Recommended App – TAX READY

TAX READY

With cloud-based technology becoming a feature of everyday life, businesses are wise to implement good, modern software and apps where possible. The right apps can simplify your life and work; improving efficiency and profitability (time is money)!

So, continuing with our regular app recommendations, this month we’d like to recommend TAX READY – our very own, brand new app!

What is it?

Tax Ready is a smartphone app (available on Apple, Android and Windows devices). It has been designed with business owners and managers in mind; providing a range of useful tools to help with the operational aspects of running a business.

How much does it cost?

£0 – it’s free!

What are its features?

  • Tax calculators – there’s a calculator for almost everything but, as an example, the income tax and NI calculator enables you to work out the gross cost of employing a new staff member – or help your employees to understand their net pay.
  • Tax tables – quick access to up-to-date tax rates.
  • Key tax dates – keep track of deadlines and easily add them to your phone’s calendar (just one-click and the reminder’s there) .
  • News – regular news articles on a variety of useful topics.
  • Mileage and expense recording – keep track of your mileage and expense claims whilst on the move, then download them as a spreadsheet when required.

Why do we recommend it?

Although somewhat biased, we genuinely believe the app is a useful resource for our clients and contacts. We think it’s easy to navigate, has a fresh, modern design, and it’s free!

How do I get the app?

To add the app to your device, search ‘Tax Ready’ in your app store … then download and enjoy exploring the features.

 

 

 

FSB urges Low Pay Commission to delay National Living Wage rise

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to consider whether forthcoming rises in the National Living Wage (NLW) rate may need to be put on hold if the economy cannot bear the pace of change.

The NLW rose in April 2017, and presently stands at £7.50. The government has pledged to bring the NLW to £9 per hour by 2020. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated that this will ‘fall short’, and may only reach £8.75 an hour by this time. The FSB has stated that any risk to the UK economy should be ‘built into the next NLW increase’, which is scheduled for April 2018 – suggesting that the NLW should rise to no higher than £7.85 next year.

The FSB is concerned that the NLW does not currently take into account the state of the UK economy and inflationary issues, and has highlighted a ‘string of recent poor economic statistics and continued uncertainty’ as reasons for the LPC to consider delaying the planned rises.

The call followed the FSB’s publication of new research, which revealed that 64% of small firms affected by the NLW have recorded lower profits in order to meet the April 2017 rise, while 39% have had to put up prices to meet the demands of the NLW.

Commenting on the issue, Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: ‘Small employers have demonstrated their resilience in meeting the challenges set by the NLW, with many cutting their margins or even paying themselves less to pay their staff more.

‘In sectors where margins are tight, small firms are resorting to more drastic measures to cope with the NLW.

‘It’s vital that the NLW is set at a level that the economy can afford, without job losses or harming job creation. Cost pressures on small businesses are building, and with most recent economic indicators underperforming, we are now facing the reality that the NLW target may need to be delayed beyond 2020.’

The LPC is set to make its NLW recommendations to the government in the Autumn.

Exciting Opportunity! Job Vacancy for an Accounts Assistant…

An opportunity not to be missed!

Due to continued growth, The Shepherd Partnership Ltd have an exciting opportunity for a PRACTICE ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT to join our friendly team.

We are looking for a committed, hard-working team member to support our senior staff and Directors… and make a real difference to our business!

Responsibilities

We envisage that key responsibilities will include, but not necessarily be limited to;

  • Preparation of annual accounts for limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and other entities
  • Maintenance client records/ book-keeping
  • Preparation of VAT returns and management accounts
  • Preparation of tax returns
  • Payroll

Qualifications & Experience

  • Candidates must have GCSE grade C or above in Maths and English.
  • A formal accountancy qualification is desirable but not essential.
  • The ideal applicant will have a minimum of 3 years’ experience gained within an accounting practice, ideally including knowledge of cloud based accounting packages and payroll processes (including auto-enrolment).

Work Pattern

This position is full-time (some flexibility in working hours may be possible for the right person). The successful candidate will primarily work from our Skipton premises.

To Apply

If you feel you are the ideal person to join our supportive and experienced team, please send a covering email and your CV to skipton@shepherdpartnership.com.

Salary

Competitive – negotiable depending on experience.

Business Groups React to Taylor Review of Employment

Business groups have reacted to the recommendations of the Taylor Review into modern-day employment practices, which sets out the key principles for providing ‘fair and decent work for all’.

The review suggests that a national strategy is needed to help provide security in such areas as wages, quality of employment, education and training, working conditions, work-life balance and the ability to progress at work.

Recommendations for the government include implementing strategies to ensure that workers don’t get ‘stuck at the living wage minimum’, initiating a review focusing on providing employees with ‘good work’, and avoiding an increase in the non-wage costs involved in employing an individual, such as the Apprenticeship Levy.

