeding €50,000, but only €50,000 relief is allowed in one tax year. Any amounts exceeding €50,000 can be carried forward to the proceeding tax years. Therefore it is generally recommended investing a maximum of €50,000 in any one year.

To get the tax benefit from film relief an investor would typically raise the €50,000 investment slot by part equity / part loan agreement. Based on the credit application being approved, the investor issues a cheque for €17,500 and the remaining €32,500 is financed by a loan, which is applied for through the film production company. The individual then subscribes to shares of €50,000 and Revenue will issue a Film 3 certificate to confirm the investors’ investment.

The investor then makes a claim to the Revenue Commissioners and receives tax relief of 41%, assuming they have enough income at the higher rate. Based on a €50,000 investment, the investor should receive a refund of €20,500 from Revenue.

PAYE investors should see this refund on their payslips before the end of the year in which they invest. Self-assessed investors will have to wait until they file their tax return before seeing their return.

The overall return for an investor will be €3,000 if they invest €50,000 in the scheme.

If you are interested in investing in film relief, please contact us on 021-4641400 or email

Blog by Laura Simpson, Trainee Accountant, Quintas

Business Protection – What you need to know

April 17, 2014

image for bus protection article

Like everyone you need to protect yourself and your family against the financial impact of serious illness or death. However, as a business owner your protection needs are different. Your business will provide some financial security, however you probably are not entitled to employee benefits. In addition, the future earnings of the business is dependant on others.

As a business owner you need to consider what would happen to your share of the business if you died prematurely and the financial impact that could have on your family. You also need to consider what would happen to the business if a co-owner died prematurely.

What would happen to your family if you died prematurely?
• Would they take over your share of the business?
• Would the remaining shareholders have the funds needed to buy your share back from your family?
• Has this plan been formalised?

What would happen to your business if a co-owner died prematurely?
• Would you maintain control of the business?
• Do you have the funds to buy back their share of the business from their family?
• Has this plan been formalised?

A Business Protection Life Policy gives you real peace of mind

Your plan can be used to:
• Provide the funds needed to buy out a partner’s share of the business.
• Ensure your family gets a fair price.
• Ensure a business partner retains ownership and control.
• Avoid the need for personal loans to be taken out.
• Provide a formal plan of what should happen.

There are a number of Business Protection policies that can be availed of, depending on the type of Business structure that is in place and the type of cover that is required:

1. Keyperson Insurance

• What is Keyperson insurance designed for?   It compensates a company when a key employee dies or becomes seriously ill.

• Why take out Keyperson insurance?  It helps minimise the financial impact of losing key employees

Keyperson insurance benefits:

• If the employee dies a cash sum is paid to help maintain the business
• Can help minimise interruption to business activity
• Can help with bank loans where the key employee gave a personal guarantee
• Can help pay off loans made to the company by the key employee
• Can help provide resources to find a suitable replacement

2. Co-Director Insurance

• What is Co-Director insurance for?  Co-Director Insurance makes funds available to buy a director’s shares from their successor when the director dies.

• Who takes out Co-Director insurance?  The directors themselves

• Why take Co-Director insurance out?  Surviving directors can lose control if a deceased director owned over 50% of the company.

The deceased successor:

• may be unfamiliar with the business;
• could have cash flow problems after losing the deceased’s income.

Co-Director insurance benefits:

• Gives company directors peace of mind
• Means the deceased’s successor does not have to become involved in the business
• Can also cover a directors becoming seriously ill

3. Partnership Insurance

• What is partnership insurance for?  It protects the financial security of a business partnership by compensating a deceased partner’s estate for their share of the partnership.

Partnership insurance benefits:

• Gives surviving partners the funds to repay the deceased partner’s estate
• Means the deceased’s successor does not have to become involved in the business
• Can also cover a business partner becoming seriously ill

You can’t predict the future but you can plan for it

While we all hope and often believe it won’t happen to us, the reality is that business owners and their families throughout Ireland are affected by these events each year.

If you would like to find out more contact Quintas Wealth Management on 021 4641400 or email

Personal Insolvency – Explore Your Options

November 27, 2013


The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) went live the second week of September and has started accepting applications from Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIP) on behalf of insolvent individuals.  This week RTE reported that the first personal insolvency arrangement under the new legislation has seen more than 70% of the borrower’s debt written off which will give tangible and real hope for the many thousands of Irish borrowers who have been left behind in solving their financial difficulties.

