Cheap accountants

1. Use free online accounting

Pandle is online accounting software helping to save business costs for many small businesses. It’s an online accounting service which has a completely free version which has most features a small business needs from accounts software. It also has a Pro version which comes with automatic bank feeds. We can get Pandle Pro for our clients for just £2.50 plus VAT per month.

With online accounting, you can log in from anywhere to access and update your accounts.  There’s no need to update the software or backup your data because they do this for you. You can give your accountant access to your account, then they can log in at the same time as you, to view, fix, and advise you throughout the year, then easily and quickly produce year end accounts. You should also save business costs on your accountant because you’re making their job easier. See more benefits here .

Why pay hundreds of pounds on software installed onto your computer, or waste hours messing about with spreadsheets that don’t give you many instant reports?

2. Do your own bookkeeping

Online accounting has made it so much easier to do your own bookkeeping, you don’t even need to enter anything. You can either sync directly with your bank accounts, or you can download your transactions from online banking, then upload them to the software. All you need to do is tell the software where to put each transaction. 

You can then produce many useful professional reports as often as you like, helping you run your business smoothly.

Save business costs on a bookkeeping service, by quickly and easily doing it yourself.

3. Use Online accountants

In the age of ‘cloud-computing’ it has become easier and cheaper to set up and run your own business. Some accountants are taking advantage of this, moving from traditional offices to a more cloud-based service. They are probably based away from the high street or even at their homes, communicating online and meeting via videocalls. With much lower overheads, their fees should be much lower, yet you should get the same standard of service if you use fully qualified and experienced accountants. So you save business costs while still getting a great service.

Combined with the use of online accounting, some of these ‘new breeds’ offer a fixed price menu of services, payable in easy monthly instalments. So you know exactly what you will be paying, unlike the more traditional method of charging you by the hour, where the accountant can be rewarded for working slower!

Why pay hundreds of pounds more for an accountant working in a nice high street office?

CloudBook Online Accountants have been online accountants since 2013 and can help you save business costs

What is a directors loan account (DLA)? How do I use a DLA? Also, how do find out how much is in my DLA? Then what happens if I don’t repay my DLA? These are all questions every company director should know the answers to. If not, read below.

CloudBook Online Accountants, since 2013, are specialists in online accounting such as Xero, QuickBooks, and Pandle. To get the most out of your software you need experts like us to help you throughout the year. We include help with the the software in our cheap monthly fixed fees.

directors loan account

Directors Loan Account

What is it?

A DLA is where you categorise non-business transactions between a company and its director. The balance in a DLA shows how much the company owes the director (credit balance). Or how much the director owes the company (debit balance). If a director owes money to the company, you can call this an overdrawn directors loan account.

How do I find my DLA balance?

If you use online accounting software (you should!), run a report called a Balance Sheet or Trial Balance. You should find a line for the Directors Loan Account, or Shareholders Loan, or Owners Funds. or something like that. On a Trial Balance, if it’s in the debit column, that’s bad – you owe the company money (overdrawn DLA). If it’s in the credit column, the company owes you money, which is good. On a balance sheet, if it’s a positive balance in the Creditors/Liability section, that’s good. But if it’s positive and in the Assets/Debtors section, that’s bad. Obviously, reverse those if the balance is negative.

If you don’t use online accounting, you’ll have to take the DLA balance from the last set of accounts prepared, then adjust it for all the DLA transactions since then. Good luck! Did we mention online accounting?!

Tax on an Overdrawn Directors Loan Account

It’s important to know how to record a DLA properly and to check its balance. The reason being, is that an overdrawn DLA at a year end can cost the company 33.75% tax (was 32.5%) on the balance. So, let’s say a director owes money to the company at the company’s year end. The director has 9 months following the year end to repay the loan back to the company. If it’s not repaid, the company will pay tax at 33.75% of the balance still owed to it 9 months after the year end. A company receives a refund of that extra tax, 9 months after the year of repayment (or reduction).

Another tax implication, is if a loan to a director (or any employee) exceeds £10,000. If it does, interest needs to be charged at the official HMRC rate. Otherwise, that loan is taxable on the director as a ‘benefit in kind’ and they’ll pay 20% or 40% tax on the interest that should be charged.

