Category Archives: Uncategorized

Making Tax Digital and VAT

making tax digital and VATFrom April 2019 businesses with turnover above the VAT threshold will be mandated to use the Making Tax Digital for Businesses (MTDfB) system.

As VAT registered businesses already prepare quarterly returns business owners could be mistaken in thinking that there will be little change required to the format of their current record keeping processes. The reality however is that the MTDfB regime requires records to be held digitally meaning business owners who currently maintain manual records will need to change to using an accounting software package.

Whilst migrating accounting systems can be a testing time for many there are numerous opportunities that Cloud accounting packages offer when used to their full potential.

Cloud software gives business owners the flexibility to run a business from work, home or on the go, with multi user access making it easy to collaborate online with an office based team or professional advisors.

Automation is key. Cloud accounting packages offer numerous opportunities to automate time consuming processes with the software, creating a smart accounting system meaning you’ll have far less work to do. Useful features include bank feeds, where transactions from the bank accounts automatically feed into the software, auto-matching transactions and customised online invoicing to name but a few.

Many cloud packages also sync with third party Apps to create a fully functioning accounting package. There are hundreds of Apps available covering inventory control, time tracking, CRM, Point of Sale, Bills and Expenses, Debtor tracking plus many more.

If you would like to discuss any Cloud Accounting requirements, please contact Jill Morris (jill.morris@pmm.co.uk) or Delyth Oxford (delyth.oxford@pmm.co.uk)

Untangling the pensions “Webb”

As we enter a period of pension uncertainty impacted by Brexit negotiations, a coalition government and changes to the Finance Act, what could all of this mean for our pension pots?

PM+M Wealth Management hosted a breakfast session on 25th July with former Pensions Minister Steve Webb.  Steve was Minister of State for Pensions between 2010 and 2015, the longest-serving holder of the post before moving to Royal London as Director of Policy and External Communications.

Steve provided his own unique insight into the possible future structure of pensions, the impact we will face and what we should be doing now to protect our future.  Steve discussed how the Government may look to reduce the annual pension tax relief bill of £40 billion, by further reducing the annual amount you can pay into a pension, or further encouraging saving into ISA’s rather than pensions, and interesting option as we all agreed.

On the upside the 25% tax free cash element of a pension is likely to remain over the long term, to quote Steve, Governments will “pluck the goose with the minimum amount of hissing!”

With a number of bankers in the room the conversation soon turned to the transfer out of Defined Benefits Scheme to Defined Contribution schemes to take advantage of new pension freedoms.   Over the last twelve months 80,000 people have left Defined Benefit schemes, with attractive transfers values being driven by the low interest environment.   We discussed five good reasons to transfer, flexibility, higher tax free cash, inheritance tax, health and concerns over the employer, verses five good reasons to stay, certainty, inflation, investment risk, provision for survivors and taxation.

Other subjects included the ever increasing State Pension age, the new Pensions Dashboard , auto enrolment, and the possible introduction of a form of auto enrolment for the self employed.

To round off we discussed the importance of seeking financial advice.  A recent report by Royal London calculated advised clients are better off by a total of £41,099 in financial assets and pension wealth, compared to those who did not take advice.

The ticketed event raised over £300 for the Pendleside Hospice Challenge, a big thank you to everyone who attended, and helped raise money for such a fantastic cause.

If you are considering transferring out of a Defined Benefits scheme, also known as a final salary scheme or you wish to discuss any aspect of financial planning please contact Antony.keen@pmm.co.uk  

We’re hiring! Marketing and Business Development Vacancy

MARKETING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

We are a vibrant and dynamic firm of Chartered Accountants and business advisers, with offices in Blackburn, Burnley and Bury, covering East Lancashire, Greater Manchester and beyond. We have ambitious growth plans and our vision is to be the best North West firm of finance professionals.
We are very proud of our culture and team engagement and were recently placed 3rd in the 2016 Accountancy Age Top 10 UK Employers as well as being awarded Investors in People Gold status.

We are looking for an experienced and enthusiastic marketing manager to join our team and help us shape the future of PM+M.

You will be responsible for:

· Development and implementation of marketing and business development strategy to meet the firm’s goals.
· The creation, delivery and co-ordination of all marketing activity across all departments.
· Co-ordinating and guiding the partners and managers in effective business development activity and targeting using sales and pipeline management.
· Championing the PM+M brand, ensuring all internal and external marketing activities are on brand and in line with our value proposition.
· Control of marketing budget.
· Responsibility for proposal and pitch production and managing follow-up activity.
· Driving and tracking sales pipeline and opportunity management from within the current client portfolio and new clients, including client data management.
· Managing the firm’s websites, ensuring that they and all internal and external facing collateral are brand compliant and in line with the firm’s strategy.
· Help to build the business profile in the market place and augment successful business relationships.
· Optimise the use of digital marketing channels, including social media and effectively use digital platforms for data collection, sales funnel management and customer engagement.
· Day to day management of an outsourced PR resource including identifying opportunities for wider media coverage.
· Event management, including co-ordinating follow-up activity

Ideally, you will also have;

• Have experience of working within marketing and business development – ideally in the professional services sector.
• Have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
• Have good organisational skills as well as the ability to take initiative and manage others.
• Have knowledge of recognised software applications both from a general office perspective and specific marketing and social media applications.

