Blog

A poem for those with election fatigue

Posted 11th December 2019 at 8:00 am

election

On the eve of the election We send God a little prayer (Even those of us who don’t believe that he is there)   God save us from the tax raises that send our business spinning (Whichever of the parties is the one that ends up winning)   Please God, sort out Brexit In whatever way you choose (And thank you for not placing us inside the PM’s shoes!)   Please God fund our NHS, our road networks and schools Give us, God, a government that don’t take us for fools   Help us heal our differences, and make a... Read more

Three ways to make the most of your tax benefits this Christmas

Posted 2nd December 2019 at 8:34 pm

christmas

1. Reward your staff with Trivial Benefits of up to £50 in value Did you know that if you reward staff with Benefits in Kind, you can save tax on these by meeting certain conditions? This means that as an employer you can buy gifts, pay for meals, or give shopping vouchers to your employees as a Trivial Benefit, exempt from tax. To find out more about Trivial Benefits click here.   2. Claim up to £150 per head for your Christmas party Tax rules allow an exemption for an annual staff social event, such as a Christmas party. So... Read more

Black Friday & Cyber Monday: How to cope as a small business

Posted 27th November 2019 at 9:36 am

Alongside pumpkin spiced latte and the commercialising of Halloween, the biggest Autumn trend to hit us from the US in recent years has to be Black Friday and its online sister, Cyber Monday.   What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Black Friday made its way over here in 2014 and has become increasingly popular with the larger retailers including supermarkets and department stores, as well as with online retailers. This year Black Friday falls on 29th November 2019. Cyber Monday is an online sales event which falls the Monday after Black Friday. This year it therefore takes place on... Read more

Making sense of the General Election 2019

Posted 22nd November 2019 at 5:02 pm

General Election

This year’s General Election is probably the most complicated in living memory! There are so many different party and individual MP stances on Brexit to take into consideration alone, not to mention all the other issues that politicians are supposed to focus on! With so many MPs stepping down or changing parties, it’s no wonder that many people feel they have no idea who they want to vote for! Fortunately, the lovely people at Sky News have put together an interactive manifesto-checker so that you can compare at a glance the different party stances on the issues that matter to... Read more

5 Top Tips to manage sales over the Christmas period

Posted 14th November 2019 at 3:41 pm

christmas

Christmas is fast approaching – from the look of some supermarkets you’d think it started 2 months ago! Whether you are the type of business that expects to see a rise in sales over the Christmas period, or one that needs to manage customer expectations due to staff leave, we have all the tips you need to manage your sales during the festive period.   Be clear about last order dates and Christmas closures Some of us are forward planners (hello from someone who bought their Christmas cards in the summer holidays!) and some of us are last minute panic... Read more

Are you prepared for a Cyber Attack?

Posted 6th November 2019 at 9:59 am

cyber attack

More than 50% of British firms reported cyber attacks in 2019, and on average there is a hacker attack every 19 seconds in the UK. Many small businesses believe they are too small to be targeted, so don’t have cyber security in place. However, just like a house without a burglar alarm, an organisation without cyber security is more likely to be targeted by criminals, regardless of size. So what security measures can you put in place to protect against a cyber attack?   Secure your internet connection with a firewall A firewall creates a buffer zone between your IT... Read more

The future is cashless

Posted 29th October 2019 at 4:51 pm

cashless

In 2017, debit cards overtook cash as the number one retail payment method in the UK, aided by the rise of contactless technology. Being able to tap and go makes contactless more convenient than either cash or chip & pin payments, and with phone payment now available you don’t even need to get your wallet out!   At the current rate of decline, the British Retail Consortium predicts that cash use would end in 2026, which feels extremely soon! However, as the shift to a cashless society is a big step, it is likely that we will see cash being... Read more

4 times Britain overcame adversity

Posted 24th October 2019 at 2:42 pm

In the current climate, you’d be forgiven for feeling worried about the future of Great Britain. However, we’re here to lighten the mood and inject some optimism by showing you four times that our great nation has overcome adversity.   1. When we(ather) defeated the Spanish Armada In 1588 Britain was threatened by the mighty naval power of Phillip II’s Spanish fleet. Despite being the underdogs, we managed to defeat the Armada through cunning strategy, and the weather. Ok, mostly the weather. But it was BRITISH weather so it still counts, ok?!   2. When Lady Mary’s husband was killed... Read more

Do YOU know when your tax return is due?

Posted 16th October 2019 at 9:19 am

self-assessment deadline

The deadline for filing the 2018/19 self-assessment return online is 31 January 2020*. While this deadline may seem ages away, with Christmas (and Brexit!) on the horizon it could be easy to get distracted until you realise that you only have a few weeks left to submit. A late filing penalty is charged if the return is filed late, even if it is only late by one day and/or there is no tax to pay. You can avoid a fine by submitting your return well before the deadline, which means that now is a great time to be preparing all... Read more

IR35: Off-payroll working rules extended

Posted 8th October 2019 at 8:53 pm

IR35

From 6th April 2020, the off-payroll working (IR35) rules that apply to the public sector are being extended to medium and large organisations within the private sector. The rules apply to organisations who pay for services to be provided by a personal service company.   What is a personal service company? A personal service company is typically a Limited Company with a sole director, which carries out work for a small number of clients. Many organisations engage consultants or contractors through this type of arrangement. Through IR35 legislation, HMRC are now clamping down on this practice if it is specifically... Read more