Terms of service - Responsibilities of Ember and the client

Expert Support

Ember provides expert support for small businesses and our qualified accountants should be able to deal with the vast majority of client accounting queries. We are however, not specialists in certain areas and may offer a referral to clients if we are unable to help with the query in question.

Our expertise broadly covers UK tax and therefore we will not able to help with queries from other tax jurisdictions.

There are however certain areas where we will not be able provide advice and clients should instead look to seek a specialist for support:

  • Tax in jurisdictions other then 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 a clients behalf. We will of course do what we can to assist clients in dealing with HMRC. Clients 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 for Inside IR35 vs PAYE vs Umbrella. This is not covered within our services.
  • Advice on complex VAT schemes such as second hand goods scheme, VAT MOSS and VAT Margin schemes. These schemes cannot be supported on the Ember software and unfortunately we cannot advise.
  • Companies involved in group structures.
  • Financial advice of any kind - Ember are not financial advisors and are not qualified to give Investment or financial advice.
  • Complex 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 clients with queries or if we are unable to help, we will do what we can to provide clients with a referral to one of our partners.

Bookkeeping (categorising transactions)

We offer paid for bookkeeping services for clients on an ad hoc basis.

Bookkeeping is not included on any of our packages and categorisation of transactions remains the clients responsibility.

Ember does not review clients bookkeeping as part of our paid for plans so if clients have any doubts around categorising transactions, it is important to get in touch with one of the Ember team.

The software will try and guess the correct category for clients, but this will need to be checked as part of approving transactions.

It is recommended that clients use our bulk categorisation tool especially if they have a large volume of transactions. Clients are able to bulk change transaction category and VAT rate and then bulk approve transactions in the app.

We will provide clients guidance on how best to categorise their transactions and we have lot’s of useful guidance and articles that cover off common queries on categorisation as well as explanations of the different categories they can choose.

If clients have a transaction that involves two transactions (A gross sale with a fee deducted as an example) clients will need to ensure they split the transaction between the gross sale and the fee deducted to ensure this is accounted for correctly.

If clients are VAT registered, it is important that clients check the VAT has been categorised correctly. The software will try to make an educated guess (If Insurance for instance, it will assume the VAT is exempt) but it is important clients check these, as the VAT will automatically feed into clients VAT returns once the transaction is approved.

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



VAT filing is included on all price plans for Limited company’s and Sole Traders who are VAT registered. If a client becomes VAT registered whilst on a Free plan and want to use Ember to submit their VAT returns to HMRC, they will need to upgrade to one of our paid plans. Our software submits VAT returns automatically to HMRC in accordance with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital guidance.

We support both the Flat Rate and Standard VAT scheme.

Clients will need to be registered for Making Tax Digital to submit through the Ember software. Clients can add the connection to HMRC through the manage tab in the app.

This will then feed any outstanding VAT returns into the taxes tab. Reminder for submission and payment will then automatically feed into the homepage of the app. If the VAT returns do not appear in the taxes tab then clients should let one our advisors know via the Intercom chat.

Clients will need to submit their VAT returns through the Ember app - by clicking into the relevant VAT return on the taxes page and going to the totals page and hitting the submit button. This will then file the VAT return with HMRC.

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

Ember do not submit VAT returns or review VAT returns for clients. It is the clients 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 the client. If clients are unsure if their VAT return is correct or have made an error on a return submitted to HMRC, they should speak to one of our advisors through the Intercom chat on the app.

VAT Registration

VAT Registration is only supported on the Unlimited price plan.

Therefore if a client is on one of our other price plans and wants to register their business for VAT, they will be required to register themselves using the HMRC online service. However we do have extensive guidance and articles to help clients when registering their business for VAT.

It is the clients responsibility as a director of the company/sole trader, to ensure they are tracking their revenue to determine if they need to register their business for VAT per HMRC guidelines. If clients are unsure if they need to register they should reach out to an advisor via the intercom chat on the app.

If clients are unsure which VAT scheme to register for (Flat rate vs Standard) they should get in touch with one of our advisors via the Intercom chat who will be able to advise.

