New beginnings in uncertain times

Weekly Business News England

Welcome to our round-up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

New beginnings in uncertain times 

The 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II was marked by her sense of duty and her determination to dedicate her life to her throne and to her people. For many of us, she became a constant in a rapidly changing world. King Charles lll paid tribute to the reign of the late Queen, “unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion”, as he was formally declared the nation’s new Monarch.

A new era begins for us all. Not only is there a new Monarch, but we also have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet facing the toughest economic conditions in decades.

So what actions can we expect from the government in the next few weeks?

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will outline how the government intends to fund the measures to help with the cost-of-living crisis on Friday 23rd September in what is described as a “fiscal event”. We can also expect further details about the household annual energy cap and the support for businesses. Government plans also outline the lifting of the ban on fracking and new licenses for North Sea oil and gas to help increase UK domestic supplies.

One of the key questions is whether Liz Truss will keep her promises on tax cuts.

During the run-up to the leadership election, the new Prime Minister promised tax cuts to stimulate economic growth, including the abolition of the 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy and cuts in corporation tax and income tax. It will be interesting to find out if and when those tax changes take effect. We should find out by the end of September as part of the “fiscal event” outlined above.

Normally before a formal Budget, there needs to be a report by the Office of Budget Responsibility which reports on the state of the economy and the likely impact of the fiscal announcements. These reports provide reassurance to the financial markets. Many commentators, including the Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Mel Stride, have strongly recommended that such a report should be prepared. If the markets are spooked then interest rates could escalate as a result, increasing government borrowing costs. There are already concerns about the exchange rate against the dollar, the lowest since the 1980s which will result in higher UK inflation.

The main concern is the likely increase in government borrowing, which some estimate could be as much as an extra £200 billion over the two-year period of support. Liz Truss has categorically refused to introduce a further “windfall tax” on energy companies stating that would discourage investment in the UK and stifle growth. Therefore, the major question is can the country still afford the promised tax cuts in light of the massive increase in government borrowing? Remember that when the Health and Social Care Levy was announced, we were told that the new Levy would bring in an extra £36 billion over three years. That seems a small amount compared to the potential cost of support for energy bills. With a general election within the next two years, tax increases are unlikely but future generations may well have to bear the brunt of paying the spiralling government debt.

Faced with uncertainty, what actions should a business owner take right now?

Take some time to look at your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Get a clear understanding of its position in the marketplace, the competition, the systems and the way things are done to find improvements that could be made. Focus on what the business is to look like when it is “complete” or running profitably and successfully. Then, you can determine priorities – the big issues that need to be focussed on – and make a plan.

It is also a good idea to plan for a range of scenarios (good and bad) so you can be flexible about the direction your business should take. 

Please talk to us about your plans, we can assist with cash flow planning and “what if” scenarios.   

Successful recruitment strategies

recruitment strategies

The latest official figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 1974 in the three months to July. The jobless rate fell to 3.6% over the period, although this may change with a future recession.

For many businesses, recruiting employees remains challenging, and we’ve seen some very inventive clients adopting new strategies. For example, some employers are now offering “Wellbeing leave” in addition to the usual holiday package. If you want to recruit, you have to get serious about the process and be on it 365!

There are a number of actions you can take to make your business attractive to new staff. In addition to reviewing your pay and conditions to be as competitive as possible, some things you could do to improve include:

  • Tasking recruitment as a permanent process; 
  • Regularly asking existing staff, customers and suppliers for introductions;
  • Offering incentives for referrals;
  • Make sure you are running constant online social media posts and local advertisements;
  • Embracing flexibility in hours and location in your business;
  • Introducing a “Golden Hello” and loyalty bonuses based on length of service (typically one to three years);
  • Advertising testimonials from existing staff;
  • Using government initiatives for apprentices;
  • Make your company and the job sound as attractive as possible by outlining the position to sound prestigious and challenging – These two factors are big incentives for bright potential candidates;
  • When advertising the role, knowing that job satisfaction comes from feeling respected and having the opportunity to learn new things and excel in the face of obstacles; and
  • Conveying your business’s personality so potential employees get a feel for what it would be like to work for you.

Useful guidance on the procedures for recruitment can be seen in the ACAS guide “Recruiting staff” which can be seen here:  Recruiting staff (

Working capital finance explained

Working capital finance explained

Working capital finance solutions offer businesses the opportunity to improve cash flow. The world of commercial finance and asset-based lending (ABL) is complex and expansive with products, terminology and contractual interpretation varying from lender to lender.

The benefits of arranging working capital include:

  • Up to 90% of outstanding invoice value can be advanced within 24 hours;
  • Flexible lending – funding increases in line with your growth (UK and Export);
  • Confidentiality – lenders can offer a completely confidential service – your customers need not know you have a facility in place;
  • Lenders allow you to manage your funding at all times;
  • Sector-specific finance is often available;
  • Structured ABL – funding for management buy-outs/management buy-ins;
  • Trade Finance & Supply Chain Finance Solutions.

Specialists accountants in this area can advise on:

  • Invoice Finance – an effective way of quickly accessing a proportion of the value (up to 90%) of your invoices. Effectively, a business ‘sells’ its invoices to the lender in return for accessing cash at the point products and services are sold. Specific sector-based offerings are available, as is the ability to arrange finance for selected invoices only.
  • Structured ABL – generate a higher level of funding by unlocking the maximum value tied up in the combined assets within your business, including Debtors, Inventory, Plant & Machinery and Property. Additional forms of funding can be structured in addition to this, such as top-up loans in order to drive growth.
  • Trade Finance – supply chain finance with various options, enabling the purchasing of goods from overseas where you are otherwise unable to obtain credit from suppliers.

Typically, you will need to ensure that your management accounts are up to date, you make available current detailed lists of debtors and creditors, and you might need to provide up-to-date projections before an expert will consider your application. Book a free consultation with us about finance – our working capital finance experts have many years of experience and success in advising businesses across a wide range of sectors in obtaining working capital finance solutions. We can help you find a specialist to help you find the right solution for your business.

Thinking of retirement?

Thinking of retirement

The ultimate aim of every serious business person is to build a company that has value, so that it can be sold or transferred, allowing the entrepreneur to exit gracefully and profitably.

Recently, we have been helping a number of our entrepreneur clients develop exit strategies. There are many factors to consider:

  • When do you want to retire?
  • Can the business be sold to your employees?
  • Is a trade sale more likely?
  • Are there children involved?
  • How much is the business worth?
  • What needs to be done to enhance the value of the business?
  • How long will it take?
  • Do you want or need to stay on after the sale or transfer?
  • What are the tax consequences?

We have a tried and tested methodology to address these issues and to help you prepare your business for sale, find potential buyers and help you negotiate to get the maximum price. If you would like to discuss your personal exit plans, we would be happy to do so with you — Just give us a call!

The move from CHIEF to Customs Declaration Service (CDS) – importers and exporters

HMRC is closing the CHIEF system for imports on 30 September 2022 and exports by 31 March 2023. They are encouraging all businesses to move to CDS. You can find information for you and your importers below.

Declarant Checklist – Moving to the Customs Declaration Service: Declarant checklist – moving to the Customs Declaration Service – GOV.UK (

Trader Checklist – Moving to the Customs Declaration Service: Trader checklist – moving to the Customs Declaration Service – GOV.UK (

ICO SME web hub – advice for all small organisations

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has a useful webpage with advice and guidance for all small organisations, including SMEs, small businesses, sole traders, small charities, groups and clubs, and small start-ups.

The webpage includes a run-through of data protection and bite-sized advice on how to build trust and save money through stronger data protection compliance.

Topics include:

  • Getting started with data protection;
  • Key data protection terms you need to know;
  • Compliance checks;
  • How to respond to a personal data breach; and
  • How to deal with data protection complaints.

See:  SME web hub – advice for all small organisations | ICO

How to prepare a health and safety policy

How to prepare a health and safety policy

The law states that every business must have a policy for managing health and safety.

A health and safety policy sets out your general approach to health and safety. It explains how you, as an employer, will manage health and safety in your business and should clearly state who does what, when and how. If you have five or more employees, you must write your policy down. If you have fewer than five employees, you do not have to write anything down, but it is useful to do so.

You must share the policy, and any changes to it, with your employees.

A health and safety policy should cover three areas.

Part 1: Statement of intent

State your general policy on health and safety at work, including your commitment to managing health and safety and your aims. As the employer or most senior person in the company, you should sign it and review it regularly.

Part 2: Responsibilities for health and safety

List the names, positions and roles of the people in your business who have specific responsibilities for health and safety.

Part 3: Arrangements for health and safety

Give details of the practical arrangements you have in place, showing how you will achieve your health and safety policy aims. This could include, for example, doing a risk assessment, training employees and using safety signs or equipment.

See: Prepare a health and safety policy – HSE

Tax diary for October

The following dates are important tax deadlines for October. Please contact us if you need support in meeting these filing dates. 

1 October 2022 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ending 31 December 2021.

19 October 2022 – PAYE and NIC deductions are due for the month ending 5 October 2022. (If you pay your tax electronically, the due date is 22 October 2022)

19 October 2022 – The filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ending 5 October 2022. 

19 October 2022 – CIS tax deducted for the month ending 5 October 2022 is payable by today.

31 October 2022 – Latest date you can file a paper version of your 2021-22 self-assessment tax return.

death of Her Majesty The Queen

Business News England

Welcome to our round up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

All members of our team are united in sadness following the death of Her Majesty The Queen. She provided the stability and continuity for the whole United Kingdom and the Commonwealth through seventy years of both wonderful and turbulent times. We are deeply grateful for her service, and our thoughts are with all those affected. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.

How does a new Prime Minister affect you?

The reality for many small businesses and households has taken a turn for the worse recently as prices continue to surge, particularly energy. So, what’s on offer from the new Prime Minister?

The first announcement of the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, was a plan to freeze energy prices for two years at £2500 for the average home and with the £400 rebate previously announced, takes this to £2100. There will be equivalent help for Northern Ireland. The amount saved by each family will depend on how much energy they use, and households have been urged to reduce their overall usage if they can because of the serious Europe-wide shortage of the natural gas which powers much of the heating and electricity network.

Liz Truss also said that a fund will be created to support those who are not covered by the cap. More details are expected in the next two weeks.

Unlike domestic customers, energy bills for businesses are not capped and the rising cost is proving critical for many companies, especially smaller firms. Liz Truss announced that businesses will get an “equivalent support” for a six-month period, but it is not clear what that means as the UK government have not yet published the unit cost per unit of gas and electricity that they are using to generate the domestic cap and cannot yet confirm whether the same unit cost will be applied to business customers. After the six-month period, further support will be targeted at “vulnerable industries”. We will update you when further information is available.

The new Prime Minister also has a recession to deal with and the Bank of England has warned that little can be done to stop the UK falling into a recession as the war in Ukraine continues. Its governor, Andrew Bailey, said it would “overwhelmingly be caused by the actions of Russia and the impact on energy prices”. The Bank expects the economy to shrink in the last three months of 2022 and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.

