Poor Advice Costing British Businesses Billions

ID-100257178Poor professional advice is costing British businesses billions of pounds. According to research conducted by Direct Line for Business, more than 320,000 UK businesses have been let down by some form of professional advice to the tune of around £20,482 each over the last 12 months.

In all, it equates to a massive £6.4bn being attributed to misleading advice costing the UK’s small and micro-businesses

The results were not purely financial, with around 46% of those affected having to lay off staff as a direct result, and 30% saying their expansion plans had to be scaled back or cancelled. 20% of micro-businesses report to have lost between £50,000 and £100,000.

The survey reveals that the group earmarked as most likely to give damaging advice was IT consultants, followed by management and marketing consultants, while 10% said that they were hit by poor accountancy guidance.

If you feel you have been let down by poor accountancy advice, come and talk to us at Green & Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of Lordjiew at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The South Wales Argus Features Our Highly Successful Landlord Forum Event


The South Wales Argus have penned an article following on from our highly successful Landlord Forum event held last Wednesday. Held in partnership with solicitors Rubin Lewis O’Brien, the event was a great triumph, and we are already looking forward to our next to be held in November!

QualitySolicitors Rubin Lewis O’Brien has teamed up with accountancy firm Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors to hold this year’s Landlord Forum events.

Amy Jo Copeman and Kerry Griffiths, from Barclays Bank, were the first speakers for the season and gave an insight into the new tighter regulations for buy to let mortgages…

Click HERE to view the article online.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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A Happy Environment


Maria, a member of our admin team at Pembroke House, ponders over the benefits of working in a happy environment both inside and outside the office:

Here at the offices of Green and Co, when working at the reception desk, where for most of the day I’m glued to my computer, wading through emails, tasks, booking in accounts, and general administration work with my colleagues in the Client Care team sorting out whatever it takes to keep the office running smoothly, I have of late looked up and out of the window and realized how fortunate we are to be located at the edge of Llantarnam Park in a semi-rural location.

Our office is surrounded by extensive grounds containing trees, bushes, flower beds and grassed areas.  With this in mind it is surprising what wildlife we seem to attract; today it was squirrels running across the grass and up the trees, on another day we might be lucky to see rabbits bouncing about and running for cover if anyone spooks them! We see many different types and sizes of birds, from small colourful ones to birds of prey perched on the lamp posts looking down for a mouse or something similar to eat. I have even been told that in the summer an owl was seen in the grounds in the late evening.

We were for many years located at New Street in Pontnewydd which is only a few miles away and in a very small busy village, and we never had the pleasure of seeing anything nice out of those windows except for cars and buses and they were literally a few yards from the front desk!

We are also very lucky on nice summer days to be able to enjoy our lunch away from our work areas and the hustle and bustle of the office, sitting at the picnic benches in the grounds, and this is always relaxing, calming and enjoyable, as we never know what wildlife we may see.

I could think of worse places to be.

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Automate Your Accountant!


A new report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has questioned whether the next inevitable step of business is the introduction of robots in the workplace.

Fear not, Hollywood fans! In this case we don’t mean walking, talking robots sent back in time to enslave us, rather software tools that are designed to run in a data centre working through a user interface. The technology has been around for a while, but is mainly limited to communication widgets to ease workflow and e-invoicing.

But what role can robots play in a field like accountancy? After wrestling with that very question, the ACCA has released this paper to try and decipher whether it is a reality or just a ‘clever marketing tool.’

From an accountant’s point of view, my key question is: what are the chances of a robot being clever enough to take over my job? But the report also considers whether there are jobs which can be improved, replaced or even eliminated with the use of robotics.

One of the co-authors, Jamie Lyon, says that ‘there needs to be far more clarity beyond just the headcount reduction’. While the numbers may seem ‘appealing’ and many may be attracted to the shedding of expensive labour, the reality may be entirely different.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of ratch0013 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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MAPs For Compliance – Mileage Claims


HMRC’s approved mileage allowance payments (MAPs) are the mileage rates which can be claimed in a variety of circumstances for tax compliance.

Since 2011 the rates have remained unchanged; in each tax year 45p per mile can be claimed on the first 10,000 business miles carried out. For business miles in excess of 10,000, 25p per mile applies. These are the rates for cars and vans and apply regardless of how many vehicles are used in the tax year.

The MAPs will apply if you’re self-employed and you claim the flat rate for mileage instead of the actual costs incurred in buying and running your vehicle. However, once you use the flat rate for a vehicle, you must continue to do so as long as you use that vehicle in your business.

For those employees who carry out qualifying business journeys in their own vehicles, the MAPs can be claimed. If your employer pays in excess of these you will incur a P11D benefit. The MAPs are not to be used for business miles carried out in a company car, however, as lower rates apply where an employee pays for the fuel used in their company car. These rates are updated by HMRC each quarter.

MAPs are used in other areas of tax and it is important to monitor the rates in case of a change.

Should you require any further information please contact Green & Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Family Home Allowance – The New Inheritance Tax Relief

home-310553_640Currently, Inheritance tax is paid if a person’s estate (their property, money and possessions) is over £325,000. This is known as the inheritance tax threshold. Any assets that are above this amount incur an Inheritance Tax charge of 40%. Married couples or civil partners are able to double their allowance up to £650,000 before tax is payable.

However, from April 2017, an additional “family home allowance” is being introduced for people owning a home. It will eventually be worth an extra £175,000 per person – meaning the tax free band can be up to £1m for couples. It can even be transferred between married couples and civil partners if one dies before it is introduced in 2017.

The existing £325,000 nil rate band is frozen at its current level until 2021.

In order to qualify for the family home allowance, the property must have been the main family home at some point and be left to one or more direct descendants, including children, step children, adopted children, foster children and even grandchildren. However, it will not include other family members such as nieces and nephews.

If there is more than one property in the estate, only one will qualify for the new allowance. If a home is sold or downsized any time from 8th July 2015, the family home allowance will still be allowable as long as assets of an equivalent value are passed to the descendants instead.

For estates with a net value of more than £2m, the family home nil rate band is withdrawn at £1 for every £2 over the £2m threshold.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Landlords: Out With The Wear & Tear – In With The New


Further to the announcement in the Summer budget that the wear and tear allowance for furnished lettings would be abolished, HM Revenue & Customs have now published a consultation document which outlines the proposal to replace wear and tear allowance with a relief that enables landlords to deduct the actual cost of replacing furnishings.

The new allowance would be available to landlords of furnished, part furnished and unfurnished lettings and will cover the capital cost of replacing items used by the tenants such as beds, fridges and freezers, carpets and floor coverings, televisions, linen and crockery. The relief will apply from 6 April 2016.

These changes are not applicable to those with furnished holiday lettings or commercial properties lettings. The current capital allowances regime will still apply in these cases.

For more information please contact Green & Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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