Welcome to our roundup of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you.
IMPORTANT REMINDER - Paper and online tax return deadlines
The paper tax return deadline for the 2022 to 2023 tax year is Tuesday 31 October 2023 for those completed on paper forms.
The online tax return deadline for the 2022 to 2023 tax year is Wednesday 31 January 2024 for online returns and to pay any tax owed. See: Self Assessment tax returns: Who must send a tax return – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you haven’t sent us your information yet, please do so as soon as possible.
Millions Heading for Retirement Without a Financial Plan
Millions of over-55s in the UK are at risk of encountering financial difficulties in their retirement, new research has revealed.
One of the UK’s leading at-retirement advisers commissioned an independent survey of 2,000 UK adults, finding that less than half (46%) of respondents currently have a financial plan in place for their retirement – with this figure only rising to 47% for those aged 55 and above.
When it comes to retirement savings, just 51% of UK adults know how much is in their pensions – again, there is only a slight increase (to 56%) among those aged 55 and above.
The research also showed that less than a third (32%) of over-55s are confident they will retire with enough money to achieve their desired lifestyle.
Research has also shown that only 16% of over-55s regularly use the services of a wealth manager or independent financial adviser (IFA), while just 19% have spoken with an IFA in the past 12 months to help them understand how to adapt their pension plans to the current economic climate.
Do you own a business?
The ultimate aim of every serious business person is to build a company that has value, so that it can be sold or transferred, allowing the entrepreneur to exit gracefully and profitably.
Recently, we have been helping a number of our entrepreneur clients develop exit strategies.
There are many issues to consider:
- When do you want to retire?
- Can the business be sold to your employees?
- Is a trade sale more likely?
- Are there children involved?
- How much is the business worth?
- What needs to be done to enhance the value of the business?
- How long will it take?
- Do you want/need to stay on after sale or transfer?
- What are the tax consequences?
We have a tried and tested methodology to address these issues and to help you prepare your business for sale, find potential buyers and help you negotiate to get the maximum price a buyer feels your business is worth.
If you would like to discuss your personal exit and succession plan please call us to arrange an appointment.
September employee of the month
Well done to Jay for being September employee of the month.
Jay has had a wonderful month at Maple, as well as celebrating his 10 year anniversary this month, Jay has picked up extra jobs, helping the team and he has taken 2 apprentices under his wing, supporting them where needed.
Managing your cash flow
With increasing supplier prices and economic uncertainty, managing your business’s cash and understanding its flow are now vital tools in maintaining resilience and being able to adopt flexible strategies for success.
Cash flows are a reflection of all the cash that is flowing in and out of a business. Owners can look at the direction of the cash flows for insights about the health of specific products or services and overall market patterns.
Some types of business are more likely to run into cash flow problems, while other types appear to be more resilient. If you are a business owner, you might be wondering which category your business falls into. No matter how inventive or simple your business model is, you can still have problems with cash flow. Here are our thoughts on managing the flow of cash in your business:
The first stage of understanding and predicting how funds flow is to perform a health check on your accounts. Look at your latest profit and loss statement and check that your income is sufficient to cover your expenses. If your profit is falling behind your expenses and cash flow is slowing down, you might need to take action. Prepare a funds flow statement so you know where the money goes.
Next, create a yearly budget and look at where cash could become tight, identifying months where you can save to cover off the quieter times. Look at those quieter months and think about flexible work scheduling, new products or services, or other activities to tide you over.
Finally, make sure you collect your money from those who owe you quickly. Reward customer loyalty by offering early bird discounts, set credit limits and payment terms to ensure customers follow the rules. If you take on new customers, make credit checks. Penalise late payers and request up front deposits or payment.
Talk to your Client Manager about preparing a funds flow statement and annual budget so that you can work on your business for maximum success.
Digital Innovation Fund opens for applications
The Made Smarter Innovation – Smart Manufacturing Data Hub (SMDH) is now accepting applications for funded projects that will support manufacturing small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) on their smart manufacturing journey.
The fund aims to support the development of concepts into a market-ready solution for deployment and dissemination to SMEs.
There are three different funding opportunities based on the needs of the company:
Lighthouses – aims to develop already proven digital products and processes into readily accessible solutions which meet the needs of manufacturing SMEs. Grant funding of up to £315,000 is available per project.
Virtual Testbeds – aims to provide financial support and opportunities to bring pre-existing testbeds to the SMDH community and enable SMEs to utilise them. Grant funding of up to £100,000 is available per project.
Rapid Demonstrators – aims to support SMEs with sensor installation, data analysis or similar to enable levelling-up the opportunities for SMEs to exceed and expand. Grant funding of up to £50,000 per project is available.
The fund is open to any UK-based industrial or professional sector organisation which can provide skills, support or solutions for manufacturing SMEs.
The deadline for applications is 31 October 2023.
UK government announces more legislation to tackle late payments
The UK government has announced tougher measures to tackle the issue of late payments to small businesses. These new measures will be included in the upcoming Prompt Payment & Cash Flow Review, due to be published shortly and will improve delivery and enforcement of policies, enabling more small businesses to get paid on time.
New measures to be announced in the review will include:
• Extending the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017. Following consultation, Government will take forward legislation to extend payment performance reporting obligations. Also included will be new metrics for reporting, including a value metric, so businesses and commentators can see the value of invoices, including invoices paid late, and a disputed invoices metric.
• Providing greater advice to small businesses on negotiating payment terms that better suit them and, on how ‘going digital’ can help them get paid quicker and manage their cashflow.
• Broadening the powers of the Small Business Commissioner: Introducing broader responsibilities, enabling the Commissioner to undertake investigations and publish reports where necessary on the basis of anonymous information and intelligence. This will require primary legislation, so will be subject to the legislative timetable.
If you want to read more, please see the link provided – See: Government takes action to back small businesses and tackle late payments – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)