To address the recession one of her strategies could be a change in taxation policy designed to increase economic growth by putting more money in our pockets and allowing businesses headroom to invest. We will keep you informed over the coming weeks if taxation policy changes.

As with any downturn in the economy, some types of business are more likely to run into cash flow problems, while other types appear to be more resilient. If you are a business owner, you might be wondering which category your business falls into. No matter how inventive or simple your business model is, you can still have problems with cash flow.

To understand and predict how cash flows in your business, start by performing a health check on your accounts. Look at your latest profit and loss statement and check that your income is sufficient to cover your expenses. If your profit is falling behind your expenses and cash flow is slowing down you might need to take action.

Talk to us about preparing a cash flow statement and budget so that we can work with you to maximise your business’s resilience over the next two years.

Your long-term financial stability

With the economic chaos just now, this may seem a strange time to be thinking about financial stability but if we want to provide those we love with security then we should always be thinking long term.

The pandemic, spiralling inflation and the current economic downturn show all too clearly good health, and even life itself cannot be taken for granted.

When both partner’s income and assets are vital for the household’s financial security, it will inevitably mean financial difficulty for the survivor should either of them die. 

With the right financial planning you can minimise the problems for your loved ones and here are a few reminders of the essentials:

  1. Write your will

Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to intestacy rules. This would mean if you have surviving children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, your partner will inherit your personal property and only the first £270,000 and then half of the remainder of your estate.  This could mean losing their home.

Writing your will should therefore be a priority, especially if you’re not married or in a civil partnership.  Common-law partners have no automatic legal right to inherit anything at all. 

Getting help on the financial side of will writing could mean avoiding tax problems for all concerned.

  1. Look at your pension

Your pension may be one of the largest assets you own. Many people are surprised that it is not covered by their will. 

Instead, you will need to make your wishes clear to your pension provider to let your partner access the money within your pension. 

You should also think about how you will take your pension. You could take an annuity; in return for your pension pot, an annuity can provide a guaranteed income for the rest of your life. A joint annuity is designed for couples and will provide an income so long as either partner lives – but the income provided will be lower.

A drawdown arrangement might offer a more rewarding alternative and provide greater flexibility to allow a surviving partner to make the financial arrangements they need.

It is a good idea to seek independent advice to ensure your pension can go on providing for your loved ones.

  1. Take out a life insurance policy

Life cover is probably the most important step of all. A life insurance policy is designed to pay out a lump sum on death of the life or lives assured, providing your partner with the means to pay off things like the mortgage and help replace your income.

There are many kinds of life insurance and in an attempt to keep the premiums to a minimum with a maximum level of cover, (subject to health and meeting underwriting conditions) most of us seem to choose term insurance, which ceases when we reach an agreed age. The facts show we are living longer, and this type of cover may run out. A whole of life policy will cost more but will potentially allow you to provide for your loved ones whatever age you reach.

You also need to ensure that you have the right level of cover. Inflation may mean that a lump sum that was adequate 10 years ago is far from sufficient now.

You might need to include some extra benefits to your life policy, for example Critical illness cover and Long-Term Income Protection cover. In addition, you may need to consider a further type of cover Accident, Sickness and Unemployment. All these types of protection have a part in providing real financial security.

  1. Get expert help

Security for your loved ones is simply too important to leave to chance. Expert help with the planning is vital to ensure they have the financial future you want them to have, whatever happens to you. If you do not have an independent adviser then ask us for a recommendation or see:   Finding an adviser | FCA

File Companies House accounts early to avoid penalties

If you are due to file accounts with Companies House by the end of September, use the online services where possible and allow plenty of time before your deadline

File online before your deadline. Companies House will send you an email to confirm that they have received your accounts. They will send you another email when they have registered your accounts.

If you’re a small company, you cannot file abbreviated accounts anymore. Find out your accounts filing options for small companies. You’ll still need to file accounts if your company is dormant.

Companies House online services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and there are inbuilt checks to help you avoid mistakes.

To file online, you will need your company authentication code. If you need to request a new code, you should allow up to 5 days for this to arrive at the company’s registered office.

Companies House advise that You should only send paper accounts if your company cannot file online. Accounts filed on paper need to be manually checked. Companies House can only check them during office opening hours, and they can take over a week to process.

If you need to file your accounts on paper, you should send them to Companies House well before the deadline. This will give you plenty of time to correct your accounts and resend them if they are rejected. You should also consider using a guaranteed next day delivery and note any factors which may make it difficult for a carrier to deliver on time. Companies House cannot accept postal delays as a reason to appeal a late filing penalty.

See: Filing your Companies House information online – GOV.UK (

Commonwealth market awareness webinar series

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is hosting a series of market awareness webinars to highlight the business and exporting opportunities across a range of Commonwealth markets.

Through June and July DIT hosted sessions with the markets of Canada, Malta, South Africa & Pakistan which has supported businesses nationally in connecting with colleagues and partners overseas.

These webinars have provided businesses with knowledge and insight into the opportunities available in these markets.

In the second series of 1-hour webinars DIT will be covering more Commonwealth markets.

These sessions will include: –

  • market opportunities panel discussion
  • overview of specific sector opportunities and how businesses can get involved
  • logistics & access to Market
  • inspiring trade success story with a UK business
  • Q&A

See: Commonwealth Market Awareness Series Part 2 (

Safety net for Horizon Europe applicants extended

The government has extended its guarantee scheme offering financial support to successful Horizon Europe applicants.

The extension will ensure that eligible Horizon Europe awardees will continue to be guaranteed funding, supporting them to continue their important work in research and innovation.

The guarantee will now be in place to cover all Horizon Europe calls that close on or before 31 December 2022, with the majority of grant signature dates expected before the end of August 2023.

Eligible, successful Horizon Europe UK applicants will receive the full value of their funding at their UK host institution for the lifetime of the grant. Awardees will be able to remain in the UK to receive this funding, which will provide reassurance for future collaborations, and support UK researchers whether UK association to Horizon Europe is confirmed, or otherwise.

See: Safety net for Horizon Europe applicants extended (

How to deal with data protection complaints you receive as a small business

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has written a guide to help small businesses deal with complaints about how they’ve used people’s information. If you are a small charity, small group or club, or small organisation, you will also find it useful.

Even with appropriate data protection policies in place, sometimes your staff, contractors, customers or others whose data you hold may be unhappy with how you have handled their personal information. Your response matters, because taking the right steps will help to protect your reputation as a business that cares about people’s information. This will also help you provide a better service to your customers.

See: How to deal with data protection complaints you receive as a small business | ICO

Growth support for creative businesses

The Business and IP Centre (BIPC), part of the British Library, has launched a free, three-month programme designed to help creative businesses grow.

The Get Ready for Business Growth programme will run from October to December 2022, and will aim to help companies in the creative sectors:

  • launch new products
  • reach new markets
  • explore new opportunities

Every three months, the BIPC will select 25 high-growth, creative businesses from across the UK to give specialist support and tailored one-to-one advice.

The programme will run digitally, with modules including:

  • getting the growth mindset
  • good governance and building purpose into your organisation
  • refining your business model and growth strategy
  • product and service innovation
  • maximising your intellectual property (IP)
  • building your brand
  • creating a marketing strategy
  • financial planning for growth
  • business and IP research

In addition to the modules, participants will benefit from one-to-one, online meetings with experienced business consultants.

See: Get Ready for Business Growth | The British Library (

Finance and support for your business

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has a webpage listing 151 schemes both locally and for all the UK. If your business needs support, it may be worth looking through the webpage which is in alphabetical order. You can search for specific topics such as finance, grants, loans and other support. 

In these tough times please contact us if you need help and we will do our best to assist or direct you to resources as needed.

See:  Finance and support for your business – GOV.UK (

Book a free consultation now with a tax expert

HMRC has begun investigating hundreds of private drivers

HMRC has begun investigating hundreds of private drivers

The HMRC has begun the process of investigating hundreds of Uber drivers suspected of not reporting all their income, typically the ones who use apps such as Uber, Ola and Bolt. HMRC is chasing the private hire taxi drivers for unpaid tax as new rules revealed they have been working under the table for years.

It doesn’t include black cab drivers, who have different licensing requirements. There are more than 100,000 private hire drivers in London alone and just 22,000 traditional black cab drivers. It indicates that more people use personal hire services over black cabs. From April 2022, the government will ensure that private-hire drivers are fully assessed, which will be required every three years. That’s why you need a business registration number, which you obtain from HM Revenue and Customs.

According to HMRC, this is a great new approach to addressing the tax gap. People who operate in the hidden economy do so because they’re unaware or unsure of their tax obligations. We need to ensure we’re encouraging everyone to pay the relevant taxes. This new policy will help us get the money we’ve been missing from the hidden economy. Uber insists it will fully comply with HMRC’s investigation into its business affairs and hand over all information requested. Still, the taxi giant is arguing that its drivers are self-employed.

It was despite a historic ruling in February 2021 that concluded that the Uber drivers are, in fact, employees, and not independent contractors. So, drivers are now entitled to pension contributions and holiday pay.

If individuals respond late to the summons or fail to attend court, they can face a penalty fine and more thorough scrutiny of their financial affairs. HMRC will send letters to those who haven’t declared their correct tax or paid their valid tax by September 5th until the end of the year. If drivers believe they may not have filled out their tax returns correctly, they can make a voluntary submission.

If drivers don’t think they filled out their taxes correctly, they can make a voluntary filing. In return, HMRC will send an acknowledgement letter, and they’ll have 90 days to pay the tax.

According to HMRC, the new tax system will likely result in £270 million in tax evasion being prevented over the next five years.


Business News England

Welcome to our round-up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

Keep calm and focus on what’s really important

With the constant news surrounding the energy crisis (and waiting for a new Prime Minister to see what the government will do about it), soaring interest rates and rising inflation, it’s difficult not to worry and lose sight of what’s really important – the health and welfare of you and your loved ones. 

The crisis we all face is a potent mix of inflation, recession, high debts, and the core reason for it all, a wartime energy shock. It is worth remembering that thisis the point. It is not the market driving the crisis, it is geopolitics, diplomacy and conflict. On an individual level, this situation is not within our control. So what can we do to keep rational whilst this crisis unfolds?

It is worth recalling a quote from the singer Celine Dion: “Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this”.

Firstly, know that you can only control your life and those close to you. Everything else going on is typically uncontrollable. So take time to set some long-term goals to give you a sense of control. Next, list the things that make you happy and safe. By doing this, you can focus on the good things and not the other stuff. Thirdly, take time out of your busy schedule to do things you enjoy. Doing something you are good at reinforces a sense of self-worth and purpose.

If you own a business, then:

  1. Take time to review your personal objectives – the business is there to provide you with what you want from life, not the other way around!
  2. Look at where the business is now – its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and understand its position in the marketplace, the competition, the systems, the way things are done and the improvements that could be made.
  3. Focus on what the business will look like when it is “complete” or running profitably and successfully. Then you can determine priorities – the big issues that need to be focussed on.

It is also a good idea to look at where you are now and plan for a range of scenarios (good and bad) so that you can be flexible about the direction you should take. 

Ask us about our One Page Analyst, a “what if” scenario planner which takes your projected 2022 figures and allows you to work out the effect on profit of reducing expenses, increasing sales, and increasing or decreasing prices.

