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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


  • 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.

  • How Much will Your Company Car Cost You in Tax?


    You’ve seen the shiny new model in the showroom, you’ve been for a test drive and your heart is now set on your new company car. But before signing on the dotted line, do you know how much it will cost you in tax?

    If you earn over £8,500 in a year or are a company director you will be taxed on a calculated value known as your ‘Benefit in Kind’.

    To work out how much the taxable benefit on a particular car will be you need to know the price of your chosen model, the type of fuel and it’s CO2 emissions. To encourage environmentally friendly travel, the lower the CO2 emissions, the lower the taxable benefit.

    The price of the car (also referred to as the P11D value) might not be the price you actually pay as it is based on the list price, plus delivery charges and any extras.

    How is the taxable benefit calculated?
    The taxable benefit is a percentage of the P11D value.
    This percentage depends on the CO2 emissions. For the 2014-2015 tax year the percentages range from 5% to 35% – see examples below.
    CO2 g/km % of P11D value
    51 to 75 – 5%
    130 to 134 – 19%
    210+ – 35% (maximum)
    These percentages are for petrol cars, for diesel cars you need to add a further 3% but still with a maximum of 35%.

    To make things a bit clearer, here is an example:
    P11D Value – £30,000
    Fuel type – Petrol
    CO2 emissions – 134
    Benefit in Kind – £30,000 × 19% = £5,700

    How is the amount of tax you pay calculated?
    The taxable benefit is added to your income and taxed at your highest rate of tax. The tax you will pay depends on your other income – so 20% if you are a standard rate tax-payer or 40% if you are a higher rate tax-payer.
    Your tax code will be adjusted to include the benefit but only once HMRC have been told that you have a company car. You can check with your employer that they have advised HMRC on form P46 (Car).

    Is there a taxable benefit for free fuel?
    If your employer provides free fuel for personal travel (including home to work travel), there will be an additional Benefit in Kind.
    The taxable benefit is the Fuel Benefit Charge multiplied by the percentage based on the CO2 emissions.
    The Fuel Benefit Charge (FBC) is currently set at £21,700 for the 2014-2015 tax year.
    So based on the example above the Benefit in Kind will be:
    £21,700 × 19% = £4,123

    How can I double check the amount of tax I will pay?
    At Embarc, we help our clients with tax planning and can check what your taxable benefit will be before you collect the keys to your shiny new car. Contact us today on 01224 900224 or email to find out about our personal tax advice services.

  • What to Claim when Working from Home

    Home Office

    We have a number of clients who either work from home or at least spend part of their working week based there. So what are the current rules for what can be claimed?

    Where part of the home is used exclusively for business for at least some of your working week, a deduction can be claimed to allow for the cost of working from home. The costs that can be claimed include both fixed costs and variable costs. Fixed costs are items such as rent, council tax, mortgage interest (excluding capital repayments), insurance and cleaning. Examples of variable costs are electricity and gas.

    The factors to be taken into account when apportioning the allowable expenses include:

    Area: what proportion of the floor area of the home is used for business purposes?
    Time: how long is it used for business purposes, as compared to any other use?
    Usage: how much is consumed for business purposes, e.g electricity

    If a reasonable cost is claimed based on the facts, then HMRC will accept the claim. To give an idea of what is likely to be classed as reasonable, HMRC have provided some examples here

    From April 2013 sole traders and partnerships have the option to use simplified rules where the amount that can be claimed each month is based on the number of hours spent working from home. Using these rules there is no need to keep track of actual expenditure incurred.

    • 25 – 50 hours – £10 per month
    • 50 – 100 hours – £18 per month
    • over 100 hours – £26 per month

    If you require help in determining how much to claim, please get in touch with us at Embarc.

  • Planning for Year End


    If your business operates through a limited company, you will no doubt be aware of the date of your year end. But do you pay attention to it beforehand, or do you let it slip passed unnoticed? Do you only start thinking about it when the accounts submission date is looming? By then it is too late to make any changes.

    Here at Embarc part of our service is to sit down with our clients BEFORE year end. We have a structured agenda and discuss issues relevant to the business. By doing this before year end, we still have time to make decisions, and often these decisions will save you tax, i.e. money. So what should you be looking at before you get to your year end?

    Here is a typical list of what we will review, and act on if necessary

    • Accounts – are the accounting records up to date?

    • Salary and dividends – are you happy with the current levels? Are you utilising all your tax allowances?

    • Directors Loans – check that directors are not owe money to the company. If you do, then look at the best way to clear the loan balance. Is there the opportunity to clear with a dividend payment?

    • Fixed Assets – consider making that purchase before year end to take advantage of your Annual Investment Allowance.

    • Pensions – do you want to make any additional payments? To get tax relief, any payments must be physically paid over before the year end date.

    • Business structure – are there any changes being considered or worth considering?

    • Look ahead – what is your forecast for the next year?

    Finally we will ask our clients if they are happy with the service we are providing at Embarc. Because happy clients make a happy accountant!

    If your year end is looming make a conscious effort to review your business NOW. And if your year end is not for a few months yet, why not make a diary note to act 6 weeks before your year end date.

    If you would like Embarc to help you plan for your year end then do get in touch. Don’t wait until the year end has passed, act today! We are waiting to hear from you.

  • No Year End Panic for Contractors with Embarc Accounting

    Oil and Gas Contractor
    Contracting can be a lucrative business to be in, but often involves long hours and working weekends, as well as very little holiday time and only being able to take unpaid sick days. All this can add up to a neglected payroll, last minute returns and haphazard bookkeeping. The last thing a contractor wants to be doing in their precious spare time is messing around with spreadsheets, filling out forms and balancing books.

    Freelancers and contractors are best served by employing a specialist contractor accountant with experience in the contracting market and the particular complexities of that working environment. Here at Embarc our area of expertise is in offering a personal service to freelancers and contractors working in oil and gas, IT consultancy and to other self-employed professionals. We provide a friendly, efficient and cost effective service to contractors in Aberdeen and throughout the North East of Scotland.

    We provide a complete contractor accountancy solution for a fixed monthly fee that includes all of the following:

    Company set up
    VAT & PAYE registration
    Xero online software
    Monthly payroll
    Quarterly VAT returns
    Year end accounts
    Corporation and personal tax returns
    Tax and dividend planning
    Ongoing support and advice

    We help contractors and freelancers keep track of their business performance on a regular basis by providing continuous accounting support. We keep in touch all year round, not just at year end, and we guarantee that every deadline will be met. And by keeping in touch regularly we ensure that all the work is done in bite-sized pieces and that there is no panic at year end or tax return time.

    Why not make 2014 the year that you find your perfect contractor accountant? If you would like to find out more about how we can help your contracting business grow, then please contact us on 01467 698333 or email

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