COVID-19 Summary (28 March 2020)

Wow, it has been quite a week and I appreciate that we have been sending quite a few newsletters with updates so we thought we would summarise where things are here.  In addition, we have provided more detail below this regarding furloughed employees and finally provided an update regarding accessing the government grants.
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

More detailed guidance around each of the areas above can be found here

Furloughing Employees Update from HMRC

What is it?

It is a grant for employers to help fund employee wages, where certain conditions are met, that has temporarily been put in place for 3 months initially, but this may be extended.

Note that this is a grant and not a loan, so it will not be repayable.

Which Businesses can claim?

  • It is open to all UK employers who have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28th February 2020
  • Any UK organisation can claim it is not based on profits but business must have a UK bank account
  • Special rules apply to those public sector employers, who are funded primarily from public grant funding, mainly as they are expected to still be delivering a public service.  Please do seek further guidance around this area though if you think it might impact you.

Which employees are eligible?

  • To claim for an employee that you decide to furlough, they must have been on your payroll as at 28 February 2020 and this is includes various types of contract such as full time, part time etc.
  • We understand the furloughing of employees can be done on an individual basis, however, you need to be aware of employment law, particularly around discrimination.
  • The scheme also covers employees who were made redundant after 28 February 2020, as long as they are rehired by their employer.
  • Employees on unpaid leave cannot be furloughed, unless they were placed on unpaid leave after 28 February.
  • Employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay, but can be furloughed after this, whilst employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be placed on furlough.
  • If the employee is on maternity leave and receiving maternity pay, SMP or maternity allowance, this will continue.  However, if you top the statutory payment up this can be claimed back through the furlough scheme as long as both parties agree; this also applies to other statutory payments such as Statutory Adoption Pay

Employee salaries and entitlements

  • During the furlough period the employee’s wages will still be subject to the normal income tax and national insurance deductions etc
  • If your employee reduces their hours, then they are still deemed to be  working for you, so the scheme will not apply.
  • If your employee has more than one employer they can be furloughed for each job. Each job is separate and the cap applies to each employer individually based on current guidance.
  • A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation.
  • Employees that have been furloughed have the same employment rights as they did previously.
  • The government has also announced changes to carrying over annual leave, allowing workers up to 2 years to take unused holiday, for more info click here.

Making a claim

  • Employees will have had to have been furloughed before any claim can be made.
  • The reclaim amount which will be repaid into employers’ bank accounts by BACS, that is likely to be in arrears, can be up to 80% of an employee’s regular wage plus on-costs up to a maximum amount of £2,500.  Therefore a maximum amount that can be claimed is £2,500 salary plus on-costs for employer’s National Insurance and the required minimum pension contributions.  Employers will need to pay 80% of normal, regular salary without bonuses, commission etc. included or £2,500 whichever is lower. We are awaiting further guidance from HMRC on the calculation of the NI and pension contributions on the subsidised wages paid, so expect further updates on this one.
  • There are a couple of calculation methods for those on variable pay, either the same month’s earnings in the previous year, or average monthly earnings for the year (pro rata for less than a year)
  • As a worker will have been furloughed National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will not be relevant unless training is being undertaken whilst furloughed
  • Once the scheme has been closed by the government, HMRC will continue to process remaining claims before terminating the scheme
  • Payments received by a business under the scheme are made to offset these deductible revenue costs and thus will be taxed as income.
  • Businesses can deduct employment costs as normal when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.
  • There are a number of data items that HMRC will require when making a claim via their portal.  It isn’t yet clear what the portal might look like, or the format required for the data.

If you would like to share guidance with your employees to help them understand this legislation, please ask them to visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme


Some further queries you might have


Do employers have to backdate the 80% March payment values in April payroll/tax year 2020/21 or does it all have to be completed on the March payroll tax year 2019/20?

Currently, our understanding is that furloughing applies from the date that you notify your employees that they are being furloughed, not the date that you make the payments. Our suggestion would be to notify your employees now that you intend to furlough, with the amount that you intend to pay. Naturally guidance around this might change and we always recommend you take professional HR advice around this.

If a worker is furloughed, can they be brought back into work early if say work commitments change? 

