Budget Special

The Chancellor’s 2015 Budget contained some important announcements and confirmed a number of changes planned for the new tax year.

Following this, we have put together a PDF which contains the latest tax and financial information, which we trust you will find useful. For more information on how the changes may affect you, please contact us. Budget-newsletter-March-20151.pdf

Xero Certified Advisor

XERO Bookkeeping News

Our recent launch of Xero to some of our clients has proved a great success.  LIRIC are putting together some case studies and will shares these with you in future editions.
Cloud technology gives a whole new platform to work from and there are a variety of add-on apps to help you manage to work ‘on the move’.
A new poll by UK mobile provider EE sampling 1,000 small businesses shows more than two thirds (69%) believe they’ll enjoy double-digit growth next year, with an average projection of 26%. The top business apps from Xeros add-on marketplace are ideally suited to small Companies with big ambitions they are:-

1 – Receipt Bank helpfully converts receipts, invoices and other piles of paper into Xero data, making expenses and outstanding bills easier to manage and account for.

2 – Harvest: For a year-round bumper financial crop, download this user-friendly tracking and reporting tool. Used to create invoices based on tracked hours and capture profitability.

3 – GoCardless: An ideal entry-level solution, GoCardless is a cheap and simple app for small Companies that want to take direct debit payments online. – You will see this link on our new online invoices – its proving a real hit.

4 – Float: This online cash management, budgeting and forecasting tool helps you keep on top of cash flow. Use it to understand financial trends and patterns, factor seasonality and identify potential issues in time to act.

5 – Xero Touch mobile accounting app: Latest OnePoll findings show more than half (54%) of UK small to medium businesses (SMBs) are concerned about their cash flow. Keep yours moving and manage your business ‘on the move’ with Xero Touch. From back office to building sites, use it to reconcile, send invoices and create expense claims. – This is fab – you can see what’s going on in your business from your phone – reconcile bank, issue invoice…

New statutory amounts announced for 2015

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced the proposed new rates for statutory sick pay (SSP), statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory adoption pay (SAP) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) for tax year 2015/16.
The proposed revised rates are as follows:
  • The standard weekly rates of SMP and SAP and the weekly rates of SPP and ShPP will increase from £138.18 to £139.58 – it is assumed this will be for payment weeks commencing on or after Sunday, 5 April 2015
  • The prescribed weekly rate of Maternity Allowance will also increase from £138.18 to £139.58.
  • The weekly rate of SSP will increase from £87.55 to £88.45 from 6 April 2015.
  • The lower earnings limit applying to National Insurance contributions, below which employees are not entitled to SSP, SMP, SPP, SAP and ShPP, will increase from £111 to £112 per week from 6 April 2015.
These rates are subject to Parliamentary approval, so changes are possible, but unlikely.

Market Development

This approach involves the promotion of existing products into new markets. These could be industry sectors or geographical territories. This approach requires the firm to invest in market research to define which markets are best to target. There is an element of risk to this strategy, as it requires both time and money in order to conduct the research and to develop appropriate marketing campaigns.

LIRIC can help look at some of the basic concepts and financial drivers to increase sales and profit – contact LIRIC to find out more.Most businesses want to grow, but with little bank finance available these days it’s not easy to buy out a competitor. If you can’t grow by “mergers and acquisitions”,  you need to develop a strategy to grow your business organically which can prove a much slower process.

Organic growth is especially prevalent during the early stages of a company’s commercial llife, but opportunities continuously present themselves if you listen to the market. If your business is committed to meeting the needs of its customers and is commercially driven with you having a good control over costs, you can use the following strategies to develop business growth.

 

Product Development

A product development strategy focuses on creating new products or services and introducing them to existing customers. If your business is good at creating new innovations then it is probably well positioned to use this strategy. The key is utilising market research in order to identify a need or gap in the market for a new product or service. If there is potential demand and you launch the right product or service, then you stand a reasonable chance of success. There is an element of risk inherent in this strategy, as developing new products requires investment from the business.

