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Opus Monthly News - February 2016

Setting staff goals and objectives for 2016

Motivating and retaining talented employees is important in any business. Setting goals, standards and objectives for employees and putting an appropriate appraisal process in place allows your team of people the opportunity to have their hard work recognised by the business.

The best way to do this is to clearly set out and agree expectations (by both parties) at the beginning of the year. Progress against expectations can then be discussed throughout the year, and a final assessment can be delivered at the end of the year.

Read more

Monthly-Newswire-UK- February 2016


Published on Friday, 07 October 2016 00:00

Opus Tax News - February 2016



From 6 April 2016 the Employment Allowance increases from £2,000 to £3,000, but if you’re the only employee in a company, and also the director, your company will no longer be eligible for the NICs Employment Allowance.

HMRC is currently consulting on the draft legislation for this change which will mean that the £3,000 allowance will not be available to offset against the employers’ NIC liability of such companies.

Click on the link below to read the full newsletter

Tax-Newsletter-UK- February 2016


Published on Thursday, 06 October 2016 00:00

Do I need a qualified accountant?

When you are considering setting up your own business you need to make sure that you are making decisions based on sound advice from trained professionals.

It is important that you consider three important elements before embarking on your business – tax implications, personal liability and capital.

Not only will a qualified accountant be able to advise on these and many other business related areas. Additionally, they will also have a network of valuable contacts to deal with things that need specialist advice.

The list of things an accountant can help with is not exhaustible. Some examples are:

  • Determining which records need to be kept and showing you how to keep them;

  • Saving time because of their experience in dealing with HM Revenue & Customs and knowing what forms need to be submitted by a new business in order for it to be compliant with legislation.;

  • They can also advise on the type of business entity to use in order to minimise tax liabilities;

  • Dealing with any disputes that may arise with HM Revenue & Customs and handling negotiations for you;

  • Advising regarding employment matters such as contracts and Payroll;

  • Review your business ideas and determine potential profitability;

  • Assisting with business plans, cash flow forecasts, budgeting;

  • Capital expenditure decisions – whether to lease or buy and the tax advantages;

  • Working capital funding – personal funds, bank overdraft or loan, external investment, factoring or asset finance;

  • Internal controls and systems relating to all aspects of the business;

  • Business valuation for when you are seeking external investment or to sell the business;

  • Taxation both of the business and the directors;

  • Compliance matters relating to the company, employees, health and safety, accounts and Companies House.

    Whilst all of these things can be done by someone who has read the relevant sections of the Companies Act, the various Taxes Acts, Discrimination Acts, Health and Safety etc. Only a qualified accountant can provide the added comfort that, if any advice they provide is inaccurate or leads to financial or other loss by the company, there is a “comeback”. ALL qualified accountants, whether they are members of ICAEW, ACCA or any of the other regulatory bodies, are required to have Professional Indemnity Insurance. This is to protect clients in the event that the accountant makes an error or provides inaccurate or poor advice and is to allow the client to recover any losses arising as a result.

    They are also required to undergo Continuous Professional Development in order to stay up to date with changes in legislation etc.

    Qualified accountants are required to have a complaints procedure. If a client has a complaint which the accountant cannot or does not address satisfactorily the client can then complain to the accountants professional body. Be it the ICAEW, ACCA or any of the other regulatory bodies there is a rigorous disciplinary regime and code of ethics that will be applied to the complaint. If the complaint is upheld the accountant will be disciplined by their professional body. In extreme cases this can result in fines, striking off and, rarely, imprisonment.

    The downside of this safeguarding of clients interests is that qualified accountants need to be members of a professional body. The cost of this together with Indemnity insurance and ongoing training will inevitably mean that a qualified accountant is likely to be more expensive than someone who is not qualified or who may have been struck off by their professional body.

    At Opus Accounting we are governed by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We abide by their rules, regulations and professional code of ethics. We carry Professional Indemnity Insurance of £750,000 to protect our clients. We undergo a minimum of 21 hours of structured courses annually in addition to unstructured reading, webinars etc. to keep up to date on changes that would affect our clients. We have a network of specialist colleagues to whom we can refer clients if they require advice outside our scope of expertise because we know that we cannot know it all. Finally, we provide all our clients with free fee protection in the event of a Revenue enquiry. This covers up to £75,000 of our fees in defending a client under enquiry or investigation by HMRC.

    So, do you really want to entrust your investment in your new business or the value you have built up in your existing business to someone who isn’t qualified?

Published on Friday, 09 September 2016 00:00


HMRC has announced several new taskforces to investigate tax evasion in specific commercial and geographical sectors. The taskforces bring together various compliance and enforcement teams for what are delightfully (or frighteningly!) called intensive bursts of targeted activity, typically focusing on 300 of the highest risk cases.

