Business Services

Advisers with energy, commitment and opinions

As Chartered Accountants, Registered Auditors, and Chartered Tax Advisers we provide a full range of reporting and compliance services. And if you only want us to do these (important) things, that’s fine, but you’ll be missing out. We do much more.

Our clients are growing businesses and established international corporates.

We use our expertise, personality and energy to provide clear advice to business owners and leaders to support growth and solve challenges.

The clients we work with value our expertise and they work with us to achieve goals, either business goals or personal goals for the owners and their families.

We won’t tell you that we can increase your profits. You’re the talented people who do that. We won’t tell you that we can save you lots of tax. We will of course optimise your tax planning.

But we will tell you what we think will help you to grow and develop, possibly exit your business or hand it to the next generation. And it’s a team effort. We’re not omniscient and we don’t have a crystal ball:  our most successful relationships are just that, a relationship where information flows and as your adviser we will understand your challenges and opportunities and help shape your thinking.

If you’re starting or running an interesting business with plans for the future, or have challenges you need help with, and want expert advisers with real energy, commitment and opinions, then please get in touch.

How we can help

Sector specialisms

Digital media

Food and Agriculture

Property

Technology

Leisure and Hospitality

Professional Services

What our clients say

How we can help

Business advisory   

Business tax planning   

Employee incentives   

Research and development   

Business exit planning   

Property transactions and holding structures    

Business reconstructions   

Extracting profits – tax efficient remuneration and reward    

HMRC enquiries and disputes   

Reporting and compliance   

Accounts   

Trust accounts   

Audit and assurance   

Virtual finance office (G&P)    

Business tax compliance   

Business advisory   

Business tax planning   

Employee incentives   

Research and development   

Business exit planning   

Property transactions and holding structures    

Business reconstructions   

Extracting profits – tax efficient remuneration and reward    

HMRC enquiries and disputes   

Reporting and compliance   

Accounts   

Trust accounts   

Audit and assurance   

Virtual finance office (G&P)    

Business tax compliance   

Business advisory

This is what we do best. We use our expertise and experience to help businesses solve problems with practical, sometimes complicated, solutions. We help clients avoid problems and develop opportunities because we have seen a lot of similar businesses go through the same thing.

Our team are experienced accountants and tax advisors with energy and are all about getting things done.

What kind of things are we talking about?

  • We help clients restructure their business in advance of, or as part of an exit
  • We support clients through a sale process or fundraising process
  • We support clients expanding through acquisitions or simply sense check new ideas
  • We put share schemes in place for growing businesses to share the success
  • We advise growing businesses on overseas expansion
  • We help overseas businesses set up and operate UK entities
  • We help structure companies to build or buy commercial properties, or indeed sell commercial properties in a tax efficient way
  • We help shareholders go their separate ways, most when it’s amicable but sadly some when it’s not.
  • We do a lot of succession planning, it’s what family owned businesses need and we are particularly experienced in the area of farms and estates where keeping it in the family is the name of the game
  • When it’s time to call it a day we help clients close their business in an orderly and tax efficient way

And much much more…

Business tax planning

Tax legislation has become increasingly complex, and a particular transaction can have implications for many different taxes – it’s easy to overlook some of the tax consequences and usually difficult to reverse these once any deal has been done, necessitating a proactive approach.

We work closely with our chosen clients to stay well-versed with your plans, but it is of course a two-way street and we encourage, indeed rely on, our clients to discuss future plans with us throughout the year.  In that way our team of experts can advise on the various tax implications that may arise from proposed transactions, and suggest ways of conducting the transaction in order to minimise the tax exposures, and still achieve the desired objective.

Our approach to client service always starts with a thorough appraisal of your needs.  Once we know what you need, we adapt our service to fit – for some clients we provide a “soup to nuts” solution to a problem or indeed a variety of problems, running transactions from start to finish. For other clients we offer ad hoc support whenever it’s needed throughout the year, followed by a year-end review as part of the year end compliance process.

Employee incentives

Aligning a team’s interests with those of the owners is vital to success. Whether you’re looking to pass your business on to the next generation or grow it for a sale, there are a number of ways employee incentives can be used to help attract and retain the best talent.

It’s not always straightforward to design these schemes, but once we understand your intentions, we will help you decide the best way to achieve these.

Whilst Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) share option schemes are the most common option, we can also assist with a variety of other schemes including;

  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOPs);
  • Unapproved share option plans;
  • Share Incentive Plans and Save As You Earn Schemes;
  • Employee Ownership Trusts;
  • Growth Share plans;
  • Long Term Incentive Plans; and
  • Phantom Share Option plans.