Yes, we believe you can bring back your employees early but again take HR advice around how this is worded to enable the option to be considered at some point during the period of being furloughed.

For owner/Directors who are on the payroll, will they be treated as employees or self-employed?

Legally, directors of a limited company are employees and should be treated as such.  Like employees, any claim will be based in the same way BUT WILL NOT take account of any dividends.

If it is a single director company, are they eligible for this scheme?

Based on the latest ICAEW interpretation of the HMRC guidance; as HMRC are silent on this matter, they too are eligible and can make a claim provided they meet the same eligibility criteria that other employees need to meet.

Will you guys help us out as a business when this scheme is launched fully?

Of course we will and just watch out for further guidance coming but we will coordinate this all as part of the payroll process.

For those clients that handle payroll themselves internally, we will also help you through the same process if you wish so you’re not alone.

Any further questions that you might have which are are not covered above; and any action taken regardless, we always suggest is taken with the sign off of a qualified HR person with the above to act as a guide as to what can be interpreted from what HMRC has issued.  Use this accordingly to plan ahead, we will keep things right with regards to the declaration and reclaiming of amounts from HMRC then; you alongside an HR expert, can ensure the paperwork and implementation side of things can be handled correctly.

Don’t forget, as clients of ours, you have access to unindemnified advice from the HR team at Avensure or you can contact ACAS whose details are here.

As local authorities start to develop varying strategies around issuing the grant funding being provided by the Government, we suggest all businesses who feel that they meet the eligibility requirements contact their local councils through their websites to lodge a claim.

Grant Update

The links for Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Northumberland Council Councils can be found below:

Newcastle City Council click here
North Tyneside Council click here
South Tyneside Council click here
Northumberland County Council click here

The process seems quite straightforward and we have already lodged our claim but any queries around this please direct these towards your local authority.

COVID-19 Update (27 March 2020)

We are going to focus on the announcement for the self-employed yesterday but first want to clarify; before we are inundated with queries; this does not apply those clients who have a limited company.  These measures are aimed at those who act as a sole trader or as a partnership.  There are no known further announcements planned with limited companies but naturally things are moving quite fast so that could change.

So let’s summarise the key points:

  • The scheme will allow you claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months; though this may be extended.
  • There are certain conditions; that must be met if you are to apply, which can be found here.
  • To work out the average, HMRC will take 80% of the average profits across the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 tax years.
  • The grant awarded will be paid directly into your bank account in one instalment.
  • You cannot yet apply for this scheme and instead HMRC will contact you by the beginning of June to apply online so do not yet contact HMRC.

As with all other recent announcements there will be a lot more detail to follow over the next week or so, so watch out for further updates from ourselves.

MAJOR Government Backed Loans Update

As we highlighted the varying approaches being adopted by the banks yesterday; we weren’t overly happy with this inconsistency of the ethics by which some banks might send you down a lending route where they would earn money from factors outside of your control rather than giving you the interest-free option also.

Thankfully we already have invested in a software company that has a lending platform that both encompasses the Government-backed interest-free loan options whilst also includes the normal commercial market and just today agreed our approach to this with them.

We have discussed with a number of you already the option of going down this route and mentioned it in previous newsletters but you must consider; at least, but not only, the following:

  • Can you afford to service the debt beyond the interest-free 12 month term; subject to getting access to the Government-backed loan?
  • What are the costs of taking on the debt beyond the initial interest-free term as over a longer period, a commercial loan might actually work out cheaper?
  • What information have you got behind this application to give lenders the peace of mind that this investment in you and your business is a worthwhile one?
  • What have you already done to mitigate the damage done/likely to be done as a result of the current challenges that we face?

Don’t forget, this option is not just open to limited companies but is also open to sole traders, partnerships and many more.

We can, and are, helping clients with such applications so please contact us if this is of interest to you.

We have also seen clients already go down this path completely independently and that too is fine but please factor in the considerations in the bullet points above.  There are also several other factors as the scary fact is that more often than not we spend less time searching for finance than we do booking a holiday and often rely on Google’s listing which can be led by those that pay the most to advertise.

For those that do this independently, can we just kindly repeat our ask from yesterday that if you are being asked for information that you already have/have had access to can you please ensure that you have this ready rather than ask us to supply this again.

