“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Choosing to start up a new business is both an exciting and challenging endeavour. It may come as no surprise that a large number of start-up businesses fail due to poor planning.
As a business owner, managing chaos could be one of your daily duties. For every business which relies on a website or app, though, this enters a new realm amidst the realisation that your website or app is down.
At Cottons, we have noticed an increase in clients receiving cold calls, automated messages or voicemails from scammers impersonating HMRC. Clients are told that they are under investigation for non-payment of taxes and that they are to call a number to discuss this matter further. On calling this number they are then instructed to pass […]
It has been a busy 2018 for the team at Cottons. Over the past 12 months, we’ve been busy keeping you up-to-date on the latest changes in legislation, how we can help you save even more money, our offices celebrating anniversaries and even the appointment of a new Partner.
On Thursday 29th November, our accountants in London joined forces with the London Metropolitan University Accelerator programme to talk about how start-ups can get things right when they’re setting up their businesses. Starting Up Right At Cottons we understand that start-ups can often spend many hours deliberating over their concepts, visions and values but give […]
With over a week passing since the budget and its finance bill now published the dust is starting to settle on The Chancellor’s latest announcements. In reflecting on these there is one group of individuals which could have more reason than others to feel more than hard done by, landlords.
Famously, the retail sector is burdened with more administrative duties than many others. From the recording of transactions to managing inventories, when it comes to retail there’s a lot of data to be recorded
The team from Cottons braced the cold winds, ice cold water and copious amounts of mud to take part in this year's Winter Wolf Run at Stanford Hall. Facing the challenge There are four Wolf Runs throughout the year, each being a 10k run with a set of obstacles designed to challenge even the fittest […]
Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his second Autumn Budget on Monday 29 October 2018. In his speech, he stated that ‘austerity is coming to an end – but discipline will remain’. He also promised a ‘double deal dividend’ if the Brexit negotiations are successful but stated that there may be a full-scale Spring Budget in 2019 […]
Cottons are delighted to announce that we are the latest accountancy firm to gain inclusion on Handpicked Accountants, an exclusive network of the very best accountants in the UK. Launched in 2017 by the professional services company Begbies Traynor, Handpicked Accountants aims to connect individuals and small business owners with trusted local accountants. At Cottons, […]
In 2017 Amazon almost halved its declared UK corporation tax bill. It went from £7.4m in 2016 to £4.5m and understandably left many SMEs frustrated, particularly those in the retail sector. At Cottons, we can’t quite influence the fairness of the tax system but we are able to help an independent retailer keep their tax […]
Despite all our best efforts, criminals are targeting SMEs with increasingly clever email scams. Businesses need to be incredibly cautious when making payments to suppliers and to be especially aware if they receive new bank details to pay to. We have recently been contacted by several businesses who have fallen foul of an email invoice […]
We are delighted to announce that we have helped one of our clients secure a £250,000 tax refund using the Research and Development(R&D) Tax Relief scheme.
Since our article at the end of last year, HMRC have extended the deadline before the childcare voucher scheme is closed to new entrants. Rather than the scheme closing at the end of March 2018, HMRC extended this to 30 September 2018. Hence the good news is that although becoming tight there is still just […]
Small business owners are often required to wear many hats, overseeing a range of tasks from project management to customer service and everything in between. The multitude of responsibilities for those at the helm of SMEs can be time-consuming and often overwhelming.
When it comes to selecting an accountancy firm, businesses can feel a little overwhelmed by the range of choice presented on the local market. It is easy to be intimidated by approaching a larger accounting firm.
Did you know that soon, PILONs could be a thing of the past? No, not Pylons as for now we’ll still need those for carrying our electricity. What we mean here are PILONs, aka Payments in Lieu of Notice or, the amount of money some employees are given in exchange for not working their notice […]
On Tuesday 5th June, Will Smart, a Partner from our Northampton branch, attended the first Leamington Landlord and Investor event put on by Newman Property Experts.
Why business owners need to face up to the challenge of Mobile and Smartphone growth
A comprehensive summary of the Spring Statement 2018.
The Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his first Spring Statement on Tuesday 13 March 2018. In his speech he provided an update on the economy and responded to the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts. In addition he launched consultations on various aspects of the tax system.
No matter the size of your business, you will need to comply and be aware of the new regulations set out under GDPR. Here are 5 steps to ensure your small business is compliant.
