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Support for Business Owners Posts

Wednesday April 3, 2013 at 9:00am
PAYE (Pay as You Earn) is the system whereby income tax and national insurance is deducted from an employee’s pay by their employer and paid over to HMRC on the 19th of the following month. The employee receives their salary net of tax and national insurance. The system must be effective because it has changed little since 1944. The key point of the system is to deduct tax and National Insurance before the employee has chance to spend it. However, with effect from April 2013 HMRC will radi....
Thursday February 7, 2013 at 9:00am
Businesses slow to embrace new technology could see an impact on their growth and profits according to a recent survey.Out of 4,000 small businesses questioned, one-in-five lacked basic IT skills and 40 per cent of those identified this as a key factor holding back their growth. Those businesses with poor IT skills were most likely to record no annual profit compared with more technically able businesses. Being slow to keep up with IT developments could be for a number of reasons. Busy small bus....
Thursday September 13, 2012 at 9:00am
Although few would welcome recent reports of a stagnant economy, the resulting government incentives for small business investors could help entrepreneurship to thrive. Certainly the government continues to introduce some attractive proposals for SMEs. Just this week Chancellor George Osborne unveiled plans to launch a bank for small businesses, saying they would be able to gain access to 'multi-billion pounds' of funding. Investing in a ready-made business can be appealing for entrepreneurs who....
Thursday April 5, 2012 at 10:58am
The Budget brought excellent news for businesses involved in product innovation: an improved tax credit system will be applied to research and development. For many companies, growth in years ahead is dependent on research and development now. Tomorrow’s cutting edge products have to be devised today, but in the current economic climate investing the considerable sums of money needed for R&D is a hard and even risky decision. It can be many years before a return is made on such investm....
Thursday March 1, 2012 at 9:00am
You probably don’t need an accountant to tell you time equals money. But I’m going to anyway because too many business people don’t actually translate this into positive action and manage their time effectively. If you had £10,000 in your hand, you wouldn’t let the kids play with it or stick it in the coat pocket with a hole at the bottom. Yet we often treat our time with the same carelessness and squander this valuable resource. Learning how to manage time is cruci....
Thursday November 17, 2011 at 9:00am
A recent report in the Telegraph quotes a survey from our trade body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), which suggests despite a number of Government measures to reduce the regulatory burden on business, companies feel the UK is now less “business friendly” than a year ago. In this year’s survey 44 percent of all companies said the UK is “business friendly”, down from 50 percent last year. It looks like the Governments plans for on....
Thursday September 1, 2011 at 9:00am
It may sound futuristic but in fact web based accounting, in the cloud, is now a reality for many small and medium sized businesses around the world. For many it allows them to delegate a non-core activity and reap the full benefits of outsourcing. Yet, I’ve been surprised how few local businesses in Birmingham have embraced the major advantages offered by ‘the cloud’. Over my twenty odd years in the accountancy profession I’ve been searching for a solution to an age old ....
Thursday August 4, 2011 at 9:00am
As more compliance is forced on business owners and the systems we’re required to follow seem to get more, not less complicated I believe it’s time accountants did more for their clients. Most business owners do not want to be an involuntary tax collector for the Inland Revenue. But when it comes to quarterly accounting for VAT or operation of the PAYE system that is just what those of us in business are to HMRC. VAT and PAYE are such important sources of tax it is unfortunately unli....
Thursday June 23, 2011 at 9:00am
The Bribery Act 2010 comes into force on 1 July 2011. We provided some useful tips on the actions you might need to take in an earlier blog (The Bribery Act and your business) but with only a few weeks until the Act becomes law now is the time to carry out your risk assessment. You might think it doesn’t affect your business but if you are the kind of company that takes clients out to dinner or entertains them over a game of golf or at sporting events technically speaking you may be caught....
Thursday June 9, 2011 at 9:23am
A good way to look at your business is as an investment. By this I mean it produces an income for as long as you own it (the dividend) and you want to maximise the proceeds when you eventually sell it. No different to a portfolio of shares really except you have all of your eggs in one highly specialised and personalised basket. As with most investments the income from the investment is often overlooked as the much bigger number is the sale proceeds. However, for many the sale proceeds are simpl....
Thursday March 24, 2011 at 12:06pm
So claimed Chancellor George Osborne on Radio 4 this morning, and actually he might just be right. The measures introduced to help businesses and especially small business are to be welcomed. These include the surprise increase in the Entrepreneurs Relief lifetime allowance from £5 million to £10 million. This relief was already generous in the current economic climate as it allowed entrepreneurs to pay capital gains tax at a rate of only 10% on the first £5 million of qualifyi....
Thursday January 13, 2011 at 12:11pm
The success of your business in 2011 may very well depend upon your ability to set and achieve the right business goals during the year. But to be really successful you need to do more than simply set goals. You must also be able to create goals that are both achievable and inspiring, and that the people who work for and with you will be proud to adopt as their own.Here are our suggestions for setting effective goals in 2011. Set your personal goals first When you want to take your business in a....
Thursday January 6, 2011 at 5:06pm
I know as human beings we’re not always keen on change. It’s time consuming, sometimes costly and it’s a leap into the unknown. But carrying on with the same old advisors just because you’ve always used them may not be a sound business decision and with the end of the tax year only a few months away now is a great time to consider who you want as your advisors next year. Here are my suggested questions for anyone who’s made a New Year’s resolution to change th....
Thursday December 30, 2010 at 12:16pm
Running a business can be a treacherous business at times. It’s always important to do as much forward planning as possible and consider all the worst case scenarios and decide what actions you will take. Some business owners ignore the exposure that their business assets face should the worst happen. Assets like key pieces of machinery, the business property and even personal loans made to the company by a shareholder or director are all exposed to the full business risk. Should the busin....
