Monthly Archives: August 2016

What Sort of Documents Should I Keep in Business Archives?

What Sort of Documents Should I Keep in Business Archives

Deciding what you should keep in your business archives can be a tricky business, but for some helpful advice we’ve put together a few helpful pointers to make business archiving more straightforward.

As a business operating in the UK it’s incredibly important to retain certain paperwork relating to business transaction and accounts as a legal requirement, because at any point HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can request to see it.

Naturally this documentation can take up a lot of time and space, but with an effective business archiving system in place and knowing what you should keep, can help you stay on top of everything. Remember to find a good, secure place to store all your documents to protect them from theft or damage. This could be on your own premises but if you find they are taking up too much valuable, and expensive, business space then a good, cheap alternative is a self storage facility. They have excellent storage and climate controlled storage units to protect even the most valuable business documentation. Compare self storage deals near you to find the combination of price and features to suite you needs.

Read on to discover what sort of documents you should keep in your business archives.

Company Records and Personal Data

With most businesses there will be a certain level of personal information relating to customers and employees that needs to be stored correctly to ensure you’re in line with the Data Protection Laws. Anything that contains personal information should be placed in secure business archives and stored up to 6 years.

Value Added Tax (VAT) Records

By law, VAT records should be kept for a minimum of 6 years and to ensure you have all the relevant records available, it’s a good idea to put them into your business archive in a systematic filing system.

Company Tax Documentation

The ideal place for your company tax records for at least the past 6 years, is to put them into a business archiving system. That way you can have all the relevant paperwork available should you need to prove to HMRC that you’ve paid sufficient tax.

PAYE Records

PAYE records can also be stored in your business archive to ensure you have adequate records to provide to HRMC if they need it. Whilst you don’t legally need to keep hold of this information, it’s good business practice to at least keep it for 3 years.

Business Insurance

All UK businesses should have an up to date Employers Liability Insurance Policy certificate, and keep comprehensive records of all previous insurance policies that pertain to the business. This will ensure that any future claims on their liability insurance can be met.

Grants or Loans

As a business you may have been subject to government grants or taken out a business loan, in which case you should keep records of all past and present documentation in your business archives to ensure it is safely and securely stored away. This information should be retained for at least five years after the activity or repayment of the loan.

Accounting

In addition to any VAT and Company Tax records, any other paperwork that relates to accounting, should also be put into your business archive. That way should you need it, you can demonstrate the trail of business transactions, payments or such accordingly.

In summary, anything that pertains to business transactions, accounting or contains confidential information is best securely stored in a business archive, such as off-site self-storage London facilities.

Vibration monitoring equipment

Vibration monitoring equipment

Are you looking for answers to how to ensure the safety of rotating parts and prolong their life? If your answer to the previous question is yeas then you have landed on the right page because here we will give answers to some of your most pertinent questions. The short answer to the original question is by installing vibration monitoring system in rotating machines such as pumps, turbines, fans etc. Such equipment can be installed in single channel or multi-channel configurations.

If a heavy machine like a turbine or a pump gets damaged, their replacement cost can be huge; hence you can save your money and energy by having a vibration monitoring equipment installed at least for the rotating machines.

These monitors can be installed permanently or can be used along with a portable vibration monitors. They measures the total vibration that a machine experiences over different range of frequencies.The connection of the vibration monitoring equipment and the rotating machine can be easily done by a cable or plugging wire assembly

The vibration monitoring machines are very powerful devices which are built in stainless steel material. For turbines, which are at constant exposure to marine and other saline surroundings, a high anti corrosion DUPLEX steel is also a good option. There are many other options for machines which are constantly exposed to moisture and sub-zero temperatures.

The biggest advantage of these monitors is that they are perfectly suited for any kind of area including the hazardous areas such as petrochemical plants. Similarly they also work very well in dusty areas such as a sewage treatment plants. If there is ample of space then these standard cylindrical style body can be installed but if there is restricted amount of space available then a monitor whose diameter and height is less can be used.

5 top tips from experienced project managers

5 top tips from experienced project managersIf you were in a room with a highly experienced PM, and they were to offer you some advice, what do you think they would say? Well, no need to guess, because we’ve taken some of the tips from the crème de la crème of project management and packaged them into five easily digestible tips for you to take away.

  1. Don’t be in a rush to start

The start of the project lays the foundations for every following step, and getting this stage just right is worth its weight in gold. Remember to put all the right things in place before anyone starts ‘doing’ anything, as a poorly planned start can take months to recover from. This is true whether you are following an Agile approach or a more traditional methodology such as APMP or PRINCE2. Hold a proper kick-off meeting to introduce all the sponsors, stakeholders and team members to the project, and make sure the ‘t’s are crossed and the ‘i’s are dotted before you go ahead with anything else because initiating a project correctly is one of the key project management skills that you must master.

  1. Don’t be in a rush to finish

Just as an overenthusiastic kick off can backfire in your face, so a rushed ending to the project can unravel all those weeks or months of work. Undoubtedly you’ll be keen to get the project signed off and cleared away, but you still need to make sure the original project goals were achieved. If you fail to close out the project in a meticulous and organised fashion, you risk leaving your client with a rather bitter taste in their mouth.

  1. Your customers don’t really want to see you

Whatever client you are working for, they probably don’t want to see you as much as you might like to think they do. They enjoy seeing the progress you are making, hopefully via your timely status updates and interim reports, but the less they see of you and your team, the more comfortable they will feel. Some customers will be different, but in most cases the more they see of you, the more they are reminded how much they are paying you, and the more they will start to worry about your value.

