Looking forward to your future

Our passion as a team is to help your business to succeed as well as providing peace of mind on all compliance matters, and all built on strong client relationships and providing outstanding service.

It’s always interesting to have a peek behind the scenes, so we’ve asked members of the team to let us know what a typical day in the office is like for them. It’ll help you to get to know us better and give you a better understanding of the work we do. This time, we’d like to introduce you to one of our Directors, Karen Chase.

As a Director, my job involves: managing, training and helping the audit/accounts team, overseeing and reviewing audits and accounts, dealing with clients, preparation of accounts, personal and corporate tax returns. I also help to run the office and oversee Charlotte, our business administrator, as well as attending networking meetings and seminars.

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Getting the payroll right every month is crucial for any company, however large or small. A recent survey has identified Europe as the most complex payroll region in the world, with 65% of professionals saying that managing legislative, HR and payroll updates is their number one challenge, with issues such as GDPR, Working Time Regulations, IR35 and the gender pay gap adding to the complexity.

If you run your own business and have been struggling with managing your own payroll, or your payroll manager has just handed in their notice, then it’s time to think about the benefits of outsourcing your payroll to a specialist company.

Reduces errors

Mistakes will be costly in terms of time and money to put right. Vitally, they will inconvenience the member/s of staff concerned, possibly even leading to them having problems paying their rent or mortgage. This will not only be very stressful for them, but it could result in reduced motivation and loyalty. And if payroll mistakes happen on a frequent basis, you could end up losing staff.

By outsourcing the work to payroll specialists, the likelihood of errors becomes minimal.  

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If you own shares in a family trading company they are treated as business property for inheritance tax (IHT) purposes and can pass to your heirs tax-free on your death.

If the next generation are not interested in carrying on the family business, you may decide to sell the shares.  The problem with this is that the money you receive will not be business property and will therefore be charged to IHT (probably at 40%) if you still have it when you die.  You will also be charged capital gains tax (CGT) at 10% or 20% when you sell the shares. (more…)

With the ever-growing public awareness of their impact on the environment, the labour market, societies and small businesses around the world, more and more companies are being scrutinised about their attitude toward the way they operate. In fact, your company’s ethical stance is increasingly important, with customers wanting to see proof that your company takes care of its staff, the local community, and the environment.

Why is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) so important?

There are some compelling business reasons for your company to adopt a CSR policy. According to the UK Small Business Consortium: “88% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society.”

Sharing and promoting your CSR policy will gain you more clients and customers and also a lot of positive PR. Use social media to let people know what you’re up to and to post news of staff who take part in fundraising activities. If you’re doing something special that is benefiting the community (e.g. corporate sponsorship, fundraising, providing work experience for vulnerable members of society), send a press release to your local newspaper, business magazines and organisations your company is a member of (e.g. the local Chamber of Commerce) in the hope of getting editorial coverage.

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In the old days, all your accounting was done on a disc. You would buy the software on a disc and install it onto your computer. It was self-contained, which meant that as long as your computer was working, everything would run smoothly.

Unfortunately, there were downsides. What if something went wrong? The system may well not have been supported, so if something did go wrong, you had to bring in outside experts to sort things out. Every two to three years, you’d have to make a decision about whether or not to buy an updated disc. And when it came to submitting figures to your accountant, you had to download the information and send it on a separate disc, risking it being damaged or lost in the post.  And if your accountant only ever saw your figures once a year and you’d been inputting them wrong, it wouldn’t be picked up until there was a year’s worth of corrections to make to the annual accounts. The downsides of disk-based applications have led to the introduction of cloud accounting.

These days, more people are switching to Cloud accounting, but mainly because there is no disc alternative any more! The switch happened fairly seamlessly and most people have adopted the new system quite happily. However, there are some people who are still wary of the Cloud; if you’re one of them, it might help to understand the advantages.

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Tax Tips for Individuals

In this month’s tax update, we will discuss some tax tips for individuals.

Please note that the rates referred to throughout the blog are noted for the 2017/18 tax year which runs from the 6th April 2017 – 5th April 2018.

It will be key to think about any of the options discussed in this blog prior to the end of the current tax year, being 5th April 2018. (more…)

If you’re setting up a small business from scratch, you know that money is going to be tight. That’s why most entrepreneurs begin by trying to do everything themselves in order to keep costs down. But there are some compelling reasons to seek professional help from an accountant from the very beginning, which may end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Firstly, an accountant can help you get the structure right, especially when it comes to tax. For instance, often when a couple set up a business together, one of them will continue working in a full-time job until the business takes off. An accountant will help you set up an equal shareholding which will help keep finances ‘in the family’ when it comes to dividends. This can be especially helpful in cases where doing this can keep you under the 40% tax threshold.

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Maybe you’ve just set up your own business and are looking for a new accountant. Or perhaps your accountant has just retired and you need to look for a new one. What you need to bear in mind is that hiring the right accountant for your business isn’t a simple process. Who you choose to look after your accounts is crucial, especially if you have plans to expand as you will need to look for someone who will come with you on your journey to success – an accountant who will not just help you with your tax return, but also advise you on your business, and get more involved in the financial side of things the bigger your company gets.

Ask around

Word-of-mouth – sometimes called ‘earned advertising’ for a good reason – remains one of the most powerful marketing tools there is, with around 84% of people relying on it as a trustworthy source of information. So one of the best ways of choosing a new accountant is to ask your business contacts for referrals. If they’re happy with theirs, they’ll be happy to give you a recommendation. If you don’t get any joy from referrals, ask the people you meet at networking groups. Who knows, you may already know someone from an accountancy firm who’s a member of one of your groups – if you already like and trust them, then it’s definitely worth setting up a meeting to talk about how their company can help you.

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Welcome to HB Accountants Monthly Tax Update for July 2017.  In this month’s update, we will be outlining the Common Reporting Standard (‘CRS’) and what it means for our clients and contacts. (more…)

Networking is a hugely popular activity for entrepreneurs and managers, and there are many compelling business reasons why you need to spend more time, if you don’t already, you need to spend more time at your local group.

Opportunities

Networking groups attract people from all sorts of businesses, so the likelihood of finding new client leads and even opening up new opportunities is very high. And if yours is a B2C business, well, every single person at every single networking group is a consumer in their own right. If they like you, they’ll buy from you – so networking has got to make good business sense.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

You must have heard of the phrase ‘people buy people’. You could have the best product or service in the world, but if people don’t know about you, why would they buy it from you rather than someone else? By getting to know people at networking meetings, especially if you’ve earnt their trust and respect, you’re more likely to come first to mind when they realise they need/want what you provide.

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