Thursday December 23, 2010 at 10:00am
In a survey of 5,000 entrepreneurs conducted by serviced office provider Regus, 79 per cent of UK business owners said that their interests are neglected by government. Some 72 per cent of British businesses say that banks should be forced to lend more to entrepreneurial ventures and small businesses, stressing that access to credit is an issue for entrepreneurs. Additionally, 87 per cent feel that government venture capital funds should be available to support entrepreneurs and their business i....
Thursday December 2, 2010 at 6:02pm
The corporation tax road map revealed by George Osborne on 30th November 2010 reveals government plans to reform corporation tax over the next 5 years. Plans include lowering the corporation tax from 28% current to 24% by 2014 and changes to the controlled foreign company tax regime, as well as a drop in the corporate tax rate for patents in a bid to encourage companies into the UK. The principles of the reform proposed reform of corporation tax seem sound, but how will it all play out in practi....
Friday November 26, 2010 at 9:33am
When many owner managers come to extricate themselves from their business – either by passing it on to a member of the family or deciding to sell – they suddenly realise how indispensible they are and how difficult it is to let go. In the most profitable businesses we see, the entrepreneur has released him or herself from the business by systemising each part of the business and allocating responsibilities to other people within the organisation. This process of gradually delegating ....
Friday October 15, 2010 at 5:39pm
Thinking of selling up? There are 3 critical steps to take to make sure you maximise the value of your business.1. Prepare the numbers Get your business in sound financial order. Any potential buyer will want to see accurate financial information, including management information and KPIs. They will want to feel you have a handle on your business and that doesn’t just mean looking at the past, it means showing them future potential. Many buyers look for investments where they can make impr....
Thursday September 30, 2010 at 7:05pm
At the Liberal party conference Nick Clegg was the latest Government spokesman to talk about clamping down on tax avoidance. He even went on to talk about avoiding tax as being an ethical question. I’d say a bigger ethical question is how our taxes are spent by government. Indeed if people felt their taxes were being spent wisely and fairly they may have more time for the ethics of high taxation. What’s all the fuss about? It is probably worth looking at the distinction between evasi....
Tuesday September 28, 2010 at 12:15pm
We all know that running a business is not easy, only those who have never had to suffer the burden of responsibility to employees, family and the bank, would think business owners reap easy rewards. With the potential rewards come personal financial risk, stress and a very steep learning curve. The reality is that we pay a high price to be in business and sometimes it gets the better of us. When talking to clients in financial difficulty, the feeling of despair and failure is not uncommon. I qu....
Friday September 24, 2010 at 12:05pm
A recent survey from asset-based lender Venture Finance and Accountancy magazine found that 60% of accountants believe that a further increase in SME insolvencies is still to come. The economy is only showing tentative growth, and lots of smaller businesses are still struggling to keep their head above water. Most small businesses are currently focused on stabilising performance rather than growth and if they’ve built up debt in the depth of recession they may struggle to find a way o....
Thursday September 16, 2010 at 10:00am
I see the sales figures and profit and loss reports of enough SMEs to know that we can all benefit from free sales and marketing tips. How about these ideas from some of the best in the business? Gate crash – when Stelios started Easy Jet his promotional tactic was to turn up at competitor event and give out his business cards.  Act like a customer – entrepreneur and erstwhile Dragon’s Den panellist Doug Richard is reputed to have got his ideas for improving the customer ....
Monday September 13, 2010 at 4:32pm
In January VAT shoots up to 20 per cent. Now is a good time to decide how to present that increase to customers. Whether you add it into your price or factor it into your costs, make sure you are up front. Transparency wins customers’ trust and with that more business. If you are selling to the public or charities, housing associations or health care providers who can’t claim VAT back – now is the time to think about pre-VAT rise promotions, encouraging people to buy now and sa....
Thursday September 9, 2010 at 9:24pm
No doubt you have realised that times are tough at the moment. Customers are scarcer and they want to spend less or want more product or service for less money. The banks aren’t lending at the suggestion that you can easily borrow elsewhere if they say no. Their balance sheets are undercapitalised and lending targets have certainly shrunk regardless of what they say in public. In such an environment it makes sense to move away from the seat of the pants approach to decision making. Gone ar....
Wednesday September 8, 2010 at 9:53pm
Well it is a fair question that most of us would like to say yes to, but when put on the spot we find we stumble and don’t have all the answers. Some of the more common questions asked by the Dragons are: “how can you convince me there is a market for your product”, “what sales have you made this year so far”, “what is your forecast profit this year and next”, “who would buy this product” and “how much profit do you make on each sale&rd....
Thursday September 2, 2010 at 3:41pm
It’s an unfortunately fact of life but you or your business could face a tax enquiry at any point, often through no fault of you or your accountant. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have the power to start an enquiry at any time, and they don’t have to give any specific reason for doing so! For the tax payer or business owner there’s worry and confusion. “What’s the tax man looking for?” “What have I done wrong?” “What will they find and will I ....
Thursday August 26, 2010 at 1:29pm
Business owners are showing less confidence according to the recent Business Confidence Monitor Survey from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Around one fifth (19%) of firms said they were less confident about the future due mainly to the tax rises announced in the emergency Budget and promised public spending cuts. Having come through recession, business owners now face a challenge to survive the recovery. Uncertainty is a key factor resulting in a cautious ap....
Wednesday August 11, 2010 at 2:04pm
With a ‘choppy’ economic recovery predicted by the governor of the Bank of England and the media talking up a double dip recession in response to the recent drop in house prices business owners would be forgiven for throwing their arms up in despair and ‘giving in’. This morning Mervyn King lowered the Bank’s economic growth forecast and warned inflation will stay higher than previously predicted. He doesn’t seem too confident that the banks will help-out busi....
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