How do I use a Directors Loan Account

Company transactions

If a company makes a payment to a director, that is not wages, expenses or dividends, because it’s not for a company cost, categorise the payment to the DLA (debit).

Also, categorise a payment/bill (debit) to the DLA if the company pays for something on behalf of the director because that’s like giving the director money. For example, personal expenses put on a company credit card.

You should categorise income (credit) to the DLA if the company receives money on behalf of the director because that belongs to the director not the company.

If you don’t pay the full amount of dividends directly to a director/shareholder, you should categorise them (credit) to the DLA. The transaction date becomes the dividends payment date.

Director transactions

If a director pays out of their own pocket for the company’s costs, or incurs expenses on behalf of the company, the company should debit the expense category and credit the directors loan account.

If a director receives income on behalf of the company, the company should record that amount as a credit against sales/vat/debtors and a debit against the DLA.

Actual loans between the director and the company are also DLA transactions. So categorise them to the directors loan account.


Online Accounting Software

Recording a Directors Loan Account is easy when you use online accounting software. There are many other benefits to using online accounting software which you can read about here. We are Xero Accounting specialists but we don’t make you use any particular software – choose your favourite! We can also help you use your choice of online accounting software to record a DLA. See some other online accounting software we support and you can see our fixed fees here.



Online accounting software has revolutionised the way accountants provide accountancy services. Businesses should get a better and cheaper service from their accountant by using online accounting software. It makes it easier to do your accounts, both the bookkeeping and then converting the online bookkeeping records into accounts. Read about 10 of the many benefits of getting your accounts online below.

In fact, HMRC will soon make it mandatory to use online accounting software, by requiring quarterly submissions of data. Making Tax Digital is already here for VAT registered businesses. It will soon be required for Income Tax, then Corporation Tax. Don’t worry if you’re not yet using online accounting software. We can help you move onto any one of them that you choose. Such as the free Pandle or the easy to use Xero.

online accounting software

Still need convincing?…

10 benefits of using online accounting software. 1-3:

More benefits of using online accounting software. 4-6:

Even more benefits of using online accounting software. 7-10:

How we can help you

We are online accounting software specialists. We’re committed to giving you a better service for less, by utilising all of the benefits of online accounting. Plus we’re not tied to any particular software provider such as Xero, SageOne, or Kashflow, so you’ll get honest independent advice on which is best for your business. If the free one, Wave Accounting, is all you need then why pay for something else?

All of our accounts clients get free help moving to online accounting software, and free help throughout the year. See our fees, or contact us by clicking the buttons below.

Cheaper accounts are here! For as little as £20 per month plus VAT, you can now have a great and efficient accountancy service from CloudBook Accountants.

What’s included?

Our new more basic ‘Annual’ package includes:

Who is it for?

This new cheaper accounts service is available to businesses who already use online accounting and just need the basic service from a fully qualified, experienced accountant. For those that may need more help throughout the year, our Annual+ package is just an extra £10 plus VAT per month, and comes with unlimited general advice and quarterly reviews of your online accounting records.

How can we offer cheap fixed fees?

Firstly, we do everything online, from signing you up to signing your accounts off – see how we work. It’s easier and a lot more efficient, so it takes us less time overall to provide services to you. Secondly, online accounting has improved immensely over the past few years. If used well, it usually makes the task of preparing your accounts and tax returns simpler. It also means it doesn’t take us much longer to prepare accounts for a larger business with tidy online records, than it would for a smaller business. So we can offer the same fixed fees to virtually all businesses that use online accounting well.

Why now?

CloudBook Accountants launched back in 2013 as an online accounting specialist. At the time, online accounting was still relatively new and many businesses were making their first move online from manual or desktop accounting. Today, we recognise that the majority of small businesses are now reaping the benefits from online accounting and have been doing so for some time now. As such, those businesses probably don’t need as much help as before with their online accounting. That’s why we’ve launched this more basic package.

Cheaper Accounts

The new Annual package is priced according to the following business types:

Contact us now to start benefiting sooner from our cheaper accounts package.