If you need help during the next few months, please call us – we are here to support you!   

Companies House to introduce a new WebFiling account

Companies House will soon be introducing a new WebFiling account that will have more functionality with improved security features. It is the first step in creating a single sign-in across all Companies House services.

The benefits of the new WebFiling account include:

  • Multi-factor authentication.
  • The ability to link your company to your WebFiling account to give you more control over your filings.
  • The ability to digitally authorise people to file on your behalf on WebFiling, and to remove authorisation.
  • The ability to easily see who is digitally authorised to file for your company.
  • An option to sign up for emails to help you with the running of your company.

Once you’ve linked your company to your account, you will no longer need to enter an authentication code every time you file online.

If you own or file on behalf of more than one company, you will be able to manage all your companies from one account.

Once the new account is introduced, you will also be able to digitally authorise yourself and other directors to file for your new company as part of the online incorporation process.

See: Companies House will soon be introducing a new WebFiling account – GOV.UK (

Businesses advised to plan around the expected Royal Mail strike

If you use Royal Mail to deliver your goods, you should be aware of the planned industrial action that is due to take place on:

  • Thursday 8 September
  • Friday 9 September

Royal Mail’s services will be affected by delays to mail posted the day before, during, or in the days after any strike action.

Royal Mail has contingency plans, but they cannot fully replace the daily efforts of its frontline workforce. They say that they will be doing what they can to keep services running, but customers should expect significant disruption. 

On days when strike action is taking place, they say they will: 

  • Deliver as many Special Delivery and Tracked24 parcels as possible.
  • Prioritise the delivery of COVID test kits and medical prescriptions, wherever possible.
  • Not be delivering letters (with the exception of Special Delivery).

To avoid disruption to your business, it is advised to:

  • Post your items as early as possible in advance of the strike dates.
  • Continue to post your items at postboxes or post offices, however, collections will be less frequent on days when strike action is taking place.

See: Royal Mail strike updates | Royal Mail Group Ltd

Plastic packaging tax update

Businesses of any size and type must register for Plastic Packaging Tax if they expect to manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging in the next 30 days, or if they have manufactured or imported 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging since 1 April 2022.

HMRC have developed some useful resources to help businesses understand their requirements for Plastic Packaging Tax.

The latest guidance from HMRC on Plastic Packaging Tax includes:

You can watch recordings of past HMRC Plastic Packaging Tax webinars. Timestamps will help you navigate to your area of interest within each of the webinar recordings.

For a reminder of the steps to take and all return and payment dates for Plastic Packaging Tax in 2022-23, you can read the HMRC Plastic Packaging Tax flyer: Get ready to submit your Plastic Packaging Tax return

See: Check when you must register for Plastic Packaging Tax – GOV.UK (

HMRC issues warning to contractors about the use of umbrella companies

“Umbrella” companies are often set up by employment agencies to supply workers to end user clients. Many of these are compliant with the tax rules, but some use contrived arrangements that claim to allow agency workers and contractors to pay less tax on their earnings. HMRC have successfully challenged many of these arrangements.

HMRC view these arrangements as tax avoidance schemes that use disguised remuneration arrangements to pay the workers. The umbrella company might claim that a payment is non-taxable to try to avoid paying National Insurance contributions (NICs) – currently 15.05% for employers. The arrangements also purport to avoid employee NICs – currently 13.25% between £12,570 and £50,270 a year.

Using these non-compliant umbrella companies could leave the workers at risk of being involved in a tax avoidance scheme and owing HMRC the tax and NICs that should have been deducted.

Under PAYE regulations, employers have an obligation to deduct tax and NICs from employment income on workers’ behalf. However, where this does not happen, HMRC may recover the tax directly from the worker.

For updated HMRC guidance see: Warning for agency workers and contractors employed by umbrella companies (Spotlight 60) – GOV.UK (

New trading scheme to cut tariffs on everyday products

The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) has been introduced to help UK businesses access products from around the globe at lower prices, with the aim of reducing costs for UK consumers.

The UK Government launched the DCTS in addition to the products that developing countries can already export to the UK duty-free, and could now mean that 99% of goods imported from Africa under the scheme will enter the UK duty-free.

The scheme means that a wide variety of products – from clothes and shoes to foods that aren’t widely produced in the UK, like olive oil and tomatoes – will benefit from lower or zero tariffs.

The UK Government says that the DCTS will ensure that British businesses can benefit from more than £750 million per year of reduced import costs, leading to more choice and lower costs for UK consumers.

See: New trading scheme cuts tariffs on hundreds of everyday products – GOV.UK (

Sustainable Fashion Week 2022

Sustainable Fashion Week (SFW) is a week of community activity, gathering people together to inspire, upskill and empower the community to make sustainable fashion choices.

The Charity Retail Association (CRA) is sponsoring Sustainable Fashion Week, held from the 16th to the 25th of September 2022, with community events happening from the 19th to the 25th. You can host your event at any time during this period.

The four themes of the week’s activities are:

  • Re-wear
  • Repurpose
  • Regenerate
  • Reconnect

Each theme has calls to action that support a turn towards sustainability and away from “fast fashion”. 

UK charity shops divert 339,000 tonnes of textiles from landfills or incineration and encourage reuse at the heart of communities on our high streets. A rise in sustainable fashion influencers, ethical consumers and savvy charity shop chains has raised the profile of the sector and helped it to be stronger than ever – despite Covid and lockdowns. This makes for the perfect pairing for raising fashion sustainability awareness further, encouraging the public to think about who makes their clothes and how they are made, and how they can be mended or repurposed instead of discarded.

SFW involves a packed programme of skills workshops and creative events. SFW want CRA members to be part of this community movement by hosting their own event. Small or large, SFW invites you to collaborate with them and empower the community around you.

See: Sustainable Fashion Week

Last chance to enter the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:

  • Innovation
  • International trade
  • Sustainable development
  • Promoting opportunity through social mobility

Winners have reported benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale. The closing date for applications is 6 September 2022.

See: The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: About the awards – GOV.UK (

Museums and galleries are urged to sign up for a VAT refund to support free entry to the public

Museums and galleries are being urged to apply for VAT refunds to support opening free of charge as part of plans to boost visitor numbers and give more people access to arts and culture.

Any museum and gallery open to the public free of charge for 30 hours a week can apply. It will help organisations boost their finances and open up their collections more regularly.

The VAT Refund Scheme, which has been running since 2001, was last open to new applicants in 2018/19 and is estimated to have refunded up to £1 billion to museums and galleries so far.

See: Museums and galleries urged to sign up for VAT refund to support free entry for the public – GOV.UK (

Tax breaks for locating your business in a freeport area

HMRC have published detailed maps setting out the precise location of all 8 Freeport tax and customs sites in England with the latest update at the end of August. The original 8 locations were announced in the Spring 2021 Budget:

  • East (Felixstowe and Harwich)
  • East Midlands Airport
  • Humber
  • Liverpool City
  • Plymouth and South Devon
  • Solent
  • Teeside
  • Thames

More maps of Freeports customs sites and Freeport tax sites will be added after they are designated.

Businesses in these designated areas will be able to benefit from generous tax and customs duty reliefs including:

  • An enhanced 10% rate of structures and buildings allowance.
  • An enhanced capital allowance of 100% for plant and machinery.
  • Full relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax.
  • Business rates relief.
  • Relief from employer National Insurance contributions where employees spend at least 60% of their time working in the designated area.

Businesses operating in the designated areas will be able to import goods into the Freeport customs sites with simplified customs documentation and they can also delay paying tariffs. Manufacturing businesses may then manufacture goods using these imports, before exporting them again using the simplified customs procedures without paying the tariffs.

For detailed maps see: Maps of Freeports, Freeport customs sites and Freeport tax sites – GOV.UK (


Latest business news for our clients

Welcome to our round-up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

How much is my business worth?

This is a question many of our clients want an answer to! The truth is, it depends on a range of factors and any valuation is only helpful as a guide for planning forward. The ultimate value of a business is the price a willing buyer is prepared to pay for it.  

The prevailing economic climate and state of the business’ sector can affect company valuation for better or worse, as can your reasons for selling. For instance, if you need a fast sale due to ill health, the value may be lower than if a sale was taking place under more favourable circumstances.

Valuing a business is a complex process and we are available to support you throughout.

So what are the most common methods of valuing a business?

Price to earnings ratio (P/E)

The price to earnings ratio uses multiples of profit, so this may be an appropriate valuation method if you own a well-established business with a good track record of profits. ‘Price’ refers to the company’s current share price and ‘earnings’ refers to the earnings per share (EPS). The P/E ratio indicates the business’ expected growth in earnings per share in the future.

Discounted cash flow

Discounted cash flow relies on estimating future cash flows and a residual business value, and may be suited to businesses with few assets.

Entry cost

Entry cost valuation involves calculating how much it would cost to build your  business to the stage that it’s reached now, including startup and recruitment costs, marketing, and the value of assets. Any savings that could have been made should then be deducted to arrive at the valuation.

Asset valuation

The asset valuation method may be suitable if your business is well established and owns high levels of tangible assets. The Net Book Value (NBV) of assets is calculated and then adjusted to account for external factors such as depreciation and inflation.

Valuation based on industry

Some businesses are valued based on the industry in which they operate. The retail industry is one example, where the number of outlets is an important element for consideration. Industry ‘rules of thumb’ use factors specific to an industry and can provide a more accurate calculation in some cases.

Other considerations when valuing your business

Intangible assets are a key factor when valuing a business. Intellectual property, goodwill, business reputation, and even a premium business location can all add considerable value in the eyes of potential purchasers.

Spotlighting these intangible assets also allows you to improve their value where appropriate. For example, registering ownership of a trademark or patent, building up their reputation even further or improving the condition of their premises.

Please Book a free consultation about valuing your business as this can lead to a range of important considerations and actions.   

HMRC Customs Update – Take action now to continue importing goods

If your business imports goods into the UK, then you need to move to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) now. If you do not, you will not be able to import goods into the UK from 1 October 2022. 

Even if you use a customs agent to help you with customs declarations, there are still actions you need to take. You will need to:

  • Subscribe to the Customs Declaration Service.
  • Choose a payment method.
  • Check your standing authorities are correctly set up. 
  • Give your customs agent or broker customs clearance instructions.

It can take a few weeks to move the CDS, so you should subscribe as soon as possible. 

HMRC’s trader checklist will help you make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps.   

You can set up a standing authority on the Customs Declaration Service on your customs financial account. You can also change, add or delete these in the same place.

By 30 September 2022, you need to set up a new Direct Debit Instruction for the Customs Declaration Service if you use a duty deferment account. If you do not do this, you will not be able to use your duty deferment account and will need to make immediate payments each time you make an import declaration.

See: Customs Declaration Service – GOV.UK (

Latest HMRC advisory fuel rate for company cars

HMRC has announced their suggested reimbursement rates for employees using a company car for private travel. The suggested rates from 1 September 2022 are summarised in the table below. Where there has been a change, the rate for the previous quarter is shown in brackets. Remember that the fuel benefit does not apply if all private fuel is fully reimbursed by the employee/director.

