Responsibilities of Ember and the customer

In this section, we outline Ember’s services in detail and describe the terms and conditions that apply to your use of those services.

When referring to each other: When we say you, your and yourself, we mean both you and any entity, firm, or partnership you’re authorised to represent. When we say Ember, we, our, or us, we’re talking about Ember Digital Limited, the entity you contract with and pay fees to.

Customer Support

Ember provides accounting support for small businesses, and our accountants should be able to deal with many of your accounting-related queries. We are, however, not specialists in certain areas and may offer a referral to you if we are unable to help with your specific query.

Our expertise covers UK tax; therefore, we will not be able to help with queries from other tax jurisdictions.

There are also other specific areas of accounting and tax where we will not be able to provide support, and you should instead seek a specialist for assistance. Those are detailed below:

  • Tax in jurisdictions other than the UK (we can consider foreign income and tax deducted as part of self-assessments)
  • HMRC investigations - Our support does not extend to dealing with HMRC investigations on your behalf. We will, of course, do what we can to assist you in dealing with HMRC; however, you are advised to seek a specialist in this area to provide support.
  • IR35 investigations - A specialist would be required.
  • Detailed income/take-home comparison for prospective contracts. For instance, asking us for a breakdown of take-home pay for inside IR35 vs PAYE vs Umbrella. This is not covered by our services.
  • Advice on complex VAT schemes such as the second-hand goods scheme, VAT MOSS, and VAT Margin schemes. These schemes cannot be supported on the Ember software platform, and we cannot provide advisory services alongside this.
  • Companies involved in group structures.
  • Financial advice of any kind - Ember is not a financial advisor and is not qualified to give investment or financial advice.
  • Cryptocurrency-related queries.
  • Any other areas which can be reasonably considered to be outside the scope of our services.

We will always do whatever we can to help you with your query or, if we are unable to help, we will do what we can to provide a referral to one of our partners.

Ember will not register as your tax agent with HMRC and therefore any communications with HMRC will need to be managed by yourself. We do, however, reserve the right to call HMRC or register as your tax agent on your behalf in exceptional circumstances.

Bookkeeping and categorising transactions

Hands-on bookkeeping services are not included in any of our subscriptions and the categorisation of transactions remains your responsibility.

Ember does not review your bookkeeping as part of our paid-for plans, so if you have any doubts about categorising transactions, it is important to get in touch with one of our support professionals.

You can contact our support professionals via the in-application chat or by emailing [email protected].

Ember’s software aims to provide a proposed category but this needs to be checked and confirmed manually as part of the approval process.

It is recommended that you use our bulk categorisation tool, especially if you have a large volume of transactions. You can bulk change the transaction category and VAT rate and then bulk approve transactions in the app en-masse.

We will provide you with guidance on how best to categorise transactions and we have useful articles that cover common queries on categorisation, in addition to explanations of the different categories you can choose from. We do not, however, take any responsibility for the approval process and the liability that arises from the incorrect categorisation of any transaction.

If you have a transaction that involves two line items (a gross sale with a fee deducted for example), you will need to ensure that you split the transaction between the gross sale and the fee deducted to ensure this is accounted for correctly in the accounting reports.

If you are VAT registered, you must check the VAT rate has been correctly assigned on each transaction. The software will aim to provide a suggestion of the correct VAT rate (for example, for insurance expenditure, it will suggest the VAT rate is exempt); however, it is important to check and confirm these suggestions before approving, as the VAT will automatically feed into VAT returns once the transaction is approved.

You can amend any transaction after approving it if you wish by finding the relevant transaction in the approved transactions list on the transactions tab in the app.

Value-Added Tax (VAT)

Ember files all VAT returns on an accruals basis (when an invoice is issued) and not on a cash basis (when payment is received). We are therefore unable to support clients who file on a cash basis.

VAT filing is included in all paid plans for Limited Companies and Sole Traders who are VAT-registered. If you become VAT registered whilst on a free plan and want to use Ember to submit your VAT returns to HMRC, you will need to upgrade to one of our paid-for plans. Our software submits VAT returns per HMRC’s Making Tax Digital guidance.