COVID-19 Update (26 March 2020)

Can we first of all say a massive thanks for all of the positive comments that have been shared with the firm and the team regarding the support we have provided so far and the support we have discussed that is still to come.  We will continue to work effortlessly to support you in these troubled times.

Two things first which we are commonly being asked and for which we can just give up an update (kind of):

  • We are still awaiting further guidance regarding the 80% funding towards furloughed staff and are hoping we get this imminently and as soon as we do we will share this rather than just share the various interpretations that are currently circulating over the internet.
  • There is expected to be a big announcement today for which we will share tomorrow once we have interpreted this with regards to the self employed but we know no more than you do at the current time.

Now what we can update you on today is the banks apparent stance when it comes to the Government-backed lending and that is what we wanted to share.

The key messages are:

  • Certain backs will force you to first apply for normal commercial funding and only if this is unsuccessful will they signpost you down the Government-backed route.
  • We do know of at least one bank; which is Barclays, who as of yesterday were first sending people down the Government-backed route.
  • From having spoken with a number of senior guys within the banks; we’re told banks are currently being allowed to decide their own approach with regards to the approach they take.
  • If you are going to try and suddenly jump ship in terms of banks to try and increase your chances of accessing the Government-backed loans then good luck as this transition process appears to be more lengthy than ever and in the meantime banks will naturally and understandably prioritise their own customers ahead of others.
  • Following the global issues that COVID-19 it is causing the banks;who are already massively under-resourced as we would expect, to be even more stretched, and the fact that call centres in India have been closed down due to the service not being deemed ‘essential’ across there will only slow down the application process further.

Our recommendation to clients is contact your bank the best you can and try to establish what information is needed.  Also, try to understand which approach they will be adopting.  Then fill in this short questionnaire that can be found here and liaise with us so that we can best support you should your first option not come through.

Alongside the rush to get this Government-backed funding from the banks and the soon to be announced measures to support the self-employed, we are soon expecting a deluge of requests for information from clients.

As mentioned above, and ask acknowledged by clients already, we face the same battles as a lot of clients and continue to go over and beyond existing letters of engagement for no additional charge.

However, can we kindly ask that if you are being asked for information that you already have/have had access to can you please ensure that you have this ready rather than ask us to supply this again.

We haven’t yet; but if we are regularly asked for information already supplied and repeating work, then this will only stretch us further and side tracks our efforts where they would be better spent that could subsequently be to the detriment of the long-term future of other clients including yourself. 

If this is ever the case we would have to consider revisiting how we are supporting clients including potentially charging for work that we repeating as we will not stand by and allow this to happen.

Let’s continue to work together in the best interests of one another.

We thank you for you your patience, support and kind words to date and we look forward to this time passing.

Stay safe and stay healthy!

COVID-19 Update (24 March 2020)

So following last night’s announcement I’m sure many more would have struggled to sleep last night and woke up this morning feel anxious, nervous, upset and even perhaps lost.

For many, today will be the day when you have to decide whether you fall within the Government guidelines of being ‘essential’ and thus determining whether you can still ‘open your doors’.

We cannot help you determine that, but what we can say is we made the decision ourselves to work remotely on Sunday night so as of yesterday morning our offices were emptied and we worked from home and will do for the foreseeable future. What we noticed was there was no disruption to how we serviced clients and if anything, processes and communication improved even further.

For some though; the idea of working remotely will not be possibly and you will now be looking at a scary period of financial uncertainty.

It goes without saying though that health is far more important that money so whatever difficult decisions have to be made, always put health at the forefront of things and we can support you with the rest.

I appreciate this will put people in what might seem an impossible position but at least you then stand the best possible chance of being healthy when the current situation passes.

Let us focus on the financial side of things for you and this is where we will step forward. We can naturally never make an guarantees, so we need to be honest, but what we can guarantee is that following Government guidelines reduces the risk of you being infected. You can then focus your efforts on working alongside us for structuring your finances accordingly to give you the best possible chance of coming through this and also coming back stronger than ever when normality resumes.

You might then ask where are we at as a firm?

The first thing I would say is that we have been preparing for this for quite some time now and working relentlessly the best we can to support you in amongst all of this uncertainty.

