Humans are not elephants. Now you’re probably thinking, “Well, duh!” But there’s a reason we’re highlighting the obvious and the reason is simple: elephants never forget, which is a slightly weird and long-winded way of saying, “HUMANS DO FORGET!”

We’re not saying humans forget everything. Like you probably remember your eldest child’s name, and how to get to work, and what your favourite sandwich is. But there are some things you’ve probably forgotten, like when your wedding anniversary is, whether you put the bins out, and what new rules affecting our normal lives were introduced last year. So, to jog your memory: you got hitched on May 21st, you didn’t put the bins out, and the new rules included things like passport renewals changing, new car tax rules being brought in, Universal Credit getting a few tweaks, and Employment Allowance bits being changed. Basically, 2018 was busy.

And 2019 is gonna be no different.

In fact, here are six or seven new rules-slash-laws being brought into effect in 2019 that will affect workers and businesses in some way, meaning they’re probably quite handy to know about.

So, let’s get down and boogie with them, shall we?

1. National Living Wage Is On The Up

Ladies and gentlemen, entrepreneurs and employers, one of the reasons you need plop 1st April 2019 into your cat calendar in thick red pen is because the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates are set to increase on that day.

  • For employees aged 25 and over, the new minimum wage is going from £7.83 per hour to £8.21 per hour.

  • For those humans aged 21-24, it’s going from £7.38 to £7.70 an hour.

  • As for those aged between 18 to 20, this figure is jumping from £5.90 an hour to £6.15.

  • And for those whippersnappers of school age (but under 18), their money is set to go up from £4.20 an hour to £4.35.

It’s probably also worth knowing about the changes coming to the world of apprentices too, who will see their minimum rate go from £3.70 to £3.90 an hour -- that’s as long as they are a) under 19 or b) over 19 but in the first year of their current apprenticeship. There. It’s a lot to remember, but that’s what we’re here for.

2. Pension Contributions Are Rising

Pensions are like the James Brown of the working world in that they’re proper groovy. It’s about looking after our employees so that they can look forward to relaxing in the Costa Del Sol on the day they turn 65 -- and then never leaving. Of course, right now, the existing rules mean employers must contribute a minimum of 2% of a worker’s pre-tax salary, with the worker contributing 3%. But the minimum contributions for auto-enrolment pension schemes are going to increase for employers and employees as of April 1st 2019 (yup, it’s a busy day). Anyway, the new rules mean that employers will now have to contribute a minimum of 3%, and employees will have to put aside 5%. Simple.

3. What Do We Want? Payslips!

In case April 2019 wasn’t already chock-full of change, there is another rule being brought into play on the 6th, and it’s all about granting non-employees (you know, contractors and freelancers and stuff) the legal right to a payslip. And that’s not all. Employers will also be obliged to pop the total number of hours worked on the payslips of any employees whose wages vary depending on how much time they’ve put in.

4. Pay Gaps Are Getting Exposed

The pay gap thing has become big news over the past year or so (which we think is some right good, Tim Henman-style fist-pumping news). There shouldn’t be a gap in pay because someone’s a dude and someone’s not a dude. As such, on April 4th 2019, new legislation will come into play that requires any private organisation with 250+ employees to (again) publish their gender pay gap figures. Go society.

5. NDAs Have Been Naughty

Once upon a time, NDAs (also known as Non-Disclosure Agreements) were used for protecting things that needed protecting, like intellectual property and stuff. But then people starting getting a bit naughty and using NDAs to silence claims of bullying and harassment and bad things like that. Well, this year, there’s gonna be a review into all this and, hopefully, it will make NDAs great again #theyarenotgaggingclauses.

6. VAT Is Getting Revamped

Holy-moly, April is a solid month for new rules - and this time it’s all to do with VAT. To give it to you in a nutshell, all VAT-registered businesses that have a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold will have to start keeping VAT records in digital form, and then file their VAT returns using digital software. Don’t worry, though -- we can handle all of that nitty-gritty stuff for you without breaking a sweat. It’s what we do (alongside a load of other great stuff).

Basically, this year, you might want to try and be a little more elephant or, failing that, get a bookkeeper that will blow your socks off with their organisational skills and industry knowhow [cough-Accounts-Done-cough].

Thanks for reading! For more bookkeeping-slash-accountancy-slash-finance advice, and a few weird-thoughts, please do follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and then tell all your businessy friends to do the same.

It's okay - this is a safe space. That means you can admit the stuff you would usually hide, maybe even puff out your chest like a pigeon that wants to get his freak on in a show of bravado. Yup. We're talking about you needing a bookkeeper but pretending like you don't. Heck - we've got clients who didn't even know what a bookkeeper did when we first woo'ed them - they just didn't want to add another expense.

But that's the point - we're not an expense. We save you from unnecessary expenses - not to mention the fact we'll also save you money through less human error and get you bills paid on time.

Just to confirm: we're not accountants. No way. Which is groovy for both of us because, while you may not need -- or want -- an accountant, having a bookkeeper is totally badass. Why? 'Cos we'll help you with oh-so-many financial tidbits. Of course, you could always become a bookkeeper yourself so that you totes understand all the different aspects of your business, but that's less realistic than Star Trek (and Spock's ears).

So, getting back to why you should hire a Bookkeeper (aka Accounts Done), here are a handful of reasons to back up our claim:

1. Keep your focus on your core business needs: your time should be devoted to strategy, marketing, funding and all those other key business areas only you can take charge of. Not fiddling about with bookkeeping.

2. Don't do what you don’t really understand: doesn't it makes sense for a professional who took courses in finance, and got certified in these areas, to handle those aspects of your business?

3. Nail your work-life balance: you could balance the books when you've finished doing your other jobs, but you’ll be doing so while missing out on that balance every person needs in their life to stay healthy, enjoy family and not burn out like a spaceship reentering the earth's atmosphere.

4. New business perspectives are awesome: you probs have a mad-good idea of your business, but having a bookkeeper on your side will give you a new look at the "big picture" through the numbers being crunched.

5. Handover the gross aspects of business: no one is getting excited about the financial side of running a business. No one. Well, except us, but that's because that's our business. We actually enjoy these tasks, which is why it makes total sense to hand over these areas to us.

6. We'll make sure everything is paid on time: running a business mans spinning plates, putting out fires and rushing about like a headless chicken in an Formula 1 race car without a steering wheel, which is why every business owner always forgets to do something along the way, and that's usually paying bills. Put an end to that with us.

7. Reduce the cost of financial obligations: you're probably doing that normal thing of thinking you'll save a big sack of money by doing everything yourself. But that's a myth. It's like the Loch Ness Monster of the bookkeeping world. The truth is: a professional bookkeeper will actually saves you loads of money. That’s because there's less room for human error, better knowledge, fewer missed payments, and stuff like tax obligation due dates and delayed accounts receivable, which are super-awesome.

Yup. Bookkeepers are awesome. And we're the most awesome of this awesome lot.