Engine SizePetrolDieselLPG
1400cc or less15p (14p) 9p
1600cc or less 14p (13p) 
1401cc to 2000cc18p (17p) 11p  
1601 to 2000cc 17p (16p) 
Over 2000cc27p (25p)22p (19p)17p (16p)

If the employer’s policy is that they do not pay for any fuel for the company car, these are the amounts that can be reimbursed to the employee (for qualifying business journeys) for the payments to be tax-free. You can continue to use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

Note that for hybrid cars you must use the petrol or diesel rate and for fully electric cars the rate is 5p per mile.

Employees using their own car

Where employees use their own car for business journeys, the tax-free reimbursement rate continues to be 45p per mile plus 5p per passenger. Despite lobbying, this rate has not increased for nearly 10 years! Note that the employer can reclaim input VAT on such payments based on the figures in the above table. For example, if an employee drives their own 1500cc car for business journeys and is reimbursed 45p per mile, then 18p per mile is deemed to represent the cost of petrol. The employer may claim 3p per mile (1/6) as input VAT, provided the employee submits a fuel receipt to support the claim.

Prepare for an extended period of heightened cyber threat

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has urged UK organisations to prepare for an extended period of heightened threat in relation to the Russia-Ukraine war.

There may be periods when the cyber threat is heightened for an extended period, for example, as a result of geopolitical tensions. During these periods, organisations will experience:

  • An initial acute phase (when they are required to strengthen their defences and address vulnerabilities), followed by:
  • A protracted phase (when a strengthened cyber posture should be maintained to manage the residual risk from the increase in threat).

Over time, the cyber threat may come down again, but it is unlikely to return to the previous baseline. Organisations might maintain aspects of their strengthened posture for the long term, in response to a changed threat landscape. The NCSC will continue to issue guidance to help organisations assess the level of the cyber threat.

Their new guidance sets out eight steps to help you to maintain a strong posture when under pressure. The guidance has a particular focus on how staff welfare can be a direct contributor to maintaining an organisation’s resilience.

See: Maintaining a sustainable strengthened cyber security posture – NCSC.GOV.UK

Applying Extended Reality (XR) technology to your business

There is a new two-day extended reality (XR) conference on 28 and 29 September 2022 in Sheffield.

‘Immerse Technology Conference: Understanding & Application in Industry’ is an XR workshop and demonstration event that will focus on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies for enterprise.

Organised by Made Smarter Innovation, Immerse UK and AREA (Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance), in collaboration with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the conference will give you a chance to:

  • Meet like-minded professionals.
  • Learn more about the challenges, benefits and possibilities of enterprise XR.
  • Discover use cases.
  • Speak to organisations implementing and developing the technology.

Workshop sessions over the two days will allow participants to have the opportunity to discuss the benefits of AR and VR, and how to deploy and overcome the barriers to adoption.

An interactive format will allow you to engage with industry experts in the following areas:

  • Starting the AR conversation in your organisation
  • Identifying requirements for enterprise XR
  • Managing commonly encountered safety risks
  • Understanding the security risks associated with XR
  • Managing change, stakeholder and staff challenges
  • UX design and development for VR and AR apps

Along with keynote speakers from organisations that have implemented XR, interactive workshop sessions, networking and demos, you can also mix and mingle with like-minded colleagues, develop new connections and get the low-down on what other organisations are doing in this exciting space.

The cost is £50+VAT per person for both days, including lunch and all activities.

See: Summary – Immerse Technology Conference: Understanding & Application in Industry (

Manufacturing support for using artificial intelligence (AI)

Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) are offering manufacturing businesses an opportunity to register for individual one-to-one meetings to explore the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) within their operations and learn how to access Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding to address their challenges.

The AI team at Innovate UK KTN, in collaboration with the KTP programme and the Manufacturing Made Smarter Innovation Network, will virtually support manufacturing businesses from all sectors to explore the uses of artificial intelligence within their operations. During these sessions, they will help identify projects that can be funded through the KTP programme – an open competition which offers support rates between 50 to 75 per cent of the eligible project costs.

Attendees will also get the chance to learn further details about the programme, with dedicated KTP advisers available to facilitate the discussions and help shape potential projects which will benefit their business R&D initiatives. The event will be delivered online on Thursday 8 September 2022.

See: KTP Programme Support: Innovating the Manufacturing sector using AI – Innovate UK KTN (

Possible new relief for energy-intensive industries

High electricity using businesses, like steel and paper mills, could see further relief under new proposals to help subsidise their electricity costs.

The UK government is consulting on the option to increase the level of exemption from 85% of costs up to 100% for certain environmental and policy costs. The consultation closes on 16 September 2022.

This reflects higher UK industrial electricity prices than those of other countries, including in Europe. This could hamper investment, competition and commercial viability for hundreds of businesses in industries including steel, paper, glass, ceramics, and cement, and risk them relocating from the UK.

See: Government to consider further relief for energy intensive industries – GOV.UK (

Join Innovate UK KTN’s Design Hive community

Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has launched a new platform to connect innovators with designers. The Design Hive provides a portal into the breadth and depth of the UK’s design capability. It will enable organisations to connect with designers and help designers to collaborate across disciplines.

The platform aims to connect innovators across sectors and technology areas with design and innovation effectiveness experts, resources, funding, opportunities and thinking.

It also aims to support people who are new to design, as well as those who see thoughtful and considered design as a means to address the many complexities and uncertainties we face as a planet.

See: Design Innovation Network (

The Materials Research Exchange upcoming event

Organised by Innovate UK and Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the event will offer new insights about what materials research and innovations are currently happening.

The event will offer targeted seminars on a range of cutting-edge areas, such as materials for net zero, including materials for:

  • The production, transportation and storage of hydrogen.
  • The use of hydrogen in low carbon production of materials.
  • The scale-up of graphene and metamaterials for industrial applications.

Organisers will also hold sessions on technology transfer from UK’s research base, focusing on high performance, net zero materials, the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge and Foundation Industries. Further opportunities will be available, including:

  • An academic conference led by the Henry Royce Institute.
  • Masterclasses on intellectual property and R&D Tax Credit.
  • Exhibitor technology pitches and investor panels.

The event is designed to enable closer collaboration between industry and the materials research and innovation community.

Materials Research Exchange (MRE) 2022 will be taking place 3rd – 5th October 2022 and will be delivered face-to-face, with a potential virtual add-on for selected seminars. 

See: Home – Materials Research Exchange 2022 (

Innovation loans future economy competition: round five

Innovate UK is offering up to £25 million in loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late-stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Your project must lead to new products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available, or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.

You must be able to show that you:

  • Need public funding.
  • Can cover interest payments.
  • Will be able to repay the loan on time.

The closing date to apply is 14 September 2022.

See: Competition overview – Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition – Round 5 – Innovation Funding Service (

National Occupational Standards (NOS) for hydrogen production, storage, and transportation

Cogent Skills will facilitate the first national occupational standards for hydrogen to help shape the skills required for green jobs. They will facilitate the development of the UK’s first National Occupational Standards (NOS) for hydrogen production, storage, and transportation.

The UK government plans for a thriving hydrogen sector by 2030, supporting thousands of high-quality green jobs. The announcement of new technical standards to be developed in collaboration with employers in the industry, is a step towards establishing a highly skilled and competent workforce and underpins the UK’s ambition to become a global leader in green technologies. 

See: UK government launches plan for a world-leading hydrogen economy – GOV.UK (

Women in Innovation Awards 2022/23

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering up to 50 Women in Innovation Awards to women entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

This competition aim to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others. The awards are for women founders, co-founders or senior decision-makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year.

Applicants must be confident, with the support of an award, that they can make a significant contribution to a pressing societal, environmental or economic challenge through their innovative project.

Your award must:

  • Have a total grant funding request of £50,000.
  • Start on 1 April 2023.
  • End on 31 March 2024.
  • Last for 12 months.

See: Women in Innovation Awards 2022/23 – Innovate UK KTN (

Farming innovation funding update

Artificial intelligence technology to optimise welfare in pigs, agri-robots to help speed up vegetable harvests, and automation to increase fruit crop yields, are just some of the research and development projects to receive funding through the Farming Innovation Programme.

Details of these new innovative projects come as further support was announced for farmers and growers with novel ideas to help grow food production, encourage sustainable practices and increase productivity. The next rounds of the Feasibility Projects and the Small R&D Partnership Project competitions are due to open shortly.

The £16.5 million of funding is designed to drive innovation in agriculture and horticulture and is part of the Government’s Farming Innovation Programme.

See: Boost for farming innovation – GOV.UK (

the latest business news for our clients

Welcome to our round-up of the latest business news for our clients

Welcome to our round-up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

Back to school – childcare vouchers or tax-free childcare account?

Back to school – childcare vouchers or tax-free childcare account?

Tax-free childcare accounts will gradually replace childcare voucher schemes as no new schemes could be set up after 4 October 2018. Those within voucher schemes continue to be eligible until their child is aged 16, provided the employer is willing to continue operating the scheme.

Many organisations provided the vouchers by way of salary sacrifice and there were tax and NIC advantages for both employers and employees. Despite the PAYE and NIC advantages, not all employers provided childcare vouchers. Depending upon when they joined the voucher scheme, employees could be provided with vouchers worth up to £55 a week (£2,860 p.a.) free of tax and NICs.

For more details see: Help paying for childcare: Childcare vouchers and other employer schemes – GOV.UK (

However, with many employees working from home during the pandemic and with the move to hybrid working, many families found that they were not using all of their vouchers and are choosing to leave the scheme and use the Government’s Tax-Free Childcare account instead. Note that that scheme is generally only available to pay for care for children up to age 12.

Which scheme an employee is better off with depends on their personal situation. They can use the Government’s childcare calculator to work out which type of support is best for them.

One other major difference between the two schemes is that Tax-Free Childcare accounts are available to the self-employed as well as to employees.

There continues to be poor take-up of the Government’s Tax-Free Childcare Accounts which provide a 25% subsidy towards the cost of childcare. The system operates by topping up savings of up to £8,000 per child by 25%, potentially an extra £2,000 from the Government to spend on qualifying childcare. The scheme generally applies to children under 12 and the account can be used to pay nursery fees, breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and registered childminders.

To be eligible, the parent generally needs to be working and earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week on average. In a 3-month period, they need to earn at least £1,976 and will not be eligible if their (or their partner’s) adjusted net income is more than £100,000 a year.

Note that the two schemes are mutually exclusive, and employers must stop giving their employees childcare vouchers with income tax and NIC relief if the employee informs them that they’ve started using the Tax-Free Childcare scheme. Employees must notify their employer within 90 days of their application for a Tax-Free Childcare account. The employer may need to stop or change the employee’s salary sacrifice arrangement and must also update the employee’s contract and payroll.

Book a free consultation now with an tax expert

Does your company have a shareholders agreement? 

Does your company have a shareholders agreement?

For limited companies, when it comes to making decisions, company law states that shareholders who own more than 50% can pass a motion at a company meeting regardless of the views of other shareholders. If a shareholder(s) owns more than 75% of the shares, they control the company outright and can veto the decisions of all other shareholders. 

