Okay so you you might be thinking us a little bit mad here but hear us out as we explain this within our very first operational newsletter.
We as human beings surprise ourselves in terms of operating within our means.
Think about this – have you noticed how much we get out of the end of a toothpaste tube compared with when it is full – “just one brush then I’ll open the new one.”
Let us also think about some simple tricks to be more healthy:
Want to eat less – try using a smaller plate
Want to eat more healthily – start with the vegetables on your Sunday dinner rather than the meat and Yorkshire pudding
Want to maintain this – get into a routine and get rid of temptation i.e. buy less alcohol, crisps and chocolate
Okay so we might give a little leeway on the last one.
By looking at the facts and figures in a different way can make a massive change to your business and we ask this of you from a business perspective:
“Do you know your top 10 customers based on activity?”
“Do you think additional sales is the quickest and biggest way to grow your business?”
If you start digging a little deeper with the second point; you might actually find you grow your sales by additional marketing but actually suffer on the bottom line as this group of customers is of a lower margin or even loss-making!
So how else are we going to help?
As we’ve mentioned in the video above we are going to subtly start asking of you; and in turn have you ask yourself, different questions to those you might have historically expected your accountant to ask.
We are embedding this into our processes, have been building out a “flagging system” within certain packages and will start talking more at a business level rather than just a financial level so that you the business owner are not left with the “scraps” as profits but instead start working up the food chain in your own business.
The data beneath the video is available for all clients who currently use Xero so if you want to have a discussion around your data then if you can just click here and answer a handful of questions then we will be in touch.
Want to know what potential is yet to be realised in your business? Mention that through the link above and we’ll even share a report on that for you.
Further clarification has now filtered down from the Government and whilst the deadline for final approvals for anybody after a CBILs loan has now been pushed back to 30 November 2020, we are now being told that applications must still be in by 30 September to allow for time for them being approved.
If you are still interested in a CBILs loan and haven’t yet accessed one we subsequently need to act fast and get this sorted within the next few weeks. We are already doing this with a few clients so please get in touch ASAP if you want to take one final closer look.
Again, don’t forget, for those with a CBILs already who want to flip this to a BBL to benefit from the lower rate of interest and who can comfortably survive on the reduced amount of borrowing, should really start taking action this month also.
Employment Support – Government Kickstart Scheme
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
This is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs and aims to create hundreds and thousands of new, fully funded jobs across England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.
Funding will cover for each job placement:
100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
the associated employer National Insurance contributions
There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.
Now for the small print; you must be creating more than 30 jobs in order to apply – not quite the headline of the initial scheme!
We are also led to believe you would have limited control over the people chosen if you were to partner with other organisations.
The link with more detailed guidance can be found here.
We officially announced our partnership with Starling Bank in our last newsletter and wanted to start by emphasizing just some of the benefits again:
* No monthly account fees
* Speedy set up
* They are taking on new customers today
* 24/7 customer support
* Real-time alerts and categorised transactions
If you are looking to move why not get in touch with us or if you want to apply direct why not click here.
If you are still unsure, why not get in touch and register for our webinar that we are running with Starling on Thursday 24 September at Midday that will last 45 minutes and include an opportunity to ask any questions?
Following on from our newsletter of 20 August we have gradually commenced the process of moving across batches of clients to our improved payroll service offering which just to stress is of no additional cost and is still paid through ourself.
We are managing this month by month but the feedback has been great so far and you will be notified in advance but any initial concerns or queries please get in touch.
Again as advised previously, for those who haven’t yet contacted us otherwise, we will be freezing prices until at least 31 March 2021 for the same packages clients are on today.
As mentioned we are having to make two very small changes to our support for those taking advantage that came into play as of 1 September 2020:
We will be withdrawing our confirmation statement service as it is a simple task that takes no longer than 15 minutes. Instead, you can now do this directly through the Companies House website through this link or alternatively you can use an excellent platform called Inform Direct where there already wizards and guides to walk you through the submission that can be found here.
We will provide you with the blank templates for the year end paperwork with face to face meetings not likely to be happening any time soon or on a large scale. Please also note for those using Xero there are already some templates built into the software for you such as with respect to dividends and dividend counterfoils.
As emphasized previously, these changes will support us in holding our prices but also allow us to continue to invest in better supporting you as clients in areas of greater value such as the free creditors services offering that this month resulted in a client getting nearly £3k which had previously been considered as written off.
If anybody wants to discuss any of the above though please do get in touch.
One of our amazing clients has been going up and down the country putting in place protection screens for such a variety of businesses we wanted to today share this for anybody who might be interested.
This has ranged from businesses in the hospitality trade, to large and smaller offices within the public sector.