  1. Check all estimates several times

When you are contracting for parts of your job, don’t take the estimates of your contractor as written. Many contractors will over estimate job costing, because they are afraid of going over budget. This means that when you present the costings to your client, you are likely to look as if you are trying to overcharge them. Come up with your own estimates first, and run your quotes by your project team or peers to see if they deem them to be ‘fair’.

  1. Make the most of meetings, if you have to have them

Project managers run meetings in a variety of ways, some with great gusto and others like a wet blanket, but the important thing no matter what your project management style, is to recognise the value and importance of project meetings and ensure you get the most out of them. Equally important is to recognise the value of having your team out doing their jobs rather than in a meeting room reporting back to you. Only call a meeting when you really need to, and see if other communication methods will suffice at other times.

Causes of Gas Leaks and the Signs That You Should Know

Causes of Gas Leaks and the Signs That You Should Know

Carbon monoxide is a gas that’s called the silent killer. This can be harmful to the health and exposure to it can even lead to death. Gas leaks could cause carbon monoxide to be present at home. According to statistics, around 200 people get sick because of carbon monoxide poisoning and about 50 of these patients die every year in the UK alone.

Carbon monoxide is colourless, tasteless and odourless – that’s why it’s difficult to detect, although some gas providers add mercaptan to the gas giving it that rotten egg smell, making leaks easier to determine. However, not all gas has this and if you happen to have gas that does not give that foul smell at home, detection of leaks could be more challenging.

Causes of Gas Leaks

One of the common causes of gas leaks is improper installation of pipes. Another one is their poor maintenance. This is why it’s very important that a professional gas engineer London offers should perform the installation and regular maintenance of appliances that use gas, to prevent these problems. Natural wear and tear could also be a problem as pipes and appliances could get damaged after a long time of use. This too can be prevented by regular maintenance. Anything that needs replacement would be detected sooner, so gas leaks can be avoided.

Signs of Gas Leaks

As mentioned, if the gas has added mercaptan it would be easier to detect since there would be a rotten egg odour. What’s more difficult to detect is gas without this foul odour, as it also does not have colour or taste. There are some signs that you need to be aware of to prevent the harmful effects of gas leaks. When you see any of these symptoms, get the family out of the house immediately and get professional help right away to have it checked and fixed. Here are some of these signs.

  • The pilot light of your boiler keeps on blowing out.

  • The flame when using gas should be blue in colour. If it is, then it probably doesn’t have any problem. However, if the flame turns yellow or orange, then this could be sign of a gas leak and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

  • A scorched, black or brown area in an appliance is also a sign of a gas leak. Make it a point to have a regular check of your appliances and if you see any of these spots, then there’s probably a problem with gas leaking.

  • If window condensation is higher than normal, this could also be a sign of gas leaks.

  • Plants dying that are near gas pipes are another sign. Like people, plants have lives, so they too can get poisoned with carbon monoxide from a gas leak.

  • Check your pipes and if you see bubbles coming out from them, then that could be a gas leak.

Keep your home safe from gas leaks by knowing the causes and signs, and preventing them.

Image: freedigitalphotos.net (radnatt)

How to Keep Finances in Order When Things Go Wrong

Let’s face it: your personal and business lives are probably not perfectly compartmentalized. Most of us understand that personal and business accounts should be two different worlds. But most of the people who start small businesses don’t do this perfectly. When things get tough in the business, we use our own money to make ends meet. When we can’t pay our bills, we take a little money out of the till to keep the lights on. This is fine (Sort of) when you’re a solopreneur, with no one else to keep track of. But when you start adding things like employees, board members, and investors, it’s important to find other ways to keep your financial train on the tracks. Here are a few ways to focus on your personal and business finance integrity, without getting the two mixed up in each other.

Personal Finances

It’s easy for new business people to run into problems with money. Lots of people don’t pay themselves for awhile while a new business is getting off the ground. All the extra money that would be used for salary goes back into the business. Some people pay their employees for a year or more, before they take any pay themselves. This can make it tough to have a personal life or sound personal finances. But there are ways to invest your way out of this problem.

ETX Capital is a company that helps individuals make fast returns on investments. They achieve this because no ownership of the options seen on spread betting platforms never actually change hands. Spread betting users are trading, instead, on a contract that will give them money if they value changes in the direction they anticipated when initiating the trade. Trades can be completed in days or minutes, the returns exceeding the initial investment many times over, potentially. With practice, this can be a fast and easy way to make extra money outside of your primary business.

Business Finances

If you run into rough financial waters with no immediate sign of relief, there are a few ways to chart a better course for the future. For one, you may take out a loan. America actually has a lot of interesting regular lending options for businesses, that allow frequent cash infusions to cover invoice waiting costs or other unexpected outgoing payments. Standard loans are also a good option: loans which start and stop at chosen intervals and for which regular set payments are made. Selling of inventory, reducing business practices to the most profitable and central aspects are another good way. You can always start these back up when necessary.

Keeping both business and personal finances in order is tough. It’s even harder to keep them separate, especially in the early days of a business. It’s doable though, and well worth the effort. If you’re able to focus and keep this aspect of your life in order, you’ll be setting yourself up for financial stability farther down the road. It’s worth the effort. Keep it up.