This may not suit all business situations, especially where you have two or more founders holding equal share capital or a group of owners with varying amounts of capital, some of whom are directors and some who are not, but who are all working together for the company’s success.

A shareholders’ agreement is entered into between all or some of the shareholders in a company. It regulates the relationship between the shareholders and the management of the company, ownership of the shares and the protection of the shareholders. They also govern the way in which the company is run.

The agreement can help define how a business makes decisions for the benefit of all owners, and is recommended where:

  • A small number of owners want to reach collective and fair decisions for the benefit of all.
  • Some owners may want to be able to influence decisions that are particularly relevant to them.
  • Some shareholders may not be directors and cannot influence operations on a day-to-day basis.

Typically, it is seeking to deal with the three “D’s” of death, disability and disagreement. It may also cover a variety of other significant areas, for example, retirement and buyback of shares. 

Key areas for any shareholder agreement

This is not a comprehensive list as each situation is different, but it may help you collect the thoughts of all shareholders before you draw up an agreement.

  1. Company details including structure, directors and officers
  2. Purpose and aims of the company
  3. Equity split of shareholders
  4. Parties to the agreement
  5. Shareholders’ rights, obligations and commitments
  6. Decision-making processes on major issues, required voting majorities and day-to-day operating decisions
  7. Restrictions on the sale of shares
  8. Rights of first refusal and pre-emptive rights to acquire shares on leaving, retirement, death or disability
  9. Death, disability and other retirement compensation payments
  10. Management contracts, director approval and remuneration amounts
  11. Insurance and other protective requirements
  12. Professional advisers and change of professional advisers
  13. Dispute resolution
  14. Changes to and termination of the agreement
  15. Buy out provisions for leaving shareholders
  16. Valuation of shares on changes and valuations of the business

Our view is that a shareholders agreement is an essential document for any limited company and an equitably drafted agreement should provide comfort to all parties.

Please talk to us if you need help in planning for an agreement, especially where there are several shareholders, a new company is being formed, a shareholder wants to sell their shares or pass them to their children, someone is nearing retirement, or the company has borrowed money from a shareholder. We can help with share and company valuations and put the shareholders’ wishes into an agreement with a local solicitor.

Support and manage disability and health at work

Support and manage disability and health at work

Many employers are currently facing challenges in recruiting the people they need to help their businesses survive and prosper. It has never been more important for those employers to keep and develop the people they already have. It’s therefore crucial that businesses have the tools they need to prevent long-term absence and avoidable job loss because of ill health or disability.

The UK Government is testing a new online service for employers, which provides advice and guidance on managing health and disability in the workplace and also explains your legal obligations and good practice.

This may be particularly helpful for smaller businesses without an in-house HR function or access to an occupational health service.

By taking part, you will receive free information and guidance on disability and health-related employment issues. You could use it to help manage a current case, or simply take a look around the site to see what’s useful and identify improvements.

See: Support and manage disabled employees and employees with health conditions at work – Support and manage disabled employees and employees with health conditions at work – GOV.UK (

Employers should prepare for a warmer future

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is advising businesses to think about how they need to adapt to warmer working conditions for their staff.

After last month’s record-breaking temperatures and with more hot weather this month, HSE is asking employers to ensure extreme heat becomes part of their long-term planning.

With temperatures reaching 40oC in some parts of the UK in July, adapting to climate change is something all businesses will need to consider as warmer weather becomes more frequent.

Employers have a legal obligation under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations to assess risks to the health and safety of their workers. They must review the risk controls they have in place and update them if needed. This includes risks from more frequent extreme weather, such as heatwaves.

While there is no maximum temperature for workplaces, all workers are entitled to an environment where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Heat is classed as a hazard and comes with legal obligations like any other hazard.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations require employers to provide a reasonable temperature in the workplace.

John Rowe, HSE’s Acting Head of Operational Strategy, said:

“We expect employers to take this recent weather event as the prompt to review how they assess the risk of high temperatures in their workplace and identify now those changes that will future proof them.”

“All workplaces need to acknowledge that the working environment is changing. There are low-cost adaptations to the structure of work, but things like improved ventilation and air conditioning should also be considered, which will involve investment in the workplace.”

“Extreme heat that we have witnessed of late isn’t going to stop and we want employers to plan and respond to this now.”

Here, you can find more guidance on taking practical steps to work safely in hot conditions:

Temperature at work

Temperature: employees guide

Temperature: What the Law says

Temperature: Outdoor working

Workers’ health and safety

See: Heat warning: Employers must prepare for a warmer future | HSE Media Centre

Apply for funding from the UK Seafood Fund

Apply for funding from the UK Seafood Fund

The UK Seafood Fund is a £100 million fund set up to support the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector. The fund is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The fund’s objectives are to:

  • Reform and modernise infrastructure to level up and bring economic growth to coastal communities.
  • Ensure the best science, research and technology are used in fisheries management.
  • Encourage new entrants to the industry and upskill the existing workforce.
  • Enable an environmentally sustainable fishing industry that gives the most value for money and reflects the long-term needs of the sector.
  • Boost UK seafood exports to new and existing markets.

The UK Seafood Fund consists of a number of schemes that come under 3 areas of funding:

  • Science and innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Skills and training
  • Exports support

See:  UK Seafood Fund – GOV.UK (

Future of Air Mobility Accelerator 2022

Connected Places Catapult has partnered with the Future Flight Challenge from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to launch the second iteration of the Future of Air Mobility Accelerator (FoAM).

They will select up to 12 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to join a six-month programme to receive support from a consortium of industry, academic and regulatory partners on the trial and testing of their disruptive innovative solutions.

The challenge areas for Foam 2022 are:

  • Future airport and vertiport operations
  • Aviation sustainability
  • Future air and space traffic management
  • Enabling end-to-end mobility

Applications close on 11 September 2022.

See: Connected Places Catapult Community Platform

Music Export Growth Scheme is open for applications

The Music Export Growth Scheme offers grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 to UK-registered independent music companies to assist them with marketing campaigns when looking to introduce successful UK music projects overseas.

The scheme is targeted at artists/projects that have achieved reasonable levels of impact in the UK and are now looking to break internationally.

See: Music Export Growth Scheme – bpi

Hydrogen Business Model and Net Zero Hydrogen Fund Electrolytic Allocation Round

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a call for submissions to the 2022 Hydrogen Business Model and Net Zero Hydrogen Fund Electrolytic Allocation Round.

The UK is aiming to develop up to 10 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen generation by 2030. This is subject to affordability and value for money, with the intention that at least half of this will be from electrolytic hydrogen, drawing on the scale-up of UK offshore wind, other renewables, and new nuclear.

The Energy Security Strategy sets out the ambition to support up to 1GW of electrolytic hydrogen being in construction or operational by 2025. BEIS aims to run yearly electrolytic allocation rounds for the Hydrogen Business Model (HBM) and move to price-competitive allocations by 2025, as soon as market conditions and legislation allow.

BEIS hopes to support at least 250 megawatts via this first allocation round. BEIS proposes that projects can apply for HBM revenue support only, or they can apply for joint HBM revenue support and capital expenditure support through the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF).

See: Hydrogen Business Model and Net Zero Hydrogen Fund: Electrolytic Allocation Round 2022 – GOV.UK (

Managing your cash in tough times

Managing your cash in tough times

Welcome to our round-up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

With ever-increasing supplier prices, a rise in interest rates and a looming recession, managing your business’s cash and understanding the flow are now vital tools in maintaining resilience and being able to adopt flexible strategies for success.

Cash flows are a reflection of all the cash that is flowing in and out of a business. Owners can look at the direction of the cash flows for insights into the health of specific products or services and overall market patterns.

Some types of businesses are more likely to run into cash flow problems, while other types appear to be more resilient. If you are a business owner, you might be wondering which category your business falls into. No matter how inventive or straightforward your business model is, you can still have problems with cash flow. Here are our thoughts on managing the flow of cash in your business:

The first stage of understanding and predicting how funds flow is to perform a health check on your accounts. Look at your latest profit and loss statement and check that your income is sufficient to cover your expenses. If your profit is falling behind your expenses and cash flow is slowing down, you might need to take action. Prepare a funds flow statement so you know where the money goes.

Next, create a yearly budget and look where cash could become tight and months where you can save to cover the quieter times. Look at those quieter months and think about flexible work scheduling, new products or services or other activities to tide you over.

Finally, make sure you collect your money from those who owe you quickly. Reward customer loyalty by offering early bird discounts, and set credit limits and payment terms to ensure customers follow the rules. If you take on new customers, make credit checks. Penalise late payers and request upfront deposits or payments.

Book a free meeting about preparing a funds flow statement and annual budget so that you can work on your business for maximum success!  

Useful personal finance tips to manage inflation

Households need to brace for a prolonged period of high inflation and further interest rate rises. The Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has warned that he will take forceful action to tackle inflation, already running at 9.4% and forecast to hit double figures later this year. He defended the decision last week to raise interest rates, saying there is a “real risk” of soaring prices becoming “embedded”. Interest rates rose to 1.75% – the biggest rise in 27 years – with inflation now set to hit more than 13%. The UK is forecast to fall into recession this year, with the longest downturn since 2008 predicted. Increasing interest rates is one way to try to control inflation as it raises borrowing costs.

Inflation is a problem for most of us. Savers find that the value of their cash is being rapidly eroded. At 10% inflation, the £100 you save today will only buy £90 worth of goods in a year’s time. Many people find that their household budgets are stressed. And even borrowers, who might be expected to benefit from inflation, suffer when inflation triggers increases in interest rates. So what can you do to protect your finances and combat inflation?

  • Protect your retirement income.

Inflation has an enormous impact on how long retirement savings will last. The income that seems more than adequate when your start your golden years can look less than generous after 10 years of inflation, and a recipe for misery after 20.  A basic level annuity will mean having the buying power of your income eroded every year. An inflation-linked annuity will start off providing a much smaller income, but one that keeps increasing over time. A drawdown pension – where your pension pot remains invested and you draw down an income as you need it – is more flexible. However, you will still need to take care to avoid running out of cash.

  • Avoid locking your cash savings away.

Savers should benefit when higher inflation leads to the Bank of England increasing the Bank Rate. But beware – although the rates offered by savings providers are rising, they have not yet done so enough to come anywhere near inflation.

However, with the Bank Rate forecast to rise further and with savings deals forecast to follow, there could be better deals to be had over the next few months. Shop around for the best deal and avoid locking your savings into a long-term deal because it could mean missing out on much better rates in the near future. 

  • Look at your investment strategy.

In an inflationary world, investing – where your cash is used to buy something which could appreciate in price – could be more rewarding than saving.

While inflation erodes the value of cash savings, it actually works to boost the value of some investments. But how should you invest? Bond investment becomes less attractive in times of inflation, as the income provided by bonds is subject to inflation.

Investors can protect themselves by buying index-linked bonds, where the interest paid rises in line with inflation. Some business sectors will suffer during inflationary periods. Oil and mining companies, however, tend to do well as rising commodity prices are good for their bottom lines. Utility groups often pay dividends linked to inflation. However, inflation could be bad for others such as retailers and supermarkets, which may lack the ability to increase prices. Luxury goods may be shunned when households tighten their belts.

