A virtual assistant (VA) can be useful for a small business at any time of year, but especially so over Christmas, when things get busy and people start taking time off for the holidays. Get Ahead VA’s franchisees know how much their VAs are needed during the festive season, and they offer a wide range of services to help out local businesses at this time. Here are 5 key ways that hiring a VA can make a difference to your business this Christmas. 


There are lots of ways in which working with virtual assistants makes sense, like freeing you up from mundane tasks to concentrate on your core business, or mixing and matching skills to create the ultimate team. But for all business owners, money is the bottom line. We firmly believe that VAs are a cost effective way of tapping into a wealth of experience and high quality work.

Here’s why:


This is something we’ve seen coming for a while now, but as of two weeks ago the UK officially entered a recession. Of course, this is unsettling news for all of us, and with tough times ahead most business owners are likely to be affected by the unpredictable economic climate.

So is there anything you can do to take care of your business and protect it against the worst of what’s to come? We’ve put together some useful steps you can take to prepare your business for the difficulties ahead, so you can ride out the storm and maybe even continue to grow.


Happy birthday Get Ahead VA! 

Throughout September, we’re celebrating Get Ahead VA’s 10th birthday. Of course, 10 years is a major landmark for any business, and we’re very proud to be here. It also means that we’ve learned a thing or two over the years, so if you want to build a business that lasts, here are our 10 top tips to give your business staying power. Read on and hopefully you too can celebrate 10 years one day! 


The end of the financial year is just around the corner, and with it come some changes that the government is making to VAT returns for businesses – an initiative called ‘Making Tax Digital’.

If you’re not sure whether or how the changes will affect your business, don’t worry. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for this new way of managing your business’ taxes.


Get Ahead VA offers a wide range of business and marketing services. In our Service Spotlight, we take a closer look at one of these and show you how our virtual assistants can help you and your business. This month, with the end of the financial year coming up (5th April), we’re looking at accounting.

Why do you need accounting help?

For many business owners, the worst part of running a business is managing the accounts. In a survey of 508 small business owners conducted by TD Bank, nearly half of the respondents named bookkeeping as their least favourite part of running a business.*


Managing your accounts can be the most daunting part of running a business. Fortunately, there are lots of apps out there that can make crunching the numbers a breeze. So, to celebrate Get Ahead VA’s 8th birthday, we’re bringing you 8 apps to help you nail your business finances, as recommended by our team of virtual assistants!

  1. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is one of the most popular apps around for managing business finances. There are two versions of the app. QuickBooks Self-Employed includes everything you’ll need as a sole trader, including invoicing, mileage tracking and tax estimations. QuickBooks Small Business offers all that, as well as VAT calculation, payroll, and employee time tracking. You can even invite your accountant to collaborate on the app with you!

  1. HMRC

Did you know that the government offers an official HMRC app that covers everything to do with your tax return? You can use it to check your tax code and National Insurance number, renew your tax credits, calculate the tax you owe, and keep track of any communications you’ve had with the HMRC. Even better, the app is free!


You may be aware that next week (3–7 September) is National Payroll Week, which is designed to “raise the profile and awareness of payroll in the UK”. But what exactly is payroll, and why should we celebrate it?

Essentially, ‘payroll’ refers to everything to do with paying employees and collecting taxes from them, and it has a significant impact on the country’s economy. According to the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), payroll contributes £4.46 billion to the economy each year through income tax and national insurance.

Exactly what form your payroll takes will depend on the type and size of business you own: perhaps you handle all payroll matters yourself, or maybe you have one or two employees, or even an entire department, dedicated to it. Whatever your payroll looks like, it’s a vital part of your business, and next week’s celebrations are a great opportunity to recognise that. With that in mind, here are a few of the ways you can prepare your business for National Payroll Week.


Thursday 5th April will be the last day of the 2017/18 financial year, and if you’re a freelancer, sole trader or business owner, this will obviously be an important date for your diary. However, this can also be a stressful time for the self-employed, especially if the thought of spreadsheets and tax returns makes you shudder.

The best way to deal with the transition is to get organised. Now is the time to put your finances in order and prepare yourself to fill out your tax return. Not sure where to start? Here are four essential tips for dealing with the end of the financial year as a self-employed person.