Flat rate scheme

The system will assume that clients are a limited cost trader - 16.5% flat rate (15.5% in clients first year of VAT registration)

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

Ember does not review clients Limited cost trader status through the app, so clients will need to let us know if they believe this status may have changed for their business.

What Ember cannot support

  • Clients using a VAT margin scheme
  • Clients using an annual accounting scheme
  • Clients who require VAT exempt calculations per the de minimis rules.
  • Clients who require submissions via VAT MOSS for digital services.
  • Other complex VAT matters involving properties such as opting out.
  • Advice around the Capital Goods scheme.



Payroll can be filed directly through the payroll tab in the Ember app to HMRC. To file payroll, clients will need to be PAYE registered. Clients are required to file through PAYE if they are paying any employees/directors more then £123 a week.

It is the clients responsibility to input payroll details into the Ember app and to ensure these are correct.

When adding employees, the app will tell client’s if additional information is needed.

The first payroll run will need to be manually filed with HMRC by hitting the file now on the payroll filing. Once the first payroll run is filed clients can select to have the payroll to be filed automatically going forward. Clients should check this still each month to ensure it has filed in Ember.

Automation only covers the filing with HMRC. It is the clients responsibility to then pay employee’s/directors the net amount per the payslip. When categorising the payments to employees the Ember app will display payroll tiles to categorise the payments against. This will ensure everything is then recorded correctly within the app.

If automation has been set up and clients want to make any changes to the payroll, it is important that the changes are made to the payroll prior to the payroll filing date.

Payslips will be automatically sent by the software to the employees. P60’s will also be emailed to employees at the end of the tax year.

It is the client’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the rules for Pension auto enrolment and that Ember are informed if the business is required to start a pension scheme for employees. Remember - directors are exempt from the auto enrolment rules.

Ember are responsible for ensuring:

-Employment allowance is applied if clients meet the requirements

-Checking any failed filings in the app and resolving

-Helping clients with setting up auto enrolment

-Adding bonuses or one off payments to payslips as this cannot be done via the app. Clients will need to make us aware of this via the app.

-Amending payslips filed incorrectly by the client. We can charge a fee if the work required to correct incorrect filings is deemed extensive.

-If an employee leaves - clients will need to make us aware as Ember will need to manually update this for clients and issue them with a P45 for the employee.

-Year end switchover is completed after the March payroll filing each tax year

Ember can also support with advising clients on the most tax efficient salary to pay director’s. If clients are unsure on the best amount to pay themselves, they can reach out to an accountant through the Intercom chat.

PAYE Registration

PAYE Registration is needed to file payroll to HMRC.

Ember is not responsible for registering a clients business for PAYE unless they are on our Unlimited plan.

We have lot’s of guidance on this via our articles to help clients register. Clients are also recommended to follow the flow through on the payroll tab in the app - this will take clients through the steps to register.

It is the clients responsibility to ensure they are registering their business for PAYE if they are required to do so. This also forms part of the responsibilities of being a director of a limited company.


Businesses who are PAYE registered, are required to make a P11D submission in relation to taxable benefits for employees/directors for each tax year.

Ember will send round 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 the clients behalf assuming there is no taxable benefits to declare.

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

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


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

It is worth flagging that directors are exempt from autoenrollment rules.

Ember can support this if you join Nest.

Unfortunately if a client is using or wants to use other Pension providers, we unfortunately won’t be able to support them through the Ember app.

Confirmation statements (Ltd company only)

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

This confirms if there has 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 of filing of the confirmation statement. We have articles on our help centre which explain how to file this with Companies House and if clients have any queries we can help (without going as far as filing this for a client) with these through the Intercom chat. If clients do want Ember to file this for them we charge a one off fee of £75+VAT. Alternatively clients can upgrade to our Unlimited plan as explained below.

Unlimited plan- Ember will complete confirmation statements if requested by clients on the Unlimited plan. We will rely on the client 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 clients not informing us of relevant changes that need to be reported.

Often clients are best placed to file a confirmation statement as they will have the most up to date knowledge of their business.

