Consultants | Chartered Accountants | Statutory Auditors

Services

We provide a comprehensive range of accounting and tax services. Core services apply to both charities and companies and are complemented by sector-specific services.

Audit & Independent Examination

We provide a comprehensive audit service specifically tailored to each individual client. Our audits follow a four-step process: planning, fieldwork, finalisation and feedback. We work collaboratively with you at each stage of the process, which helps to ensure a smooth and efficient audit process.

We see the audit as a process that can really add value to an organisation. So instead of simply meeting our statutory requirements as auditors, we endeavour to identify areas within your systems, controls and governance where improvements and efficiencies can be implemented. We like to keep in touch with our clients throughout the year – not just during the audit. We will keep you up to date with changes in legislation affecting your organisation, as well as being on hand to help with anything from minor queries to big projects.

We have a separate audit work programme for companies and charities, ensuring the audit fulfils the correct legal requirements as well as being targeted to the issues that are relevant to you.

We can perform independent examinations for charities below the audit threshold, as well as grant audits for specific projects and funders. We also have experience of auditing overseas operations for charities who operate abroad.

For companies who are below the audit threshold we can issue an accountant's report and for sole traders or individuals seeking to raise finance we can issue a confirmation of earnings.

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Accounts Preparation

For organisations that manage their own bookkeeping during the year but just need a bit of help at the year end, we can prepare annual accounts from your trial balance or bookkeeping records. We will prepare all the necessary year end adjustments, such as depreciation, accruals, prepayments, and corporation tax provisions, and convert your figures into a format that complies with all applicable regulations (Charity Commission, SORP, Companies Act, etc).

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Management Accounts

Management accounts are a critical tool in assessing an organisation's performance and making timely decisions about future strategy and spending. We can help you to improve your management accounts to optimise the information presented to management. This can involve devising new report formats, tailoring your accounting system to produce bespoke reports, identifying and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), and implementing new forms of reporting such as cash flow forecasting.

Alternatively we can help you by preparing the monthly management accounts and/or budgets on your behalf and, if required, presenting them to the directors/trustees/management.

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Bookkeeping

We offer a fully outsourced bookkeeping service leaving you free to do what you do best: running your business. This involves processing all your invoices, recording all your receipts and payments, reconciling your bank accounts, and processing your VAT returns. We can complete the work remotely, or come to your premises whichever you prefer.

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Payroll

An organisation may decide to outsource its payroll function for a number of reasons. Often organisations do not want the burden of keeping up to date with changing legislation and tax rates, or they don't have the expertise or capacity in-house to manage the payroll. Sometimes it is simply more cost effective to outsource.

We provide outsourced payroll services which involve calculating the monthly wages, tax and other deductions for your staff, producing payslips and payroll reports and filing them with HMRC each pay period.

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Accounting Software

The right accounting software can save lots of time when it comes to bookkeeping and reporting financial information. There are many products on the market and choosing one that is suitable for the size and nature of your organisation is not always easy.

We are affiliated with Sage, which means we are licensed to sell their software and updates, and provide expert training and support. We also work with a number of cloud based accounting systems, including Quickbooks. We can help you to select an appropriate software package and install it for you, ensuring it is configured to your specific needs. We can also train your staff to use the software and offer support on an ongoing basis.

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Review of Accounting Systems

Accounting systems and processes often evolve organically, and over time they can become outdated, unwieldy and cease to meet the organisation's reporting needs. This can result in inefficiencies and poorly presented financial information.

We have worked with many organisations to overhaul their accounting systems. This can involve buying new accounting software, but more often it simply involves making better use of an existing system. For example, redesigning the nominal code structure, introducing the use of department/cost centre codes, implementing fund tracking, designing new reports, developing Excel tools and automating processes (such as posting transactions by CSV import).

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Internal Audit

Internal audit can help you to assess whether your current systems and procedures are adequate and whether they are being properly implemented. Regular internal audits can help charities to operate more efficiently and mitigate the risk of fraud and error. We offer a variety of internal audit services. We can work with you to help you develop your own internal audit programme. Alternatively, we can conduct the audit on your behalf, reporting our findings and recommendations to you.

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Training & Mentoring

We strongly believe in empowering those we work with so that they can build their own skill-set and become less reliant on outside support. We offer a variety of services to develop the skills of both finance and non-finance staff. We offer bespoke training to groups or individuals including: trustee/director workshops on issues such as strategy, risk, and business planning; one-to-one training with finance staff to enhance their skills; and finance training to non-finance staff to develop their understanding of financial issues and increase their confidence in dealing with numbers.