Market Penetration

Also known as the “Protect and Build” strategy, this conservative approach sees a company consolidate and stabilise its position in the market by selling more of its existing products to established customers. To make this cross-selling approach work, your Company will need to leverage existing resources and capabilities; this will allow your business to capture a larger share of existing markets. This strategy is low risk as you won’t need to launch new products or services – instead, just focus on selling more to those existing clients and contacts.

Organic Growth Strategies

Most businesses want to grow, but with little bank finance available these days it’s not easy to buy out a competitor. If you can’t grow by “mergers and acquisitions”,  you need to develop a strategy to grow your business organically which can prove a much slower process.

Organic growth is especially prevalent during the early stages of a company’s commercial llife, but opportunities continuously present themselves if you listen to the market. If your business is committed to meeting the needs of its customers and is commercially driven with you having a good control over costs, you can use the following strategies to develop business growth.

Ashwell Business Club Seminar – How To Get The Best Out Of LinkedIn

LIRIC were able to use their new meeting room to host a presentation on behalf of Ashwell Business Club about LinkedIn and how it works.
You’ve seen the logo on our email footers but do you know how to get the most out of LinkedIn?

Hosted by Steve Windsor from Netlinked, we learned how effective use of LinkedIn can be used to generate business leads as well as increase traffic to your website.  Networking from your desk, saves you time and money  and enables you to connect to literally thousands of others, at a time to suit you – that’s got to be the way to go.

It also has the power to allow you to carry out targeted searches – ie “list all architects within a 20 mile radius” – so you can have a targeted marketing campaign – and because the people you are contracting are already on LinkedIn they are more likely to welcome contact from you.  The use of groups and discussions can also be useful.  Steve said “you don’t know who you don’t know”

LIRIC will be looking at putting on similar seminars for our clients in the future – if there is a particular topic that you think would be of interest then please let LIRIC know. You can find Liric on LinkedIn here.

Xero Certified Advisor

Liric Obtain Xero Certification

LIRIC’S  Natalie  Allen has successfully completed training on Xero and so we are now an accredited Xero  adviser.  Xero is a cloud based book-keeping solution which we are successfully rolling out to clients who want to move away from the more traditional PC based programs.  Being a Cloud program it means that your data can be accessed from any PC and LIRIC  can view it without the need to keep transferring backups.  Other benefits include:-

  • Easy to format and personalise your sales invoices so that they will look really professional and can be seamlessly emailed to your customers
  • Quotes can be instantly produced in front of customers and then converted to a sales invoice.
  • Options for customers to then click on the invoice and “pay now” using PayPal or similar.
  • Automated reminders to customers who have overdue invoices
  • Bank data feeds meaning you do not have to spend time inputting all the bank transactions – these are automatically matched to the relevant customers and suppliers invoices

All this leaves you with more time to look at the actual results, see your profit for the year to date in real time and help you plan for the future.

If you are interested In a free 30 day trial then contact LIRIC and we’ll send you the link.

New Intestacy Rules If You Don’t Make A Will

Many people die intestate (That means without making a legal will) because they think their estate will automatically pass to their spouse free of Inheritance Tax (IHT). This is not necessarily correct. Moreover, having a Will in place makes it easier to get a grant of probate and avoids the Statutory Intestacy Rules governing how the estate is distributed.

From 1 October 2014, if an individual is survived by a spouse or civil partner (but no children or more distant relative), the entire estate will go to the surviving spouse or civil partner. Previously, the spouse would only have received the first £450,000 (and half of the excess over £450,000); the other half of the excess would have passed to parents or siblings.

If the deceased individual is survived by a spouse/civil partner as well as children or a more distant relative or relatives, the surviving spouse or civil partner will only receive the first £250,000 (and half of the excess over £250,000). The children will receive the other half of the excess equally between them. Having a Will is thus important for IHT planning, as only the first £325,000 is exempt unless the assets pass to the spouse. Making a Will is also important when couples divorce and there are former partners and children of previous marriages involved.