Tax insights (reports)

The Ember app has tax insight reports that can help clients proactively manage their finances and predict future outgoings in tax that will need to be sent and paid to HMRC.

These reports are only available on our paid packages for both Limited Companies and Sole Traders. If clients are on the free package they will need to upgrade to enjoy the benefits of Ember’s tax insight reports.

These reports are only there to provide clients with estimates and should not be relied upon for making payments to HMRC or for making financial decisions. As a result Ember cannot be held liable for any financial distress caused from reliance on any our reports. If in doubt, clients should contact an accountant through the Intercom chat in the app for ad hoc advice tailored to their personal situation.

Below for each report only included on our paid price plans (Other reports are included on all plans but are not providing Tax insights) we have summarised what the report shows, what assumptions the report makes and examples of when the report will not be suitable for use:

Personal tax report (Sole Traders)

  • What the report shows?
    The report will show the Income Tax, National Insurance and payments on account due for specific tax years.
    This will be based on the profit and loss figures which will have fed from the figures inputted by clients onto the Ember app.
    It shows payments on accounts for the next tax year as well. However there is currently nowhere to input the previous years payments on account. Therefore this report will overstate the tax due if you made payments on account towards the tax year that the report is calculating for.
  • What assumptions are made?
    That the client has no other external income
    That all the clients income and expenses for the sole trader business are recorded in Ember and that they have been recorded accurately
    It assumes that assets will qualify for Annual Investment Allowance.
    Assumes no material gift aid or charitable donations made by the client during the tax year.
    Assumes the client is resident in the UK - but not living in Scotland.
  • When not to use the report?
    If the client has external income, the report will not accurately calculate the clients tax due. In these instances an ad hoc calculation would be preferable. Clients are advised to contact our accountants via the Intercom chat to discuss.
    Clients have not included all your relevant income and expenses into Ember.
    Clients should manually deduct the payments on account made towards the tax year in question to give yourself a more accurate
    This report is just an estimate and clients should not use these figures to pay relevant taxes to HMRC. Clients should instead pay the amounts per the self assessment filing for that tax year (If you use Ember for your self assessment, we will confirm the exact amounts that need to be paid).
    Clients should not use these figures to provide information to third parties to support any applications without first confirming with an Ember accountant via the Intercom chat.

Personal tax report (Limited company)

  • What the report shows?
    The report will show the Income tax due for the relevant personal tax year based on the dividends and salary recorded in Ember. This also assumes clients will take their current salary as recorded in Ember for the entire tax year.
    It will show clients the remaining amount of dividends you can draw before reaching different thresholds and the relevant tax percentage at that threshold.
    The report will only include dividends clients have categorised as “dividends paid” in Ember.
  • What assumptions are made?
    That the client has no other external income
    That a client will take your current monthly salary in Ember for the entire tax year.
    That a client is the sole shareholder of the limited company and they are receiving all dividends personally that are recorded in Ember
    Assumes the client is resident in the UK - but not living in Scotland.
    Assumes no material gift aid/charitable donations or pension contributions made by the client during the tax year.
    The report does not take into account payments on account, both those paid towards the tax year and those that may be due towards the next tax year.
  • When not to use the report?
    When a client has external income. The report assumes no external income so therefore the report will not be accurate and likely underestimate the tax due
    When a client has varying salary rates each month.
    When a client is not up to date with categorising transactions - specifically dividends paid.
    When a client has material gift aid donations or pension contributions. This will impact your tax thresholds and impact your income tax due.
    When the client’s company has multiple shareholders/ does not hold 100% shares in the business. The report will assume all dividends are paid to the individual who is named on the Ember account.
    This report is just an estimate and clients should not use these figures to pay relevant taxes to HMRC. You should instead pay the amounts per the self assessment filing for that tax year (If you use Ember for your self assessment, we will confirm the exact amounts that need to be paid).
    Clients should not use these figures to provide information to third parties to support any applications without first confirming with an Ember accountant via the Intercom chat.

Other reports

The Ember app has other reports available on all plans.

