The Ambition conferences are a hugely important business and community initiative for two reasons. Firstly, it’s an incredible resource designed to help Hertfordshire entrepreneurs and small businesses develop their sales and marketing skills in order grow their businesses. Secondly, 100% of our ticket sales go to two amazing local charities.
I have been involved in all four Ambition conferences and am a huge advocate. The conference is organised on a voluntary basis by local SMEs who believe that if we work together and support each other, we can all benefit from the business opportunities in Hertfordshire, with a consequently positive knock-on effect on the local economy. (more…)
HMRC allows certain gifts to be made in recognition of long service, subject to some conditions. To qualify, the gift: (more…)
Keeping accounts up to date and accurate is a vital part of running a small company, but, when it’s not part of the core business, owners tend to find it difficult in terms of motivation and execution.
That’s why accounting software packages are so popular. They make it easier for you to keep your accounts in good order, and will also help your accountant do your books at the end of the financial year quickly and more efficiently.
In no particular order, here are some of the many accounting packages on the market. (more…)
It’s always good to get an insight into someone else’s working day, that’s why we like to focus on different members of staff for our ’A Day in the Life feature’. This time, one of our Directors Keith Grover describes a typical working day.
The alarm goes off at the usual time of 6.00am. I’m up straightaway or else I’m struggling! I go downstairs for a shower, breakfast, stroke the cat and read the Bible. Before I leave, I check my emails. I live in St Albans and drive to work, so leave the house at 7.00am, popping into a local newsagent to buy a copy of The Times newspaper en-route. I arrive in the office at 7.30am. (more…)
Starting your own business is exciting, risky, hard work and scary (especially if you’re giving up a full-time job in order to launch your own company), but at the same time it can be tremendously fulfilling as well as profitable.
According to the latest figures, the number of UK start-ups is booming – in 2016 there were a record-breaking 657,790 new businesses. In East Hertfordshire alone there were nearly 4,500 new businesses, which is terrific news for the local economy.
If you have a really good business idea and are determined to help break start-up records in 2018, there are a number of organisations you can turn to for support, mentoring and training to enhance your chances of becoming a success. We’ve taken a look at some of their advice:
In this tax blog, we will discuss the newly introduced (from 6th April 2017 onwards) residence nil rate band and what this will mean for our clients.
What is the Nil Rate Band?
The nil rate band, also known as the inheritance tax threshold, is the amount up to which an estate has no IHT to pay. Each person’s estate can benefit from the nil rate band.
Everyone has their own nil rate band. This means that their estate and taxable gifts are exempt from IHT up to a certain threshold – currently £325,000. Any part of the estate up to the threshold is chargeable to IHT at a rate of 0%. Any part of the estate that exceeds the nil rate band threshold is chargeable to IHT on death at 40%. (more…)
For an SME, a merger can make very good business sense. The combined strength of two companies can provide rewards in terms of economies of scale, market share, a wider reach and improved productivity. A merger could help you get into different markets, allowing both companies to expand into different areas without the need to start from scratch and build up a client base.
However, although mergers and acquisitions can ultimately be good for business, they pose a lot of challenges that you will need to consider if you want to get it right. It could be quite beneficial to seek objective and practical advice from an expert. (more…)
It’s always interesting to get a little snapshot of other people’s lives which is why, from time to time, we like to feature some of our team in our Day in the Life Of… feature. If you’ve ever wondered what someone who works in the Payroll department gets up to on a daily basis, now’s your chance! We asked our Payroll Manager Jane Dunn to take us through her typical day at work.
6:45 Woken by alarm. Up for breakfast, calling to my daughter Bridie on the way to ensure she is awake and getting ready for 6th Form. I always ensure I have breakfast – I function better that way – then back upstairs to shower and get dressed, shouting a time check to Bridie as I pass her room! (more…)
If you are self-employed or run your own business, you are liable for submitting tax returns. Making sure you’re tax complaint is essential as the fines for not doing so could be hefty.
A recent global analysis undertaken by PwC concluded that the UK has the second most effective tax system of the G20 countries. Whilst this sounds like good news, when compared with all countries, we’re a lot further down the list at number 23. Researchers concluded that Qatar has the simplest system which required a medium-sized company to spend only four hours on completing their tax return. In the UK, the average is 110 hours! (more…)
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.