Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Apprenticeship Levy

shutterstock_305418650The new apprenticeship levy will have its challenges but have you considered the benefits of this new legislation when it comes into effect in April 2017?

The Government have already made their mark by abolishing the employers’ National Insurance Contribution (NIC) for apprentices under the age of 25 back in April 2016. This new levy is part of their commitment to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships available in England  in order to reach their goal of 3 million by 2020.

The Levy will be payable on payroll bills of over £3 million per year at 0.5%. This will affect many businesses, who perhaps haven’t even considered apprenticeships for some time.

All employers will receive an allowance of £15,000 to be offset against the payment of the levy.  This levy “pot” is then to be used on apprenticeship training and assessments from an approved provider only.

The Government will top up levy contributions by 10%.

The payments for apprentices studying English and Maths will be paid direct to the providers and not taken from the levy payments.

This is essentially another tax. However, businesses can benefit from this by utilising the levy to upskill existing team members. There is a huge employment demand upon us with nearly 21,000 people due to retire in the next few years.

Don’t waste this opportunity – look into your options now and prepare.

If you’re not sure whether the levy will affect you and want advice on this or other payroll matters, please contact Julie Mason at or call 01254 679131.


Tax-free childcare scheduled to launch in 2017

shutterstock_334181882It’s good news for parents! Under the new Government scheme, they will be able to set up an online account with HMRC to pay childcare with a registered provider, tax-free.

The Government will top up the account by 20% up to a total of £10,000. The maximum payment will be capped at £2,000 per child up to the age of 12 and £4,000 for children with disabilities up to the age of 17.

To be eligible for the scheme, each parent needs to be in employment and earning a minimum of £115 per week each and a maximum of £100,000.00 individually.

There’s no minimum monthly payment requirement and the parents can make withdrawals if they wish. Payments can be made from their tax-free childcare accounts to their chosen provider’s bank account via BACS. All regulated and approved childcare providers will receive an invitation to register for the online service.

Any childcare providers who are not regulated and wish to benefit from the scheme will have to register with a regulator with their unique 10-digit tax reference number and this can often take up to 12 weeks.

For more information on the tax-free childcare scheme, please contact Julie Mason at or call 01254 679131.

Women and Work Life Balance – The Key to Success

shutterstock_362157116A recent survey by North West Insider on Women in Business provided some interesting results that show the workplace is changing – or is it the attitudes of individuals too? The survey was focused towards women but both genders could respond.

  • 58% of women said that their work-life balance is good or excellent which compares to 37% of men.
  • 42% of boards were made up of less than a quarter of women
  • Both men and women cited job satisfaction, financial reward and a good work-life balance as measures of career success.

PM+M has just been named as one of the Top 10 employers by Accountancy Age and I’ve been interested in how all these KPIs and responses tie in.

25% of our partner group is female and we are led by our Managing Partner, Jane Parry.  I don’t perceive we have an imbalance with only 25% being female.  We certainly have a significant proportion of our management team and rising stars who are female so succession shouldn’t be an issue.

For me on a personal level, the key priority, from my fellow partners and colleagues of all levels, is the trust aspect.  It’s how I feel – it’s the trust I believe they have in me to do my job to the best of my ability whilst I also get the most out of my life with my young daughter, running a home and having time for me.  I know this sounds idealistic but, in general, I do seem to get the balance.  It takes some self-discipline, it takes the confidence to say no and it also takes me to finally believe that perfection is just not possible.  I’ll give it a damn good try though!

The key strengths here at PM+M, which were confirmed in the Accountancy Age survey, include strong and varied communication channels, providing routes for employees of all grades to contribute to change, mutual trust and individuals really understanding their roles and contributions and how this impacts on the firm, their colleagues and clients.  There are so many reasons why and where people find job satisfaction and so there is no one answer to it.  Increasingly, it is down to engaging everyone who wants to be in the intricacies of the business (you’ll never get everyone engaged in every aspect but you need to make it as accessible for as many as possible of all ages and levels of responsibility).  Who says the older more experienced have the best ideas and who says the best ideas are the biggest and most radical?

Helen Clayton – Partner + Head of Corporate Services

PM+M Shortlisted for Accountancy Age Best Employer Award


Back in May of this year, PM+M were nominated for the Best Employer Award run by Accountancy Age, one of the industry’s leading online publications. The process to complete the application was lengthy and Kath Rigbye, our HR and Talent Manager worked tirelessly alongside Jane Parry, Managing Partner + Head of Tax, to provide the wealth of information required in order for Accountancy Age to process and judge our entry.

And it wasn’t just the senior management team who contributed. The entire PM+M team were required to fill in an anonymous survey and the results were fantastic! Topics covered were leadership of the firm, our culture and communication, role satisfaction, the working environment at PM+M, training and development and pay and benefits.

In September, we found out we were shortlisted and can now proudly say we are one of the top 10 accountancy firms to work for in the country! This is testament to the work we do as a team (for each other and for our clients!), the effort we all put into making PM+M a great place to work and the people we have working in the firm across our three offices in Blackburn, Burnley and Bury, who all help cultivate a fun, energetic and dynamic working environment providing great service to our clients.

We’ll have to wait until November to find out where we’re placed on the leader board but in the in the meantime, if you’re looking for a new challenge and are interested in joining a top 10 firm, we have a number of vacancies available on our website. Alternatively, please call Kath Rigbye on 01254 679131 who will be more than happy to talk you through our current and upcoming opportunities.