We support both the Flat Rate and Standard Rate VAT schemes.

You will need to be registered for Making Tax Digital to submit through the Ember software. You can add the connection to HMRC through Settings > Manage Connections > Connect HMRC account in the app.

This will then feed any outstanding VAT returns into the Taxes tab of the app. Reminders for submission and payment will automatically display on the Home section of the app. If the VAT returns do not appear in the taxes tab, you should let one of our advisors know via the chat box.

It is your responsibility to submit your VAT return through the Ember app - by clicking on the relevant VAT return on the taxes page and then going to the totals page and hitting the submit button. This will then file the VAT return with HMRC.

You will need to arrange payment of VAT returns; this can be via direct debit or you can click through the relevant payment reminders on the Ember app to make payment each quarter.

Ember does not submit VAT returns or review VAT returns for clients. It is your responsibility to check that the VAT return is correct before submitting this to HMRC. All transactions in the VAT return will reflect the bookkeeping completed by you. If you are unsure if your VAT return is correct or have made an error on a return submitted to HMRC, you should speak to one of our advisors through the Intercom chat on the app.

VAT Registration

Assistance with registering for VAT is only supported on the Unlimited plan.

Therefore, if you are on one of our other paid plans and want to register your business for VAT, it is your responsibility to register using the HMRC online service. To assist you with this, we have extensive guidance and articles to help you when registering your business for VAT.

It is your responsibility as a director of the company/sole trader to ensure you are tracking your revenue to determine if you need to register your business for VAT per HMRC guidelines. If you are unsure if you need to register, you should contact our support via the Intercom chat on the app.

If you are still determining which VAT scheme to register for (Flat rate vs Standard), you should get in touch with one of our support agents via the Intercom chat who will be able to advise.

Flat rate scheme

When you first indicate you are Flat Rate registered via the app, the system will automatically assume that you are a limited-cost trader, using the 16.5% flat rate (15.5% in your first year of VAT registration).

If you are not deemed a limited-cost trader, then you will need to inform one of our advisors via the Intercom chat so we can update this for you.

Ember does not review your limited-cost trader status through the app, so you will need to let us know if you believe this status may have changed for your business.

What Ember cannot support

  • VAT margin scheme
  • Annual accounting scheme
  • VAT-exempt calculations per the de-minimis rules
  • Submissions via VAT MOSS for digital services.
  • Other complex VAT matters involving properties such as opting out
  • Advice around the Capital Goods scheme


Payroll should be managed within Ember. We can’t support clients who are using Ember and filing their payroll on third-party software. Clients who are filing through third-party software when they first join Ember can provide us with the figures filed to date for the relevant tax year and start using Ember to file their payroll.


Payroll can be filed directly through the payroll tab in the Ember app to HMRC. To file payroll, you will need to be PAYE registered. You are required to file through PAYE if you are paying any employee or director more than £123 a week.

It is your responsibility to input payroll details into the Ember app and to ensure these are correct and kept up to date.

When adding employees, the app will tell you if additional information is needed.

The first pay run will need to be manually filed with HMRC by hitting the file now button on the payroll filing screen. Once the first pay run is filed, you can select to have the payroll filed automatically going forward. You should still check this each month prior to the pay run filing automatically, to ensure it is up to date.

Automation only covers the filing with HMRC. It is your responsibility to then pay employees/directors the net amount per the payslip via your banking facilities. When categorising the payments to employees, the Ember app will display payroll tiles to categorise the payments against in the drop down list. This will ensure all of the payroll journals are recorded correctly in the background.

If automation has been set up and you want to make any changes to the payroll, the changes must be made to the payroll before the payroll filing date.

Payslips will be automatically generated and sent by the software to employees. P60s will also be emailed to employees at the end of the tax year.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of the rules for Pension auto-enrolment and that Ember is informed if the business is required to start a pension scheme for employees. Remember - Directors are exempt from the auto-enrolment rules.

