Entries by Michael Barker

Communication is the key to family business harmony

Being able to share a passion for your business with your family can be hugely rewarding. But when things go wrong in a family concern the fallout can be felt far and wide. That is why it is vital to have proper structures in place to mitigate those affects and prevent real damage to the […]

HMRC and small business: complexities don’t help

The general feeling that emerges from a recent HMRC report is that small businesses can feel intimidated by some tax complexities. Many don’t believe HMRC really understands their needs. And they often assume that they will be accused of, and penalised for, deliberately attempting to avoid tax if they make a mistake. Based on research […]

Scammers on the rise

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning taxpayers to prepare for a surge in activity by fraudsters in the run up to the January 31 self-assessment deadline. Over the last year, HMRC received nearly 900,000 reports from the public about suspicious HMRC contact – phone calls, texts or emails. More than 100,000 of these were […]

Why charities need an experienced auditor

The importance of charities appointing auditors and independent examiners with specific experience and a proper understanding of the sector has been underlined by a new report. The study by the Charity Commission has revealed that only around half of the charity accounts reviewed met the regulator’s external scrutiny benchmark. Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services […]

Preparing for a no deal Brexit

HMRC has announced it is stepping up efforts to ensure businesses are ready to trade post-Brexit as the chances of a no deal continue to increase. It is automatically enrolling companies in an important customs system and doubling the numbers registered. More than 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK are being allocated an Economic […]

Making re-enrolment simpler

Employers will be able to re-enrol their staff into a workplace pension more simply following the launch of a new online resource, according to regulators. They say that while the vast majority are carrying out re-enrolment successfully, some are failing to complete the task correctly – which could lead to a fine. The new re-enrolment […]

Lift-off for aerospace R&D

A new £24million fund for collaborative research and development (R&D) projects is good news for SMEs in the aerospace sector. The new funding opportunity was announced by Business Minister Andrew Stephenson at the Paris Airshow. And the aim is to help keep UK aerospace suppliers at the forefront of manufacturing in the country. The announcement […]

Mind the gap

The UK tax gap – the difference between what should be paid and what is actually being received – remains at its lowest for five years, new figures have revealed. However, the amount of money going into the nation’s coffers is still £33bn shy of what it should be. Publishing the figures, HMRC says that […]

Is it time to ditch the spreadsheet?

Here is a stark statistic. An estimated 88 per cent of spreadsheets include mistakes, and half of those used by big businesses have “material defects,” according to a recent report. And those errors are costing businesses billions. JP Morgan’s so-called “London whale” fiasco, which led to a $6 billion loss, involved a spreadsheet mistake. Canada’s […]

The green route to growth

As businesses grow and enter new supply chains it is becoming a common requirement for them to demonstrate their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. It can open new opportunities but also be a daunting task. However, help is at hand for Lancashire’s SMEs. And the benefits of getting it right can include significant cost-savings […]