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Group Cover (and Relief Groups)

Occasionally, you may need to take time away from your group and arrange for cover – or you may offer to cover another colleagues’ group for them while they’re away. Additionally, you may cover a relief group for a few weeks – whichever option applies, you’ll be receiving or spending money and this should be logged appropriately on your accounts.

Before covering a group, agree with the person who runs the group how you’re going to account for the cover.

Covering a group as if it was your own (e.g. standard franchise account upload)

If you’re using your full account and earning money as if it was your own group, you should use the standard PFS document to locate your income and expenses. You can find help in this guide for how to locate the correct figures.

The consultant who runs the group normally would not account for any income or expenses on this week as the covering consultant is the one who is receiving all of the money for the group.

If they then pay you a fixed fee (e.g. £30), this would be classified as Income.

If the situation was reversed and you pay out a fixed fee for covering their group, the payment sent to the other consultant would be classified as an expense.

If this is a relief group, you’d treat it as your own for purposes of the PFS document and your business accounts.

Covering a group for a set, agreed fee

If you’re covering the group for a set fee from the other consultant, you should ensure that you document the money accordingly.

If you receive the member fees, etc during the group, and then transfer all earnings to the other consultant, you should log this as an income, and then as an expense depending on the amount transferred out.

It would be best practice to ask the receiving consultant to confirm the amount in writing, a receipt would be ideal (so you have a log for your expenses), or a confirmation email.

Receiving Consultant

When you receive your set fee, you should log this as income. To ensure you have evidence (if HMRC queries or audits your accounts), a physical invoice/receipt would be best practice so that the money is logged between both consultants. Alternatively, it would be ideal to keep a email or document explaining what the agreement was.

Example: Claire covers Carl’s group for a set £60 fee, and £140 is sent to Carl as the remaining fees.

The franchise account is processed on Claire’s account as normal (income/expenses) and then sent as a payment (less £60) for the group cover.

The amount of remaining monies would be an expense for Claire (£140) and a receipt is sent to Carl.

Carl would log the £140 as income

Accounting for sundries when covering a group on supported earnings

If you are covering a relief group and receiving an uplift in fees, you would account for the additional income as normal as part of your sundries.

Updated on February 17, 2023

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