And Finally

Returning to the request fro sponsorship,  the NSPCC have a set procedure:-

The NSPCC believe that no child should be abused. That’s why they’re there and that’s what drives all their work.They help children rebuild their lives, and they find ways to prevent abuse from ruining anymore.

By making a donation today, you can help Lisa raise more money to fight for every childhood and protect more children.

During 2014 the NSPCC spent £98 million on services and activities that directly benefit children and young people. Our spending focused on child protection advice and awareness campaigns – like our award winning Underwear Rule campaign and the ChildLine School Service..
Lisa hopes to raise a significant donation for this worthy cause, please refer to the links given in the side bar above, and which are repeated below and please help Lisa!

 Just Giving here  Virgin MoneyGiving here

OR by Texting 70070, tap in ASIL95 follwed by the amount you wish to donate!  Simples!

Implementing Your Business Plan

Many are familiar or have maybe even worked with teams who set strategic goals for the organisation, but fail to create an operational process to achieve them. A disproportionate amount of time is spent on the strategy compared to the detailed plan of implementing and executing that strategy. All too often, managers attempt to point their team towards the strategic end game, but provide little guidance on the step-by-step tactics to get there. Here are a few tips from LIRIC to help you to implement your business plan successfully:

SET OBJECTIVES

Strategic business plans should provide financial targets, initiatives to reach those targets and an overarching philosophy in which the company operates.  Writing the objectives is the easy part – it is the implementation of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely (SMART) objectives that is key to the success of any business plan.

SUPPORT THE STRATEGY WITH TACTICS

A business plan that hits the mark not only identifies the strategic direction of the company, but also maps out the tactical elements that enable the company to execute the plan. This is where most companies fail to operate their strategic plan into tactical initiatives. Why are these strategies going to deliver the greatest return on investment and effort? How are they going to complete and deliver on their strategic plan? Who is responsible for all of the steps required to execute?

CASCADE THE OBJECTIVES

A strategic plan generally comes from the top.  It is up to each of the department heads to internalise the plan and cascade the various tasks throughout their teams.  Your companies managers should set the benchmark, help the team lay out the necessary tasks and then hold their time accountable to achieving those milestones.

MONITOR REGULARLY

Achieving strategic success is one part execution and one part inspiration. Hitting milestones on a regular basis provides the ongoing desire to see the plan through to its full fruition. Setting milestones and monitoring not only keeps the firm on plan, but also allows for management to communicate these successes to the wider team. Strategic targets can be daunting at the outset, but breaking them down into chunks makes achieving them more manageable.

Let us work with you on this – call LIRIC!

REASONS WHY PEOPLE START THEIR OWN BUSINESS…..

Here LIRIC reveal the most popular reasons, as detailed by a recent Barclays research, and their early experiences:-

  1. To work for myself….

It’s a cliché, but the research showed it still holds. 54 per cent of those canvassed said this was the reason they went out on their own, a claim most common in the North and Midlands. Paul Frost, of Paul Frost Associates in Teesside, left a career in broadcasting to launch a successful PR and media training business in 1994. “I wanted the flexibility of working for myself, and knew I had very useful and unique skills,” he said. “I’m ambitious and work better on my own, when I’m responsible for winning my own contracts. I’ve never looked back.”

  1. I was made redundant….

The payout that often comes with redundancy can make funding a new business much easier, which may explain why a fifth (20 per cent) of those asked said it was their catalyst.
Hannah MacDonald founded September Publishing a year ago after losing her job. “I’d never seen myself as an entrepreneur or business starter,” she says. “But when you’re made redundant, the change is made for you and you have to make the most of it. I didn’t want to give up on the industry and I need to work flexibly because I have kids, so starting my own business seemed better for my career.”

  1. Turning a hobby into a business…..

Most of us save hobbies for the weekend, but investing in that interest could be the key to a successful start-up. A significant 16 per cent of those asked had turned their hobby into a business.  Joan Mulvenna launched Garden Design Manchester after retiring as a teacher and realising her real passion was horticulture: “I’m really busy at the moment and I’m thinking about how to expand,” she says. “Right now it’s just me – I hire a part-time gardener to help out but I’d love to employ someone full time.”

     4. A childhood dream….

Those who had a childhood dream to own and run their own business make up 7 per cent of the research results. The motive was much more prevalent with women, with almost twice as many – 11 per cent – stating they grew up wanting to be a business owner, compared to 6 per cent of men. Kelly Alison launched KVA Digital a year ago. “From a very young age, I knew I wanted to run and grow a business,” she says. “It’s about more than making money – it was about achieving my dreams. Although it’s been one of the hardest years of my life, especially with a young child in tow, I absolutely love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else.”

     5. NOT a TV programme….

One surprising result from the research is that TV shows about starting up a business are cited by just 1 per cent of respondents as a reason for starting up their company, while celebrity entrepreneurs also offer little inspiration – again just one per cent of men and no woman said they were a reason for going into business.

Why did you start your business? – let LIRIC know your story!

VAT

VAT Rules Changing for Prompt Payment Discounts

In last year’s Finance Act it was announced that the VAT rules for dealing with prompt payment (or early settlement) discounts would be changing from 1 April 2015. HMRC have now issued brief 49/2014 setting out guidance for businesses affected by the change, many of whom may need to amend their invoicing procedures.

From 1 April 2015, output VAT will need to be calculated on the consideration actually received from the customer instead of the current rules, where VAT is calculated on the value of the supply and net of any discount for prompt payment.

Let’s assume, for example, that you supply goods to the value of £100 but allow the customer a 2.5% discount if they pay within 30 days. Under the current rules VAT is charged on the discounted price of £97.50 not £100, whether or not the customer pays within 30 days.