The new Personal Insolvency legislation was put in place to give those in financial difficulty an alternative to bankruptcy and to allow them find a path back to solvency.  It involves the write down or restructure of secured and unsecured debt, in an organised and transparent manner.

Its strict, it can be a bit complicated, but it is vital that a person get their insolvency agreement right as you only get one shot in your lifetime at fixing your financial problems through one of the Personal Insolvency Arrangements (DSA/PIA).

To find out if you are eligible to avail of the new legislation you will need to employ the services of a (PIP) Personal Insolvency Practitioner. A PIP is an expert in the new personal insolvency legislation, who will stand between you and your creditors, taking the calls, writing the necessary letters, negotiating with your creditors and advising you on how to get back on the road to solvency.

If you answer yes to the following questions, then a PIP maybe able to help:

  • Is your home loan or any of your other loans in arrears?
  • Are you having difficulty paying your debts as they fall due?
  • Have you cut back on your expenses but still find that your debt repayments are unmanageable?
  • Are you willing to offer complete financial disclosure to your Personal Insolvency Practitioner?
  • Can you commit to making an agreed monthly payments over the next 5/6 years if this means that you can see light at the end of the tunnel at the end of this period?
  • Do you feel that you cannot solve your financial problems yourself?

If you would like to discuss any of the above in the strictest of confidence please contact me.


Mark Ryan,

CPA, Director – Quintas

Mark is authorised to act as a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) by the Insolvency Service of Ireland

A version of this article appeared in an advertorial previously published by the Cork News.

What does SEPA mean for your business?

August 8, 2013

Euro Image for SEPA Blog - 080813

Do you ever get frustrated with trying to make payments to our European associates? With the introduction of SEPA the process is about to create less stress and quicker success!

SEPA ( Single Euro Payments Area) aims to create a single standardised payment system across Europe along with a series of common standards and rules. It will mean you can collect a direct debit or make a credit transfer on any euro account with SEPA

Can you avoid conforming to SEPA?
SEPA is a mandatory EU Regulation so all businesses will have to conform to SEPA by the 1st February 2014. Bank account numbers and sort codes will be a thing of the past and replaced with IBAN (International Banking Account Numbers) and BIC (Bank Identifier Codes) for all businesses in Europe. This is will enable businesses to make payments to 32 countries and will in turn facilitate trade and strengthen European competitiveness.

There are three payment instruments under SEPA, credit transfers, direct debits and debit cards. Since 2008 businesses have been phased into using Debit and Credit transfers. From the 1st February 2014, Payroll and accounting functions (paying creditors and receiving payments) will also take place with SEPA.

How will SEPA benefit your business?

The benefits of SEPA include improved access to markets, reduced costs as you will have one account for all transactions throughout Europe, boosts working capital management and liquidity, greater availability of banks for performing banking transactions and faster settlements.

Is your business ready for SEPA?

To prepare for SEPA you must first outline how SEPA will affect your internal systems and processes. Businesses may need to modify their Information System to gain the full benefits of SEPA

In order to generate an IBAN and BIC you must contact your bank and software provider. They will be able to advise you further on the actions needed for your business. Don’t be left behind!

The following links may be able to guide your business further into being SEPA ready

What does running a marathon and a business have in common?

May 27, 2013

1352797906xv6OB0To start with it takes a brave person to do either. I have great admiration for anyone who is willing to take a risk and follow their dream of running (excuse the pun) and owning their own business.

With the Cork City Marathon fast approaching on the 3rd June I thought I would try to find some common ground:

Passion – without passion or a love for what you are doing you will struggle during the hard miles that we all experience when things aren’t going our way,

Planning –   hugely important to have a plan mapped out of how you are going to achieve your goals,

Training Buddy – find someone (a friend, colleague, peer, advisor etc) that you can rely on to keep you motivated when the need arises and also to allow you openly express your hopes and fears for your business,

Patience – ‘all good things come to those that wait’. Try to remain patient and don’t take any unnecessary risks or rash decisions without taking into consideration your overall strategic plan,

 Hard Yards – ‘nothing worth doing is easy; if it was everyone would be doing it’. The hard yards are the times when you find out how much you really want something,

 Set backs – injuries are part and parcel of running and as with any part of life set backs and disappointment will happen throughout the lifetime of a business. It is how you respond and react and learn from them that will determine the long term future of the business,

 Feel the burn – a common phrase in high intense exercise that is appropriate to those moments when your brain is completely fried and you feel that you cannot go on – these are the moments that should be cherished, as what better way to know that what you are doing is actually working,