Research and development

Key headlines

  • Arguably the most generous tax relief for entrepreneurs.
  • R&D provides crucial funding for many growing businesses.
  • For every £100 spent on R&D SMEs can claim £230 of tax deductions.
  • For loss-making businesses this can equate to cash of up to 33% of the qualifying expenditure.
  • Over the last 4 years alone our clients have claimed over £27m in additional CT relief and received £5m in cash from HMRC.

Of course, nothing is ever really simple, but our approach is to make R&D as accessible for our clients as possible

We have been involved in numerous successful R&D claims for technology businesses, however we have also assisted our clients in other industries to make successful claims – it’s a common misconception that R&D tax relief is only available to those in the technology sector.

So what qualifies?

First and foremost, to be eligible for R&D tax relief your company needs to be seeking an advance in science or technology; we work with you and your team to assess whether the projects undertaken qualify as R&D. If we believe the company qualifies, we  then work with you to identify the qualifying costs..

The process?

You will need to prepare and submit a report to HMRC setting out why you believe the work undertaken by the company qualifies, and detailing the costs that are being claimed. We can help with this, from preparing the full report on your behalf to simply reviewing the content prepared by your team. Either way, we believe that input from your technical team is vital to a successful R&D claim – they are the experts in the technology and the advances being sought and are therefore best placed to explain them. Our job is to shape their knowledge into a format suitable for submissions to HMRC and increase the chances of a successful claim.

In addition to assisting with R&D tax relief claims we can provide advice on the correct accounting treatment for R&D costs and the interaction of the accounting and tax treatment when capitalising R&D expenditure.

The costs?

Like many firms we undertake R&D work on either a fixed fee or contingent fee basis which ranges from 10-20% depending on the value of the claim

Scheme for large companies

For those companies who are ineligible for the SME scheme relief is still available in the form of the R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC), it is just less generous at 13% of the qualifying expenditure (12% before 1 April 2020).

Business exit planning

The planning for this starts early and is almost always a personal choice.

Experience tells us entrepreneurs enjoy turning great ideas into reality and building value. Their personal drivers are always different, and, whilst no single approach fits all, we have helped many business owners and their families develop and exit their business, admittedly some more successfully than others.

We understand how to optimise structures to help the business remain flexible, capitalise on opportunities and also retain tax efficient options for a future transaction.

It’s a joined up, full-service approach. As your business advisers we help you grow and shape your business, our Corporate Finance team get transactions done and our Private Client team ensure it works for you and your families in the long term.

Property transactions and holding structures

We help landowners, property developers and professional investors maximise value with our understanding of the ever-changing tax rules. The rules are complex, but our experts will assist clients make the right decisions.

Property remains an attractive option for business owners and is often part of a successful businesses journey: we help business owners understand the opportunities for this asset class and how to efficiently structure transactions.

Property ownership is affected by different taxes (VAT, SDLT, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and others) and we take a holistic view working to create structures that take into consideration and minimise tax overall.

We are used to working closely and openly with other advisors (solicitors, agents and others) in order to ensure that tax advice on property matters is given in the light of other commercial considerations and that the tax aspects of the transaction are integrated into the overall strategy.

Business reconstructions

It’s all about a plan.

There are many reasons for business reconstructions, and many ways of restructuring. Whether you are looking to simplify a group structure to reduce your administration costs, split the business between shareholders or effect a demerger of two different businesses in advance of a sale our team of experts will be able to advise on the optimal method, taking into account the tax implications as well as the commercial objectives: after all the tax tail shouldn’t wag the business dog.

Execution is everything and it’s always a team effort.

These transactions are complex with significant tax at stake. We assist with the implementation of a restructuring exercise, from requesting clearances from HMRC where required, to preparing the necessary Company Secretarial documentation, and advising on the correct accounting entries. We will work closely with your legal team and other advisers to get the transaction done in the most efficient way.  Additionally, our Corporate Finance team can help with finding investors or buyers for the restructured business.

Extracting profits – tax efficient remuneration and reward

Our experience with entrepreneurs and family-run businesses means that we are well versed in advising on, and implementing tax efficient remuneration policies. We are often asked what the “best” split of salary and dividends is, and the answer, as is so often the case with finances and tax, is “it depends”.

Whilst minimising tax exposures is always a key consideration, we understand that there are often other factors involved, and flexible structures are sometimes needed to accommodate the wishes of all parties involved. We also take a long-term view – what is best now may not work with your future plans for the business and may limit your options for exit planning.

We can also assist with implementing tax efficient incentive schemes for key employees – see employee incentives.

HMRC enquiries and disputes

Sadly, enquiries and disputes  are increasingly common as the government finds ways to raise funds and, while our processes are designed to minimise the risk of enquiries, they can never be eliminated completely.

We support clients responding to HMRC enquiries in all business and employment taxes, typically corporation tax, VAT and PAYE and our approach is resolve these in a timely and efficient manner to minimise costs and tax liabilities.

We encourage clients to take cost effective tax fee protection insurance.

