So you have just received the dreaded brown envelope from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announcing that it has some concerns about your tax return. Don’t panic, as Wolters Kluwer’s CCH tax expert, Neil Tipping, has some practical advice for Fresh Business Thinking readers.
Commercial finance can be a confusing area for accountants and business owners to navigate. An online search for accounting terms can often lead to glossaries packed with over 1000 entries – and many of these are almost impossible to understand.
So, we’ve compiled a list of the most important accounting terms related to credits, debits, finance and cashflow, as these form the lifeblood of any SME. We’ve tried to explain them in a way that will make the most sense to company directors.
Most people who extol the virtues of using finance to buy business assets usually claim it is the most tax efficient way to do so. In my view, first they may well be wrong and, secondly, they are ignoring the many other good reasons for using finance, especially for SMEs. Without lecturing you on the many different methods of raising finance (lease, lease purchase, rental, contract hire, operating lease, whether on or off balance sheet) I can assure you that if you were to ask five accountants for their advice, they would struggle to come up with the same definitions, the same options and certainly the same tax advantages. Every business should consider a range of options and benefits before deciding what is best for them; saving tax is not the only reason. What else should you consider?
Steven R. Beharrell is the co-head of Fasken Martineau’s Global Energy Group. He has extensive experience and knowledge on the energy sector having spent more than 30 years as a lawyer in the industry.
Last year banks were in the news for all the wrong reasons. According to reports the state owned banking giant, RBS, had been making vast profits at the expense of vulnerable SMEs; its effort to reduce risky loans has nudged previously solvent companies out of business.
“Engaged employees produce improved business results compared to less engaged employees” – intuitively obvious and now empirically proven according to the MacLeod Review, a government sponsored research report. At Rackspace we followed our intuitive beliefs from the start and put engagement with our employees (known as Rackers) at the heart of our competitive advantage.
The experience of building Metro Bank has been nothing short of exhilarating. We’ve grown at an incredible rate since our launch in July 2010, and now have more than 1000 colleagues, 24 stores, over 250,000 business and personal customer accounts and more than a billion in deposits. As the only high street bank to launch from scratch in more than 100 years, we’ve had to break through a century of resistance in Britain’s financial environment. Now, three years on, we are often asked about the strategy and organisational challenges behind our rapid growth.
Envisioning a worthwhile future has long been a key motivator for successful business leaders who go on to develop strategies and tactics to bring their visions to fruition. Visionary leaders are capable of seeing success in their mind’s eye, imagining the achievement of a vision as if it’s already happened. Without vision, there’s no map or route to success and inspiration is quickly lost. So above all, you need vision.
With more than 16,000 members in over 250 local communities, Rock Choir is the UK’s largest contemporary choir. This successful and sustainable family-run enterprise is helping to bring people together, make them feel good, and is raising millions of pounds for charity in the process.
There comes a time in the development of a business when it is often beneficial or deemed desirable by the shareholders, who are often the founders, for a distinction to be made between the role of the management team, which is focused on running the day to day activities of the business, and the board, a more strategic grouping which is focused on making sure that the interests of the shareholders and other stakeholders are well served. As businesses grow, this two tier structure, which is an accepted feature of the public company arena, will normally emerge.
As the recognition of the value of intellectual assets, including intellectual property (IP), increases, management teams are becoming more aware of the need to consider it as a part of their mainstream business planning. Whilst IP and its protection will be more important to some businesses than others, no one is exempt. You will therefore need systems that enable you to capture, exploit, monitor and enforce these important rights.
The National Business Awards’ Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, David Spencer-Percival, co-founded his specialist recruitment company, Spencer Ogden, with Sir Peter Ogden in 2010. Turning over £4m in its first year, the company recently announced a turnover of £32.2m in 2012, with a projected £50m+ for 2013.