Hang in there it will pass – They say that for a marathon anyone can run 20 miles it’s the last 6.2 that are the hardest part. The phrase ‘Hitting the Wall’ has legendary status and it is one of the biggest fears for a runner as they are unsure when it will come and how they will react when it does. After doing the Dublin marathon last year, a frequent question that I was asked was what was it like and when did I hit the wall, my response  was always the same ‘the wall hit me and it hurt’. When you hit an obstacle or problem in your business that you feel is insurmountable ‘Hang in there it will pass’

Top Class Equipment – You wouldn’t run a marathon in a pair of football boots, GAA jersey and sweatpants would you? The same thought process and Fit for Purpose attitude should apply to your business. It may cost a bit extra but it is essential to have the most up to date equipment, software, training etc to ensure that you are always one step ahead of the competition,

 Expert advice – whether it is your 1st marathon or you are starting up a new business we all face the challenge of entering into the unknown. It is important to seek as much advice, help and assistance from people you know and trust who may have been through a similar experience before and that would be willing to help you on your path. This may just be small tips on mistakes to avoid at the start of your adventure.

Where to now? – The 1st thought after crossing the line is usually where do I go from here? Am I done or will I try for one more. A business as with a runner never really has a finish line it just has another challenge ahead. As a business owner you should set small goals and big goals that you want to achieve throughout the year and commit to a finish line date where you will review last year and set your business goals for the next 12 months.

 It seems these days that there are more people running, cycling, swimming and exercising outdoors than ever before. Everyone is different and they maybe doing it to lose weight, stay in shape, achieve a goal, honour someone’s memory, raise money for charity or in a lot of cases help to relieve some of the stress that we all face in our daily lives.

 I hope that some of the above makes sense and if you are running a business or a marathon now or in the near future I hope that all your dreams and goals come through.


Mark Ryan

Mark is a Director at Quintas

The views expressed in this article are not reflective of the views or opinions held by Quintas. The material contained herein includes facts, opinions and recommendations which we neither guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of, nor do we endorse. We do not accept any liability for any act, or decision not to act, use, misuse or distribution resulting from use of this material”.

The Property Tax – time to face facts

March 7, 2013

12176237440dTOqLThe much talked about Property tax is on the way and there is no hiding from it.

The first two weeks in March will tell a lot. Every house owner in Ireland will receive a letter from Revenue outlining the details of the Local Property Tax. For the Celtic Tiger generation this letter will contain the painful details of what Revenue believe to be the value of your home. Thus for many, this will be the first time they have come face to face with just how much debt they are in. However negative equity is a whole other issue which we will not get into here.

 However fair or unfair you consider this new property tax to be, it has arrived and it is here to stay. The government had great difficulties in implementing this tax so there is little chance that it is going to go away anytime soon.

The Revenue Commissioners have been given the job of collecting the tax and this is bad news for any of those who consider ignoring such levies. Revenue powers and resources are greatly superior to the city and town councils who were collecting the household charge in 2012. Revenue can collect the tax directly from your payroll, bank accounts and even from your welfare payments. You also have the option of paying online or by Direct Debit. It appears the Government have learned from their previous mistakes with regard to collecting the Household Charge. It is also worth mentioning that anyone who has not paid the household charge in 2012 will now have to pay double (€200) as well as the property tax. Revenue will also be collecting this €200 so it’s going to be difficult to avoid.

Some basic facts about the tax. It will be paid annually. However In 2013 we only have to pay half of it. Was this a ploy by the Government to gently ease us into the tax? Or was it a case that this was the earliest point in time in which they could organise it? A bit of both I would suspect.

The rate of tax is .18% of the value of your house and .25% if over €1,000,000. The house values are broken down into bands. As an example one band is between €150,000 and €200,000. If the value of your property comes between these amounts then you will pay tax of .18% on the mid point of this band, i.e. €175,000. Therefore the annual tax would be €315.  I would expect the majority of homes to fall into this band, which again highlights just how far the property market has fallen.

Revenue will attempt to value each house in Ireland. This is slightly ambitious considering they have never even seen your house, the neighbours house or the grass on the green that has never been cut and probably never will unless you do it yourself. In fairness Revenue do stress that the valuation is just a starting point and is no way meant to be 100% accurate. However if you feel that their valuation is accurate then you should accept it and pay the corresponding tax. This will mean that you will avoid any painful Revenue audits and the tax liability will remain constant until 2016. If you believe the value is lower than what Revenue suggest then it is your right to pay the tax on your own valuation. By doing this Revenue may chose to audit your valuation and if they find that you submitted an incorrect return then they could land you with a fine of up to €3,000.

