Buyout team builds for growth

A Burnley-based business bought out by its senior management team earlier this year has revealed plans for growth as it emerges from the pandemic.

RAM Services, a specialist structural repair and refurbishment contractor, has a strong order book and pipeline of work.

Established in 1980, the company provides a range of services to the power and water supply and distribution sector, the wider civil engineering industry and to a range of public sector organisations.

It operates primarily in the North West of England but also works all over the UK and sometimes overseas.

The buyout deal, for an undisclosed sum, saw its shareholders retire and exit the business with Paul Haworth, contracts director, and James Best, business development manager, taking full control.

WNJ carried out financial due diligence for the buyout team. The MBO was completed in March this year, after being delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lancashire-based businessman Paul Lansom facilitated the funding to the deal and guided and advised the management team throughout the process, assisted by WNJ and solicitor David Southern of Vincents.

He said: “The deal took 12 months longer than it should because of Covid-19 but we managed to get it moving again and over the line and everyone involved was pleased with the eventual outcome.

“It is a really strong business with two new directors, and going forward, following a period of consolidation, the management team has some ambitious plans for growth.

“The company has a good reputation for quality and it is this quality ethos that permeates through all tiers of the operation. The future is looking really positive.”

He added: “WNJ did an excellent job during the MBO process and the business will be appointing them as auditors moving forward.”

We’re hiring: Experience bookkeeper wanted

WNJ is looking for an experienced bookkeeper to join our growing team based at our office in Preston’s docklands.

This is a full-time position in our cloud bookkeeping department. We’re after a skilled multi-tasker and team player who is reliable and committed to consistently meeting deadlines.

Confidentiality, excellent organisation skills and accuracy are important qualifications for this position, as well as good client relations and the ability to communicate clearly.

At WNJ we pride ourselves on the quality of our advice and on our proactive, personal approach.

The successful candidate will assist in processing and preparing clients’ financial records and VAT returns within cloud accounting software and Excel, and also train clients in cloud accounting software.

Benefits include 21 days annual holiday, increasing up to 27 days.

The role and responsibilities include:

• Posting of bank payments and receipts (manually and from bank feeds)

• Posting of purchase invoices and sales invoices

• Reconciliation of bank accounts

• Training clients on accounting software

• Preparation of Quarterly VAT returns and submissions

The successful candidate will liaise with partners and other staff members over information requests, such as producing relevant financial reports from the accounting software.

The role also includes reviewing clients’ work, such as bookkeeping entries and VAT returns and answering clients’ queries.

They will also be required to:

• Answer client bookkeeping and VAT queries

• Process CIS VAT reverse charge transactions

• Have knowledge of post-Brexit VAT regulations and to enter these transactions within the cloud accounting software

What we are looking for:

• At least four years+ experience
• Someone with excellent communication skills
• Good problem solving
• Good technical knowledge of VAT
• Someone who is able to work independently and be able to use their own initiative
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel
• Proficiency in at least two accounts software packages such as Sage 50, Sage Business Cloud (Sage One), Xero, QuickBooks or FreeAgent
• Preferably, although not essential, have certifications for using the above software

They will also be expected to keep up to date with HMRC, VAT, and other relevant regulations as well as new releases within cloud software.

Confidentiality:

• It is expected that all WNJ employees will understand that our work is confidential and that personal details must not be divulged to members of the public. This obligation will continue indefinitely even after termination of employment.

To apply:
• Please send your contact details and a full CV to Kim Bolton: KB@wnj.co.uk

WNJ is hiring

WNJ has a vacancy for an experienced bookkeeper to join our growing team based at our offices in Preston’s docklands.

The post is a full-time position and the successful candidate will assist in processing and preparing clients’ financial records and VAT returns within cloud accounting software and Excel, and also train clients in cloud accounting software.

Confidentiality, excellent organisation skills and accuracy are important qualifications for this position, as well as good client relations and the ability to communicate clearly.