Making sure our support continues to be fit for purpose
We continue to seek ways in which we can exceed all client’s expectations as we look for ways in which we can improve the service we deliver to you and even more so in the current climate.
Improved Payroll Service Offering
The first thing that we have recently finalised is a strategic partnership that we have setup with a specialist payroll provider here in the UK that will mean that for those with a payroll subscription the current service will not only remain but you will also receive additional services on top of those received now including a personalised portal to access payslips and input timesheets among other things.
There is no additional cost for this service and if you have any further queries around this then please contact your client account manager.
The changes with regards to payroll will be staggered over the next three months as we gradually introduce this.
Postponed price freeze until 31 March 2021
At the start of the current pandemic we postponed any planned price increases and haven’t implemented any since then.
We now propose extending this price freeze until 31 March 2021 to all clients and in light of the current pandemic propose the following if you are in agreement:
For those that currently pay for us to submit their confirmation statements, we propose withdrawing this service as it is a simple task that takes no longer than 15 minutes but do instead propose putting a short video on our website to walk you through how you can do this yourself.
As many of you already know, we have for some time now been working towards going paperless and we’ve never demonstrated better than during lockdown. We now propose to roll this out entirely so even paperwork associated with the sign off of your accounts will be provided to you in advance by way of a blank template and because they only need be kept by yourself we will again just provide a walk through video that can talk you through what needs to be put where. The same will apply with dividends-and dividend counterfoils but these can be accessed through Xero for those that use this.
The above changes we see as a way in which we can protect the fee for you but not take any value away from the service bring provided.
We do however appreciate and respect that some clients may prefer for us to continue as we do and absorb any price increases and if this is the case then please let us know.
If we don’t hear back from you, we will be looking to introduce these changes as of 1 September 2020 but are more than happy to discuss any of the above with you also and again please contact your client account manager if you have any queries.
Again just to reiterate, by doing this it also allows us to offer the additional services below which we consider of significantly more value now and going forward.
Additional services (some new and some introduced as lockdown commenced)
Don’t forget that all clients on Xero do now all have access to:
Cash flow software that will allow you to look three months ahead
Credit management software
If you have any queries reference any of the above, please liaise with your client account manager or if you are not on Xero and wish to move across then please let us know.
We have recognised the changing needs of our clients and have the following dedicated e-mail addresses should you have any specific needs:
firstname.lastname@example.org (for any general comments or suggestions with regards to improvements or changes you would like to see us make)
Creditors services offering – we understand and appreciate more than ever the fear of not being paid by a customer so have introduced a new service offering if you have any such concerns. If you contact your client account manager with any such concerns, we can have a tailored report provided for you so that you can decide what action to take thereafter.
Finally, we know how important community is and we are now part of the Futrli Community where we are mentors and where there is a private group for our clients. You can also get a significant amount of information across other areas including funding, marketing etc.
Hopefully from all of the above, you can see how we are adjusting our service offering internally to ensure that this is fit for purpose to help all clients with existing struggles and battles that they face and if we stick together we will be stronger for it.
Most of you will have already seen the headlines last week but we wanted to digest this and get a little more detail behind the proposals before we expanded on them and we still await some further details as of today.
In summary though:
Incentives to retain staff following the end of furlough
Temporary reduction, until 31st March 2021, in stamp duty so that houses under £500k are exempt
The Eat Out To Help Out Scheme across August for participating restaurants
Temporary VAT reduction
Incentives to help young people into the workforce through apprenticeships and traineeships (more information still to follow regarding this so contact us if you wish to discuss further)
The COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme or as most of us know it… Furloughing
The Government is now incentivising companies to bring back their furloughed staff and keep them until at least Jan 2021. For every furloughed member of staff, you bring back to work, continuously employ and pay over an average of £520 a month for Nov/Dec/Jan, the government will give your business £1,000.The money will be granted once you have submitted your payroll RTI submission for January 2021. This could be a very welcome cash bonus for many businesses though in our opinion could have been better spent as we personally aren’t sure jobs would be kept open this long given the size of the grant. A thankless task; we know and the Government have done a great job but we think this one will not hit the mark.More information is expected regarding this by 31 July and full guidance is going to be published in the Autumn we’re told.
Stamp duty change
An increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland – increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31 March 2021.
The Eat Out To Help Out Scheme across August for participating restaurants
during August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered
VAT changes for eat in/takeaway food, hospitality and leisure (just not alcohol)
Of course, we wholeheartedly applaud the reduction in VAT to 5% for these categories from July 15th to 12th Jan 2021. The accountant in us would have preferred the reduction to take place at the beginning or end of a month, but that’s just life!
The UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
Flexible Furlough Calculations
As you are all aware, we have submitted all furlough claims to date for no charge.
