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.

Budget Day will be 8 March 2017 and every year we expect the Chancellor to do something to restrict tax relief for pension contributions. (more…)

With effect from 1 April 2017: (more…)

 

Our previous update on this topic was on 30 August 2016 following the publication of consultation documents by HMRC.  There was a very significant response to these, most of which was unfavourable. (more…)

In 2014, the Government published the results of a call for views from UK businesses about corporate responsibility, and published it in a report, Good for Business & Society. In it, the authors describe corporate responsibility as a voluntary action that “creates shared value for business and society”.

Whilst many companies have defined their CSR policies, we feel that because all the fundraising we do as a team are activities we’d get involved with anyway, we don’t need to make it official, whether it’s for the benefit of charity fundraising, helping out in the local community, or giving local businesses a boost.

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There has been a lot of uncertainty in the world this year, with political events sending the stock marketing yo-yo-ing and the continued drawing out of Brexit making the markets increasingly nervous. What’s going to happen to investments in 2017 is almost anyone’s guess, and in some quarters appears to be more influenced by psychics rather than solid facts. One woman in America, for instance, is predicting a stock market crash because there have been crashes in and 1987, 1997 and 2007.

What to consider when deciding on investments

You don’t have to have a lot of money to make an investment. A simple savings account with a bank or building society counts as an investment. Other types of investment are:

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Brexit hasn’t been out of the news since the vote to leave took place in June, and although the majority of the news stories concentrate on the effects of Brexit on larger companies, not many have looked at the SME in a local context.

The overall picture is still confused. At the end of September, the CBI reported business confidence worsened, but a GfK survey showed consumer confidence had risen slightly and are now back at pre-Brexit levels.

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Unless you’re a professional marketer, you may not appreciate how important digital marketing can be for your business. You can take small steps on your own, but if you want to concentrate on making money for your own business, you really do need to put a budget aside to outsource digital marketing to an expert. And this is something you need to discuss with your accountant when drawing up your business plan.

Digital marketing is something that big businesses take very seriously – on average, have increased their spend on search engine optimisation (SEO) and email marketing by over 50% over the past year. Whilst the large corporations are putting aside around 35% of their marketing budget to concentrate on digital marketing, smaller companies and technology concerns are more likely to use 100% of their marketing spend on digital, which is a much more cost-effective way of raising their profile and targeting customers.

So if you are drawing up a business plan, you will need to add a budget for digital marketing – the good news is that a digital strategy will be a lot cheaper than a traditional print marketing strategy, and it also has the potential to reach target customers anywhere in the world.

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Ambition Broxbourne was only launched in April 2014, but it’s already making a significant difference to the area which has fast become an enterprise zone in its own right. It offers free advice to small businesses, has drawn up a business charter to establish working relationships between businesses and the Council, and has a number of short and long-term targets to encourage and support business start ups. In March this year, it organised a Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge for school students who’ll be the business owners of the future.
But its greatest achievement so far is undoubtedly the Broxbourne Enterprise Centre which is due to open this autumn. At a cost of nearly £4million, the centre is a collaboration between Broxbourne Borough Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. When it’s finished, it’ll offer 25,00 sq ft of high quality, managed workspaces for small businesses and start-ups.

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When I started working in taxation more than 40 years ago, one of the first things I learned was that there was “no equity in taxation” – either you were taxed by the statute or not. (more…)

Small businesses play an important role in creating jobs, delivering innovation and helping to drive economic growth. Starting a business may be a major achievement but running it and surviving is an even bigger challenge. For every 10 businesses that are created, the life cycle of 6 businesses is less than 5 years. This can be for any number of reasons, some predictable, and by adapting their behaviour, business owners can increase their chances of success.
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