The new taskforces are:

  • Property rentals in East Anglia, London, Leeds, York, Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln, Durham and Sunderland
  • Restaurants in the Midlands - extension of work already underway in Scotland, North West England and London
  • Taxi firms in Nottingham, Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire
  • Market traders in London

If you know anyone in the above categories and they express concern about their tax affairs, we will be pleased to discuss the matter in detail. Call Sharon Johnson or Nigel Coombs on (01635) 896150 to arrange a confidential discussion.

Published on Friday, 09 September 2016 00:00


These will come into effect from 6 April 2013. If you are thinking of leaving the UK or coming to live here, now is the time to see exactly what impact the new rules will have.

Your tax residence status is fundamental in determining your UK tax exposure and, in turn, will influence the tax planning moves which will be needed. That is the case whether you plan to leave the UK to work, retire or just travel for a few years.

If this strikes a chord with you, a family member or colleague contact Nigel Coombs on (01635) 896150 to arrange a meeting.

Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00


As always, these campaigns are aimed at encouraging people to come forward about any previously undeclared income, promising that such action will result in a far lower penalty than if HMRC come knocking on their door.

The Tax Return Initiative is aimed at 40% and 50% taxpayers who are required to complete a tax return for 2009/10 or earlier but have not yet done so. The campaign started on 3 July 2012 and will run until 2 October 2012, by which time any unpaid tax needs to be paid.

The Direct Selling Campaign is aimed at businesses that sell products to customers away from a retail shop, often in the customers’ own homes. This could involve a party, door-to-door sales or simply selling to friends or relatives. Importantly, this campaign will not apply to those selling financial products.

Finally, the Trades Campaigns - Home Improvement Sweep Up is the third campaign focusing on the home maintenance sector, following the Plumbers' Tax Safe Plan and Electricians' Tax Safe Plan campaigns. This 'sweep up' will focus on individuals working in a variety of skilled trades such as roofing, window fitting, carpentry, bricklaying and joinery.

Specifically, the campaign is intended to encourage such individuals to come forward about any unpaid tax and thus bring their tax affairs up to date, using a straightforward yet time-limited opportunity.

If you know anybody with tax issues within these sectors, a referral to us will be much appreciated. Alternatively if you personally are concerned as to how these camapigns may affect you, call Nigel Coombs or Sharon Johnson on (01635) 896150 to discuss in confidence your particular circumstances.

Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00


There are proposals for enhanced corporation tax reliefs from 1 April 2013 which target businesses in the animation, high-end TV and video games industries. The aim of such reliefs is to make the UK the technology centre for Europe and avoid the risk of under-investment in those sectors.

The rate of relief is expected to be in line with the film tax relief regime, which is worth 12% to 20% of core expenditure depending on the film budget and whether or not a repayable credit is taken.

If you are involved in this sector give Nigel Coombs a call on (01635) 896150 to discuss your particular situation.

Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00


We all know that delegation is important in business. However, if and when you find yourself as the Managing Director, CEO or Managing Partner it is important to remember that you can’t do it all yourself. Delegation skills are particularly important to the leaders of an organisation as this sets the bar for the entire management team. In order to succeed at this enormous task they will need to make choices about delegating the right work to the right employees.

Delegation of responsibilities is not easy. It requires a complete review of the entire talent pool available within the business before the people who will be chosen to complete the task can be selected.

Choose the right person

The very first step is to choose a deserving person for a particular responsibility. The selection should be unbiased and based on a candidate's skill, attitude, determination, adaptability, and ability to handle responsibilities. The person should be self-motivated, hardworking, and most importantly a team player.

Give adequate training and time to the person

When delegating responsibility to your team, help them by defining a road map, give guidance and allow adequate time for them to transition into their new role and its responsibilities.

Show confidence in their abilities

Boost the confidence of employees by showing your faith in their skills and abilities. Show them the direction in which you want them to proceed and motivate them to move ahead with their own instincts and methods. Let them handle challenges with their own strength and take their decision (under your supervision and guidance). Don't interfere unnecessarily and try to give them the freedom they need in order to complete the task. This will ultimately build trust within your firm.

Maintain your Influence

Business leaders should delegate responsibilities to deserving team members but should not delegate their influence. The Managing Director’s influence ensures harmony and balance in an organisation. Being at the top of the pyramid, the Managing Director can keep an eye on the complete operational system and can identify the loopholes and weaker links.

In smmary, effective delegation can be practiced no matter the size of the organisation. Outsourcing to service providers, such as certain administration or record keeping, dare we say bookkeeping are all examples of delegation.

If you would like to discuss how you can outsource certain aspects of your business without losing control, give Grahame Johnson a call on (01635) 896150

Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00

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Registered Office: Opus Accounting Ltd, 2b The Votec Centre. Hambridge Lane. Newbury. RG14 5TN
Incorporated in England and Wales - Company Number 07126791

t: 01635 896150
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