Following the introduction of ‘flexible furlough’ and the complexity of the calculations behind this, there will now be a charge for the calculation element of this if you wish to take advantage because of the additional time involved at our end.
If you wish to make these calculations personally, you too would then need to then make the claim as we professionally cannot make a claim for which we were not responsible for.
All other standard furlough claims will continue to be made for no additional charge.
Free Xero training
Xero are kindly hosting a series of free training sessions to a limited number of people so if this of interest then please get in touch as the topics are changing on a week to week basis.
What to expect next (financially and operationally)
This week we are speaking at the North East Expo event which this year is naturally being hosted online so to register for this free event just follow this link here where I will discuss my thoughts and make this as interactive as possible for those attending to help people plot a route forward both financially and operationally.
Last; but by no means least, welcome three new additions
I’ve resisted any pictures but we now welcome Kate, Triveni and Fraser to the team who actually started at various times through lockdown but that is the end of our latest recruitment drive; for now, so we thought it a good time to introduce them and if you see an e-mail in your mailbox from them it is genuine.
Connect your bank account to Xero and set-up bank feeds.
"Graeme and the team have recently shown me and created budgets and forecasting and gave me tools to be able to drill into the accounts to look at changes that have happened and more, how I can improve on them"
Carla Sleeth – Managing Director of Northern Installer’s Limited
Speak to the team about your goals and vision. We'll tell you how we can help you make them a reality.
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Privacy & Cookies Policy
The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impose certain legal obligations in connection with the processing of personal data.
Graeme Tennick & Co Limited T/A Tennick Accountants is a data controller within the meaning of the GDPR and we process personal data. The firm's contact details can be found on our website at www.tennick.co.uk with Graeme Tennick being the Data Protection Officer.
We may amend this privacy notice from time to time. If we do so, we will supply you with and/or otherwise make available to you a copy of the amended privacy notice.
Where we act as a data processor on behalf of a data controller (for example, when processing payroll), we provide an additional schedule setting out required information as part of that agreement. That additional schedule should be read in conjunction with this privacy notice.
In addition to the information detailed below within this privacy notice; and upon request, we can supply a more detailed breakdown of:
sources of data
The purposes for which we intend to process personal data
We intend to process personal data for the following purposes:
to enable us to supply professional services to you as our client
to fulfil our obligations under relevant laws in force from time to time (e.g. the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 ("MLR 2017"))
to comply with professional obligations to which we are subject as a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
to use in the investigation and/or defence of potential complaints, disciplinary proceedings and legal proceedings
to enable us to invoice you for our services and investigate/address any attendant fee disputes that may have arisen
to contact you about other services we provide which may be of interest to you if you have consented to us doing so
The legal bases for our intended processing of personal data
Our intended processing of personal data has the following legal bases:
at the time you instructed us to act, you gave consent to our processing your personal data for the purposes listed above
the processing is necessary for the performance of our contract with you
the processing is necessary for compliance with legal obligations to which we are subject (e.g. MLR 2017)
the processing is necessary for the purposes of the following legitimate interests which we pursue e.g. investigating/defending legal claims.
It is a requirement of our contract with you that you provide us with the personal data that we request. If you do not provide the information that we request, we may not be able to provide professional services to you. If this is the case, we will not be able to commence acting or will need to cease to act.
Persons/organisations to whom we may give personal data
We may share your personal data with:
Companies House and HMRC
any third parties with whom you require or permit us to correspond
any third party software companies whom will better support us in delivering an improved service with respect to those pieces of work covered within our letter of engagement; a full list of which can be provided upon request
an alternate appointed by us in the event of incapacity or death
tax insurance providers
professional indemnity insurers
our professional body (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and/or the Office of Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervisors (OPBAS) in relation to practice assurance and/or the requirements of MLR 2017 (or any similar legislation)
If the law allows or requires us to do so, we may share your personal data with:
the police and law enforcement agencies
courts and tribunals
the Information Commissioner's Office ("ICO").
We may need to share your personal data with the third parties identified above in order to comply with our legal obligations, including our legal obligations to you. If you ask us not to share your personal data with such third parties we may need to cease to act.
We may also pass your details on to other third-party organisations who may in turn contact you whereby we feel it would be of benefit, but will only do so having first notified you of this and having sought your agreement prior to this.
Transfers of personal data outside the EU
Where personal data is transferred outside the EU; which is common with many software companies, further information can be supplied upon request as to the specific measures taken by these companies to make this process GDPR-compliant.