Ember is responsible for ensuring the following:

  • Employment allowance will be applied if you make us aware that you are eligible. Ember may also perform regular checks to ensure this is applied.
  • Ensuring pension auto-enrolment is set up correctly once you reach out to Ember to confirm pension details and provider.
  • Adding bonuses or one-off payments to payslips as this cannot be done via the app. You will need to make us aware of this via the app.
  • Amending payslips filed incorrectly by you. We can charge a fee if the work required to correct incorrect filings is deemed extensive.
  • If an employee leaves - you will need to make us aware of this as Ember will need to manually update this for you and issue them with a P45 for the employee.
  • The year-end switchover is completed after the March payroll filing each tax year.

Ember can also support you by advising you on the most tax-efficient salary to pay directors. If you are unsure of the best amount to pay yourself, you can reach out to an one of our support agents through the Intercom chat.

PAYE Registration

PAYE Registration is needed to file payroll to HMRC.

Ember is not responsible for registering your business for PAYE unless you are on our Unlimited plan.

We have guidance on this via our articles to help you register. You are also recommended to follow the steps on the payroll tab in the app - this will take you through the required sequence to register.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are registering your business for PAYE if you are required to do so. This also forms part of the responsibilities of being a Director of a limited company.


Businesses that are PAYE registered are required to make a P11D submission with taxable benefits for employees/directors for each tax year.

Ember will send correspondence to all PAYE registered clients each year to check if any benefits in kind need to be declared.

Ember will prepare and file a nil return on your behalf assuming there are no taxable benefits to declare.

If there is a taxable benefit to be declared, we will provide a questionnaire for you to fill out, and Ember will then prepare the P11D filing for you and file this with HMRC. We will then confirm the relevant benefit amount and the amount of tax the company will have to pay.

We will prepare the return based on the information provided in the questionnaire so it is your responsibility to ensure the information provided is accurate.

Pension Auto Enrolment (Limited Companies only)

If your business is required to enrol employees in a pension scheme then please get in touch with us via Intercom support. You will be required to enrol eligible employees for a pension scheme once you are paying them more than £833 a month (£10,000 annually).

It is worth flagging that directors are exempt from auto-enrolment rules.

Ember can support this if you join Nest.

If you choose to use another provider, we can still assist.

Confirmation statements (Limited Companies only)

Limited companies have to file a confirmation statement once a year with Companies House.

This confirms if there have been any changes to the ownership and structure of the limited company since the last confirmation statement was filed.

Free and Pro Plan - Ember does not take responsibility for filing the confirmation statement. We have articles on our help desk that explain how to file this with Companies House, and if you have any queries, we can help (without going as far as filing this for you) with these through the Intercom chat. If you do want Ember to file this for you, we charge a one-off fee of £75+VAT. Alternatively, you can upgrade to our Unlimited plan as explained below.

Unlimited Plan - Ember will complete confirmation statements if requested by you on the Unlimited plan. We will rely on you to confirm if there have been any changes that need to be reported. Ember cannot accept responsibility for any errors on confirmation statements that result from you not informing us of relevant changes that need to be reported.

Any third-party fee will be payable by you

Often you will be best placed to file a confirmation statement as you will have the most up-to-date knowledge of your business.

Video Consultations

Video consultations are included in our Unlimited plans for both Sole Traders and Limited Companies.

You can, on other paid packages, access accountancy support via the Intercom chat in the Ember app. Free clients have no accountancy support but can report bugs and other issues with the app to us via Intercom. You can access video support either at the discretion of an accountant or via a paid accountancy chat with the different options here and terms outlined below.


  • Calls will be on Google Meet and will last either fifteen minutes or half an hour - Depending on the call you have booked.
  • You are guaranteed one video consultation a quarter with an accountant. Our accountants may allow for more at our discretion.
  • Calls will be booked based on the availability of the accountant.
  • If you do not attend the Google Meet, we will do everything we can to rearrange this with you.
  • There may be times when an accountant may not be able to answer your query directly on the call and may seek advice from a more senior member of staff following the call to come back with a detailed response.
  • Ember can also confirm on the call if the subject you wish to discuss is outside the scope of our areas of expertise. For paid calls - we will issue a full refund if we have been unable to help you at all or agree to a partial refund based on a reasonable apportionment of what percentage of the queries we were able to support with.