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.

Auditing is legislation-driven, which means there are very few businesses that voluntarily initiate one without being required to! Companies are required to undertake an audit when they meet certain criteria as regards turnover, gross assets and an average number of employees. If they are a UK subsidiary of a global firm, then these same criteria apply to the worldwide group.

If your company has been asked to set up its first audit, there are two main advantages to coming to a medium-sized company like ours rather than one of the better-known national or multinational firms.

Service and price

It will probably be no surprise that the cost of using a local auditing firm will be less than the fees charged by companies headquartered in London. But because we can do the work cheaper does not mean our service levels will be lower – quite the opposite in fact, and we pride ourselves on our high customer service levels.

The other main advantage for our clients is that we are local. This means that geographically we are easily accessible, enabling us to have quick, ad hoc meetings that answer questions and resolve issues before they have a chance to become a problem. The ease of being able to meet whenever needed ensures a much better level of client support.

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The new procedures under GDPR for businesses will come into effect on 25 May 2018, and there are unlimited fines for failure to comply.  Although this is EU legislation, it will not be affected by Brexit.

The procedures cover how you store and protect customer data, how long you retain such data, and what customers can require you to do in connection with that data.

In general, you will be treated as a data processor or a data controller, or both. (more…)

In this blog we will outline some of the tax implications that individuals who own a buy to let property, or are considering purchasing a buy to let property, should be aware of.

Changes to the level of interest relief available

  • From the 6 April 2017 onwards, the level of interest that can be deducted from rental income received from the let of a residential property will be restricted, this measure will be introduced gradually over three years

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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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Ever wondered what a typical day in the office for us is like? In an occasional series, we asked our team members to tell us about their work. In this way, we hope you’ll get a better understanding of what everyone does, but also find out more about what makes them tick.  

For the first in this series, we talked to our Audit/Accounts Manager Catherine Hill.

Meet Catherine

An important part of my job is to work on the audits of some of our larger clients. I also prepare monthly and yearly accounts as well as corporate and personal tax returns.

In my managerial role, I supervise team members and also help with the scheduling to ensure our clients have the team continuity and that our trainees get the chance to work on the areas they need to ensure they meet their study requirements.

You may have seen me out and about as I also take an active role in HB’s marketing. This includes organising our own events as well as going to various networking meetings on behalf of the company.

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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…)