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Are you fed up with missing deadlines? Do you dread every HMRC brown envelope? Are you unhappy with your current accountant? Then congratulations, you have come to the right place.

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Marion Thomson Founder of Embarc Ltd

Marion is an award winning, qualified accountant with over 20 years experience working with small businesses in the North East of Scotland. Her varied experience has been gained in a number of different industries and in accounting practice.

Marion is passionate about getting to know her clients, understanding their needs and ambitions and providing ongoing support to allow these ambitions to be met.

“There is nothing I like better than getting to know my clients and supporting them on an ongoing basis; meeting up reluctantly at the end of the year is not my style. If you want somebody to be involved with your business, take time to de-mystify the world of accounts and help you to achieve your ambitions then look no further. We are only a phone-call or email away and will do our best to respond within 24 hours.”


  • “I would highly recommend Embarc to anyone setting up a new business or looking for an accountancy firm they can actually talk to.”

    Julie McNeil Owner, Merchant Bistro

  • “Moving over to Embarc has made everything so much easier and your calm nature and good teaching has made Xero enjoyable to work with.”

    Shona Cooper Owner, Barmekin Ground Care

  • “Marion has been a fantastic help to my wife and myself. Her expert advice and helpful guidance sorted out my personal tax confusions and put my wife on the right path in setting up her business venture. We’ll definitely be calling on her expert advice again in the future”

    Derek Littlejohn

  • “Embarc Accounts have been a corporate sponsor of Befriend a Child and processed our payroll since April 2013. Marion and her team are friendly, efficient, approachable, professional and always work to agreed deadlines. The team have a quick response time (less than 24 hours) to any queries and are always on hand”

    Karen Farquhar-Marr Befriend a Child

Timely Timely


If you spend too much time booking and rescheduling appointments, then you need Timely in your business.

What you will love about Timely

Flexibility: You can run Timely on your PC, laptop, tablet or smart-phone.
Cloud Based: Because Timely is cloud based, there’s no software to install and upgrades are automatic.
Online Booking: Save time by letting your clients make bookings from your website or your facebook page.
Bespoke Setup: We can setup Timely to suit your business needs
Reminders: You can cut down on no-shows by sending automated SMS reminders to your clients
Links to Xero: You can link your appointments to your accounting software. How cool is that?
No Paper Diary Required: If you have paperless ambitions like we do, Timely can help you get there


  • Xero Bills: Here are our 5 Top Time Saving Tips for Entering Bills in Xero

    Xero Invoice

    1) Speedy entry of Due Date
    When entering a Bill you must complete the ‘Due Date’ field in Xero. If you know that the invoice is due in 30 days, you can save time by entering +30 in this field. Xero will then automatically enter the due date as 30 days after the invoice date.

    2) Set up Default Account Codes for your Suppliers
    If Bills from a specific supplier are always coded to the same Account in Xero you can create a default for that supplier.
    > Contacts
    > Select the Contact
    > Edit
    > For Purchases – enter the Default Account
    > Save

    3) Repeating Bills
    For Bills received on a regular basis you can set them up in Xero as Repeating Invoices.
    > Accounts
    > Purchases
    > Repeating
    > New Repeating Bill
    > Repeat this transaction every – enter weekly or monthly as required
    > Bill Date – enter the expected date of the next Bill
    > Due Date – enter the default payment date
    > End Date – enter if this is relevant
    > Save as Draft – this is the recommended option
    > Reference – enter ‘tbc’ so that you know this is a Draft rather than an actual Bill
    > Complete the Bill Details
    > Save
    These Bills will then automatically appear in your Draft Bills which you can click through to straight from your Dashboard.
    Once the actual Bill has been received, select the Draft Bill, amend the Date, Reference and Details as required and attach any backup you want to save in Xero.

    4) Inventory Items
    If you find that you are entering similar Descriptions on a regular basis when entering Bills you can set these up as Inventory Items. This saves time on data entry and you can automatically select default Accounts for your inventory items.
    > Settings
    > General Settings
    > Inventory Items
    > New Item
    > Enter a Code and Name – keep it brief
    > Unit Price – this can be entered or left blank if it varies
    > Account and Tax Rate – defaults can be chosen
    > Description – complete with further details if required
    > Save

    5) Forwarding Bills Received by Email to Xero
    Did you know that you can email Bills directly to your File Library in Xero?
    If you click on the File icon at the top right of your Dashboard, you will then see an email address for sending Files to.
    Save this email address to your Contacts as ‘My Xero Inbox’ and then any future Bills you receive by email can be forwarded to Xero, ready for input.

  • Employees: 7 Tips for getting your Tax Return submitted on time

    Employees: 7 Tips for getting your Tax Return submitted on time

    Here are our 7 top tips to ensure you get your tax return submitted painlessly and on time.

    1. Firstly you need to know whether or not you have to submit a Self Assessment tax return. If you are unsure you can check here.

    2. Start planning early. During April HMRC may send you a reminder. Open a file, put the letter in the file and keep that file for everything you will need.

