HB&O Headlines - January 2018

23rd January 2018

Self Assessment

Self-assessment - important payment changes


The deadline is looming for online self- assessment tax returns, which are due on 31 January. You’ll also need to pay your tax bill by this date but it’s important to be aware of changes to payment options.
Taxpayers are no longer able to use their personal credit card to pay their annual tax bill. HMRC has made the changes following the ban on credit card surcharges (see below). If you haven’t already paid your tax bill, you can use the following methods:
  • Debit card
  • Online or telephone banking (Faster Payments)
  • BACS
  • At your bank or building society
  • Direct Debit (if you’ve set one up with HMRC before)
  • by cheque through the post
Some payment methods are quicker than others, so make sure your payment reaches HMRC by the deadline to avoid being fined.

For advice on self-assessment contact advice@hboltd.co.uk

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Management accounts

Know your business - making the most of management accounts

Most people recognise the importance of measuring performance, but how often do you take the time to really understand what’s going on in your business?
Do you only focus on the bottom line once a quarter, or take a quick look at sales? You could be missing vital signs where your business needs a lifeline, or opportunities which would take it to the next level. That’s where good quality management accounts can make a real difference.

Gone are the days when management accounts were just about financial data, such as profit and loss and balance sheets. Thanks to advances in new technology and access to data, more and more clients are using holistic management accounts as the principal tool to monitor and manage the effectiveness of their business as a whole.

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Tax guide

Year-end Tax Guide 2017/18

It's a good time to review your taxes and finances, before the end of the tax year on 5 April. 

Our year-end Tax Guide is a useful summary of rates, reliefs and allowances, from personal allowances to pension contributions. 

For tax advice, please contact Helen Coombes or Neil Allcroft
Download the guide
HMRC Investigations

What to expect when HMRC comes knocking 


No one wants their business to come under the Revenue’s microscope – even when nothing is amiss, the inspection itself can be very time-consuming and costly. 
HMRC has upped its game in recent years when it comes to probing businesses or sole traders who may be suspected of falsely reporting or underpaying tax – and some businesses are selected completely at random.

Nobody appears to be beyond the tax man’s remit, whether you’re the chief executive of a Premier League football club or the owner of a microbusiness with a much more modest turnover.

There are various ways to keep you and your business low on HMRC’s priority list, with the most basic method being maintaining accurate records for us to process. But if they do come knocking, our investigation fee insurance gives you peace of mind that your tax affairs are in expert hands, and that our fees are covered, no matter how long the process takes.

If your policy is up for renewal, or if you would like to take out insurance to protect your business, please email: feeprotection@hboltd.co.uk 

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HB&O Employee shortlisted for FirstPro Award

HB&O Client Support Manager, Deborah Waterworth, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious Coventry and Warwickshire First YoungPro 2018 awards.
The annual First YoungPro Awards celebrate the breadth and depth of talent within the region’s professional and financial services sector’s next generation of leaders. Deborah, who qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant with HB&O four years ago, was interviewed by a panel of judges who analysed her performance in the workplace, as well as her commitment to the Coventry and Warwickshire region.
Nominated by Coventry Director, Phil Ewing, Deborah provides confident support to all clients and has become the ‘go to’ person in the firm for advice on cloud accounting. “Deborah is very committed to providing the best support in whatever she takes on and always goes the extra mile.” said Phil.
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Steven Mugglestone

HB&O welcomes new Associate Director


We are delighted to welcome Steven Mugglestone to the HB&O team as Associate Director. Steven has joined the firm to provide strategic advice and support to clients as part of the continued growth and development of the Coventry office. 

Steven has over 25 years’ experience within the industry, and has a background in both large national and independent accountancy firms. As well as being a Finance Director for a number of businesses, he has worked with a wide range of SMEs, including carrying out business restructuring and transactional work, as well as forensic, expert witness and litigation support. Having guided a number of businesses from start-up through to succession, retirement and sale, Steven is ideally placed to support businesses throughout their development. 

If you would like to meet Steven, he will be on our stand at the Midlands Business Network Expo (see below). Alternatively, you can reach him via email: steve.mugglestone@hboltd.co.uk

Credit Card

Open Banking closes the door on credit card surcharges

As part of the legislation which introduced Open Banking this month, it’s now illegal for businesses to charge customers an extra fee for paying by credit, debit card or payment systems such as Paypal.
The ban on surcharges will see an end to fees which are commonly experienced when purchasing items online, such as concert tickets and flights. Though this could save money for consumers, the costs for businesses may have to be balanced elsewhere, which could result in retailers introducing new service charges, increasing shelf prices or refusing to accept credit card payments altogether.

The changes come at the same time as new Open Banking regulations come into force, which aim to create more choice for consumers and SMEs, and increase competition between lenders.

Under the new rules people can give permission for businesses, other than their banks, to access their account information online. Through the use of apps and online services, people’s spending can be analysed, allowing third parties to offer better deals on anything from household bills to mortgages.

While consumers will have to give their explicit consent to allow access to their financial data, according to a recent survey by Accenture, consumers are wary about potential fraud and risks to security. This may result in slow take up of Open Banking, as people adopt a wait and see policy.

For more information about Open Banking visit www.openbanking.org.uk
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Midlands Business Expo

HB&O is set to help businesses get fit for 2018 at the Midlands Business Network Expo

HB&O is delighted to be exhibiting at the Midlands Business Network on 26 January, where our experts will be on hand to help businesses get set for growth in 2018.
Our team will available throughout the show, offering advice on all aspects of accountancy, tax and business planning to help your business get fit for the future.
Don’t forget to take part in our fun fitness challenge for a chance to win a Fitbit Charge 2!
The Expo takes place from 10am to 3pm on 26 January at the NAEC at Stoneleigh Park, CV8 2LZ. Find us at stand 42 and let us help get your business in shape.
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Are you ready for GDPR?

At Harrison Beale and Owen, we are taking proactive steps in ensuring our clients are ready for the changes that will arise from GDPR.
Due the positive feedback from our first two seminars, we have decided to run a third event for clients who want to stay up to date with changes and may have questions for our GDPR experts. 

Join us for a free, interactive seminar designed to help directors understand and prepare for the impact of the new General Data Protection Regulation. This is being held at Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa in Leamington Spa on Thursday 1 February from 8 am to 10 am.
Our speakers will be Matt Jackson from Emms Gilmore Liberson Solicitors, HB&O’s HR consultant, Paul Lawrie, and cybersecurity expert, Helen Barge, from Risk Evolves. Together, they will provide a useful insight in to the challenges of the GDPR and discuss the practical steps you can take towards compliance.
The seminar will also give you the opportunity to network with likeminded people and organisations who are trying to navigate this complex issue.
If you would like more information on the event or to register, you can visit the event page here, or alternatively you can email katherine.williams@hboltd.co.uk for more information.