Directors Loan Account in Xero

directors loan account in xero

Xero Accounting are leading the way in the UK with online accounting software. In our opinion Xero is the best and easiest to use online accounting software for small businesses. Recording a Directors Loan Account in Xero Accounting is easy. See our Directors Loan Account page for more details about what it is. If you need specific help with Xero, we are Xero specialist accountants – see our fixed fees.

Setting up the Directors Loan Account in Xero

Xero provide by default a Directors Loan Account (830). However, it will be much easier to avoid using the default Directors Loan Account in Xero account except where it is the only option (e.g. when using Xero Payroll). Instead, we suggest you add a credit card account and call it a Directors Loan Account. By doing this, it becomes much easier to add expenses directly to the Directors Loan Account in Xero, and transfer money to/from it and the company bank accounts. Here is how you set it up:

Click on Accounts, Bank Accounts, then Add Bank Account. Type into the bank search ‘Directors Loan Account’ it won’t find a bank called that so you can then click on Add it Anyway. Type ‘Directors Loan Account’ again in the Name, choose Account Type: Credit Card, then enter any 4 numbers for the credit card number. Finally click Save.

That’s it, you can now use your new Directors Loan Account from the Xero Dashboard to add your expenses (spend money) and record transfers (transfer money) to/from the Directors Loan Account in Xero.

Entering transactions in the Xero Directors Loan Account

It’s very easy to enter transactions to the Directors Loan Account in Xero when it is set up as described above. As with Wave, you need to ask yourself – has the transaction gone through a company account e.g. company bank account or company credit card which is recorded on Xero?

Company Transactions

If the transaction has gone through a company account, we are assuming that you have a bank feed set up or you have uploaded bank statements:

  1. Go to the bank account
  2. Click on Reconcile
  3. Find the transaction
  4. Click on Transfer
  5. Select the Directors Loan Account
  6. Edit the reference if it’s not clear
  7. Click on OK

Director Transactions

If the transaction has not gone through a company account, and there is no bill or sales invoice for it in Xero:

  1. Go to the Directors Loan Account in Xero
  2. Click on Manage or Manage Account
  3. Click Receive Money if the amount was received by the director
  4. Or click Spend Money if the amount was paid by the director
  5. Enter the details: to, date, description, amount
  6. Select the appropriate account – usually a Revenue or Expense account
  7. Click save

If the director paid or received a bill or sales invoice that’s already on Xero: Find the bill or sales invoice; go down to the section ‘make/receive a payment’; enter the details and select the Directors Loan Account; then click on Add Payment.

Checking the balance of the Xero Directors Loan Account

To check the balance of a Shareholder or Directors Loan Account in Xero, there are a few ways:

Online accounting software has revolutionised the way accountants provide accountancy services. Businesses should get a better and/or cheaper service from their accountant by using online accounting software. It makes doing your accounts easier, both the bookkeeping side, and then converting the online bookkeeping records into accounts.

Already convinced? See some of the software, including the free Wave Online Accounting Software and the beautiul Xero Online Accounting Software.

Still need convincing?…

10 benefits of using online accounting software:











How we can help you

We are online accounting software specialists. We’re committed to giving you a better service for less, by utilising all of the benefits of online accounting. Plus we’re not tied to any particular software provider such as Xero, SageOne, or Kashflow, so you’ll get honest independent advice on which is best for your business. If the free one, Wave Accounting, is all you need then why pay for something else?

All of our accounts clients get free help moving to online accounting software, and free help throughout the year. See our fees, or use our quick tick-box enquiry form by clicking the buttons below.


Xero Review: Beautiful Accounting Software?

Our Xero review is based on us using it for ourselves and many of our clients for several years almost every day. We work with any online accounting software that our clients choose, so we’re not affiliated or biased towards any, so our Xero review is completely objective.

We think Xero Accounting lives up to its tagline – beautiful accounting software. Everything is clearly laid out, it runs smoothly, and it’s easy to use. Xero have made it as pleasurable as it can get to log in every day to update your accounts. The easier this is, the more likely you are to do it and not get behind with things which would make it more of a chore. Read through our Xero review to find out why what exactly makes it so good, and also a few things that aren’t so good.

Xero Review: Signing up

Xero offer free trials and introductory offers. Our clients can also get a 15% discount off of the Xero fees.

