Donate to charity and save tax

Posted 7th August 2019 at 7:15 am

gift aid

Did you know that if you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you can claim tax relief on charitable donations you’ve made through Gift Aid? Most people know that the Gift Aid scheme allows charities to claim back the tax you’ve paid on your donation at 20%. So, for every £1 you give to charity, the charity can claim an extra 25p from HMRC without it costing you any extra. However, if you’re a higher rate taxpayer you pay 40% tax. This means that you yourself can claim the difference between the basic rate of tax claimed by the charity through the... Read more

How to deal with email overload

Posted 31st July 2019 at 7:04 am


We all go through periods where our email inbox is so stuffed full that important emails get buried under the onslaught of new messages before we get the chance to read them. But how can we manage our use of email to get the most of the technology without becoming overwhelmed? Don’t CC everyone It’s tempting to CC everyone associated with a project into an email, but that just creates extra messages that people have to read only to discover that they’re not relevant to them. Instead, only CC the people who need to act on the email. Designate specific... Read more

Reward your staff with tax-free Trivial Benefits

Posted 24th July 2019 at 9:44 am

trivial benefit

Did you know that if you reward staff with Benefits in Kind, you can save tax on these by meeting certain conditions? A benefit in kind can be classed as a Trivial Benefit and therefore exempt from tax if: the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50 the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of any contractual obligation (including under salary sacrifice arrangements) the benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties. The exemption has... Read more

What is Inbound Marketing?

Posted 16th July 2019 at 11:00 am

inbound marketing

You may be familiar with the concept of content marketing – attracting and engaging potential customers with online material that proves your expertise as a brand but does not directly sell to the customer. Well there’s a new marketing buzz word in town, which is very closely related: inbound marketing. In the good old Mad Men days, brands were taken to the customer via outbound marketing activities such as TV, Radio & newspaper advertising, mailshots, and other outward facing methods. With inbound marketing, the emphasis is not on going out and finding the customers but encouraging the customers to come... Read more

5 reasons to switch to a hybrid or electric company car

Posted 10th July 2019 at 2:28 pm

electric car

1. Significant tax savings From April 2020, as a move by the government to encourage the switch to low emissions vehicles, the taxable benefit on company cars will change significantly. Hybrid plug in vehicles benefit in kind rates will drop further. As an example, a higher rate taxpayer will pay almost £5,000 tax per year on a BMW 320d, whereas a driver of a BMW 330e with a petrol engine and battery with up to 37 mile range will pay under £2,000. Fully electric vehicles take this further with benefit in kind rates of 0% for 2020/21, 1% for 2021/22... Read more

What makes a great leader?

Posted 5th July 2019 at 9:36 am


Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ll have noticed that there is a leadership battle going on for the top job in government! You’d be forgiven for thinking that this particular leadership role seems to just be handed out without any real consideration of whether the candidate is right for the job – and you might be right! Anyone can be a ‘leader’ but not everyone can be a ‘good’ leader, let alone a ‘great’ one! So what are the qualities of a great leader, and how can you develop your own leadership skills to benefit your business?... Read more

Becoming a Carbon Neutral Business

Posted 28th June 2019 at 8:57 am

The UK government recently declared a climate emergency and set a target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Many individual UK cities and local authorities have gone further than this, with a number committing to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. But how can businesses help achieve these local and national targets?   Reduce energy use Energy use is most companies’ biggest contributor to their carbon footprint. The good news is that taking steps to reduce your energy use can save you money as well as saving the environment! Obvious actions to take include switching off lights, heating / cooling, and... Read more

Coping with stress at work

Posted 21st June 2019 at 8:25 am


We all feel ‘stressed’ at one time or another in our lives, but how can we tackle this to ensure that our work and our personal lives don’t suffer? It’s all very well to say that we should ‘avoid’ stress, but this is easier said than done, especially for business owners, whose source of stress may well be their own business! So assuming that we don’t want to pack it all in and get a less stressful job, what can we do to manage periods of stress?   Take control of the situation It’s no good just burying your head... Read more

Six Things you need to know about Bank Holidays

Posted 14th June 2019 at 7:42 am

bank holidays

England and Wales have eight permanent bank holidays per year: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Late Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Bank holidays are slightly different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.   Employees do not have a statutory right to take bank holidays off work. Employees can be expected to work on bank holidays, can have these designated as part of their annual leave entitlement, as additional paid holiday over and above their holiday entitlement, or any other arrangement as dictated by their contract of employment.   Similarly, employees have... Read more

Managing staff summer holidays

Posted 6th June 2019 at 2:20 pm


If you’re an SME or Micro-Business, the next few months can prove a real headache as a large proportion of your staff want to jet off for a well-earned summer holiday. This problem is of course compounded if the majority of your employees are parents, as they will all be needing to go away within the same 6 week period to avoid a hefty fine for school absence!   Factors to consider The most obvious consideration is ensuring that you are not understaffed by letting everyone go off on holiday at once. You should also be careful that anyone who... Read more