    3. Be aware of what documentation you require. As it becomes available add it to your file. Typical examples are:

    • P60 – shows your salary and tax paid for the year
    • P11D – shows your employee benefits e.g. company car
    • Annual interest summary from your bank or building society

    4. Check your tax code, otherwise you could be paying too little or too much tax during the year. Your tax code is based on the information HMRC already has and may not be accurate. For example if you start receiving benefits, your tax code may not take this into consideration. If you think your tax code is incorrect, get in touch with HMRC.

    5. Pay attention to any taxation updates coming into force. Listen to the news, review Budget summaries, read information sent to you in the post.

    6. Know how you are going to submit you tax return well in advance. Most people submit their tax returns online nowadays and to do this you need to sign up for HMRC online services. You can register here. Are you going to complete the return by yourself or are you going to enlist some help? If you are going to do your own submission online make sure you know how to access the HMRC website and have your user ID and password details to hand.

    7. And finally, do it well before the deadline. That way if there is a nasty surprise, at least you will have time to come to terms with it and find the money due before the payment deadline.

  • We are Hiring

    Do you want to work with a progressive company?

    Do you want to help spread the Xero love?

    Do you want the flexibility of working from home?

    Due to continued growth, we are looking for an experienced bookkeeper to work from home. A knowledge of Xero would be beneficial but is not essential as full training will be given. The person we are looking for will be self motivated and client focused. The position is for 15 – 20 hours per week with flexible working times.

    Please respond in the first instance to

  • Understanding Dividends


    Are you thinking about setting up a limited company and want to know more about dividends? Have you heard about paying yourself a dividend but don’t really understand much about it? Then read on …

    Firstly, let me explain what a dividend is. Quite simply, a dividend is a payment made by a company to shareholders from profits of the company. Your company can only pay a dividend if there are available profits after paying any corporation tax due. Dividends are usually a fixed amount per share and paid to all shareholders in proportion to their shareholding. So if your company is profitable you can choose to keep the profits in the company or pay out all or part of the profits by means of a dividend. It is illegal to pay a dividend if there are no profits available.

    If I want to pay a dividend what needs to happen?
    • You must hold a directors’ meeting to declare that a dividend will be paid.
    • You must keep minutes of the meeting.
    • You must prepare dividend paperwork. A dividend voucher needs to be given to each shareholder and a copy kept for the company’s records.

    What are the tax implications when paying a dividend?
    • Your company does not have to pay any tax when a dividend is paid, as the dividend is a payment from profits after corporation tax.
    • If the shareholder is a basic rate taxpayer there will be no further income tax due on the dividend received.
    • For a higher rate tax payer, 25% of the dividend amount received will need to be paid in income tax when it is declared on your personal tax return.

    So to put it simply, here’s what you need to do
    • Ensure there are profits
    • Call a meeting of the directors and prepare minutes
    • Complete the documentation
    • Make the payment

    The question for company owners is then how much do I pay myself in salary and how much do I pay in dividends? Dividends may be favoured because there is no national insurance due. The right answer depends on the individual circumstances and that is where Embarc can help. We will happily meet with you to discuss dividends v salary and what is right for you.

  • Should I register for VAT?

    We are regularly asked by our clients about registering for VAT. If you are in business or are just starting out and wondering about whether or not to register for VAT, then this article should help.

    Firstly, who must register for VAT?
    The current threshold for registering for VAT is £81,000. What does this mean? Basically if your total VAT taxable sales value (referred to as turnover) is higher than £81,000 for a 12 month period then you must register. VAT taxable turnover is the total value of everything you sell that isn’t exempt from VAT. If you are not currently registered but are approaching the threshold it is important to continually keep track of your sales for the last 12 month period.

    Can I register if my annual turnover is below the threshold?
    If your turnover is below £81,000 you can still register voluntarily and sometimes this does make sense.

    Why would I register voluntarily?
    You may feel that your business has more credibility if it is VAT registered.
    You may want to claim back VAT on purchases you make.
    You will need to register at a later date and would prefer to put a system in place earlier.

    When would I want to avoid registering for VAT?
    If you sell goods or services to the general public, your prices to them will increase once you become VAT registered or if you maintain the same prices you will lose out by the amount of VAT.

    What happens once I am VAT registered?
    The current standard rate of VAT is 20%. Once you are VAT registered you will have to charge 20% VAT on all VATable sales and you will be able to claim back any VAT you are charged on business expenses. On a regular basis, usually quarterly, you will have to submit a VAT return online to HMRC and pay any VAT due. The amount of VAT due is what you have charged less what you can reclaim. If you are due money back HMRC will refund it to you.

    Is it really that straightforward?
    Unfortunately taxes are very rarely straightforward and every business case is different. There are also different VAT schemes available, each with their merits. You may want to register under the Flat Rate Scheme, the Cash Accounting Scheme or the Annual Scheme. Thankfully help is at hand, you can check out the HMRC website here or talk to your accountant. At Embarc we can help you make your final decision and if you need to register we can do that for you and submit your VAT returns when they are due.

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