Rishi Sunak’s Announcements – 24th September 2020

Yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new support schemes, which are part of his Winter economic plan to support and sustain jobs, the self-employed and businesses.

Support for the employed

As previously announced the current job retention / furlough scheme ends on 31st October.

It is replaced by the new Job Support scheme from the 1st November for a period of six months. This scheme is designed to support jobs and businesses that are sustainable in the longer term.

Under the new scheme the salaries of employees working fewer hours due to lower demand on services or products are supported.

  • Employers will pay staff for the hours worked. This must be at least a third of their contracted or regular worked hours.
  • The government and employer will each cover one third of lost pay
  • This gives the employee an approximate salary of 77% of their usual pay.
  • The grant is capped at £697.92 a month.

This scheme is open to all small and medium sized businesses across the UK, regardless of whether they used the furlough scheme. It may also be applicable for larger businesses who have seen a drop in turnover during the crisis.

Support for businesses

Adjustments have been made to payment terms for the Bounce Back loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption loans  as follows:-

  • An extension to the time for loans to be repaid to a maximum of 10 years.
  • A payment holiday can be taken which will not affect credit rating.
  • Or you can choose to switch to interest only payments for a period, again this will not affect credit rating.

The closing date for all business loan applications is extended until the 31st December this year.  A new loan scheme will be launched in January with details to be announced in due course.

VAT

To date approximately £30bn of Vat has been deferred to March 2021.  Businesses now have the option to clear this deferral over 11 equal instalments, starting March 2021, interest free.

Self-Assessment liabilities that are due 31 January 2021 can also be split into payments over a 12-month period.

The lower rates of tax at 5%, across Hospitality and Tourism sector will remain until 31 March 2021, instead of ending in January.

The above measures have all been designed to support businesses with their cash flow as they continue to manage their finances through the crisis.

Remote working: how to get your business ready

In a crisis, the ability for your staff to work remotely could, quite literally, be a lifesaver.

But how do you set up your team to become remote workers? And what are the key considerations to think about when working remotely in the cloud?

Key considerations of remote working

61% of global companies currently have some sort of remote working policy for their staff, according to a 2019 survey. But for remote working to be effective, your business needs to put some serious thought into the infrastructure, security and culture around home-working.

  • Use the right cloud-based software tools and IT hardware.   To make remote working effective, ensure you have the right hardware and software to keep your team connected and working productively. So, laptops, tablets and a speedy internet connection are vital.
  • Be highly conscious of online security.  You’re likely to have sensitive customer and business data on your network, so it’s absolutely critical to use a secure connection. This may mean using a VPN (virtual private network) and two-step encryption.
  • Track your time and manage workflow online. When your team is remote you can’t keep track of their workflow in person. Instead, use time-tracking tools and online workflow management systems to monitor time spent and the progress of projects.
  • Ensure there’s real-time communication and messaging.  A key element that remote workers miss is face-to-face interaction with their colleagues. So, it’s important to have video and online messaging tools to promote good communication within the team.
  • Give clear guidance and retraining for staff. The motivation levels needed to stay efficient as a remote worker are very different to those of traditional office-based staff. Training is needed to help your people acclimatise and get used to self-managing their workload.

Covid – 19 Update

Image result for government covid

Following a series of calls and emails received from concerned customers regarding Covid -19, we want to outline our strategy in response to the virus.

Continuation of Service:

Whilst we have to react to the situation as it unfolds, as a cloud-based business, Normans is well placed to continue to deliver our services with minimal disruption. We have already introduced home working inline with the government request to minimise social contact. At present all our staff are unaffected by the virus and working on your accounts as usual.  Our office landline number is being managed so at present there is absolutely no difficulty in contacting us.

We will keep you updated over the coming weeks if things change.

Customer Support:

The Government have announced a number of measures to support businesses through this situation. These include:

  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees.  The cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full.

 

  • A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement

 

  • Introduced a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank. This will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million. The government will cover up to 80% of any losses with no fees.

If you need help or support with any of the points above then please feel free to call us on 01922 456 105. Our Managing Director Rob Burnell will help you wherever possible.

National Minimum Wage Increase

In April legislation comes in to increase the National Living Wage (NMW).

Here is a breakdown of the new salary rates that apply from April 2020 onwards.

  • The National Living Wage for ages 25 and above – up 6.2% to £8.72
  • The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds – up 6.5% to £8.20
  • 18 to 20-year-olds – up 4.9% to £6.45
  • Under-18s – up 4.6% to £4.55
  • Apprentices – up 6.4% to £4.15

If Normans Bookkeeping and Payroll Ltd process your payrolls, do not worry, we will make any salary amendments necessary.

 

 

 

Set the right growth goals for your business this year

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If you’re going to grow your company in the right way, pinning down your goals and having a clear vision for the business from the outset is vital.

You may want to increase profits and create an income that supports your lifestyle, or you are looking to increase market share and aim for hypergrowth. You may even be aiming to increase the overall value of the company to get the best return when exiting the business.

So, how do you define the goal that’s right for you?

Driving your performance over time

Your financial model will drive the way you generate value, so it’s important to make your business strategy fit the goals and type of growth you want to attain.

To set your finances up in the optimum way, you must:

  • Know what you want to achieve with the business – decide if you’re aiming for lifestyle, hypergrowth or return on investment and make this your key business goal.
  • Align your personal goals with the business – so your finances can be set-up to deliver the cash you need, with the best return and the most effective tax liability.
  • Track and measure your performance – allowing you to see how you’re progressing against your goal, and provide a scorecard to drive your ongoing business strategy.

Talk to us about about goal-setting

If you’re looking to grow your business, we’ll help you talk through your core vision, define the most effective goals and set up your finances to achieve these aims.

Get in touch with us at Normans Bookkeeping & Payroll Ltd to talk through your business goals.

KPMG closes SME accounting unit – do you need to find an alternative arrangement?

Does this affect you?

Earlier this year it was announced that KPMG is set to close the department they set up in 2015 to offer accounting services to small businesses. See the article at Accounting web.com for more details on the closure.

With KPMG having a prominent presence in Birmingham, this will be leaving a lot of small and medium-sized business in Birmingham and the surrounding areas such as Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Walsall, Lichfield in the position of having to source new providers for their bookkeeping, payroll and general accountancy needs.

Can we help?

Normans Bookkeeping & Payroll Ltd uses the same package of accounting software that KPMG adopted. This combines the use of Xero with support software such as receipt bank. As we use the same software we can provide a seamless transition of accounting services. Quite simply we can pick up right where your previous accountant at KPMG has left off.

As a customer of Normans Ltd, you will have initial and ongoing face to face meetings with the staff working on your accounts. We know this helps us to establish and maintain excellent working relationships. The main aim of this approach is to give all parties peace of mind.  We want you to be confident that your accounts are up to date. We want you to be confident your accounts contain all the information to you want to make sound financial decisions.  The regular communication and clear working processes we adopt will give you peace of mind. Your Management accountant and Bookkeeper at Normans are one of your team. They are as focused on the success of your business as you.

Don’t be put off, if you don’t have the time for face to face meetings. Don’t be put off if you are based further afield. We use skype and phone calls to communicate with our customers. We work with businesses all over England.

At Normans Ltd we know and understand the challenges that small and medium-sized business face.  We use our experience and success to date,  to help our customers, and ensure the financial services we provide focus on the things that matter most to their business.

Contact us for more information

If you are the owner or finance manager of a small or medium sized business and want to know more about the service we offer then please give us a call at Normans on 01922 456106.