  • Secure a low-rate mortgage before rates rise.

Inflation has already triggered rate rises, and mortgages are substantially more expensive than they were last year. This process could continue – the Bank of England has hinted as much. To avoid increasing interest costs, which could mean that buying your home becomes difficult or even impossible, it makes sense to secure the lowest rate you can, fixed for the longest possible period.

  • Get some expert help.

Managing money in inflationary times can be challenging, but the challenges can be much more manageable if you have an expert to call. Talk to your financial adviser, or if you don’t have one, see: Choosing a financial adviser | MoneyHelper

Employment status rules still lack clarity

At the end of July, the government finally got around to publishing its response to the 2018 consultation on employment status. The consultation took place as the result of government concerns over false self-employment, particularly in the “Gig” economy. Employers and professional bodies have heavily criticised the updated guidance as it still lacks clarity. There is even separate guidance to employers and engagers dealing with employment rights and tax status:

Employment status and rights: checklist for employers and other engagers – GOV.UK (

Check employment status for tax – GOV.UK (

Part of the problem is the lack of detail in employment and tax legislation, which means that the law has to be interpreted by the courts. The HMRC Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool in particular has been criticised by tax advisors for being too simplistic and biased towards the presumption of employment.

Whether a worker is classified as employed or self-employed has important implications in terms of their employment rights and also their tax treatment. The self-employed tend to pay less tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) at the expense of foregoing employment rights such as sick pay, holiday pay, pensions and the right to bring an action for unfair dismissal. Deciding whether an individual is employed or self-employed is not a matter of choice. It will depend upon the particular facts surrounding the relationship.

Getting employment status wrong can have serious tax consequences. If an organisation gets it wrong and treats an individual as self-employed when they should be treated as an employee, then they are liable for the PAYE and NICs that should have been deducted. This traditionally has led to many organisations insisting that the individual should supply their services via an agency or their own personal service company (PSC) to avoid this PAYE risk.

The ”off-payroll” working rules that were extended to large and medium-sized engagers from April 2021, now require engagers to determine whether a worker operating through a PSC would be treated as an employee if directly engaged and, if so, deduct PAYE and NICs. That worker is thus taxed as if an employee, but without full employment rights – the worst of all worlds.

Employment Agencies may be liable for the tax of PSCs

As mentioned above, many organisations have traditionally requested that workers supply their services via a PSC or an agency, because up until 2021, that avoided the organisation’s PAYE risk. The IR35 rules meant that if the individual would have been treated as an employee when considering the hypothetical contract between the worker and end-user client, the PAYE and NIC would be payable by the PSC and not the end-user client. Pursuing thousands of PSCs is very expensive and inefficient for HMRC.

When the Onshore Employment Intermediaries: False Self-Employment Legislation (s44 ITEPA 2003) was introduced, it had been considered that this would not apply to the situation where an employment agency supplied workers that operate through PSCs. Many felt that the rules only applied to self-employed individuals and that the IR35 rules would take priority if the worker had their own company. However, a recent Tax Tribunal case (K5K Ltd v HMRC) involving the supply of agency nurses and healthcare workers has determined that the agency can be liable for PAYE and NICs. It is clearly more efficient for HMRC to pursue the agency for PAYE and NICs rather than numerous PSCs.

Employment status is clearly a complex area so if you need advice please contact us.

Al fresco dining to continue for businesses

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to take advantage of the warm weather and keep serving customers al fresco. Temporary changes brought in during COVID-19, which made it quicker, easier and cheaper for businesses to get a licence to serve food and drink on pavements and pedestrianised roads, have been extended. The extension will continue until the changes are made permanent in the spring.

The change was first introduced to help businesses keep operating during the pandemic and was widely welcomed by the public, café owners and pub landlords.

The government will make these changes permanent in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

The announcement will make sure that businesses can keep operating outside by extending the temporary provisions that were due to expire in September before the permanent changes become law.

See: Al fresco dining boost for businesses – GOV.UK (

Managing drug and alcohol misuse in your workplace

Do you know how to address drug and alcohol misuse at work?

Employers have a legal duty to protect employees’ health, safety and welfare.

Understanding the signs of drug and alcohol misuse (or abuse) will help you manage health and safety risks in your workplace.

The HSE website has step-by-step guidance to help you manage drug and alcohol misuse at work.

This includes advice on how to develop a drugs and alcohol policy and what you can do to support your employees.

The Great British Businesswoman Awards 2022

The Great British Businesswoman Awards brings together the whole Great British Businesswoman Series community to celebrate the women who are changing the face of business across the United Kingdom.

The awards showcase the business role models, advocates and mentors, as well as the inspirational women leading businesses and those ascending to new heights! More than just an awards ceremony, the Great British Businesswoman Awards is a year-round programme of engagement, delivering touch points throughout the year to support and champion.

The awards focus on community and collaboration by bringing together those who make it their business to inspire female business leaders, and are looking to support, celebrate and mentor the next generation via our winners, judging panel and supporters.

See: Great British Businesswoman Series | About The Awards (

Analysis for Innovators (A4I) round 8

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £3 million in collaborative innovation projects, including partnerships with:

  • The National Physical Laboratory
  • The National Measurement Laboratory
  • The National Engineering Laboratory
  • The Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
  • National Gear Metrology Lab
  • Newton Gateway to Mathematics
  • Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies

This competition is split into two strands. These are:

  • A4I round 8 – main strand (for projects with total costs of £15,000 to £120,000)
  • A4I round 8 – mini projects (for projects with total costs of up to £50,000)

To be eligible, your proposal must describe a measurement or analysis problem where you are seeking a solution to improve your business’s productivity or competitiveness. You must provide an estimate of the value to your business of solving the problem.

This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition stage. No funding is awarded at this stage. If you are successful, you will be invited to brokerage consultations with relevant A4I partners. These will focus on approaches to solving your problem. You will work together to propose joint projects to develop solutions. Successful stage 2 applications will be grant funded, to work with the relevant partner organisations.

The deadline for applications to the A4I competition is Wednesday 31 August 2022.

Main strand – See: Competition overview – Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Round 8 – Innovation Funding Service (

Mini projects – See: Competition overview – Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Round 8 Mini Projects – Innovation Funding Service (

support their employees through the cost-of-living crisis

Helping your employees through the cost-of-living crisis

Welcome to our round-up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has put together some practical information for employers to support their employees through the cost-of-living crisis.

Against a backdrop of soaring prices for food, energy and other essential goods and services, many employers in the UK are asking what they can do to support their people’s financial wellbeing. 

Several UK employers are generously topping up pay packets with a cost-of-living payment. The CIPD’s summer Labour Market Outlook for 2022 finds that 15% of organisations have paid, or are planning to pay, such a payment to some or all their workers, while a further 15% have the matter under review. Private sector firms are most likely to have paid this bonus (18%) – especially those in the primary and utilities (30%), financial services (26%), and construction (25%) sectors.

Even if you cannot afford to offer inflation-beating pay rises, there is still a lot you can do to ease the stress and anxiety your workforce is facing. The CIPD say that now is the time to review your financial wellbeing policies and benefits packages to make sure they are working as hard as they can – especially for those that are most likely to be struggling to make ends meet.

They suggest the following things to consider:

  • Review your reward strategy – if you can afford to offer a cost-of-living bonus, make sure it doesn’t inadvertently do more harm than good for those who claim Universal Credit or Tax Credits.
  • Review your financial wellbeing policy – do your people know what help is on offer and how to get it? 
  • Review your benefits package – is it working hard enough for those most in need? Again, does everyone know what’s on offer and how to access it?
  • Train your managers – an empathetic and approachable management style can help normalise conversations about money, and let employees seek the help they need.
  • Examine the CIPD Reward management survey, which looks at the various ways employers are helping with financial wellbeing and tackling in-work poverty.

For the full guidance and example case studies see: Supporting employees through the cost-of-living crisis | CIPD

Employment status and employment rights

Employment status affects everyone who works. Pay, leave and working conditions can all depend on employment status. People with different employment statuses have different rights set out in law. The rights are designed to protect individuals. Most of the rights are compulsory, and usually cannot be signed away. The UK Government has recently issued new guidance.

The guidance complements the existing GOV.UK Employment status guidance, and provides practical advice and examples on:

  • Employment status and how it determines the employment rights individuals are entitled to and for which employers are responsible.
  • Factors determining an individual’s employment status.
  • Special circumstances and recent developments in the labour market.
  • How employment status should be determined for different sectors.
  • Where to go for further information.

There are 2 additional pieces of guidance for:

  • Individuals, to help them understand their employment status so that they know their rights, can have informed discussions with their employer about them, and can take steps to claim them and have them enforced where necessary.
  • Employers or engagers, to help them understand individuals’ employment status so they comply with the law, helping ensure individuals receive the rights they are entitled to and avoid unnecessary disputes and associated costs.

See:  Employment status and employment rights – GOV.UK (

Energy Management – BS ISO 50005

The British Standards Institution (BSI), in conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Race to Zero campaign, are supplying 100,000 free copies of  BS ISO 50005. 

The ISO 50005 standard provides SMEs with a means to develop a practical approach to energy management to reduce energy consumption, energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. Using a phased approach enables quick wins to be achieved in reducing energy usage and allows businesses to build upon these successes over time.

See: BS ISO 50005:2021 | BSI (

Companies House webinars available as recordings

Companies House have recordings of webinar presentations that you can watch whenever suits your schedule. The webinars cover a range of topics, including:

  • Starting a limited company and your responsibilities to Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
  • How intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights can affect your business.
  • Guidance on starting a community interest company (CIC).
  • How to register company mortgages and other charges at Companies House.
  • How to restore a company to the register.

Click on the links below to view the recordings: 

The new ‘Register of Overseas Entities’ is live

The new Register of Overseas Entities is held by Companies House and requires overseas entities that own land or property in the UK to declare their beneficial owners and/or managing officers. There will be sanctions for those who do not comply, including restrictions on buying, selling, transferring, leasing or charging their land or property in the UK.

Overseas entities who want to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK must register with Companies House and tell them who their registrable beneficial owners or managing officers are.

Overseas entities who already own or lease land or property in the UK will also need to register with Companies House and tell them who their registrable beneficial owners or managing officers are by 31 January 2023.

This applies to overseas entities who bought property or land on or after:

  • 1 January 1999 in England and Wales
  • 8 December 2014 in Scotland

Overseas entities only need to register property or land bought in Northern Ireland on or after 1 August 2022. Entities that disposed of property or land after 28 February 2022 will also need to give details of those dispositions.

See: The new Register of Overseas Entities is live – GOV.UK (

Companies House Counter Services will not be re-opening

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Companies House office in London and the public counters in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh were closed.

As Companies House continues to transform its services to provide a fully digital experience, it has been decided that its public counters will not re-open.

See: Companies House London office and counter services will not be re-opening – GOV.UK (

iX Challenge: Healthy Ageing Innovation Accelerator Competition

The Healthy Ageing market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. The market in China is the largest geographically-defined opportunity. The Accelerator Programme includes a de-risking pathway to enter this market and make UK businesses competitive, as well as growth and export-ready.