Xero offer a Starter package at a very competitive £9pcm which gives you full use of everything except multi-currency and payroll, but restricts you to 5 invoices, 5 bills and 20 bank transactions. Ideal for contractors.

Next up is their Standard package at a slightly pricey £20pcm (£17pcm after our discount), but you’d need to compare the added cost to the extra time you’d save using Xero. The Standard package removes the restrictions on the Starter package.

Finally, the Premium package is £25pcm, but only seems to offer multi-currency as an extra. This is disappointing considering other software like the free Wave accounting (which we also work with a lot) has multi-currency as standard.

Payroll can be added on at £5pcm for up to a certain number of employees then £1 per extra employee.

Xero Review: Setting up

Where other software launches you straight in, Xero reviews your signup details then takes you step by step through the settings tailored for you, so that you don’t miss anything. This is a great feature and a lot of our clients have done this perfectly well without any of our help.

Unfortunately, at the time of this Xero review, it doesn’t offer a choice of tailored sets or charts of accounts. These differ quite a lot depending on whether you are a company, partnership or sole trader. So a few self-starters may end up with a few accounts missing and a few that are not relevant. However, a chart of accounts can be imported, and that’s what we do when setting up our clients on Xero for free. This makes sure the relevant accounts are available such as dividends instead of drawings for companies.

Xero Review: Bank accounts

Recording bank transactions on Xero is easy and almost a pleasure! You can link Xero to almost any bank account to create a bank feed. This is done either via a third party service called Yodlee, or directly with your bank. Once linked, your bank transactions can be imported with just a click of the refresh button. Then you just need to click on Reconcile in Xero review and ‘reconcile’ each transaction by either matching it to an invoice or creating a new income, expense or transfer.

We love the way each transaction is boxed rather than in a line. On the left is what was imported from the bank, and on the right is another box for how you want to record that transaction. Xero reviews the details of the transaction and suggests what to do with it. If you’re happy with how the transaction will be recorded, click OK in the middle and the two boxes sweep away and the next two move up. As smooth and as beautiful as it can get!


As well as importing your bank transactions, you can also save time reconciling your transactions. As mentioned, Xero reviews the details and remembers what you did with the same or similar transaction last time, and suggests the same treatment. Also, you can set up rules which identify characteristics of a transaction then treats it however you set up the rule. Ultimately, with enough rules you end up just clicking OK against every transaction because Xero knows exactly what to do with each one. So you’ve updated the accounts potentially without typing a single letter or number – a pleasure!

If you have a lot of transactions to reconcile, Xero does have a ‘cash coding’ method. This gives you a more traditional list of transactions which can be reordered by description to make it easier to bulk-reconcile similar transactions.

In theory, the traditional bank reconciliation is a thing of the past with Xero. Only the bank transactions are entered against into bank account via the free bank feed, so there should be no difference. You get a nice big green tick to confirm that you’ve reconciled all transactions and the balance on Xero agrees to the bank balance. A minor problem with this is if you use a sales collection service linked to your sales invoices. If your customer follows the link to pay your sales invoice via GoCardless for example, this shows as a bank receipt at that point even though it may take a week to reach your bank account. So you have a bank difference for that week.

In summary, the bank section in Xero makes it easier to update your accounts little and often. So if you’re like us, you end up doing it every day for a few minutes rather than every month for a couple of hours.

Xero Review: Sales invoicing

There’s very little to fault with the whole sales side of things on Xero. It’s very flexible, easy to use, and can be automated in various ways to save time.

Starting with Quotes, you can set up template quotes as draft then copy the draft quote each time you need to use that template. You can also set up template emails to use to send out the quote to potential customers. So it takes just a couple of minutes to enter details of a new contact, then click a few buttons to email them a quote. That quote can then be converted into a sales invoice to save you entering the details again.

Sales invoices can be emailed or printed in batches. They can be set to repeat and emailed automatically. Reminders can be set up to automatically chase unpaid invoices. There is also a Xero to Xero facility, so that a sales invoice raised in one Xero automatically appears as a bill in the other Xero. You can also send out statements to all of your customers in one go. This can’t be automated but there are free add-ons such as Satago that can automatically send statements every month.

