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Recruiting the staff you need is every successful business’s nightmare because finding the person trained to the standard you want at the exact time you need them is verging on the impossible. Local Chartered Accountancy Practice, Ashdown Hurrey, believe that they have gone a long way to resolving the problem.

Ashdown Hurrey prides itself in being able to say that all the senior employee roles within the practice are now filled by those who trained with the firm.

To give those considering a career in accountancy an insight into what is involved with the work undertaken and the professional qualifications available, Ashdown Hurrey is holding another open day at their Hastings office, following the success of the event last year. They will be providing details to local schools and colleges and full details are available on their website.

Open day organiser, Gemma Steer, says “I first got to know Ashdown Hurrey through a similar initiative about ten years ago and I have experienced first-hand how the training works. I look forward to meeting those interested on Tuesday, 25 April 2017 at our office in Havelock Road, Hastings. Those who cannot make the open day can still apply for a role – an application pack is available on our website and the closing date for applications is 28 April.”

So that we can organise the day for everyone’s benefit, we ask those interested to contact us beforehand to register their interest and full details will be provided for what we expect to be an illuminating and enjoyable day.

Career opportunities await so why not check out the details on the Ashdown Hurrey website here.

You may have heard about storing data in the cloud but did you know that the cloud is not just for that, it is for many other things as well. One of the things it can be used for is accounting. We sat down with the guys at McPherson’s who gave us an overview of what it is and how it can benefit businesses of all sizes, so read on and see if it is for you.

What is cloud accounting and why should I have it?

Whatever the size of your business, small or large, there are many advantages to cloud accounting. It will allow you to work faster, smarter, view your financial information in real time (rather than just when your accounts are prepared) and will allow your accountant to provide more relevant, up to date advice.

How do we know this? Because we are already in it, alongside many of our clients.

What does working ‘in the cloud’ actually mean?

The cloud basically means you have your own space on the internet for all your accounting data. This makes your data and software available anywhere, at any time. All you have to do is log on and you can see everything that is normally currently available on your own hard drive.

The cloud is not just about accounting, it’s everything that allows you to continue working normally wherever you are. As long as you have internet access, you can view your normal desktop from any device, anywhere.

Consider the advantages of this if you implement a more modern, hot-desking, home working culture?

Even better, our clients can see their own information in real time, at any time during the year. Gone are the days that you have to wait until months after the year end to see how your business is doing.

Cloud accounting solutions have great reporting facilities and you can access this not just from your PC but your mobile devices too. Now, together, you can assess performance throughout the year and recommend solutions to improve profits or reduce costs and provide timely tax planning.

I’ve got accounting software – what’s wrong with this?

Ask yourself are you getting the most out of it. Is it cloud based? Does it have good reporting? Is your bookkeeping always up to date? Does your accountant talk to you during the year about your business or does he/she have no idea how your business has performed until the year end accounts are prepared (probably many months after the year end)?

To find out more about how you can get ‘in the cloud’ get in touch with McPhersons on 01424 730000 or info@mcphersons.co.uk

Every month, Peter Watters, ACA, shares some useful financial tips especially for Business in Hastings readers. This month, he looks at Company Pension Schemes with Mcphersons Financial Solutions expert, Daron Beacroft.

Workers who believe they are too old to save in a company pension are missing out on the chance to triple their money. Automatic enrolment really is for you!

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Thousands of workers in their 50s and 60s have rejected the opportunity to join new company pension schemes because they think they are so close to retirement that the savings won’t make any difference.

However, new pension reforms mean they could effectively get as much as a 258 per cent boost to their contributions in just a few years and take out all their money tax-free.

Two years ago, firms started enrolling all workers automatically into a pension scheme. This began with the biggest firms; by 2017, all employers will have to do this.

Employees don’t have to do anything to join, they can opt out.

Once enrolled by your employer, your contributions are deducted from your payslip. Your employer contributes to your pension fund, too, and there is added tax relief from the Government.

Some people have opted out because they believed the amount they could save would be so small it would make no difference to their retirement income, but two things have changed since people made the decision to opt out: the amount of income you can earn before paying tax; and new pension rules, which allow you to take all your money in cash.

It means, in effect, that retiring workers could draw all their money out of the company pension scheme and not pay a penny of tax.

So how does it work?