The Innovation Exchange Program is working alongside Oxford Innovation Advice and the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), to find innovative companies that are ambitious to grow their business. They seek innovators with new product or service ideas that can support us to stay healthy and active, and help us to remain mobile and connected as we age. They will be providing free expert assistance to participants, particularly focussing on the growing market opportunities in China.

The free NICA Healthy Ageing Accelerator programme is targeted at high growth potential companies of any size and from any part of the UK. It will provide expert support to help companies maximise their business growth, including assisting participants to explore the fast-growing China Market. Successful applicants will benefit from 9 weeks of tailored fully funded support from NICA, Oxford Innovation Advice and Innovate UK KTN experts.

These activities will be funded through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration (FIC), delivered by Innovate UK.

See: iX Challenge: Healthy Ageing Innovation Accelerator Competition – Innovate UK KTN (

UK Privacy Enhancing Technologies Challenge Prize

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is working with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to run a Privacy Enhancing Technologies Challenge. This is part of an aligned programme with the US National Science Foundation, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

This challenge aims to accelerate the development and adoption of privacy-preserving federated learning approaches and build trust in their adoption.

To achieve this, participants are asked to develop approaches that:

  • Leverage a combination of input and output privacy techniques.
  • Deliver strong privacy guarantees against a set of common threats and privacy attacks.
  • Develop privacy technologies that are capable of supporting machine learning tasks in one or two predefined use cases in the financial crime and public health sectors.

The challenge is split into 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: Your approach. You will develop a technical white paper which will describe your proposed approach.
  • Phase 2: Solution development. If successful in phase 1, you will be invited to develop your solution.
  • Phase 3: Testing. The top solutions will be tested by dedicated Red Teams (ethical hackers).

Up to £700,000 is available in funding across the three phases of the competition.

Applicants successful in Phase 1 and invited to Phase 2 will be able to apply for up to £50,000 to develop their solutions. Up to 10 awards of £10,000 will also be given to the highest scoring projects from Phase 1. The £10,000 can only be used to support the growth of your business and the costs associated with this must be evidenced.

The competition closes on 19 September 2022.

See: Competition overview – UK Privacy Enhancing Technologies Challenge Prize – Innovation Funding Service (

Innovate UK Smart Grants – Latest round of funding

Up to £25 million is available for disruptive research and development (R&D) innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy.

All proposals must be business-focused, with deliverable, realistic and adequately resourced plans to achieve return on investment, growth and market share following project completion.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively:

  • Net-zero
  • The arts
  • Design and media

This round of Smart grants reflects the importance of obtaining economic benefits from public funding, and the potential for successful commercialisation, growth and exports.

To be in the scope, your proposal must demonstrate:

  • A game-changing, innovative and disruptive idea that will lead to new products, processes or services.
  • An idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation.
  • Clear potential to positively impact the UK’s position, productivity and competitiveness within the global economy.

Projects can be across a variety of technologies, markets and research categories, including:

  • Feasibility projects
  • Industrial research projects
  • Experimental development projects

Your application must include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or collaborative grant claiming partner.

Projects must start by 1 May 2023 and end by 30 April 2026, and follow specific rules dependent on their duration.

See: Competition overview – Innovate UK Smart Grants: July 2022 – Innovation Funding Service (

Design Foundations 2022 competition

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, has launched the Design Foundations July 2022 funding competition. This will invest up to £2 million in early-stage innovation projects that use people and planet-centred design processes and expertise.

The competition aims to help businesses develop new ideas that will deliver benefits for people and the planet, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These can be for new or significantly improved products, services, places or business models.

The competition is for eligible organisations that want to test and improve the customer experience, social and environmental benefits of their early-stage ideas, as well as generate new ideas.

Applications are encouraged from organisations that have not previously used people and planet-centred design processes or expertise. The competition closes on 31 August 2022.

See: Competition overview – Design Foundations July 2022 – Innovation Funding Service (



In this article, we’ll be looking at the Shopify system and how it can help you save time. You may not know what it is or where to start with integrating but fear not! we will show you everything there is for your business in XERO. This will allow both systems to integrate seamlessly without manual reconcilements between them. Let’s get started now…


Shopify is a complete commerce platform that has everything you need to run an online business. You can create and customize your storefront, sell in multiple places, or even at pop-up shops. With the help of Shopify’s easy-to-turn features like payments processing tools for both customers & vendors alike; shipping management software including access from anywhere on earth with an internet connection – managing inventory isn’t nearly as difficult anymore either because it all happens through this one system called “Shopify”.

Shopify understands that it doesn’t know everything, however; they have created their app store to find whatever you need for your business. With categories such as “Staff Picks” and trending apps, you can keep on top of applications that may benefit the way in which things are run at home or work. They also launched an application programming interface so if somebody has any ideas about new software then this would be a perfect opportunity because now people don’t even need permission from Apple.


To connect your Shopify account to Xero You will have to follow these steps:

Step 1

Download and install the Xero app in Shopify

Step 2

Select ‘Add App’ after that, click ‘Install app’


Step 3

Next, choose the payment plan you wish to use.

Step 4

Accept the terms and conditions.

Step 5

Click Connect now.

Step 6

A pop-up window will open, and then you must click on “Allow Access”. Next, the user is taken into Shopify where they need to select Xero accounts that want to be linked.


Step 7

Next up is the area of payment settings. You’ll have to use a link that Xero provides, but it’s important because this will set most expense accounts as overhead instead of an actual cost for your business so you can keep track more easily. Clicking Create New Expense Account takes us over here on our chart-of account page where we can create one if needed.

payment settings

After you have created the account, refresh the Shopify page and you’ll have the account you just created as an option. After you have selected it, it will appear like this.

created the account

Step 8

Now Tax settings.

Step 9

These are based on the one that you are most comfortable with. After you have completed the setup then hit “Complete setup” to continue

Complete-setup xero shopify

Step 10

You should be able to see a ‘Launch Xero’ button on the top right of your next page. Click this and you will move over to check if all has gone according to with integrating an app like Shopify. In settings/connected apps, make sure that it says “Shopify Integrated App.”

Step 11

By now you’ve signed up with Shopify as well as Xero. If you need to make any modifications in the way Shopify information affects the accounts of Xero, then you need to navigate to the app’s tab within Shopify to find the Xero application. Then, enter the settings of the application.


Double-entry bookkeeping was developed in part to help merchants keep track of their finances more easily. When you make a transaction, the money moves from one account to another, and this process helps us understand how much resources were available at any given time so that we can plan for future endeavours accordingly.

You may have heard the terms credit and debit prior to. In simple terms, they refer to “in” or out.”

A business’s bank account has two sides to it. One side is the money coming in, which might be from payments made by customers or sales revenue received from clients; while another could involve debiting that account for expenses incurred when interacting with other businesses such as train tickets purchased using credit cards held outside our company’s system (which then charges us interest).

To make it simpler to understand how is happening, the Shopify integration process is doing in the framework of Xero the duplicate entries for each step are displayed below.

Shopify offers an inventory of changes it will make when the following modifications are done within Xero:

1. Orders will be made in the form of invoices

  • DR Trade Debtors
  • CR Sales

2. Sales transactions will be recorded in the form of payments against the Invoice

  • DR Bank
  • CR Trade Debtors
Free Xero accounting software

3. Refunds will be made as Credit Notes

  • DR Sales
  • CR Trade Debtors

4. The refund transactions are made to pay off the Credit Note

  • DR Trade Debtors
  • CR Bank

5. The products will be developed or updated

After you import your invoices into Xero, they’ll show up in the Products and Services section under “Invoices.”

6. Customers will be added or upgraded

The customers and bills will be imported alongside each other.

7. Shopify will charge a fee for each payment you receive. These fees are recorded in the expense account of your Shopify company’s account, so it is important to keep accurate records!

  • DR Shopify Expense Account
  • CR Bank

Hopefully, this article has helped get you started with the integration process. If there’s anything else, we can do for your company please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

As Xero Accountants, we believe in the power of small businesses to grow. So, whether your company needs help with accounting, from scratch or as part of a larger project, our expert eCommerce Accountants are ready and able to satisfy your needs. Book a free consultation now with an expert

Related Article: Stripe Xero Integration

xero accounting review


What is Xero Software?

Xero is the leading cloud accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses. It was created in New Zealand, with support to help different types of companies to manage their finances better more effectively than they could before now.

The Xero software has been keeping the other major accounting firms on their toes since 2006. Whether you are a start-up, established chain of businesses or manufacturer; we have a strong solution for your needs with numerous features, including reports and app integrations that offer SME’s ownership over finances while reducing paperwork which streamlines processes throughout all areas in business operations

The new releases from one of Australia’s leading providers will allow companies greater control over how they engage with customers by introducing previously unheard-of data analytics capabilities in today’s modern era.

The software has over two million subscribers (over 500,000 in the UK) and it’s been recognised as a primary accounting solution for firms from all around Europe. Compared with other popular competitors such as QuickBooks or SAGE that have six+ million customers each respectively and about 3-5% overlap between them, Xero’s customer base accounts to be 25%-50% higher.

For some business owners, project management can be a daunting task. With so many different programs and packages out there, it is hard to find one that fits all your needs. Fortunately, Xero recently introduced two new product lines specifically for this purpose:

XERO PROJECTS targeting smaller companies from sole practitioner through mid-sized businesses; or WORKFLOWMAX, which works best if you have more advanced projects needing more features like sending invoices on behalf of clients while monitoring their progress at once.

This review will explore the numerous features and tools Xero has to offer small businesses, accountants, or bookkeepers that want an online software solution. It offers a variety of services, such as invoicing and financial reporting. In addition, its intuitive interface makes it simple for anyone who wants their records organized digitally without having any worries about whether they’re doing everything correctly on paper-based accounting systems like QuickBooks.

Xero Accountants is a Xero certified partner which means we know how important it is to provide you with support and assistance during your time as an entrepreneur, so not only do we offer free software for new clients worth £345 annually, but also training tailored specifically towards simplifying work within accounting programs like Xero.


Xero is a powerful, all-in-one software tool. The product has been well developed and comes with many automated features for any business’s need, from invoices to third-party integration services like GoCardless or Shopify! You can also set multiple levels of user permissions depending on how much access they require, which ensures complete security when it comes time to manage your account information.

XERO provides great flexibility in its handling options allowing companies who have varying sizes across their workforce, needs ranging from small start-ups without complicated processes needing only basic accounting functions such as general ledger function plus periodic reporting back into HQ through large enterprises needing robust modes including accounts Payable processing & Archiving Data Collection.

Small businesses would probably benefit most from the standard or premium plans, especially if unlimited users are needed. However, if you trade internationally and need multi-currency support, there’s quite a jump in your monthly subscription cost – not worth it for just an additional invoice! The starter plan limits each user to only 20 transactions (invoices) per month with 5 bills being batch processed at once during one schedule period which might make paying suppliers difficult depending on what type of finance company they work for as well as other details about their business setup like whether stock levels etc., but this could change over time when new features become available through upgrades.