These can be really useful for providing business owners with real time information on performance as well as providing insights on cash flow.

These reports are only reliable if clients record transactions in Ember correctly and are up to date with categorisation.

If client’s do not understand balances on any Ember reports, they should get in touch with one of our accountants via the Intercom chat in the app.

Video Consultations

Video consultations are included on our Unlimited plans for both sole traders and limited companies.

Clients on other paid packages can 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. These clients can access video support either at the discretion of an accountant or via a paid of accountancy chat with the different options and terms outlined here


  • Calls will be on google meet and will last half an hour.
  • Clients are guaranteed one video consultation a quarter with an accountant. Our accountants may allow for more at our discretion.
  • Calls will be booked in based on the availability of the accountant.
  • If client’s do not attend the google meet we will do everything we can to rearrange this with the client.
  • There may be times when an accountant may not be able to answer a clients query and may seek advice after the call to come back with a detailed response.
  • Ember can also confirm on the call if the subject a client wishes to discuss is outside the scope of our areas of expertise. If this is the case we will issue a full refund if we have been unable to help the client at all or agree a partial refund based on a reasonable apportionment of what percentage of the queries we were able to support with.
  • Ember accountants reserve the right to stop the call once clients reach the time limit.
  • Ember accountants can extend the call at their discretion beyond the agreed timeframe.
  • The details of any follow up email should be agreed by the client and the accountant in the call.


  • What companies do we support?
    Currently supported
    Limited Companies (LTD) - Limited by shares
    Sole Traders
    Limited Companies (LTD) - Limited by guarantee
    Certain property investment companies - discuss with an accountant.
    Not currently supported
    Companies with buy to let property or any owned property/buildings (other then exceptions above)
    Property Investment Companies
    Community Interest Companies (CIC)
    Charitable Companies
    Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
    Public Limited Company (plc)
    Companies who require reporting under FRS 102
    Companies that are part of a group structure
  • What banks do we support?
    To get the most out of Ember you will need to integrate your bank account.
    We support all of the UK's major business banks.
    Ember gives you the big picture and nothing less. By connecting up your bank account, you'll see all of your business transactions in one place, making it simple and easy to stay on top of your accounting in real time, all the time.
    This list below is growing and if you can't see a bank listed, you can check the list on our website here or make a request for us to support a bank here.
    Barclays Business
    Bank of Scotland
    Danske Bank
    First Direct
    HSBC Business
    Lloyds Business
    Marks & Spencer
    Ulster Bank
    Tesco Bank
    Capital One
    Transferwise (Wise)
    Chelsea Building Society
    Yorkshire Building Society
    Virgin Money
  • How does the app work for multiple directors/shareholders?
    The app is set up for single director shareholders. Therefore there is only one login per limited company account. If clients have multiple directors, clients can simply add directors to payroll if needed. If a company has multiple shareholders the app will assume that all dividends relate to the director who owns the Ember account. Therefore this will make the personal tax report incorrect and clients should speak to our in house accountants via the Intercom chat in the app for ad hoc advice assuming they are on a paid for plan.
  • Does the app automatically pay my staff when running payroll?
    No, clients will need to pay staff members and directors the net amount per their payslip. When categorising clients will need to categorise against the payroll tile for that employee that will appear when clients click into the transaction to change category. Clients can choose to automate the actual filing process in the app - this is offered to clients once they have filed their first payroll run through Ember. This will mean salary will be filed with HMRC automatically every month without the client needing to hit “file now”. Payment will still need to paid manually.
  • Can we support clients Inside IR35?
    Generally speaking, unfortunately this is not something we can support through a Limited company setup.
    If clients have multiple contracts with none of the IR35 contracts going through the company then we should be able to support and also provide ad hoc tax advice to help ensure the client is remaining as tax efficient as possible.
    We do have some clients who have simple arrangements for a short space of time who are not offered employment/umbrella contracts which are normally preferable and we have agreed to post adjustments to allow them to use the Limited company for Inside IR35 invoices.
    Clients should get in touch with us via the Intercom chat to discuss this with one of our qualified accountants.