Please apply in the first instance by emailing your CV  to kathryn.rigbye@pmm.co.uk

 

Brexit: Consciously uncoupling from the EU

brexit

Part 1: Using EU workers

The clock is ticking, and British business is facing an uncertain future. We see businesses trying to understand their reliance on a changing EU relationship, whether that be through importing or exporting of goods, potential price sensitivities within that chain and, in certain sectors, a reliance on EU workers.  In some cases, the tax aspects of parent/subsidiary relationships with  European head offices is also a cause of uncertainty, as is the fluid movement of staff between the organisations.

Although many businesses have clarity on which countries they trade directly with, many will not have considered the dependence of their supply chains on the EU or fully understand the impact of Brexit on their workforce.

Recent research from the Social Market Fund (SMF) and Adecco confirms that UK businesses have a significant reliance on EU workers, with an estimated 1.6 million EU workers currently employed in the UK public or private sectors, making up an estimated 6% of all UK employees.

Whilst EU workers support many growing industries across the UK, there is a higher percentage of EU labour in specific sectors such as manufacturing (10% of employees) and accommodation and food services (14% of employees). EU employees represent 14% of those fundamental roles we need in organisations such as labourers, cleaners, and shelf-fillers, and interestingly they also represent 13% of process, plant and machine operatives, all roles that have been hard for employers to fill.  With a heavy manufacturing presence in Lancashire, this could have a huge impact on these businesses and a knock on effect for the wider economy.

Shift in our regional workforce

This reliance of many Lancashire based businesses on EU employees will have to start to shift over the next two years.  In fact, many businesses are already seeing a slow down in EU workers wanting to come to the UK.   In addition, not only will Brexit affect the residence status and right to work of EU nationals working in the UK, but it will also impact those UK nationals working in the EU.

At the moment, we don’t have all the answers to predict the full impact of Brexit, but as the Government battles out trade talks over the next two years, it’s important that UK businesses understand their risk, and use this pre-Brexit period to build resilience and agility.

By using Brexit as a catalyst for change, you can cement your business’s future. We can share our Brexit experience with you, after all we are getting Brexit ready too. If you would like to discuss with us about any issues raised in this article, then please contact Jane Parry on 01254 679131, or email jane.parry@pmm.co.uk

Spring Budget 2017 – What’s New?

Spring Budget 2017

The chancellor’s opening statement about productivity still being too low, families feeling squeezed, the need to make Britain ready for its ‘global future’ outside the EU and having an economy that ‘works for everyone’ was all pretty standard stuff which no-one would really disagree with or be surprised by. That tone ran through a Budget that was clearly designed to reassure the markets as we approach the triggering of Article 50.

The announced changes in the tax regime were all expected including the upcoming changes in Corporation Tax. His comments on Business Rates gave clarity but it wasn’t a surprise that they won’t be abolished. However, his unveiling of three measures to help those affected (no business losing small business rate relief will see its bill increase next year by more than £50 a month; 90% of local pubs will have a £1,000 discount on their business rates bill; and a £300m fund for local councils to offer discretionary relief for hard-hit cases will be launched) is good news.

There was also an emphasis on tax avoidance with various steps being introduced including tackling the abuse of foreign pension schemes; the introduction of VAT on roaming telecoms services; and the implementation of new financial penalties for professionals who enable a tax avoidance arrangement that is later defeated by HMRC.

In a bid to lessen the attractiveness of incorporation for self employed people, he also confirmed that he will reduce the tax-free dividend allowance for all shareholders from £5,000 to £2,000 with effect from April 2018.  This will affect all investors, not just those who own their own companies.  I expect that this is not the last we will see of such measures, with a report considering the wider implications of different working practices due in the summer.  There is also consultation launched today on the tax treatment of various employee benefits and expenses.

A very welcome piece of news for smaller self employed businesses is the deferral of the Making Tax Digital requirement for online submission of quarterly accounting information by a year from 2018 to 2019 for those businesses with a turnover below the VAT threshold.  Larger sole traders and partnerships will still need to get to grips with the new system in April 2018 and will need to start planning now, but the smallest businesses and landlords now have a year’s grace.

There was good news for the science and innovation sectors with some of the £23bn of investment he announced in the Autumn being allocated. This included £300m for research talent; £16m for a 5G mobile technology hub; and £200m for fibre broadband. We don’t know how the North West will directly benefit but it’s got to be welcomed.  The £90m of extra transport infrastructure funding for the North also sounds like good news.

We work with many manufacturing businesses who I know will welcome the introduction of T-Levels as there is a consensus that young people often lack the skills that are needed in the workplace.  Those manufacturing businesses will also be heartened to hear of the reduction of the administrative burden surrounding R&D tax credits announced today.

In summary, this Budget was a bit of a non-event. There were no real surprises or shocks, which was to be expected, as the government will not want to rock the Brexit boat.  However, we might see some significant change in the way that employed and self employed people are taxed over the next few years, stemming from some of the consultations and reports launched today.

