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Auto Enrolment

The Pensions Regulator has started to send out letters for businesses with staging dates in May 2017!! That seems a long way off but you need to start taking action now – have you received this letter? – see here – please make sure you keep it and let LIRIC have a copy if you wish us to register on your behalf.  DO NOT delay in registering.

 

Santa

Santa’s Sizeable Sleigh

When Santa Claus does his Christmas Night travels, folklore suggests that he stops the world clock for 2 minutes while he delivers all the parcels and presents to children around the world.  This cannot be true.  It is reported that there are  2.3 billion children around the globe.

Science tells us that the volume of presents to a child is on average at Christmas is 2.3 cubic foot.  Given that volume and the number of children it makes Santa’s sleigh 245m long, 167m wide and 40m deep.  Allowing a reindeer of some stature can pull a load of 1/3 of a ton that would mean that not 8 reindeer pull the sleigh, but 1,260.  –  This actually means that the world is stopped not for 20 secs but 364 years!  I really should get out more!

Managing Difficult Employees

Effectively managing difficult employees can be a challenging prospect. Whether it is the employee who is consistently late, who complains incessantly or who seems to constantly upset their co-workers, every company must deal with difficult employees.These situations drain management’s time and energy, impact on the morale of co-workers and interfere with overall workplace productivity. The key to effectively addressing such situations begins with an understanding of the issues and a clear identification of the actual source of the problem.

Even the best employee can have an off-day (or week, or month). Before deciding if an employee is difficult, managers must first step back and neutrally assess the situation. The first question to ask is whether the behavior is critical enough to implement a formal HR process. Another important concept to consider is that ‘different’ does not equal ‘difficult’. There will always be employees that a manager does not gel with, understand or even like. However, this is not enough to deem an employee difficult. To constitute a “difficult employee”, behavior must exceed acceptable standards, policies and procedures or interfere with productivity.

Define the Problem

When addressing the problems created by difficult employees, the focus should always be on job performance. It is management’s duty to clearly explain why the issue is a problem, and how the problem is adversely impacting the company. At this stage it may be useful to refer to the employee’s job description and the company handbook.Clarify Roles
It is important that both the manager and employee are absolutely clear on individual roles. The manager’s role is to ensure business success by leading, coaching and supporting employees. The employee’s role is to meet predefined performance and behavior standards, and function as a cooperative team member. A key concept that employees must grasp is that it is not only the level of their performance that is important, but also how their performance affects the functioning of their team, department and the company overall.

Identify Expectations
This is where the manager should clarify four things – the employee’s performance, responsibilities, impact of their behavior and the consequences if it dozen’t change. A follow up and ongoing review should be scheduled and regular updates between the manager and the employee will help to move things forward and get the employee

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.
Tax 31 January image

Make January 31st 2015 and Save £100

This date looms ever closer – we have completed and submitted  95% of our clients tax returns., If you still have not provided the information to enable LIRIC to prepare your return ( you know who you are!) then it may not be too late, but we cannot guarantee meeting the filing deadline! There is an automatic £100 late filing penalty – even if no tax is due.
HMRC have started to send out the statements for tax due 31 January  – these should tally with the figures we have previously advised you – if you are in doubt please ask us.  If there is no figure shown in the tax due box, this does not  mean there is not  tax to pay!! HMRC will have started running these statements several weeks ago and if they have not received they your tax return by that time then the tax requested may not be correct  Please pay what LIRIC advised to:-

HMRC Cumbernauld
Sort code 08-32-10
Account 12001039
Reference is your 10 digit UTR (Unique Tax Reference) followed by the letter K

 Please ensure you use the correct UTR as otherwise HMRC may not allocate the payment correctly to your account. and it will take a considerable time to identify payments that end up in HMRC “suspense” account.
2015 picture

Website update for 2015

LIRIC announce that a brand new website will be ‘live’ in January of 2015, this will enable us to instantly update our clients on any breaking financial and tax related news.
LIRIC hope that the existing Newsletter will direct potential and existing clients to visit the LIRIC website to keep updated of those new items.  Our 20% introductory offer has realised 15 new clients since its introduction!

Autumn Statement

The Chancellors Autumn Statement

Find out what the Autumn Statement means to you and your Company

LIRIC are pleased to attach our guide to the Autumn Statement 2014.

LIRIC’S guide offers a summary of the key business, tax and financial measures that were unveiled, along with some of the forthcoming changes that may affect you.

It was an interesting statement, clearly some political motivations with the general election looming. It was positive to hear the economy is doing well, in fact better than expected.

There are some radical and interesting changes including the headline grabbing changes to stamp duty on residential property. Other major topics include an additional increase to the personal income tax allowance, and a review of business rates.

For tailored advice on any of these topics, and how they may impact your business or personal finances, please give us a call on 01763 853633 or email lisa@liricaccountants.com.

Remember, LIRIC offer more than the traditional tax and compliance requirements: we can advise you on strategies designed specifically to minimise your tax bill, improve profits and make the most of your personal wealth.

LIRIC look forward to hearing from you.

Autumn Statement 2014

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.