Just for fun, here are some things we've discovered. We're not in any way connected with them, we don't get any kickbacks, we just think they're great. They might be great for you too.
If you're a not-for-profit organisation this is a great place to buy all kinds of things at greatly reduced prices. In Kind Direct, one of the Prince's charities, obtains surplus stock from leading manufacturers and retailers and offers them on its website. Products include stationery, cleaning materials, clothing, equipment and more. They're not seconds, they are the same quality as you buy on the high street.
You can browse the catalogue on their website but you can't see the prices until you've registered as a member (free of charge). Prices vary but are often only about 10% of the high street price, or less. Availability depends on what they have got in the warehouse so you have to buy things when you see them but the savings are worth it!
Acton Jennings LLP
This firm provides support services in the fields of Health & Safety and Personnel. Put simply, you pay them an amount each month and they look after your H&S and/or Personnel matters. In effect this allows you to outsource these specialist services to experts rather than trying to be an expert yourself. Their services are especially designed for the small businesses.
So you can concentrate on running the business and to give you peace of mind their advice is backed by indemnity insurance. Provided you have taken their advice, if a personnel matter ever gets to an Employment Tribunal the insurance will pay the costs including representation. And if you lose, the insurance will pay the award.
For the practical service and peace of mind the monthly cost is excellent value. And unlike other companies they won't try to lock you into a long-term contract.
If you're considering which accounting software to use, we recommend QuickBooks. Your accountant and your finance officer might express a preference for Sage which is, after all, the market leader. Your accountant naturally likes the standardisation of Sage - it's easier for them if everyone uses the same package. And your finance officer will want to put Sage on their CV.
But you shouldn't be choosing on the basis of convenience for your accountant or helping your finance officer to get their next job! For a small third sector organisation QuickBooks is more accessible and flexible, enabling you to spend more time running the business and less time staring at a screen.