We actually had somebody new join us yesterday to strengthen our support for clients and bless Sam Oliver; who many of you know, turned 30 on Sunday and had this week booked off but instead cancelled this so that he could come in and support clients in this difficult time.

Our focus has initially been on keeping all clients calm and we cannot stress enough that this needs to remain the case.

Since then we have focused on getting your data as up to date as much as possible for those using cloud accounting software. For those not on cloud accounting software I suggest you move in this direction otherwise reliance will be on you for bringing everything up to date.

Our focus this week will be on accessing the Government grants and external finance and we’ve already had positive conversations with the director of Natwest, are speaking with Barclays tomorrow and will know about further lenders Thursday so we are ready in the knowledge of what they need and when by.

To reiterate what I have mentioned above, all I ask now is for you to remain calm and MOST IMPORTANTLY follow guidelines to remain healthy. Let us take responsibility alongside you for helping sort the finances and we will be in touch in due course regarding this.

Let’s now work together and beat this and reflect on some of the real life positive stories that I heard of yesterday and yes these all happened in the space of one day which prove that together we can fight this!

Some uplifting stories

Given the current climate I couldn’t help but mention stories I experienced and heard yesterday that literally gave me goosebumps:

  • As mentioned above, Sam Oliver; who most of you will be aware of in our office, turned 30 on Sunday and was due to have this week off but cancelled his week off to come in and help support clients.
  • Other people in the team are working extra hours to again provide further support to our clients to put their minds at ease and have even had staff offer to buy equipment for home as we start working from home; which I refused, but it shows how much everybody cares.
  • A client of ours had one of their biggest customers call them and say, given the current climate, they will be paying invoices sooner and if they wanted to invoice for work in advance of it being completed they would happily pay for this to support them.

They stories genuinely all came about in one single day and we as a firm have even taken the decision to support our suppliers as far as possible and continue paying them throughout this period; even if we get nothing for it, to help them come out the other side.

Let’s continue to look at the long-term picture, support suppliers and customers where possible, and ensure we have the necessary team around us, as we need one another now more than ever.

COVID-19 Update (22 March 2020)

Following the Government’s latest announcement at the back end of last week and some of the further details that have since come to light, we now issue you with an update.

Let’s first start with an updated list of the measures introduced to support businesses before adding a bit of further context to what we now know/suspect:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

We want to focus here on two areas in particular that are either new or where more details have been released:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The key point to note here; based on what details are currently known, is that this is aimed at supporting up to 80% of the salary of somebody that would have otherwise been laid off as part of this crisis up to a maximum of £2,500 per month; ‘furloughed workers’ as HMRC defines them.

It is not aimed at those staff that are still working but that are now working from home.

Naturally we fully expect further measures to be introduced to reduce the risk of this support from being abused.

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

There has been conflicting advice given around this so far that whilst it seems to suggest that the eligibility is very broad; we seem to have stumbled across restrictions elsewhere. Our thoughts internally are that this is a very generous bit of support given how many businesses of all very different sizes; take our building alone, that would in theory qualify for this grant.

Guidance should be forthcoming from local authorities on this matter shortly so our advice is wait for this before relying on the Government’s announcement alone.

For more detailed guidance around any of the above please click here.

COVID-19 Update (19 March 2020)

As of today we thought we would provide you with the latest Government update but please note there is a scheduled further update planned for tomorrow and we continue to await further detail behind some of those proposals outlined below:

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
    small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

I’m a sole trader or have employees that are struggling so what options are available to me?

HMRC have a dedicated page in respect of this there now where you may be entitled to the Universal credit. For more information click here.

Client’s who have already benefited from above

We have already had a client call the HMRC helpline number and be offered the opportunity to postpone the payment of their VAT liability for three months; even though they acknowledged that they could pay this but wanted to be cautious. They were also advised that over and beyond this postponement they could thereafter agree a 12 to 24 month interest-free payment plan; depending on the size of the liability.

A client of a client has been able to access £60k extremely quickly from their bank without any fees or charges and been given an initial 6 month interest-free window. This same loan was even 80% backed by the Government. Naturally some banks are moving faster than others but this is consistent with the assistance we are told should be forthcoming from mainstream banks.