A worker enrolled in an automatic company pension saves 0.8 per cent of their salary, 80p for every £100 of earnings. Their employer adds another £1. This gives a total of £1.80 on the employees’ contributions. Paying into a pension, you get back the tax you had paid on those earnings.

So, if you pay in 80p, the Government adds 20p to return the 20 per cent income, on a basic rate taxpayer. So your £1.80 is now £2.

Also, because your money is invested, it grows with the stock market. Assuming a rate of 5 per cent a year and earning £24,000 today, an increase in contributions in 2018, a  small pay rise every year and 5 per cent annual growth, at these rates,  a 55-year-old could build up a sum of £14,134 by the age of 65.

Of this, £5,479 would be their own money, £4,315 from their employer, £1,370 tax relief and £2,970 investment growth.

Amounting to a rather nice 258 per cent increase on the amount they put in.

A 60-year-old could save £5,383. That’s £2,556 from their own money, £2,181 from their employer, £639 tax relief and £631 investment growth, a 210 per cent boost.

When you draw money from a pension, you can take 25 per cent tax-free, but the rest is taxed at your normal rate. But everyone gets £10,500 a year before paying tax from April 2015.

The current state pension of £113.10 is worth about £5,888 a year, while the new flat-rate state pension will be worth about £155 a week when it is introduced in 2016, which makes that £8,060 a year. Meaning that even with the new state pension, you can have £2,440 a year extra income tax free.

Every three years, workers who initially opted out of automatic pensions are put back into the scheme. 

Need more help?

This feature aims to give some informal hints and tips.  Mcphersons are offering businesses free advice so get in touch now to arrange your meeting. Simply email Peter Watters p.watters@mcphersons.co.uk  or call our Head Office on 01424 730000 for a free consultation at mcphersons’ London, Bexhill or Hastings offices. www.mcphersons.co.uk

The Directors at mcphersons chartered accountants are pleased to keep Business in Hastings members up to date with regular, useful financial information. In this months feature, Ainsley Gill, Director at mcphersons, talks about basic bookkeeping.

WHY IS GOOD BOOKKEEPING IMPORTANT?

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Bookkeeping basics from Mcphersons

There are three main reasons to keep good records; to meet tax requirements, to keep your accountancy fees down and to manage and control your business effectively.

HOW WILL GOOD BOOKKEEPING HELP ME MANAGE AND CONTROL MY BUSINESS?

Accurate bookkeeping will help you identify:

  •       Your cashflow position in order to help you plan ahead and meet your obligations;
  •       Whether your expenses are in proportion to your income;
  •       Which products/clients are most/least profitable;
  •       Whether your business is growing or shrinking!

 

WHAT ARE THE MAIN TAX REQUIREMENTS TO BE AWARE OF?

You will need to complete an annual  tax return which is a summary of your income and expenditure over the tax year. In order to do this, you must have accurate records. These records must be kept for five years after the tax return deadline of 31st January.

You will also want to make sure that you are claiming all you can in terms of expenses. Accurate and well kept records will assist with this.

WHAT DIFFERENT METHODS ARE THERE TO KEEP BOOKS?

  • Manual bookkeeping. This is the way many small businesses start. It is cheap and generally easy to maintain.  With a little help, you can save time and keep excellent manual records;
  • Spreadsheets. We can show you how to set up and manage your record keeping using a spreadsheet. This way, data can be extracted and we can set up some key reports to allow you to keep a close eye on your business;
  • Accountancy software such as Sage, Xero or Quickbooks. Your accountant can advise which program is best for you;
  • Outsource it. An accountant or freelance bookkeeper can do it for you. Make sure you choose carefully and are getting a good value, prompt, efficient service.

WHAT ARE THE BASIC THINGS I HAVE TO RECORD?

Some key transactions you need to record are:

  •       Sales and Purchases;
  •       VAT input and output (if VAT registered)
  •       Payroll;
  •       Establishment costs (if you have a business establishment);
  •       Bank and cash accounts (many transactions are now paperless e.g. bank transfers);
  •       Administration costs such as; telephone, stationery, advertising, motor, computer;
  •       Capital expenditure on equipment;
  •       Petty Cash.

This list is not exhaustive so please speak to your accountant for advice.

 NEED MORE HELP?

This feature aims to give some informal hints and McPhersons are offering small businesses free advice so get in touch now to arrange your meeting. You can call them on 01424 730000 or email info@mcperhsons.co.uk