Reporting and compliance

We call it ‘cast iron compliance’. The bread and butter. All businesses need some form of reporting, be that regular financial information, year-end accounts or specialist audit and assurance services. We’re Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors and we use technology and expertise to do deliver these services efficiently and with insight.

Our clients range from early stage growth businesses through to multi-million corporates.  We act for many high growth businesses with institutional investment as well as many subsidiaries of overseas parents and have an understanding of the reporting issues they all face.

But we don’t do everything: we’re not “big” on charities and don’t do listed entities. If we don’t have the expertise you need, we’ll tell you and recommend you to some experts we know.

It’s all about building a service that suits you.

Explore more about:

  • Business Accounts
  • Trusts
  • Audit & Assurance
  • Virtual Finance Office
  • Business Tax compliance

Accounts

If you assume a set of accounts is pretty much the same as another you won’t be totally wrong. The important thing is to know how your accounts are different, what is important and having an adviser who gets it right every time, on time and who can help you with the more interesting bits.

 Most businesses need accounts in some shape or form, and we prepare accounts for sole traders, partnerships, LLP’s, charities and of course limited companies under UK GAAP as well as IFRS.

We have seen many companies complete their life cycle and will be able to help you understand how developments will impact your financial statements, and the view these give to your investors and lenders.

So how do we add value for you?

We listen to your aspirations and we work with you, guiding you on your journey.

We work with other professionals e.g. solicitors, employment advisers, to ensure that the company, and you receive the best and most appropriate advice

The process will be completed on a timely basis allowing you to concentrate on the future, and not worry about the past.

We ensure our team are up to date with tax legislation and what might be relevant to our clients, to make sure they’re provided with the most tax efficient advice.

Trust accounts

We have an experienced team specialising in preparing the annual Trust accounts and tax returns, IHT returns in relation to 10 year, and exit charges.

We work with the trustees and their lawyers to ensure a full understanding of why the trust exists, and what the future plans are for the assets it holds. This collaboration allows maximum forward planning so the Trustees can ensure they are aware of what is coming round road – whether it be an idea of tax charges that may arise on the appointment of assets, or the 10 year charges.

The accounts we prepare for Trustees are not a ‘one size fits’ generic format. The information and detail they present is bespoke to what the Trustees think would be beneficial to present to the beneficiaries.

If you are interested whether a trust would be beneficial to you, this is where we can really help. As a start, have a look through our guides for some background information, and if you want to know more, get in contact with our Private Client team.

Audit and assurance

The business may require an audit for a variety of reasons.

Whatever the reason whatever the reason we have a dedicated and experienced team to help. Our approach is about making the process as painless as possible and adding value.

Plan to finish. Audits can be disruptive and time consuming for clients. We work with our clients to plan the approach, minimise disruption through technology and most importantly, plan to finish through clear timelines and deliverables..

We use our experience of similar businesses and understanding of your business to add value. We will review your systems and controls, your susceptibility to fraud and highlight both strengths and weaknesses to you.

If you do not require an audit but would like a service that provides a comfort to your key stakeholders then an assurance review may be for you.

An assurance review is a voluntary review which is less formal than an audit.

We will make enquiries of management and others, and carry out analytical procedures to allow us to understand the whole picture. We review your accounts and investigate any areas of concern. This will include analytical procedures, looking at changes from one year to the next and carry out further tests if something comes up in the review that catches our attention.

We will then prepare a report to be attached to the financial statements.

Virtual finance office (G&P)

Through our group company, Green and Purple, we offer a CFO-led virtual finance team. We provide a cost-effective and professional Finance outsourcing solution  which  provides our clients with a full range of bookkeeper to CFO in one fixed monthly retainer. The solution can both save your company money, and help you make more, through strong financial management advice and processes. It is a fully flexible, tailored service based on an individual business’s needs. 

The  outsourcing services range from sales invoicing, credit control, bank reconciliations and purchase ledger to HMRC liaison and many of our clients regard us as their own internal accounts department: as a Green and Purple client you can benefit from your own experienced CFO/Finance Director, accurate book-keeping, HMRC reporting and accurate and timely management information.

For more details visit greenandpurple.net or call Lee Maughan on 07920 782116.

Business tax compliance

With strict time limits on many reliefs getting compliance wrong can be expensive.

We’re well-versed in the compliance requirements for all business taxes including the usual corporation tax and VAT, however we’re also expert in the more unusual taxes that businesses may face such as ATED and SDLT. We use this expertise, our knowledge of our clients and comprehensive systems to ensure accurate returns are filed with HMRC on a timely basis.

We have particular experience in group companies and assist many overseas businesses with their UK reporting requirements.

Despite the simplification of the taxing of Benefits in Kind many businesses still need to prepare P11d’s and PAYE Settlement Agreements annually and we support clients with these processes as well as other employment related matters.