Business owners will have to purchase a separate subscription for each company they want their accounts listed under. You can find Xero’s primary market in the US, but now it’s available in all over 180 countries worldwide!

For those in need of a versatile accounting program, Xero has everything you’re looking for. The price may be off-putting, but with its many features and easy use, it’s worth checking out.


In the past, Xero had some of the best scaling features around. The software still has unlimited users and access to all its features. Still, now it also offers payroll as an add-on rather than included in every plan like before, which means you don’t get complete control over your finances anymore – just whatever is offered by their most expensive option (which doesn’t include expenses or multi-currency support).

Xero offers three different pricing plans to suit your needs. The Starter plan is perfect for small businesses with no existing books or invoices. The Standard package provides more advanced functionality at a lower cost than Premium and includes features like custom reporting that larger companies might find useful too.

You can cancel your subscription at any time with a 30-day notice. XERO also offers free trials for new users, which allow them to try out the software before buying – this way, they know if it’s really what their business needs or not.

Xero is the go-to accounting software for small businesses. Non-profits and owners of multiple companies can get discounts; incentives are offered occasionally, with new subscribers being rewarded right now!

Xero’s current pricing structure offers this as standard across all its packages:

XERO provides 24/7 online support to ensure the security of your data. In addition, you can cancel with one month’s notice and Make Tax Digital ready.

Xero Pricing


This plan includes sending 20 invoices and quotes, entering 5 bills. Then, receive £5 per month payments with easy payroll integration to Transfer Wines or PayPal for faster payment processing services! You can also claim expenses of up 2 grand in your Hubdoc account- which gives you more time to spend on what matters most, like projects and clients instead of paperwork. The starter package costs only 10 pounds/month, but it offers so much convenience, such as automatic CIS calculations & reports along with submitting returns at HMRC.


Xero’s most popular plan costs £26/month and includes everything in the starter plan, but with one huge bonus – unlimited invoices & quotes! This means you can create as many estimates as possible or proposals without worrying about running out of space for new work.

The XERO system keeps track of all your clients’ requirements so that they never have to wonder what paperwork was sent when it wasn’t completed correctly by someone else before them.


Xero’s premium plan costs £33/month and includes everything mentioned in the Standard plan, plus:

Xero’s Premium Plan – extra features that will help your business run smoothly. Payroll option for up to 5 employees free during their first 3 months on Xero payroll system enables you as a small business owner or manager seamlessly handle employee taxes such as NICs through direct deposit into payee accounts at great rates of interest. Explore more about claiming expenses. No need to worry about lost invoices anymore because Xero got them covered with an automatic reminder service, so all it would take is one phone call every 6 weeks from now until forever if necessary.


Xero has been getting praise for its feature selection. Here are just some of the key features that Xero offers:


The dashboard features a sleek, intuitive UI with graphs that allow you to see your bank accounts and outstanding invoices. You can customise these, so they show only what’s relevant for the business at hand – like bills payable or cash flow!

There are various helpful features accessible from this dashboard, including quick create buttons and search functions. You can also get updates on recent notifications or read in-software help by clicking the right top corner icon.


The sales overview is a summary of charts and graphs breaking down the status of your invoices. You can search for, edit existing transactions, or create new ones from scratch by selecting “Invoices” in the menu bar at the top left when viewing this page – make sure you’ve signed in to the system first! Hover over anyone bar to see how many customers owe you that total amount made up with their respective invoice numbers underneath them. The table on the next page has all ten eligible bills waiting patiently until they’re due again, so pay attention if any surprises are coming around soon because you might need information immediately before those dates arrive.


Xero offers a single invoice template, but you can create custom templates including your terms of business and full quote details. Time-saving tools include automatic invoicing that will send out the new bill for all customers with no fuss or muss each month; default payment settings mean there’s nothing extra needed when customers pay on time every single week without fail! You’ll also find bulk invoices in case someone needs more than one copy at once

Your clients will be impressed with the professionalism of your business, and they’ll love how easy it is to see what you’re offering. With a few clicks on their computer screen, customers can receive estimates and invoices that are ready for payment via email or fax! You could even add some extra polish by adding logos into existing templates using Microsoft Word – no design skills required at all. Invoicing has never been simpler thanks to specifically designed Xero software offered through appointment setting features which also allows users to generate customised documents in MS Office word depending upon individual needs instantly saving hours’ worth time-consuming efforts previously spent trying to make things look perfect when there isn’t enough.


You can personalise your Xero quote using our simple design tools and set up several customised versions. You can easily create quotes, convert them to invoices, or purchase orders with a few clicks of the mouse from anywhere in the world.

Do you want to save time and money on quotes? You can now email your requests as a PDF or link, which will make it simple for customers. But don’t worry if their quote isn’t what they had originally asked for-you’ll be able to view its status at any given moment! All the completed transactions are listed right there in one easy glance, thanks to our app that keeps track of income potentials.


Xero has recently added a nice client portal that is free to access. Customers can view, accept print, and pay invoices directly online using the XERO Free Client Site! In addition, you’ll be able to download documents sent by your accountant securely or e-sign them with just one click—all in complete privacy thanks to this easy-to-use tool for businesses of any size.


Using Xero’s contact management features, you can use your lists as a smart marketing tool targeting groups of contacts (and suppliers) in many ways:

  • Set up your software to remind you when it’s the best time to call and send an email. The software can alert you when a client hasn’t been in contact for a while and invite you to call them.
  • Use the application to track the results of mass advertising campaigns or to identify which types of advertising campaigns prove to be the most efficient.
  • Find cross-selling possibilities and leads.
  • Create special offers for customers that seem to be losing interest or design and manage events that may increase retention of customers.


Xero Expenses is a revolutionary expense management tool for small businesses. It seamlessly connects with XERO and provides all the tools needed to track & manage company spending efficiently from anywhere in your office or on the go, thanks to pushing notifications that let you know when it’s time to bill an account.


Running a reconciliation report lets you see how much money is in your account at any given time. You can also connect Xero to the bank of your choice so that transactions are sent over once per day, or manually import statements if they haven’t already been synced with service by this point.


If you are picking up the bookkeeping in a new business, there is no need to be afraid of setting up your chart of accounts. The five main accounts that make up general ledger (Assets, Liabilities, Equity, and income & expenses) can all be found under this category when creating detailed reports for specific areas within financial management; giving managers options on how they want their company’s information shared with stakeholders.


Xero is a great tool for small businesses to use. For those who have product-based companies, XERO allows you to run reports and find out how well each item sells and add products into the system so that data can be tracked easier than ever before! You’ll also find internal notes created by staff members attached at no cost with an unlimited number of attachments which could include images or videos if needed too – it’s up to your company’s needs. When inventory levels need monitoring, several options are available, including being notified when they get low or even allowing items to track below what was paid on purchase costs.


If you use the premium plan, this app will log all your team’s work hours so they can be invoiced. A monthly Xero Projects subscription includes one active user for £5 per month–but if an additional person logs on and leaves their finger on that digit throughout our 30-day period, then it’ll cost them just as much! Subscriptions only go up when someone actively uses their computer each month (at 5 pounds/month).


Xero makes it easy to get the information you need, when, and where. With over 50 reports available in your browser or through their app on any device of choice (including smartphones), there is no shortage of insight! You can even tailor each report as needed so that all perspectives are represented — whether they be pre-, post-, or mid-month figures; profit margins by product line versus international market share goals…it’s up to YOU how these pieces fit into place for YOUR business plan.


The Budget Manager report enables you to generate a three-, six- or twelve-month budget. You can only have one overall plan per organisation as it will help meet financial goals more efficiently. Still, each department has its own smaller budgets that they work within if necessary for the needs of their business units and departments within those respective businesses themselves.


When it comes to purchasing, nothing can compare with the peace and tranquillity you feel when everything is in order. Create purchase orders online for quick access while keeping track of all your logistics needs, so order always goes smoothly without any hassle! You’ll be able to personalise templates by adding unique numbers or instructions, such as the expected delivery date. If shipped separately, parts-shipments will also allow adding “part supply,” which tells how much inventory has already been received.


There are over 160 currencies supported by Xero so long as you have the Premium plan. In addition, reports can be customised and run in different currencies, all of which will be updated hourly with a report for each currency separately!


MTD is an HMRC service that requires businesses to keep digital records and file VAT returns using compatible software. You can generate, review, submit your tax forms once you have signed up for MTD via their website or app – no need to go through the hassle of printing anything out! Once connected, Xero will show due dates with details on how much needs paid and all potential adjustments before submitting directly from within this program’s platform, so there won’t be any delays whatsoever in getting back what belongs rightfully yours at last.

Free Xero accounting software


Xero is a well-designed and easy-to-use software. It takes some time getting used, but once you do, XERO provides extensive support with videos tutorials on how the program works and other resources like help centers that are available online for those who need assistance or want more information about what they can learn from within its interface.


Xero is compatible with any device (i.e., iPhone, Android, and iPad). If you have internet access, use one of these browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox Safari Xero recommends the most recent or previous versions for each browser.


However, Xero provides unlimited, free assistance 24/7 via our customer service department and access to other resources through their Contact Us page. Contacting and talking with a representative is a lot more difficult when you depend on email communications. However, assistance via phone is offered if you require it.

As customer numbers have increased, Xero’s turnaround on replying to emails can now take a day or two. The lack of any phone support has been an issue for quite some time, and we are afraid there does not seem to be any short-term solution in sight! However, customers who use their computers will get help from the lively community area where they share tips about navigating through account settings.


If you’re looking for accounting software that offers over 800 integrations, Xero is worth considering. In addition, the company integrates with dozens of other apps and tools through Zapier or APIs, so developers can hook it up to their way if they want!


Xero offers some of the best cloud security around. They have data encryption and two-step authentication, and 24/7 monitoring at multiple locations, with regular audits for your peace of mind. So, you can rest assured that 99% or more will be up in case disaster strikes.


Xero is a powerful cloud-based software tool that can help you save time and money. It has strong accounting features, with integrations for automating processes to reduce costs over an unlimited number of users. Accounts are accessed by accountants who prepare reports more quickly while reducing their fees because they don’t have as much work on hand otherwise.

With all the features and benefits that Xero offers, there are some drawbacks. One of them is a steep learning curve for new users who want to get started with it right away- which could be why 90% percent never make it past their first month on any program’s trial period! Additionally, while having payroll included in package deals was great at first (keeping track of paychecks), now since making this addendum service an option instead time limits out employees from accessing tax help if they need assistance when filing taxes themselves – something we know many people will rely upon every year. Xero is the perfect solution for mid-to-large-sized businesses that need powerful accounting features and multiple users. We recommend you take advantage of Xero’s free trial, which offers a weeklong try-out period so you can see if this powerful, yet easy-to-use software will work well with your company’s needs before making any long-term commitments or purchasing it outright.

If you are a small business owner, it’s important that your company explore all the different options for accounting software. We recommend checking out Xero as well as other top competitors like Quickbooks and FreeAgent amongst others before deciding what best suits your needs.
‘If unsure which online provider to use, I have put together this blog about comparing usability & pricing so be sure to check it at best accounting software for small businesses

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