We can also be commissioned to deliver training at external seminars or events. We have previously delivered external training courses on charity VAT and full cost recovery models.

Our mentoring scheme has been particularly effective. This scheme is designed for finance staff who are taking on new areas of responsibility (such as financial strategy, charity accounting, or management accounting). The process starts by identifying the individual's training and development needs and setting objectives and timescales. The training and development objectives are achieved through a series of regular sessions. Throughout the process we are also available by phone or email to troubleshoot on specific issues.

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Consultancy & Advice

We are happy to undertake ad hoc consultancy projects across a variety of disciplines. Here are some examples of projects we have done recently: recruitment of finance personnel, charity and company restructures and trading operations, a review of financial systems and controls, advising on risk management, helping trustees to draft realistic reserves policies and writing a financial procedures manual. If you have a project that you would like some help with, please call us to arrange an initial consultation to discuss the scope of the work.

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Setting Up a Charity

We help a lot of new charities to get started. This involves advice about the most appropriate legal structure (incorporated or unincorporated charity, CIC, etc), governing documents, assistance with Charity Commission, Companies House and HMRC registrations, securing funding, preparing budgets and business plans and understanding your statutory obligations.

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Gift Aid

We can offer advice on all aspects of the gift aid scheme, including how to register for the scheme, what records to keep, how to maximise gift aid potential, and meeting gift aid requirements on specific issues such as donor benefits, admission fees, and membership schemes. We have also supported several charities through HMRC gift aid audits. In the event of a visit from HMRC we can help you to prepare the necessary information, ensure you understand the implications of HMRC findings, and if necessary negotiate on your behalf.

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Trading Subsidiaries

Whether you just want to sell a few charity Christmas cards, or whether you want to want to launch a full-scale trading operation, we can advise you on the best way to carry out trading activities. It may be possible for you to carry out certain activities within the charity, or it may be necessary to set up a trading subsidiary. We can advise on the legal and tax implications and help you set up a subsidiary company if required.

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Charity Tax & VAT

It is a common misconception that charities are exempt from tax. Charities can take advantage of a variety of tax exemptions - income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, VAT reliefs and business rates relief to name a few. But charities are operating in an increasingly commercial way and understanding when exemptions and reliefs apply to a charity can be tricky.

We have a detailed knowledge of charity tax exemptions and reliefs, and years of experience in how to structure your activities in the most tax-efficient way. We can help you understand the nuances of when fundraising becomes taxable trading, and when a council funded project becomes a VATable supply of services.

VAT for charities is a particularly complex and specialised subject. We have advised many charities on VAT issues, including:

  • Comprehensive VAT reviews to establish the correct VAT position and the most cost effective way of structuring operations
  • Negotiating directly with HMRC for clients who are undergoing a VAT investigation
  • Providing information on how to save VAT
  • Preparing complex partial exemption calculations
  • Registering and deregistering for VAT
  • Preparing and filing quarterly VAT returns
  • Configuring accounting software to handle complex charity VAT

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Corporation Tax

Appointing us as your Tax Agent will ensure your company's tax affairs are handled efficiently and tax-effectively. We will offer advice on how to structure your business in order to minimise your tax liability. We will also prepare all of the necessary tax computations and file your tax return in iXBRL format, using HMRC approved software.

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Personal Tax

Tax returns can be daunting, and keeping up to date with constant changes in tax legislation can be a real challenge. We can take care of your personal tax affairs by completing your income tax returns, preparing the necessary computations, income and expenditure reports, and offering advice about reducing your tax liability.

We can also assist you in HMRC inspections of your tax affairs and be appointed as your Tax Agent to liaise with HMRC directly on your behalf.

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Start-ups & Company Formations

We help a lot of new businesses to get started. This involves advice about the most appropriate legal structure (sole trader, partnership, limited company), assistance with Companies House and HMRC registrations, getting finance, preparing budgets and business plans and understanding your statutory obligations.

We provide a comprehensive company formation service, registering the company with Companies House on your behalf and providing you with the incorporation documents to ensure you meet your statutory record keeping obligations.

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Company Secretarial Services

If you prefer not to have to deal with the statutory side of running a company (confirmation statement, Companies House forms, etc) you can nominate us as your company secretary and registered office and we will complete all filings and submissions to Companies House on your behalf.

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Experts in our field