Xero Review: Purchases or Bills

Purchase billing is quite similar to sales invoicing and works just as well.

Xero Review: Inventory

You can set up as many stock or service lines as you need, then allocate a cost price, sales price and quantity. Xero reviews all sales and purchases for the stock item then updates the quantity for you.


Xero Review: Expense claims

Xero has a good expense claim feature which allows you or your employees to update a claim each time an expense is incurred, then submit it for approval, and then have it paid.

Xero Review: Fixed assets and depreciation

Once you’ve set up your fixed asset categories, everytime a bill or expense is reconciled to a fixed asset account, Xero reviews the account and reminds you to set it up in fixed assets. Then you just have to click ‘Run Depreciation’ then Xero calculates the depreciation for you and puts it in the correct place.

Xero Review: Payroll

Again, there is a fair amount of setting up to do here, but once you’ve done that the routine payroll admin is quick and easy. If nothing has changed, it takes two clicks to run and post a payrun. Then another two clicks to email a payslip to each employee.

Xero Review: Reports

The Xero Reviews and Reports on your accounts are the best we’ve seen. They can be tailored to your specific requirements for the layout, period and detail. Then they can be published and stored on Xero for future reference.

Xero Review: VAT

Calculating and submitting your VAT returns on Xero also couldn’t be easier. Xero reviews your settings for whether you are cash or accrual based, standard or flat rate, monthly quarterly or annually, then adjusts the VAT report accordingly. Also, Xero reviews the previously submitted period for any changes and brings those amendments into the current period. Then you just have to enter your HMRC ID and password to submit the VAT return to HMRC without leaving Xero, unlike most other software packages.

Xero Review: Conclusion

Xero is so easy to use, and packs in so many features and options, that we simply have to recommend it to all of our clients. Otherwise we wouldn’t be doing our job. It comes at a cost, but unless you have lots of spare time and don’t need to save any, it will be worth it. Take a look for yourself by signing up for a free trial from the Xero Accounting website.

Xero Review: How we can help you with Xero Accounting

We are Xero Accounting specialists, using all of its features every day. So we help our clients use it throughout the year by securely logging into your account from where we are. Also, if we subscribe to Xero for you as your accountant, we can get you 15% off of the Xero fees. By using Xero Accounting (or any online accounting), you will also benefit from our low monthly fixed fees. We have a range of online accounting services which can be tailored to your specific needs.


Wave Accounting Review – Free Online Accounting Software

CloudBook Online Accountants are Wave Accounting specialists. If you want to get the most out of free online accounting software, you need experts like us to assist you throughout the year. As well as this, we set you up on Wave Accounting and show you how to use it, all included in our low fixed accountancy fees.

This is our Wave Accounting Review. Wave provides free online accounting software, funded by some small adverts. If you’d like to see how Wave Accounting works, please also visit our page of Wave Accounting Videos. Also, because it is completely free online accounting software, you can just sign up and have a play with it here: Wave Accounting.

Our Wave Accounting Review

If you’re looking for the best free online accounting software, we recommend Wave Accounting. It’s ideal for small businesses with straightforward accounts who don’t want to pay a lot (or anything!) to make their bookkeeping easier, and potentially their accountants fees cheaper (like ours!). Wave Accounting or Wave Apps as they are now called are able to supply free online accounting software by showing small discreet advertising to the side of the screen. You probably won’t even notice it and if you do, it might even be useful!

Just because you don’t have to pay for Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software, it doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality. If anything, you may not have the quantity of features that other expensive, cheap or free online accounting software provides, but if you don’t need those additional features, why pay for them?!

What you get with Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software

That’s not to say Wave Accounting hasn’t got great features and we’re going to tell you about what you can get from the free online accounting software including the following:

Banking & Paypal

Paypal and most bank accounts can be set up to feed transactions automatically and securely into Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software. It saves you time entering anything or downloading and uploading statements. If your bank (or you) doesn’t support that, you should be able to download your bank statements from online banking in a common format (e.g. CSV), which can easily be uploaded into Wave Accounting in seconds. Saving you hours a year entering each transaction manually.