BUDGET BUTTON

Two Wheeled Professionals Roll Again…

PM+M Business Professionals (on 2 wheels) 170816Inspired by the successes of Team GB cyclists in the Rio velodrome, last Wednesday afternoon saw nine local professionals, including two of PM+M’s own, heading out onto the lanes of the Ribble Valley in glorious sunshine to build and cement their business connections.

For the second in the series of 2 wheeled networking events, there were four riders who had participated in the first event and five new faces, whilst the list of those wanting to attend gets ever longer.

The ride set off from The Green Jersey in Clitheroe, heading out to Sawley then on to Bolton By Bowland, and Hellifield before returning via Grindleton and Waddington. The route was just shy of 30 miles and undertaken with an average speed of over 17mph – brisk enough to feel challenging, but not to the extent that it made conversation difficult, after all that is the point of the event, to talk to each other and discuss ways to support or collaborate.

After the ride there was chance to dissect the ride over coffee and for the obligatory photo.

Companies represented were:

PM+M Wealth Management
The Green Jersey
Harrison Drury Solicitors
Forbes Solicitors
NatWest Business Banking
Anderton Bosonet Estate Agents
Atlantik AV
MC Financial Forecasting

Despite a request for another event this week, the next one will be in September (date TBC). Since details of the event were shared on twitter and Facebook the requests to attend future events have been coming in thick and fast, perhaps most notably from the head of world cycling’s governing body Brian Cookson. Brian is now based in Switzerland but gets back to his second home in Whalley from time to time and wants to join us when his diary permits – what better endorsement could you ask for!

If you are interested in joining the guest-list/waiting- list, then get in touch with event organisers Neil Welsh neil.welsh@pmm.co.uk or Tony Brierley tony.brierley@pmm.co.uk

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How’s Business?

SurveyEver felt like telling the Government what it’s REALLY like being in business in 2015?  Well, here’s your chance.  The Quarterly Economic Survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce is a highly respected snapshot of economic conditions for business.  It is taken seriously by Central Government, is one of only three national surveys regularly used by the Bank of England when setting monetary policy and is reported widely in the media.

Each quarter, businesses from across the UK are asked to take part in the survey.  Whilst almost 7,500 companies completed the last survey we need more East Lancashire businesses to complete the survey.

Your input is crucial in helping us understand the local economy and beyond.  From this quarter we are also keen to provide a local picture for East Lancashire. In order to do this we need as many local businesses as possible completing the survey. The East Lancashire of Commerce Chamber will publish the results each quarter in the Business Life magazine. Your support is gratefully appreciated.

You can complete the survey by clicking the button below:

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PM+M Gets Local Business Community’s Brains Ticking with First Ever Quiz

Over 70 people attended with 22 teams taking part from a whole variety of sectors including financial institutions, law firms, property companies and insolvency practioners. They answered questions across a number of challenging rounds from NumbersColours and Music to Around the WorldNature and Picture.

A collection raised over £400 for Derian House Children’s Hospice, Chorley.

PM+M is a leading chartered accountancy, business advisory and wealth management group.  The firm was founded in 1919 and now operates from offices in Blackburn and Burnley.

This winning team was Woodcocks Solicitors who notched up an impressive 86.5 points. They were followed by worthy runners up Southerns Solicitors.

Stephen Anderson – managing partner at PM+M – said; “We were delighted with how the first quiz went. The reaction from everyone who attended was brilliant and there was an infectious buzz in the room that was spurred on by a healthy dose of competitiveness. We were also very happy to raise so much for Derian House which is a wonderful cause.”

New Tax Relief Arrangement of Small Cash Donations to a Charity

In previous years, charities were unable to claim a tax refund on small cash donations.  New rules will see this change.

The HMRC have announced that charities can now reclaim the basic rate tax of 20% deducted from a cash donation of no more than £20.  This type of donation, usually from street collections etc, will now be considered a gift.

These new rules will allow charities to claim back up to £1,250 of the £5,000 per year limit on small donations.

Those who pay tax above the basic rate will not be subject to a higher rate tax relief on these small cash donations.  The original Gift Aid scheme provides this kind of relief if that is what you are looking for.

Small businesses ‘hit by record levels of late payment’

The UK’s late payment culture is getting worse, with the amount owed to small and medium-sized enterprises reaching record levels, a new report has revealed.

The latest research, from payment organisation Bacs, shows that late payments have now reached an all-time high of £33.6 billion.

The average amount owed to each firm is also at its highest ever level of £39,000 and firms are also having to wait longer to receive their payments.

Half of all UK SMEs are affected by the problem of late payment, and are waiting on average 28 days longer than their original payment terms to have their invoices settled.

Large companies account for nearly half of all late payments, with many blaming their internal systems for the delay.

Commenting on the research, Mike Hutchinson from Bacs said, ‘The issue of late payment is continuing to get worse for SMEs in the UK at a time when they need to be able to plan ahead for growth and ensure a strong cash flow’.

Small businesses are advised to make sure that they agree payment terms upfront, and to work to promote a culture of prompt payment throughout their business.

We can help with your cash flow planning needs – please contact us for further assistance.