Please be warned that this advice is changing daily but take above as an indication of wheels slowly getting in motion.

december 1

COVID-19 virus

There is a lot of panic and scaremongering in the press at the moment and the first thing that we are asking clients to do is to remain calm but naturally some steps do need to be taken and that does not include panicking which is going to do no good whatsoever and we are here to guide you through these uncertain times.

First of all, all any planned price increases that had previously been communicated to you; due to come in from 1 April 2020, have been postponed indefinitely, as we look to support clients through these troubled times.

In this newsletter we are going to cover:

  • the quickest and easiest way to not have HMRC liabilities adding to any current cash flow concerns
  • how information is more critical than ever
  • some new software you will get access to for no charge to help you make better decisions sooner
  • quick access to finance both through the banks and other parties at favourable rates
  • the latest government announcements

For clients we are recommending the following actions be considered; as appropriate, and in this order:

  1. If you have outstanding liabilities with HMRC, contact the HMRC hotline that has specifically been set up to assist in light of the COVID-19 virus. As a matter of principle we are urging clients with any concern to even just set up some form of arrangement in principle; even if they believe they should be able to make payment, as it will just ease the stress and hopefully the payment arrangement will not even be needed.

The main caveat to the above is that naturally this helpline has just been opened and we are yet to see the results from this so you’ll have to bear with it.

  1. Information is critical at this point in time and this alone will help you and us; alongside one another, to make the best possible decision as soon as possible. For those clients already on Xero we are plugging in two extra bits of software that we were initially going to just launch in April but are doing this early that you have the following key benefits:
    • This will enable us and you to best predict your cash flow in the future based on historical trends that in turn helps pin point financial concerns within your business together with the financial impact of certain decisions being made along before they have to actually be made.
    • You will also gain a better understanding of the cash flow position of your customers and have access to unlimited credit searches that will better allow you to anticipate issues before they become issues and this can even be automated to the point at which you receive an e-mail when any of customer credit ratings change.

We will as a firm starting issuing these licenses as soon as we can over the course of the next couple of days but the main caveat with either of the two above bits of software is the data that comes out is only as good as the data that goes in so work with us to ensure that this is as accurate as possible.

I appreciate that not all clients are on Xero and this will be a concern to you. The above process can be replicated manually and; though not quite as accurate or as timely, is still a valuable exercise that needs to be completed.

  1. Access to finance naturally has to be a consideration and once the above two options have been exhausted we will explore this option ALONGSIDE YOU; so please do not go and do anything without our involvement first and foremost. We have excellent relationships with the banks and Natwest and RBS have already publicised ‘mortgage holidays’ for customers along with offering quicker and cheaper access to finance (see here).
  2. Government announcements; yes there were some last week but they were vague to say the least and lacked detail behind them so are still awaiting information around these and do expect more information over the coming days and weeks but the latest guidance can be found here.

The main thing we want to reiterate though is to remain calm and explore each of the above steps.

Now we have already had a number of phone calls and e-mails to us over the course of the weekend and today and expect many more and ask that you do please get in touch if you have any concerns as we would do any other time.

In addition to ensuring that we continue to support you either here in the office or remotely we are also running daily group webinars from 12pm until 1pm up until and including Friday 27 March starting from Wednesday of this week whereby we ask that you attend one of these live chats so that Graeme can run through some of the features of the software above and he can field any questions that you have which I’m sure many others might have also.

It is just that; us a firm, we feel that this is first and foremost the quickest way to put your minds at ease as naturally we don’t have the resource to have one to one meetings with everybody. We will however, follow up these sessions with one to one calls with any clients that wish to discuss things in more detail following the webinars as appreciate some matters may not want to be shared in a group environment.