Wave Accounting doesn’t have a bank reconciliation facility as such. **See Update below** That’s because it’s designed to be led by your bank statement transactions, not by your cheque book or your income slips. Although it does allow you to verify each line, acting like a tick which could help you if you do still want to reconcile (i.e. tick off) the bank statements.

If you don’t have any of these facilities, you can always manually enter income and expenditure. It’s very easy, and still quicker than writing it in a cashbook, or on a spreadsheet.

**UPDATE** There is now a Wave Accounting bank reconciliation, and it works seamlessly in the transactions section. We think it’s a great addition to the software. See this video on the new Wave Accounting Bank Reconciliation:

Receipt & Invoice Scanner and Storage

Another way Wave Accounting makes your life easier is with their free Receipts App. This is a really useful tool that you can download onto your mobile or tablet, so that you can take a photo of a receipt or invoice. It then reads the data on the document and uploads the data and the image into Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software. A great time saver!

However, following from above (regarding the lack of a bank reconciliation), this is probably best left for the transactions that don’t go through your main bank account. Instead we think this is great for recording cash income slips or expenses receipts, or costs and income that have gone through another bank account (e.g. personal).

We have found it to be inconsistent at times, for example picking up the change amount rather than the total amount. But it is getting better with regular updates. Also you get to review each one and if necessary correct any of the data before it hits your account. Overall we’re a big fan of the Receipts App provided by Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software!…

Invoicing & Bills

Ditch the wordprocesser and spreadsheet! Wave Accounting has a great invoicing module, producing professional looking invoices that can easily be downloaded as a PDF or emailed directly to your customer through the software. Using the second option you can register with Stripe to add a credit card payment option to you invoices (a small percentage fee is charged but only if your customer pays by credit card).

It’s so easy to use, you just enter everything or select options directly on the invoice, save, and then it’s in your accounts and ready to send. You can set an invoice to recur say every month. You can also copy a previously raised invoice and edit the details – another great time saver.

Each invoice has an option to raise a payment against it. Or this can be done from the bank transactions (recommended to avoid duplicating bank receipts). On the invoice summary page, at a glance you can see what is paid, due, overdue. Then you can resend the invoice if necessary to chase payment.

We have nothing negative to say about the invoicing provided by Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software. Although we recommend you check you’re happy with the look of the email that is sent to customers directly from the software before using it.

Bills (i.e. purchase invoices) are entered much the same way as sales invoices.


Wave Accounting handles VAT via its sales tax function. Set it up with the VAT rate and then remember to select VAT whenever you enter anything that affects your VAT return. It handles VAT on an invoice basis well, and you can use it for a cash basis, but it’s perhaps not as intuitive as other online accounting software. For the cash basis you will have to adjust for debtors and creditors on each VAT return. That’s where your accountant should be able to help, and we would include that in our quarterly reviews provided with our accounts packages.


Essential reports are provided with the free online accounting software, which are usually enough for most small businesses including:

Other Useful Bits

There is an Accounting module which lets you enter journals (other adjustments not via bank, sales or purchases), and add or edit categories for your transactions.

You can add as many collaborators as you wish (e.g. your accountant, your bookkeeper) who will be able to log in and either view or also edit your accounts.

Each Wave Accounting account comes with Personal free online accounting software, which is a separate set of records for your personal finances. This is really useful if you often mix business with personal transactions because you can easily transfer to one or the other. It also comes with a budgeting tool.


They say you don’t get anything for nothing, well they were wrong in this case! Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software has all of the essentials in a really easy to use format. It is worth considering for all small businesses and even the not so small with straightforward accounts. We’re happy to support any business that uses Wave Accounting. You could potentially save hundreds on accounting software and even more with accountants fees. CloudBook Accountants are Wave Accounting specialists. Use our Fixed Fees Calculator on this page to see for yourself how much you could save. Or contact us with any questions you have.

Video – How to Use Wave Accounting

This was our Wave Accounting Review of its Free Online Accounting Software. If you’d like to see how Wave Accounting works, please also visit our page of Wave Accounting Videos. Also, because it is completely free online accounting software, you can just sign up and have a play with it here: Wave Accounting.

CloudBook Online Accountants are Wave Accounting specialists. We help our clients set up on Wave Accounting and show them how to use it. This, as well as ongoing help with Wave Accounting is included in our low fixed accountancy fees.