We’re ideally looking for someone who would like to maintain a role within our Cloud Bookkeeping Department, a skilled multi-tasker and team player who is reliable and committed to consistently meeting deadlines.

The role and responsibilities include:

• Posting of bank and supplier payments (manually and from bank feeds)
• Posting of bank and customer receipts (manually and from bank feeds)
• Reconciliation of bank accounts
• Posting of purchase invoices to purchase and nominal ledger (manually and via other platforms such as Auto Entry and Hubdoc)
• Reconciliation of purchase ledger to supplier statements
• Training clients on accounting software
• Preparation of quarterly VAT returns and submissions
• Entering gross wages journals and reviewing financial reports such as trial balance, trade debtors and creditors at year end/period end before passing onto accounts staff
• Liaising with partners and other staff members with information requests such as producing relevant financial reports from the accounting software
• Processing of CIS VAT reverse charge transactions
• Investigating into VAT treatment of query transactions

The role also includes reviewing clients’ work, such as bookkeeping entries and VAT returns and answering clients’ queries.

The successful candidate will also assist junior members of the department with the use of accounting software where necessary and review their bookkeeping an VAT work.

What we are looking for:

• At least four years+ experience
• Someone with excellent communication skills
• Punctuality
• Good problem solving
• Good technical knowledge of VAT
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel
• Proficiency in accounts software including Sage 50, Sage Business Cloud (Sage One), Xero, QuickBooks and FreeAgent
• Preferably, although not essential, certifications for using the above software

Confidentiality

• It is expected that all WNJ employees will understand that our work is confidential and that personal details must not be divulged to members of the public. This obligation will continue indefinitely even after termination of employment.

To apply:

• Please send your contact details and a full CV to Christine Garner:
CHG@wnj.co.uk

WNJ is hiring

WNJ has a vacancy for a finance and admin assistant to join our team based at our office in Preston’s docklands.

The successful candidate will assist our office manager in the control of finances and the administration of the organisation – enhancing its efficiency and effectiveness.

We’re ideally looking for someone with experience within an accounts office, finance department or accountancy practice. This is a full-time (37.5 hours) permanent position.

The role

You will:

• Support the work of the office manager
• Set up accounts for new client and maintenance of existing client account records using IRIS software
• Produce Sales Ledger invoices
• Carry out the reconciliation of client receipts
• Produce and analyse weekly aged debtor reports
• Regularly and frequently review outstanding debts and credit control
• Use your experience and judgement in managing the effective collection of monies owed to the company to avoid bad debts with the ability to challenge in a non-confrontational way where necessary
• Produce client statements
• Undertake banking when necessary
• Draft Letters of Engagements for all new and existing clients
• Cover reception as required
• Work on ad hoc assignments when required

The role also involves assisting with the provision of an efficient and effective AML service, which includes:

• Assisting with the ‘on boarding of new clients
• Carrying out various customer due diligence checks
• Reviewing AML documents for existing clients
• Liaising with the partners of the firm regarding AML new client forms and ID documentation
• Being responsible for collecting and maintaining new and existing client , ensuring at all times the organisation complies fully with the stringent Anti Money Laundering regulations

What we are looking for:

• 5 GCEs at least to GCSE grade C or equivalent including Maths and English Language

Essential Skills or Knowledge:

• Must be able to utilise both oral and written communication to a high standard
• Must have the ability to formulate and maintain good working relationships both internally and externally
• Must have excellent attention to detail
• Strong organisational skills
• A good working knowledge of MS Excel and Word
• Be able to manage own workload and show initiative
• Flexible in approach to work

Confidentiality

It is expected that all WNJ employees will understand that our work is confidential and that personal details must not be divulged to members of the public. This obligation will continue indefinitely even after termination of employment.

To apply:

Please send your contact details and a full CV to Christine Garner:

CHG@wnj.co.uk

Brewery rises to the challenge

A family-run brewery came up with a successful home delivery service during lockdown – with demand for its beers coming from across the country.

Slater’s Ales is based in Stafford but has strong links to the North West. All of the family originally come from Preston and it still has many ties with the area.