From 1 April 2015, suppliers issuing a VAT invoice will enter the invoice into their accounts, and record the VAT on the full price. If offering a prompt payment discount (PPD), suppliers must show the rate of the discount offered on their invoice. The supplier will not know if the discount has been taken up until they are paid in accordance with the terms of the PPD offer, or that the time limit for the PPD expires. The supplier will then have two options to deal with the discount:-

  1. they may issue a credit note to evidence the reduction in consideration or,
  2. alternatively, if they do not wish to issue a credit note, they will need to adjust  the output tax in their VAT return  and the invoice must contain the following information:
  3. the terms of the PPD (in particular the time by which the discounted price must be made).
  4. a statement that the customer can only recover as input tax the VAT paid to the supplier.

Please contact LIRIC if you wish to discuss the effect of these changes on your invoicing and accounting procedures.

Transfer of Personal Allowance

Remember, 2015/16 sees the introduction of a transferable personal allowance for married couples and civil partners.  As the amount that may be transferred is 10% of the basic personal allowance, that will now be £1,060.

The recipient must not be liable to tax above the basic rate and is eligible to a tax reduction of 20% of the transferred amount, in other words £212.

Hopefully we will pick this up where we can,  but we don’t always act for both husband and wife so if you think this applies to you remember to let LIRIC know.

tax return

Tax Returns

LIRIC successfully filed 340 tax returns on behalf of our clients.  Some were very last minute – you know who you are! We thought you might be interested in some of the previous years unsuccessful excuses used in failed appeals against HMRC penalties for late filing and payment:

  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an Internet signal.
  • I fell in with the wrong crowd.
  • I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
  • I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
  • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
  • I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
  • My girlfriend’s pregnant.
  • I was in Australia.

On 6 April those HMRC “Notices to file a tax return for 5/4/15” will be coming through your post box – so get organised – let LIRIC have everything in good time and not only does your tax return get filed but we can advise you of your tax liability – preventing any unexpected payments.  LIRIC will be writing to you soon.

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…

Tax Investigation Update

HMRC has never been more focused or organised in its pursuit of additional income from tax investigations than at present. During 2013/14, £9.2bn was collected in extra tax from compliance work, including £8bn from big business and £268m from the UK’s wealthiest individuals.

In total, the taxman delivered £23.9bn last year from cash it collected – and loopholes it closed –  to prevent tax evasion and tax avoidance. The figures highlight that individuals and businesses of all shapes, sizes and wealth are in the line of fire as HMRC looks to achieve a record £24.5bn this year. – read more here.

If you are not currently insured with us against this and now think you should be then do let us know.

PS- LIRIC’S routine renewals will be in April.

Diary for Tax Return Dates

DATE WHAT’S DUE
19 December  PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS   return and tax, for month to 5/12/2014.
(22 December if you pay electronically)
1 January Corporation tax for year to 31/3/14
19 January  PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for month to 05/01/2015
(due 22 January if you pay electronically)
31 January Deadline to file 2014 Self Assessment (SA) tax return online
31 January Income tax balancing payment for 2013/14, plus CGT for 2013/14
31 January Income tax 1st payment on account for 2014/15
VAT

VAT ‘mini one stop shop’ (MOSS)

Are you one of the 60% of SME’s (Small Medium Enterprises) unaware of VAT changes coming from the start of next year? For businesses that provide ‘digital services’ to consumers that include downloaded apps, music, games and e-books, VAT will no longer be charged based on where the company is located, but the EU country where the customer is based.
Digital services include telecoms, satellite TV, the downloading of computer software, music, books and manuals. From 01 January 2015, the UK trader will need to identify where in the EU their non-business customer is located and apply the VAT rate for that country, instead of UK VAT. The customer’s location will be where the consumer is established, has their permanent address or usually resides.

The VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) has been introduced to save these businesses from having to register for VAT in every EU Member State in which they supply their services.

 Businesses can now register for the online service from 20 October 2014. Registration for the service has to be carried out by the business itself. Once registered, you can authorise us as your agent to act on your behalf for VAT MOSS. Please contact us if you think you may be affected by these new rules.

As 2015 approaches planning ahead is vital

Two-thirds of business leaders say they simply don’t have enough time to step back from day-to-day tasks to focus on a long-term strategy, according to a new report from GrowthAccelerator.  And yet those who have taken the time to plan say it has put them, on average, ten months ahead of where they would have otherwise been.  Other findings include:
  • The survey also finds that half of business leaders are unable to describe their business objectives for the next 12 months “off the top of their head”.
  • only 16% of business leaders spend the majority of their time planning for growth;
  • nearly half (47%) of business leaders are not working regularly, or at all, on their business strategy;
  • 36% only revisit their business plans occasionally;
  • 3% don’t even have a business plan.

Business owners are unsure how to grow their business according to the report, with 44% saying that a key challenge is knowing how to grow and with 30% saying that defining a clear strategy for growth is an obstacle.

The ‘Working On Not In’ report from GrowthAccelerator shows that this is made more difficult for the business leaders who do not have enough time to step back from the day-to-day to focus on a long-term strategy.

Simon Littlewood, director at GrowthAccelerator, said: “For business leaders, knowing the best way to achieve growth is a sizeable challenge and an added pressure in changeable economic times. This, combined with the time-consuming demands of ensuring a business is running smoothly on a day-to-day basis, means looking forward with longer term planning can slip down the to-do list, but it is essential for success.”

Meanwhile, new research by digital marketing agency, Engineered Marketing, finds that the majority (64%) of UK small businesses do not have a documented marketing plan. And women in business are more likely to ‘wing it’ than their male counterparts, with 70% of women saying they did not have a marketing plan compared to just 62.2% of men.

 

LIRIC can work with you to help you identify your goals, document them and achieve them. Contact LIRIC  to see how our business growth programme can work for your business.