The Finance Bill has also snuck in a clause that if you are selling your property you will legally be enforced to tell the purchaser how much you valued the house for the property charge. It has already become known as the “snitch clause” as if the buyer disagrees with the valuation they must inform the Revenue of the new valuation and the seller could then be issued with a €500 fine. At least it will make the negotiations slightly more interesting!

The timeline of events also needs to be considered. Revenue will issue letters in early March. This will contain a tax return in which you will need to file before the 7th of May or if filing online then by the 28th of May. Revenue will issue an explanatory form with the tax return which should tell us everything we need to know. They will also issue you guidelines for valuing your property. Payment of the tax will begin in July, with the dates depending on how you choose to pay the tax.   

There are of course certain exemptions, mainly applying to first time buyers who purchase new properties and certain houses in ghost estates and a deferral for people who are unable to pay, however the income limits for this are extremely low.

For anyone who feels they may be exempt or if they want to find out more about the tax then the following links should be of benefit:

 Property Valuation Guide and Tax Calculator – This gives an overview of the tax, a guide to valuing the property and an online calculator to help you determine the tax payable. 

List of the estates exempt from the 2012 household charge. This will be updated for the 2013 property tax however this has not been updated as of yet.

 List of the exemptions


Dave O’Brien

Dave is Tax Manager at Quintas.

The views expressed in this article are not reflective of the views or opinions held by Quintas. The material contained herein includes facts, opinions and recommendations which we neither guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of, nor do we endorse. We do not accept any liability for any act, or decision not to act, use, misuse or distribution resulting from use of this material”.

Is the Black Economy impacting on your business?

February 20, 2013

blackeconomy1It is accepted that there is a certain amount of Black Economy activity in every country but it is during a recession that it is at its highest.

A recent report (August 2012) compiled by EPS Consulting for Retail Ireland estimated that the Black Economy was costing the Exchequer € 1 billion per annum in lost revenues and taxes. A press release by ISME in November 2009 estimated that the Black Economy was worth € 461m per week and that it was costing the exchequer € 4.8 billion per annum in lost revenues.

I would argue that as a result of the harsh spending cuts and tax increases of the last 5 budgets since the economic crisis started in September 2008 that this figure is probably somewhere in the region of € 3 billion per annum in lost revenue. I would also suggest that this loss to the Exchequer will continue to rise as the austerity measures agreed with the Troika continue being implemented over the next 3 years.

To put this figure in context, the Black Economy (€ 3bn pa) is equivalent to the recent Budget 2013 spending cuts and tax increases of € 3.5 billion introduced by the Ministers of Finance (Michael Noonan) and Public Expenditure & Reform (Brendan Howlin) last December. It is estimated that a further adjustment package (taxes & spending cuts) of €8.6 billion will be required over the forthcoming three-year period if the annual deficit targets (3% of GDP) are to be achieved by 2015. The annual deficit in the Irish exchequer in 2012 was € 15 billion (8% of GDP).

The amount of zeros involved above can sometimes be dizzying and this has led to a sense of helplessness by the general public over the last 5 years as budget after budget took more and more of our hard-earned cash out of our pockets.

There is a way that each of us can assist in Ireland’s recovery, firstly by understanding what is involved in the black economy and secondly by then deciding not to support it. In some cases this may involve having to pay a bit more for certain items but this is a decision that we will all have to make when deciding whether or not to support ‘Team Ireland’.

I have included below some examples of Black Economy activities:

  • Under declaration/omission of income – Foxers, Nixers or whatever working ‘for cash’ is called in your part of the country
  • Fuel Laundering
  • Illegal Tobacco
  • Illicit Alcohol
  • Counterfeit Products and Piracy
  • Counterfeit Medicines
  • Digital Piracy
  • Shoplifting and Theft
  • Social Welfare Fraud i.e. ‘working without paying income tax or social insurance, while simultaneously receiving social welfare payments.

The above are bad value for the consumer (no refund policy/customer care dept. for counterfeit goods and services!) and in some cases (tobacco, alcohol and medicine’s) can lead to serious health risks to individuals.  This was highlighted in a 3 part series last year called ‘Black Market Ireland’ that was produced for TV3, which is definitely worth a watch if you had the time.