The review also highlights the so-called ‘gig’ economy, recommending the creation of new ‘right to request’ guaranteed hours, and the introduction of the term ‘dependent contractor’ to replace the term ‘worker’, with the aim of capturing those who are currently classed as self-employed, but who work for firms which have a ‘controlling and supervisory’ relationship with their workers.

Business groups have given mixed reactions to the report’s findings, with many welcoming the focus on labour market flexibility, but also warning that some areas, including the plans to rewrite employment status tests, are a cause for concern.

Commenting on the report, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: ‘The world of work is changing, and it is only right that employment law and practice change with it. Matthew Taylor has rightly recognised that the UK’s flexible labour market is a great source of strength and competitive advantage, but has also recommended some common-sense changes where grey areas have emerged in recent years.’

However, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) warned that the review ‘is not the game-changer needed to end insecurity and exploitation at work’.

Young Talent Shines at Shepherds

The Shepherd Partnership celebrates its newest Accountant as Sophie Renou, 26, qualifies and becomes an affiliated member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

As the youngest member of the team, Sophie is showing all the signs for a long and fruitful career.  The Shepherd Partnership has keenly supported Sophie with her career development from day-1, when she joined them in a support role.

Sophie with her official qualification certificate
Sophie with her official qualification certificate

Director Adam Dutton comments:

“Sophie joined the firm in 2006 as something of a’ Girl Friday’, helping with admin and reception duties. Before long we enrolled her on the AAT qualification, and then on to the ACCA. She’s achieved good grades across the board and is showing great potential. We’re proud to have such young talent at Shepherd Partnership”.

As well as the ACCA and MAAT (Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians) qualifications, Sophie also has an Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business.

She may have an impressive track record already, but her training won’t end here. Sophie intends to start a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Accounting later this year.

Skipton Rugby Match Sponsorship: Shepherds ‘do it right’

For the second year running The Shepherd Partnership have sponsored a match at Skipton Rugby Club. On Saturday 20th October over 50 local businesses and Shepherd Partnership staff congregated at the club for an afternoon of pies, peas, beer, and good company against a backdrop of rugby.

  

It was once again an incredibly successful afternoon, with many attendees reporting that they had relished the opportunity to meet up with both familiar and unfamiliar faces.

   

The Shepherd Partnership was also praised for its good organisation, warm hospitality, and for supporting the local club through sponsorship.

Here are some of the comments received since the event took place:

‘…thanks for the excellent afternoon we enjoyed at the Rugby Club on Saturday.’ – Chris Windle, Windle Beech Winthrop Limited

‘…a most enjoyable afternoon and your hospitality was much appreciated.’ – Justin Birch, QualitySolicitors Mewies

‘…the Shepherd Partnership sponsored match is without doubt one of the best held at Skipton Rugby Club because you do it right. It is well organised and you get a good crowd down which creates a good atmosphere.’ – Simon Smith, Windle Beech Winthrop Limited

‘Good beer – good pies – good company!’ – Mike Vincent, Fresh Partnership Limited

‘Thank you all for a most enjoyable afternoon in Skipton.’ – Peter & Maeve Rock, Modern Equipment Limited

With such a great crowd and friendly atmosphere, it was easy to believe that nothing could go wrong at the Club that day. In truth there was one negative to report – the score….

Better luck next time!

Marathon Update: 26.2 miles ran & over £900.00 raised

Adam enjoys a well-deserved beer!

Adam enjoys a well-deserved beer!

We’re pleased to announce that on Sunday 20th May 2012 Adam Dutton – a Director at the Shepherd Partnership – completed the 26.2-mile Windermere Marathon, raising over £900.00 for the Alzheimer’s Society. A number of friends, family, and Shepherd Partnership clients have very kindly supported Adam with this challenge, and he like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their well wishes and sponsorship.

In total 773 people took part in the Windermere marathon this year; the winner completed the course in 2 hours 45 minutes and last person came in after 7 hours 5 minutes. 

Adam’s finishing time was 3 hours 35 minutes and he came in 94th overall and 20th in his age category (No wonder he could hardly walk!).

Adam wanted to take part in this event to support such a fantastic cause. His gran will be 95 this year and has lived with Alzheimer’s for a number of years, so this is a charity that really does matter to him.

Unfortunately it’s a fact that many more of us will experience Alzheimer’s too at some point in our lives. In fact, there are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to one million by 2021. 

Adam is delighted to be able to handover more than £900.00 to the Alzheimers Society, an amount that will undoubtably make a difference. It’s really made all the effort and pain well worthwhile for him. 

You can view Adam’s online sponsorship page and all the encouraging comments he received at http://www.justgiving.com/A-Dutton.

Thanks again.