(Left to right, Edwin Tan, Megan Sweeney, Harry Gunn, Lorne Morris, Laura Morgan, Luke Jones)

 

We have welcomed five new trainee accountants to the firm – taking the number to 30 graduates, school and college leavers now progressing through our trainee programmes and apprenticeships. 

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There has been a clear line between the tax treatment of company cars and vans for some years. However, most recently HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is taking a fresh look at whether certain types of vans should be classed as cars for taxation purposes. It’s still a live issue and, once decided, the impact is likely to be significant for those affected. 

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We are delighted to announce that we have promoted Adam Croney to the role of Director.

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We are pleased to announce the promotion of Agricultural specialist Peter Brown to the role of Director.

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HMRC have announced that the implementation of the VAT Domestic Reverse Charge for CIS Construction services is to be postponed until 1 October 2020.

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The Government has updated its guidance for charity trustees. The new guidance provides charities with greater clarity on what they need to do to ensure they commission genuinely independent examinations.

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During National Payroll Week, we are highlighting the importance of accurately running payroll. Here we outline the business benefits of outsourcing this key administrative function.

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The rate of taxable benefit in kind for cars provided to employees seems to change almost as fast as the British weather, as does government policy towards encouraging us to use electric vehicles.

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As a chartered accountant and business adviser specialising in owner-managed businesses, I consider myself fortunate to work with a diverse range of start up businesses. Over the last 25 years I have gained a number of insights into the difficult decisions start up business owners have to make, just to keep going.

We should not lose sight of how important small businesses are to our economy. According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), they account for around 99% of all private sector businesses, providing 60% of private sector employment.

For those starting a business, however, there are undoubtedly challenges. Perhaps this is why more than 50% don’t survive for more than five years. 

I have advised start up businesses across sectors, with different ideas, ambitions and values. However, three challenges come up time and time again.

1. Lack of cash

In business there is the old adage that ‘cash is king’. Running out of cash is the single biggest reason why start up and early stage businesses fail. Your business may be profitable, but if a major customer doesn’t pay their bill, or you don’t budget to pay your corporation tax, then you have a problem. Sadly, many businesses go under simply as a result of cash flow problems.

As accountants, we can work with the business owner to prepare realistic cash flow forecasts that can identify possible pinch points. For the newest businesses, raising finance is often the first hurdle. This might include looking at specific grants or allowances that may be available, for example R&D Tax Credit. We can also help with this, through our network of connections. You might be surprised by what you can claim for your business.

An important, but often over-looked, issue for new business owners is how business and personal finances interact. For instance, many business owners have not considered how their new venture might impact on their child benefit or tax credits. In addition, a number of our clients have started a business on a part-time basis alongside their current employment, so we can advise how you proceed if you are in that position. 

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With so much uncertainty looming around the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU, there is a real need for SMEs to take a close look at their cash position and cash management approach.

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