Monthly Archives: March 2018

The ‘who’ and ‘how’ of succession

Helen Clayton, Partner, takes a look at one of the main questions of succession planning, who is going to allow you to retire and how is it going to happen?

To make succession effective, including minimal disruption on your firm, your teams and your clients, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of thinking ahead.  This isn’t reserved for those considering retirement; it’s also for those in the firm (or outside of the firm) who are considering, or champing at the bit, to be the future leaders.

Understanding who might be coming through the ranks and who might be attracted to joining, or indeed who you would like to join the business, is critical in ensuring it is they who are equipped with the appropriate skills to lead and manage in the future. Time investment is important to ensure you really know these people. What drives them? What are their ambitions? What do they need to be able to create a seamless succession plan?

Below are some of the areas that you will need to understand:

  • Age group and corresponding generic attributes
  • Ambitions and goals, including timeframes
  • Strengths and areas for development
  • Experience (and ability) in managing and leading
  • Do they take people with them?
  • Are they open to change and personal development?
  • Attitude to risk
  • Is your firm in the right place for these individuals to take it forward?

Mentoring and coaching will be a key element of developing people into future leaders. In an era of increasing competition, regulatory change and ongoing challenges and opportunities, future leaders will need to be business owners, role models, great with people, business developers, and not to mention great lawyers. It may be that one individual does not need to be first class in all of these areas; it may be that as a partner group these skills are spread across everyone and therefore as a team, it’s as powerful as it can be. In fact, it’s probably preferable that these skills are spread throughout a team, with overlap. After all, we’re not meant to be clones, are we? We’re individuals with our own strengths.

There is a key word in all of this however that I have not yet mentioned: experience. Without experience, how is anyone expected to become the future leader of a business? As my mum has always said: you only learn by your own mistakes. Any mistakes made cannot be catastrophic and with the right role models, mentoring and guidance in place, none should be. Therefore, what is there to lose?

If you’re in the position where you’re considering succession in your firm, make it about the people. If you don’t already really know them as individuals, make that time investment. It’s your business and your success that you’re handing over, so why not make it the best it can be to the best people?

For advice and guidance on succession planning, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team on 01254 679 131.

Spring Statement 2018

Jane Parry, Tax Partner, comments on today’s Spring Statement announcements…

As expected, the Spring Statement was a bit of a non event which was refreshing as I know many businesses didn’t want another ‘mini budget’. They’re tired of hearing new policy announcements along with additional tax and spending measures; they simply want to focus their time and effort on growing despite the ever present uncertainty of Brexit and things like the Making Tax Digital regime and the looming shadow of GDPR.

The news around consultations on tackling the issue of single-use plastics and the taxation of the profits of digital giants like Facebook and Google is all well and good, but action is what’s needed not more consultations.

On a positive note, it was good to learn that tax receipts are covering day-to-day government spending for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, that borrowing is £4.7bn lower than expected and that growth is slightly higher than forecast last year. However, we’ve still got one of the slowest growth rates in the G7 and public debt as a percentage of national income remains well above 80%.

The consultations on productivity improvement and tackling late payment are both good news for local businesses, as is the additional funding to help smaller businesses take on apprentices.

What I want to see from the Government over the next few months is simple: more clarity around Brexit and how it plans to help businesses grow by closing the skills gap and helping them to improve productivity. These are the real issues that need to be addressed, everything else comes second.

If you would like to discuss any of today’s announcements with the PM+M team, please call 01254 679131.

What could you achieve with cloud accounting?

Advancements in technology are constantly changing the world as we know it. One particular software development within the accountancy sector has altered the market completely, succes­sfully streamlining processes for business owners in new ways, allowing them to gain better control of cash flow and increase profitability.

We are of course, talking about cloud accounting, a type of software which enables you to access your finances in the ‘cloud’, from anywhere, at any time. In recent years, cloud accounting has proven to be an increasingly compelling choice for thousands of people looking to manage their finances, but with so many different options available, you might find yourself asking “where do I even start?”

Here at PM+M, we believe that the best way to prepare is to find an adviser who understands your business, your current financial operations and your objectives. From here, your adviser can guide you towards a cloud package based on what you want to achieve, and what will work best for you.

It is also wise to consider the benefits of adopting a cloud accounting package in comparison to your current processes.

Alongside helping you to make better decisions, save time and boost profits, cloud accounting software can also act as a flexible, low maintenance, cost effective alternative to traditional accounting software, putting you in control of your cash management and allowing you to gain real-time insights into your finances.

We understand that the move to the cloud might be daunting at first, so here at PM+M, we stay by your side at all times. Our team of dedicated advisers are always on hand to guide you through the process, and answer any questions you may have about your cloud package.

Whilst we are more than happy to manage the software on your behalf, we can teach you to use the software yourself so that you can better understand what we do, and take control of your software, should you wish to do so.

Our team have a wide range of experience in the operation of various cloud accounting platforms, allowing us to recommend a software package that will work best for you. Our chosen software providers are Xero and QuickBooks, both leaders in the field, and widely regarded to be some of the most technologically advanced cloud accounting software providers in existence.

Whether you are managing a start-up business, a growing SME or a large scale enterprise, we can guide you towards a cloud solution that will give you a clear insight into your cash, drive your profits and change your business for the better.

If you believe that cloud accounting might be for you, or want to learn more about our available software packages, get in touch with Jill Morris today on 01254 679 131, or via email at jill.morris@pmm.co.uk.