Company director Vicki Slater says the business is now looking to invest in its own automated bottling plant as it looks towards the future.

She explains how the brewery had to come up with a new business model when lockdown struck and its hospitality outlets closed their doors.

Vicki says: “Pre-pandemic 95 per cent of our business was supplying pubs, restaurants and on trade customers covering the majority of the England and Wales.

“On March 19 we lost all of that. Overnight we had to come up with a new model for the company.

“We have always had a small online presence and over that weekend we could see the orders start to pick up. From that moment we knew where we had to go to ensure the business not only survived but thrived through the period.”

Every member of staff, including those working in its own bar, was put on furlough.

Vicki and head brewer and managing director Andrew Slater started to push the online options for home delivery on social media.

Vicki says: “The majority of home deliveries were sent out within 48 hours and we started to get orders for nationwide deliveries.”

The brewery used Preston-based InXpress to get its nationwide deliveries out the next day, an approach that ensured repeat customers.

Andrew started to slowly increase brewing capabilities and Slater’s started to brew different beers for bag in box and bottled beers. Its small hand-bottling plant at the brewery was in full flow most weeks.

Looking to the future, Slater’s says it is uncertain how long it will take the pub trade to recover.

In the meantime, it has taken the decision to look at funding options to create its own automated bottling plant to stop reliance on external companies.

It has also joined forces with Virgin Wines and its beers are now listed on the website with new brews are in the pipeline specifically for Virgin customers.

Vicki says: “We have learnt that, like many other businesses that faced a challenging time, change can be for the good and that it can bring its own rewards”.

If you wish to try Slater’s multi award winning ales for yourself the company has a special offer for all WNJ clients.

You can receive 10 per cent off all orders through October. Just use the code WNJ10 at checkout through the website www.slatersales.co.uk

WNJ IS HIRING

WNJ has a vacancy for a qualified accountant (ACA or ACCA) with strong practice experience to join our growing team of forward-thinking professionals.

This is a chance to join a leading, well-established and independent firm of chartered accountants with a wide portfolio of clients in all sectors of business.

At WNJ we pride ourselves on the quality of our advice and on our proactive, personal approach to meeting all our clients’ financial and business requirements.

Our client profile ranges from multi-million-pound turnover public limited companies and substantial family-controlled businesses to charities, professional practices, partnerships, sole traders and high net worth individuals.

This is a vacancy for a well-rounded Senior Accountant looking for career development. You must able to work on your own initiative and be eager to take on responsibilities.

The post is based in our office in Preston, Lancashire.

The role

You will:

• Be responsible for accounts preparation for limited companies, LLP’s, partnerships and sole traders
• Prepare management accounts, VAT returns and financial forecasts
• Need a rounded knowledge of all areas of taxation
• Be able to complete a set of accounts from client records to completion
• Discuss and resolve accounts queries with clients
• Prepare accounts files to high standard for partner/associate review
• Review work prepared by juniors and other team members

What we are looking for:

• Strong practice experience
• Excellent communication skills
• Good technical knowledge
• The ability to manage juniors and work on their development
• Experience with accounts software, including IRIS, Sage, Xero, QuickBooks
• Audit experience is not essential

To apply:

Please send your contact details and a full CV to Christine Garner:

CHG@wnj.co.uk

Furlough scheme: an update

Our newsletter on June 1, ‘Job Retention Scheme Flexible Furloughing’, highlighted that from July 1 businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part-time.

The factsheet released by HMRC states: “From 1 July the scheme will only be available to employers that have previously used the scheme in respect of employees they have previously furloughed.”

The scheme will close to new entrants from June 30. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to that date.

The final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be June 10, in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by June 30.

Therefore, if you wish to furlough an employee for the first time, or for a further three-week period immediate action must be taken in order to agree it with the employee in writing.

From July 1, 2020 the maximum number of employees you can claim for in any period cannot exceed the maximum number of employees you have claimed for on any claim submitted for a previous period.