Black market activity and criminality also threatens jobs in the Irish Economy as counterfeit sales, contraband goods and smuggling activity are on the rise and the trend is continuing.

It is also leading to the closure of genuine tax compliant businesses who cannot compete with non-tax compliant competitors who don’t  pay taxes on their income earned or return Paye/PRSI to revenue on the wages that they are paying to their ‘off the books’ employees.

Below are some of the ways we as individuals can stamp out black market activity and measures that government could or are introducing to combat this rampant practice:

  • A consumer awareness campaign (TV, radio & newspaper ad’s) similar to that which was implemented for insurance fraud over the last number of years i.e. those involved in the Black Market are taking money from your pocket!
  • Only use a tax registered and compliant business when purchasing business/personal goods and services
  • Always insist on a quote and ensure that a vat invoice is produced before the product/service is delivered and before payment is made
  • Rebates by the exchequer in relation to the purchase of diesel for the farming/agri and haulage industries
  • Rebates/grants for home improvements and renovations
  • Investment of additional resources into detecting cigarette, alcohol, clothing and other smuggling.
  • In addition, street markets are a major source of illegally sold goods and they need to be policed by both revenue and the Gardai
  • There should be zero tolerance even for the most minor of crimes. In addition, penalties should be more commensurate to the scale of the crime. Penalties and fines could be repaid to the exchequer by reducing an individual’s future tax credits/allowances or social welfare benefits.
  • More resources need to be (re)deployed towards enforcement activities.
  • Whistle-blowing – Revenue are encouraging tax payers to make telephone calls to their local tax office  in relation to tip offs for illegal activities and they insist that any information will be treated in the strictest confidence and anonymously if that individual does not wish to provide their contact details.

In summary it is up to each individual to make a stand against the Black Economy by making a conscious decision of where they are purchasing their goods and services.

As outlined above for every €1 that is spent in the Black economy the government will take a portion of this amount from each of us on Budget day by increased taxes or reduced public services due to spending cuts this year and every year thereafter.

Are you willing to make a stand?


Mark Ryan

Mark is a Director at Quintas


January 31, 2013

1336692185QCT392Starting up your own business can be a daunting task for anyone, and unless you are an accountant, the bookkeeping and accounting element of a new start-up can be especially testing. The current environment is posing significant challenges to new, small businesses, therefore getting all of your ducks in a row on start-up is vital. One of the most important “ducks” is your accounts. The following are some useful start-up tips that every individual should consider:-

  1. Start Off on the Right Foot

Make your business accounting function a habit. Set aside a regular time period every week to gather your records together, check and file documentation, invoices and bank statements.

  1. Separate your Banking Activities

Small business start-ups, especially sole traders, often use their existing private bank accounts to conduct their business activities. By keeping separate bank accounts for your business and personal activities, you will save yourself (or your bookkeeper) hours of work analysing transactions that have nothing to do with your business.

  1. Keep it Simple

Do not overcomplicate your structures or records. It will only become confusing and end up distracting you from what’s important.

  1. Value Good Advice

Get professional financial advice early in your start-up process. A little money spent early on can save a fortune correcting possible mistakes down the line.

  1. Software Packages

There are many very good accounting/bookkeeping packages out there, some of which are very inexpensive, are relatively easy to use straight out of the box, and will do everything a small business would require, including Sales Invoicing, Debtors and Creditors Control, Bank Reconciliation and VAT Returns. Consult your financial advisor as to which package best suits your needs.

  1. Don’t forget to get paid

This might seem obvious, but if you are not regularly tracking your invoices and debtor balances, invoices, and by default, payments will be missed. Months of extra credit will be lost to customers. The vast majority of customers will not volunteer payments and will need, at the very least, regular statements and gentle reminders.

  1. Sales to family and friends – Value Your Service/Product

Do not be afraid to ask for payment for services or products supplied to family or friends. Offer a discount if you wish, but value the work, service or product that you provide.

Starting your own business presents a significant number of challenges to even the best entrepreneur. Whether it’s Accounting, Marketing, Product Development, Sales, Manufacturing, Banking, etc., early planning and organising will help you face those challenges in a properly prepared manner.


Eugene O’Callaghan

Eugene is a Partner at Quintas.

The views expressed in this article are not reflective of the views or opinions held by Quintas. The material contained herein includes facts, opinions and recommendations which we neither guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of, nor do we endorse. We do not accept any liability for any act, or decision not to act, use, misuse or distribution resulting from use of this material”.