The People’s Republic of China is a complicated and amazing place – the world’s second largest economy, home to 1.5 billion people and a place experiencing change on a scale hard to imagine from the outside. It also inspires vast amounts of comment and opinion, and much of this comes from people with strong prejudices.
I try very hard not to be prejudiced (“professional scepticism” is a corner stone of my role) and from my 5 days of immersion in China last week at the Global Praxity Conference in Beijing (presentations, Q&A, visits, reading, discussions …..) my potted summary is:
- The Chinese economy is still very rapidly changing and new features are:
- Manufacturing, exports and construction are all still huge but are no longer growing;
- Domestic consumption and services are growing rapidly; and
- The cost of doing a lot of things in China is no longer any cheaper than in Britain
- There are incredible opportunities in this changing economy for:
- Supplying the domestic consumers in China; and
- Working with the higher cost and more sophisticated businesses to deliver great and value added services.
- Chinese markets are still very challenging, with particular challenges from:
- Uncertain protection for intellectual property rights (but signs of improvement);
- Erratic enforcement of rules, especially with State owned Enterprises; and
- Official decision-making – the crackdown on corruption seems to be real, with an unintended consequence that all decision-making is slowed down
- Political and commercial links are at an all-time high between China and the UK
- Chinese sensitivities over criticisms of human rights have been eased;
- The UK economy has always been exceptionally open to international investment and Chinese capital is now taking full advantage (see Airport City in Manchester);
- Commercial links are improving, for example the expansion of direct flights to China from Manchester.
The key point is unquestionably that you can leverage great success but it requires care and effort. PM+M’s allies in China are ShineWing, the largest domestic Chinese accountancy firm. They are thoroughly accustomed to working with western businesses, helping them deal with the challenges of the Chinese market and avoid the regulatory pitfalls. We can introduce you to great people to talk to in Beijing, in Shanghai, in Hong Kong and can draw on the network of 23 offices around China.
If you’re thinking of doing business or already do business in China, please get in touch. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07710 703463.
David Gorton – Senior Partner and Head of Corporate Services
HMRC have announced their intentions to scrap the Business Records Checks that have been consistently criticised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation for being ineffective.
The checks were originally introduced to allow HMRC to visit and confirm that a business is keeping sufficient information on its income and expenses in order to produce an accurate tax return. For businesses with inaccurate records, there is currently a potential £3,000 fine on top of any unpaid tax, interests and penalties.
Julie Walsh, Tax Manager at PM+M, said; “The reduction in unnecessary HMRC interventions is great news for businesses, but business owners should not forget that it remains crucial for businesses of all sizes to keep records up to date and in good order to protect themselves against any HMRC enquiries and tax demands.”
HMRC investigations can be very costly even if companies have up to date records. One way that we support our clients with this is in providing fee protection insurance to cover any professional fees that may be incurred in the event of an unexpected investigation or HMRC intervention. This means we can spend time helping clients through the process and defending against HMRC challenges without the client facing a bill for our time.
For more information or advice on protecting your business, or for a fee protection quote, please get in touch with our tax team by emailing email@example.com or calling 01254 679131.
The PM+M Corporate Finance team continues to grow its presence in the North West market and also on a wider geographic basis. Over recent months we have been involved in a variety of disposal and acquisition transactions.
On the sell side we have disposal mandates in construction, manufacturing, wholesale and software. There are an increasing number of buyers in the marketplace and valuations are on the rise for good quality businesses.
On the buy side we are acting for a number of businesses in the manufacturing and engineering sectors. We have completed a Management Buy-In and a trade acquisition and have a number of advisory clients located in the North West, the Midlands and beyond.
We are also seeing an increase in business owners seeking strategic advice as they start planning for growth or future exits. The value of good advice and support in this field cannot be underestimated.
If you are thinking of buying or selling your business, or would just like to talk about your future plans, please contact Jim Akrill or Tim Mills for a free consultation.
L-R: Kirsty Wright and Jane Parry
Jane Parry, managing partner and Kirsty Wright, office manager, have been nominated for Financial Advisor of the Year and Employee of the Year respectively at the Women in Business Awards 2015.