Retention of personal data
When acting as a data controller and in accordance with recognised good practice within the tax and accountancy sector we will retain all of our records relating to you as follows:
where tax returns have been prepared it is our policy to retain information for 7 years from the end of the tax year to which the information relates
where ad hoc advisory work has been undertaken it is our policy to retain information for 2 years from the date the business relationship ceased
where we have an ongoing client relationship, data which is needed for more than one year's tax compliance (e.g. capital gains base costs and claims and elections submitted to HMRC) is retained throughout the period of the relationship, but will be 7 years after the end of the business relationship unless you as our client ask us to retain it for a longer period.
Our contractual terms provide for the destruction of documents after 7 years and therefore agreement to the contractual terms is taken as agreement to the retention of records for this period, and to their destruction thereafter.
You are responsible for retaining information that we send to you (including details of capital gains base costs and claims and elections submitted) and this will be supplied in the form agreed between us. Documents and records relevant to your tax affairs are required by law to be retained by you as follows:
Individuals, trustees and partnerships
with trading or rental income: five years and 10 months after the end of the tax year
otherwise: 22 months after the end of the tax year.
Companies, LLPs and other corporate entities
six years from the end of the accounting period.
Where we act as a data processor as defined in DPA 2018, we will delete or return all personal data to the data controller as agreed with the controller annually at the termination of the contract.
Requesting personal data we hold about you (subject access requests)
You have a right to request access to your personal data that we hold. Such requests are known as 'subject access requests' ("SARs").
Please provide all SARs in writing marked for the attention of Graeme Tennick.
To help us provide the information you want and deal with your request more quickly, you should include enough details to enable us to verify your identity and locate the relevant information. For example, you should tell us:
your date of birth
previous or other name(s) you have used
your previous addresses in the past five years
personal reference number(s) that we may have given you, for example your national insurance number, your tax reference number or your VAT registration number
what type of information you want to know
If you do not have a national insurance number, you must send a copy of:
the back page of your passport or a copy of your driving licence
a recent utility bill.
DPA 2018 requires that we comply with a SAR promptly and in any event within one month of receipt. There are, however, some circumstances in which the law allows us to refuse to provide access to personal data in response to a SAR (e.g. if you have previously made a similar request and there has been little or no change to the data since we complied with the original request).
We may not charge you for dealing with a SAR.
You can ask someone else to request information on your behalf – for example, a friend, relative or solicitor. We must have your authority to respond to a SAR made on your behalf. You can provide such authority by signing a letter which states that you authorise the person concerned to write to us for information about you, and/or receive our reply.
Where you are a data controller and we act for you as a data processor (e.g. by processing payroll), we will assist you with SARs on the same basis as is set out above.
Putting things right (the right to rectification)
You have a right to obtain the rectification of any inaccurate personal data concerning you that we hold. You also have a right to have any incomplete personal data that we hold about you completed. Should you become aware that any personal data that we hold about you is inaccurate and/or incomplete, please inform us immediately so we can correct and/or complete it.
Deleting your records (the right to erasure)
In certain circumstances you have a right to have the personal data that we hold about you erased. Further information is available on the ICO website (www.ico.org.uk). If you would like your personal data to be erased, please inform us immediately and we will consider your request. In certain circumstances we have the right to refuse to comply with a request for erasure. If applicable, we will supply you with the reasons for refusing your request.
The right to restrict processing and the right to object
In certain circumstances you have the right to 'block' or suppress the processing of personal data or to object to the processing of that information. Further information is available on the ICO website (www.ico.org.uk). Please inform us immediately if you want us to cease to process your information or you object to processing so that we can consider what action, if any, is appropriate.
Obtaining and reusing personal data (the right to data portability)
In certain circumstances you have the right to be provided with the personal data that we hold about you in a machine-readable format, e.g. so that the data can easily be provided to a new professional adviser. Further information is available on the ICO website (www.ico.org.uk).
The right to data portability only applies:
to personal data an individual has provided to a controller
where the processing is based on the individual's consent or for the performance of a contract
when processing is carried out by automated means
We will respond to any data portability requests made to us without undue delay and within one month. We may extend the period by a further two months where the request is complex or a number of requests are received but we will inform you within one month of the receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.
Withdrawal of consent
Where you have consented to our processing of your personal data, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Please inform us immediately if you wish to withdraw your consent.
the withdrawal of consent does not affect the lawfulness of earlier processing
if you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to continue to provide services to you
even if you withdraw your consent, it may remain lawful for us to process your data on another legal basis (e.g. because we have a legal obligation to continue to process your data).
We do not intend to use automated decision-making in relation to your personal data.
If you have requested details of the information we hold about you and you are not happy with our response, or you think we have not complied with the GDPR or DPA 2018 in some other way, you can complain to us. Please send any complaints to Graeme Tennick.
If you are not happy with our response, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the ICO (www.ico.org.uk).
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