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Blog Archives


Important Changes to VAT on Digital Services

If you sell digital services such as music or software downloads, e-books or online videos then from 1st January 2015 if you are selling these internationally you will have to determine whether your customers are businesses or not and where they are based. Continue reading “Important Changes to VAT on Digital Services” »


The First Rules of Marketing

The first rule in marketing is surely to establish whether there’s a market for your product or if you can create one? Continue reading “The First Rules of Marketing” »


The New Flexible Working Rules and What It Means For Your Business

After 26 weeks employment, all employees now statutorily have the right to request flexible working and as an Employer you are legally obliged to consider this and go through a consideration and handling process.

As an employer you may groan about the extra bureaucracy and administration costs, however you should now be putting a flexible working policy in place whether you like it or not.
Government statistics show (“lies, damned lies and statistics” I hear you shouting!) that offering flexible working practices will lead to economic benefits through improved efficiency and employee satisfaction. There are also many business advocates who say that allowing greater flexibility will help motivate staff , increase productivity and reduce the hassle of staff turnover which may actually reduce costs.

It is also not a fait accompli. Although your employees have the right to request flexible working practices as an employer you still has the right to refuse if you have a valid business reason. It is a right to ask and not a right to have.

If you do reject the request it must be for one of the following business reasons as set out in the legislation:

  • the burden of additional costs,
  • an inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff
  • an inability to recruit additional staff
  • a detrimental impact on quality
  • a detrimental impact on performance
  • detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
  • insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work
  •  planned structural change to your business

More details of the full request ,consideration and handling process can be found here.

Recent survey results by Citrix have shown that only 43% of  SMB’s support the decision and 21% believe this will have a negative impact time.  A survey by Fraser Young employment law specialists found 84pc of employers expect the new right to cause resentment among staff. More than half predict the change will adversely affect the day-to-day running of businesses.

My opinion for what it’s worth is rather than focusing on how many hours an employee has worked , put systems in place to ensure that their objectives are met ,focus on the quality of work and that your employees are actually enhancing your business. You may be surprised.


UK Marginal Tax Rates Explained

What rate of tax would you pay on an additional £1 of earnings? If your annual income is between £41,865 and £150,000 you may think the tax rate would be 40%, but the peculiarities of the UK tax system mean you could pay much more. Continue reading “UK Marginal Tax Rates Explained” »


The Discipline of Focus

To focus is surely one of the most important disciplines.. Continue reading “The Discipline of Focus” »


Summary-Key points Budget 2014

George Osborne has presented a budget for “the makers, the doers and the savers” in effect wooing the pensioner vote in this next to last election budget. Here is a key point summary Continue reading “Summary-Key points Budget 2014” »


Guidelines for working with your spouse.

Are you of the thought that spending more time with your hubby or wife would be wonderful or a complete nightmare? You could have a wonderful relationship but would it all go to pot if you had to spend 24/7 together? Continue reading “Guidelines for working with your spouse.” »


Changing with a market

Now forgive me if this little post sounds like I’m boasting. I assure you I’m not, it’s just I think that sometimes someone who is less involved or not so emotionally tied up in a business can see the obvious when the proprietor simply can’t. Continue reading “Changing with a market” »


The Key to Blogging

So many people find writing a blog difficult and I can’t blame them! What do you write about, how do you write it, why does nobody read the darn thing or want to link to it – well I was sitting at home chatting to my other half the other day and he commented about a regular e-mail he receives. Continue reading “The Key to Blogging” »


Weird Expense Claims

A lovely lady called Kate sent me a copy of a recent survey into expenses. The survey was commissioned by Access aCloud and looked into the methodology of expenses processing, claims and re-payment. Interesting (well perhaps) but the rascal in me spotted the side comments in the survey, which I found much more interesting – well ok, amusing. Continue reading “Weird Expense Claims” »


Employers can reduce their Employer NI contributions from April 6th this year

The HMRC has now issued guidance and exclusions on how to claim up to £2000 per year of your Class 1 NIC’s and don’t forget it takes effect on 6th April 2014. Continue reading “Employers can reduce their Employer NI contributions from April 6th this year” »


Does old fashioned etiquette and dress sense matter in the modern office?

I ask the question because (as you can imagine) I do have my own views and I’d love to hear yours. It’s interesting to find people turn up for interview in dirty shoes and scruffy attire and yes, even today those first impressions do count. Continue reading “Does old fashioned etiquette and dress sense matter in the modern office?” »


So you want to work from home…

In this age of the Internet, there are many of us that either chooses or dreams of working from home. My partner and I do just that, and along with the many benefits such as flexibility, there have been some interesting challenges which may just be helpful to someone dreaming of turning the office light off for the last time . Here are a few of them that spring to mind. Continue reading “So you want to work from home…” »


Summary Key Points Autumn Statement 2013

Government message is that the plan is working, the economic outlook is better and the austerity measures will continue.

Opposition argument is that it is not actually helping people with a continued squeeze on standard of living and increases in the cost of living.  The recovery is still based on an increase in personal debt and it is an unsustainable economic recovery. Continue reading “Summary Key Points Autumn Statement 2013” »


What is the most important factor when recruiting?

I do honestly do other things than look through the Beeb all day, but I have to credit them again with a recent article on recruitment that caught my eye.

Just about every business person must look to Richard Branson’s success with admiration and it was Mr Branson’s thoughts on recruitment that caught my eye. Continue reading “What is the most important factor when recruiting?” »


Running a business in a war zone…

Well ok, perhaps not a war zone, but I spotted a recent article on the BBC website, which made fascinating reading. I’ve abbreviated some of its points here, as I was just awestruck. Of course many of the globe’s people have little choice, but how in God’s name do they do so? Continue reading “Running a business in a war zone…” »


What should you do with Mobile Phones in the Office?

I’d lock them all up! . Continue reading “What should you do with Mobile Phones in the Office?” »


Forget the marketing, we’re all for social media…

said the unemployed marketing manager! Ok, so social media must be the biggest buzz word for most companies now and lets face it, the way a company communicates with its prospects and potential customers has changed exponentially over the last few years. For many it’s difficult to grasp all the Facebook, Twitter ,“likes” and stuff (especially if you’re over 50), however are we able to drop the traditional marketing – indeed more to the point, should we? Well before you think I’ve finally lost it, I for one sit securely in the NO camp! Continue reading “Forget the marketing, we’re all for social media…” »


How Companies Avoid Corporation Tax

I watched a great video on the BBC with the beguiling title of “A Beginners Guide to Tax Avoidance”. It is a fascinating simplification and here is our summary. Continue reading “How Companies Avoid Corporation Tax” »


So you now have an e-commerce shop but what should you do?

As an accountant, it occurred to me just recently that there are many people who’ve established online shopping websites and sit wondering why they aren’t performing as well as expected and where they should be allocating their budgets. Continue reading “So you now have an e-commerce shop but what should you do?” »

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