The event (hosted by Downtown in Business) will take place at The Villa Country House Hotel in Preston on Friday 13 November. Business women from all over the county will come together to recognise the achievements and hard work of the individuals driving business growth.
Of her nomination, Jane said, “It’s great to be nominated for an award and I’m honoured to be leading such a fantastic firm. Everyone at PM+M is working towards one goal and we have achieved so much over the last couple of years. Our aim is to add value wherever possible to our clients, our team and our community and to do so with personality and the right values.”
Kirsty said, “It’s a great honour to be nominated for this award. I work with a strong team of people here at PM+M and they are all a key factor in my nomination. I firmly believe that we all work towards our core values of quality, achievement and fun in all that we do and achieve.”
To vote for both Jane and Kirsty, please click the button below.
Since becoming managing partner of PM+M on 1 May this year, life has been busy.
I have been continuing to drive our growth plans and create a continual focus on clients and their experience of dealing with us. As part of this, we have just started a programme of client service visits to ask how we are doing and what we could do better.
We’re always delighted to receive feedback, good or bad. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
We’ve added two new partners since 1 May – Helen Clayton in our Corporate Services team and Andrew Cowking in Run My Business. Both of them are already adding fresh ideas and value to PM+M. We also welcome aboard the clients who joined us with Andrew and look forward to meeting you soon.
This month our headcount has surpassed 80 people for the first time when we took on an apprentice in our Run My Business team. We’re looking forward to seeing them grow alongside our other trainees to help better service our clients.
We’re looking forward to moving into our new Burnley office. The builders are in at the moment and we are hoping to be in our shiny new office by the end of October. The office will be larger than our current Burnley office, allowing us to expand our team and provide a greater focus on helping Burnley and East Lancashire businesses.
We’re delighted to welcome all new clients to PM+M and, in particular, we were very pleased to be reappointed as auditors and tax compliance advisers for Blackburn Rovers.
To contact me please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01254 679131
Linda Whalley (Retiring HR Officer) and Jane Parry (Managing Partner)
We’ve recently said goodbye two long-serving members of the PM+M team – Linda Whalley (HR & Training Officer) and Colin Payne (Caretaker).
How long have you been with PM+M? I joined PM+M on the 7 January 1991, so over 24 years.
What made you stay so long? Several things. My work has always been varied and interesting. I’m part of a highly respected firm that’s going places and my colleagues are a great bunch of people to be around.
One thing you’ll miss? The PM+M people and the many contacts who’ve become friends.
One thing you’re looking forward to? Whatever new and exciting things come my way.
How will you be spending your time? I will be continuing with my two afternoons a week as a voluntary teaching assistant, going to the gym and long walks. I also want to spend more time out and about on my narrowboat and catching up with my friends. I also intend to explore new volunteering opportunities – I like to keep busy.
How long have you been with PM+M? Just under 16 years.
What made you stay so long? Friendly atmosphere and great people.
One thing you’ll miss? Getting up on a cold winters morning to defrost the bollards in the car park… Joke!
One thing you’re looking forward to? Putting my feet up (if I can).
How will you be spending your time? I will be out on my motorbike a lot more. It will also be great to get out fishing and spending more time pursuing my hobby of drawing and water colouring.
Everyone at PM+M would like to wish Linda and Colin a very happy and well deserved retirement.
As the days become shorter and the nights darker, it’s time to ask yourself that age-old question – ‘Have I sent my tax return information to my accountant?’
Well, maybe it’s not ‘age old’, but if the answer is “Yes!” you can rest assured that everything will be in hand.
If the answer is “No!” it is now time to dust off your 2014-15 paperwork and send it to us. Tax waits for no one, and with Christmas fast approaching, you will no doubt want your tax affairs dealt with in time to put your mind at ease for another year. You have until 31 January 2016 to submit and pay any tax due to HM Revenue and Customs, but why wait until then?
We strongly recommend that you avoid leaving your paperwork until January. Whilst we will do our best to turn around any tax return information arriving in January, by leaving it to the last minute you risk your tax return being rushed which means we have no time to think about any planning opportunities or provide advance notice of your tax liability.
If you’re struggling to remember what documents you need, please contact your usual PM+M tax adviser now or send an email to email@example.com, and we will be delighted to help you out!