The links for these live webinars can be found below:

Wednesday 18 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244196/register

Thursday 19 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244198/register

Friday 20 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244199/register

Monday 23 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244201/register

Tuesday 24 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244204/register

Wednesday 25 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244205/register

Thursday 26 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244206/register

Friday 27 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244207/register

Some further additional/immediate points to note

  1. Post – please only post things to us that can not be transmitted via other means. As most of you already know, we are almost completely paperless so let’s work towards making our means of communicating with you and vica versa much slicker. Similarly; unless we have no option otherwise or you insist upon it, we will no longer be using the postal service in the interim to ensure that there is no break in service.
  2. Meetings – all meetings will go ahead until further notice as we all need to proceed as normal. Should circumstances drastically change we will still hold meetings but do these remotely via the internet so again there is no break in service.
  3. Cloud software – if you are not already on cloud software then this is the time to venture down this path and a lot of the software companies offer 30 day free trials for which we can organise for you.
  4. Social media – please monitor our feeds with regards to additional information being shared as we use all channels possible to keep clients informed but don’t worry we will still be e-mailing but social media and newsletters will often be the quickest; particularly when sharing regular and more generic updates from third parties.

Also, note that updates are naturally coming all of the time so keep an eye for these.

Together we stand the best chance of getting through this but by being calm, collective and maintaining control is critical with all information consolidated and centralised in one place so that we are best positioned to tackle this together head on.

Let’s not forget the budget.

For an excellent summary of the budget announcements there last week please click here and these can be downloaded and shared.

feb 1-800x541

Don’t miss a tax trick!

The Chancellor recently announced that the 2020 Budget will be delivered on Wednesday 11 March. The 2020 Budget will be the first to be delivered after the UK’s departure from the EU.

In light of this we thought let’s remind everybody that there is still time to save tax for the current tax year.

First though some rumoured changes to come in March; stress the ‘rumoured’ changes:

  • The proposed reduction in corporation tax rate from 19% to 17% may be scrapped.
  • Entrepreneur’s relief might be scrapped and this may come sooner than 5 April 2020.
  • New student loan repayment system to come.
  • Off-payroll working working rules are changing and this is a little more than rumoured but we are expecting a lot more clarification over the coming weeks.

There is one thing certain though, there is still time to put things in place now so don’t waste any time and get in touch with your client account manager today.

Retirement Planning


Whilst tax planning remains a key consideration, it is also a great time to revisit or even start looking at your retirement plans.

Let’s dovetail the two and ensure that you are financially sound from all angles.

jan 1

Profit versus Cash

We’ve touched upon this before but we think it is worthwhile revisiting this in light of the ‘clarity’ focus that we had as our headline in December; and the introduction of some of the new software we have now have access to.

What is profit?
Profit is simply your sales less all costs.

What is cash?
This is NOT what is left sat in the bank. You must start here, but then factor in those amounts still due to be received and those amounts due to be paid out. There is far less certainty around these amounts!

I can see the difference but surely there isn’t that much to worry about?
Whilst in time you’d hope the two become the same figure; factor in the idea that your customers pay you sporadically and that you might even give them 30 days credit, whereas your suppliers may demand immediate payment. Now we start to see some of the potential problems not immediately evident from profit alone.

Doing something about it
Time continues to be the barrier for most as is the cost of improving cash flow and this is where a mixture of the correct software and a degree of accountability can fix both.

We have software here that will predict future cash flow based on historic cash flow EVERY 5 minutes; and this feeds directly into Xero.

Alongside this we can devise a cash-flow based strategy and hold you accountable against this which some clients are already today benefiting from and are thousands of pounds better off each month.

You might also be able to do this on your own and if so what is stopping you?

december 1

Clarity, focus and direction

As we go through the various stages in our business journey it is very easy to lose focus, direction and really struggle with any sense of clarity.

How often do you go back to those days when you were thinking of setting up in business, setting goals in terms of what you hoped to achieve etc?

How often do you check progress against this?

What are you doing about this if anything?

As businesses grow and develop we can significantly veer from where we first hoped to be but with the right support, team and infrastructure around you, control can be regained.

If this is you, why not get in touch for a chat?
We now have a vacant office in our building available on flexible terms so if you or anybody know would be interested then please send them our way.
We will be closing our offices over the Christmas holidays with our last working day being Friday 20 December and will be reopening on Thursday 2 January.

If you have any concerns regarding this please contact your account manager and we will work with you to overcome these. The emergency contact number over this period will be 07809 695081 so the support will still be there throughout should it be needed.

Have a great break everybody and we look forward to supporting you further in 2020; maybe the number is a hint for further clarity in your business?