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Accounting for the 21st Century – reduced admin costs ~ online 24/7/365 access ~ regular software updates ~ accurate, up to date information at your fingertips ~ secure document storage in the cloud

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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


  • New Dividend Tax Rules

    Dividend Rules


    Many of our clients are limited company owners who pay themselves regular dividends as part of their remuneration package. This has long been seen as a tax efficient way to extract funds from the business, mainly because there is no national insurance to pay.

    From 6th April 2016, there is a radical change in the rules, which in many cases will mean that company shareholders are going to be worse off.

    What are the current rules?
    Under the current rules, dividends are paid net of a notional 10% tax credit. The gross amount (i.e. the dividend actually received plus the tax credit) is added to the individual’s earnings when calculating their personal tax due. Dividend income is taxed at 10% for basic rate taxpayers, but because of the notional tax credit there is no tax due. The current tax payable on the amount of dividend actually received is:

    • Basic rate taxpayer nil
    • Higher rate taxpayer 25%
    • Additional rate taxpayer 30.6%

    The reason behind this was that dividends had already been taxed in the company at corporation tax of 20%, so it would be unfair to tax dividends further. But this is about to change …

    What are the changes?
    From the start of the 2015-16 tax year the dividend tax credit will be abolished, so dividends will no longer be grossed up. The first £5,000 of dividend income in the tax year will be tax-free for every individual. For dividends in excess of £5,000 taxpayers will be taxed on the amount actually received at the following rates:

    • Basic rate taxpayer 7.5%
    • Higher rate taxpayer 32.5%
    • Additional rate taxpayer 38.1%

    Who are the likely winners and losers?
    If an individual has dividend income of less than £5,000 per year they may benefit because there will be no tax due. For basic rate taxpayer, however this is no change to the previous rules.
    Many company owners will be penalised, because previously they paid no tax on dividends in the basic rate tax bracket. Now they will pay tax on any dividends over £5,000 in the year.
    If a higher rate or additional rate taxpayer has high non-dividend earnings and a small dividend they may pay less tax than before.

    What should company owners do now?
    As the rules change on 6th April it is important to maximise any benefit from the old rules before that date. This may mean increasing dividends paid out prior to 6th April 2016.

    What are we doing at Embarc?
    We will be advising all our clients between now and the end of March on what is the best course of action. If anybody is concerned about the changes, they should get in touch with us now and we can calculate the likely impact of the new rules for them. We have also prepared a factsheet with some examples which is available on request.

  • Why is Data Entry Quicker using Xero?

    Why is Data Entry Quicker using Xero?

    As trusted Xero advisers to our clients, we are often asked the benefits of using Xero. One of the top benefits is the time that can be saved on data entry.

    So why is data entry quicker using Xero?

    Here are 3 areas where you can definitely save time entering your transactions in Xero:

    Sales Invoices
    1) Repeating invoices – if you issue monthly invoices to your customers for the same amount, you can set up repeating invoices so that they are sent out automatically.
    2) Create default nominal codes for your customers so that they are entered automatically as you prepare a sales invoice.
    3) If you are preparing an invoice that is similar to a previous invoice you can select the previous invoice and then copy the layout.
    4) If you issue a Quote to a customer, once it has been approved it can be converted to an invoice with a few clicks.

    Purchase Invoices
    1) Repeating bills – if you receive a regular bill for the same amount (e.g. your monthly mobile phone bill) you can set up a repeating bill in Xero and all you need to do is complete the date, invoice number and then approve.
    2) Create default nominal codes for your suppliers so that their invoices are coded automatically as you enter the details.
    3) Use the Files option in Xero to save copies of bills as you receive them and then do the data entry in batches. Your bills can be emailed or uploaded to Xero.
    4) If you use Purchase Orders in Xero, once your order has been fulfilled the PO can be converted to a bill with a few clicks.
    5) Use a Xero Add-on such as Receipt Bank, your bills will appear as drafts in Xero for you to approve.

    Bank Transactions
    With Xero, monthly bank reconciliations are a thing of the past. Your bank can be reconciled daily and here’s how your data entry will take no time at all.
    1) Your bank transactions can be automatically fed into Xero on a daily basis. An increasing number of UK banks now have direct feeds to Xero.
    2) When you receive payment from a customer, Xero will try to match the cash to an outstanding invoice. This works great if you are paid for one invoice only. If your customer is paying several invoices, it is still very straightforward to find and match the invoices.
    3) Xero recalls previous bank transactions, and will make a suggestion on how to code a transaction if it is similar to one before.
    4) You can create Bank Rules in Xero for recurring transactions such as bank charges and HP payments. Xero will then enter the transaction if you accept the suggested rule.

    These are only some of the reasons why you will definitely save time on data entry if you switch to Xero.

    If you are interested in finding out more about Xero do get in touch.

    If you are already a Xero user we would love to hear what your tips for saving time on data entry are!

  • Xero Sales Invoices: 3 Time Saving Tips

    Raising and sending invoices is a core task in many small businesses, but it can be time consuming.

    Thankfully, Xero minimises a lot of the hard work, but with a few extra hints and tips you can eliminate the headache altogether!

    Here are our 3 top time-saving tips for entering Sales Invoices in Xero:

    1) Repeating Sales Invoices

    If you issue regular invoices (e.g. monthly) to your customers, this is an absolute must. It’s a great time-saver and invoices can even be sent out automatically with zero human interaction! Here’s how…

    > Accounts
    > Sales
    > Repeating
    > New Repeating Invoice
    > Repeat this transaction every – enter weekly or monthly as required
    > Invoice Date – enter the date of the next Sales Invoice to be issued
    > Due Date – enter the default payment date
    > End Date – enter if this is relevant
    > Save as Draft – this is the recommended option
    > Invoice to – enter the customer
    > Reference – if required
    > Complete the Sales Invoice Details
    > Save

    These Sales Invoices will then automatically appear in your Draft Invoices, which you can then click through to straight from your Dashboard.

    The invoice can then be checked, amended as required and issued.

    There is also an option to choose Approve for Sending, where invoices do not require checking and will then be emailed to your clients automatically on the invoice date.

    2) Inventory Items

    If you find that you are entering similar Descriptions on a regular basis when entering Sales Invoices 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

    3) Use Quotes

    If you issue a Quote in Xero, once your customer has accepted the Quote, it can be converted to a Sales Invoice with minimal effort.

    > Accounts
    > Sales
    > Quotes – Accepted
    > Click on the Quote
    > Create Invoice
    > Mark as Invoiced
    > Create
    > Complete details
    > Approve

    We hope this helps you save a little extra time next time you’re doing your invoicing.

    Got any other handy tips for entering Sales Invoices in Xero? We would be delighted to hear them in the comments!

  • 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.

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