It’s widely known and well documented that the UK and Europe are preparing for the largest data protection overhaul in decades: GDPR. What’s less apparent however, is exactly what small businesses need to do. What changes do they need to make to which parts of their systems and processes? And where do they go for […]
Budgets and forecasts are the business equivalent of Satnavs. If you don’t know what to aim for and what your goals are it will be impossible to reach your end destination.
It is common for ambitious businesses to require capital or debt financing in order to help them grow their top line revenues prior to them becoming profitable. Since the financial crisis, it has become even harder for SME businesses to access debt finance and growth capital. However, over the last decade, a plethora of different […]
In 2017 we assisted a client in achieving an important round of funding in record time! We’re now pleased to update that the management buyout we helped to shape is in the final stages of the payment plan with the seller.
Cottons Chartered Accountants are proud members of VPG (VAT Practitioners Group), a national organisation of people who specialise in VAT.
The VAT Implications of food are not straightforward to say the least. Whilst the food and hospitality industries are like all other businesses in that they must become VAT registered once their annual turnover reaches £85,000, the specifics of whether food sales are VATable and at what rate can be a minefield.
The new calendar year is a great time to take stock of your finances. Reviewing your finances in January and February provides sufficient time before the end of the tax year, at the beginning of April, in order to make sure that you are fully utilising all of the tax reliefs which are available to […]
Whilst costs relating to entertaining staff and clients are a common cost of doing business, and are perfectly valid to include within your profit and loss account, only certain associated expenditure will be allowed to be deductible for corporation tax and VAT purposes.
You may already be aware of the recent first-tier tribunal case involving Brabners LLP, in which the firm lost their appeal against an assessment from HMRC for Output VAT not collected on recharged local authority search fees.
If you pay for registered childcare, then you might be already using or be eligible to apply for childcare vouchers, but the world of tax-free childcare is undergoing its most significant change since they were first introduced into the tax system back in 1989.
Directors can pay themselves from their limited companies either in the form of dividends or salary but following changes in 2016/17 to the treatment of dividends, they now need to give a bit more upfront consideration and attention to which they pick so that they are able to remunerate themselves within the most tax efficient […]
Sometimes it feels like high street banks don’t care too much about small businesses, consultants or freelancers. However, here at Cottons we do! And we’re always on the hunt to helpful solutions that will help our clients manage their money in a simple, more efficient way.
Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it; this is called ‘automatic enrolment’, or more commonly, ‘auto-enrolment’. If you employ at least one person, then you are an employer and you have certain legal duties in line with this legislation.
The final quarter of the calendar is packed with events and increased demands which subsequently cause many employers to require seasonal staff in addition to their usual workforce. Seasonal workers are often employed on a short-term basis tasked with fulfilling their duties in a small window of time, this means that the way they are paid […]
On July 20th our very own Lisa Malone set off on a gruelling cycle that would take her from Daventry to Paris. Cycling as part of the Daventry Cycle Club Lisa raised over £1,000 for Cancer Research. The Ride Cycling with another 38 members, Lisa describes how they rode through ‘hills, potholes and French traffic’ to reach their […]
After moving to Chestnut Field House in 2013, Cottons Chartered Accountants in Rugby have now acquired ownership of the property following a six-figure funding deal with Royal Bank of Scotland. The move further cements the well-established branch’s presence in the area ensuring it’s prepared for more growth in the future still. Business Development If you have been keeping […]
For most businesses, there will come a time when an injection of funds is required, but in such a fast-paced, metamorphic business landscape, it’s no surprise that the financial world favours immediacy. So how can a business get the finance it needs? What are the options? And how can it get organised to ensure it […]
Sourcing funding can be difficult when you are trying to run a business simultaneously. Further to their time-consuming nature, funding procedures have been made more troublesome still by economic austerity which has made funding for businesses, and start-ups in particular, harder to obtain. However, a well thought out business, with the right personnel in the […]
In February 2009 doctors didn’t think James Golding would make it through the night. 8 years on, in June 2017, James, broke the world record for most miles cycled in 7 days: that’s the equivalent of London to Paris every day if you didn’t know. Here’s the truly inspiring story of James, a man we […]
The advent of digital media has brought challenges and opportunity in equal measure. As we continue to make technological advancements, the way we conduct business must develop accordingly. The Office for National Statistics reported that 83% of British businesses had internet access and an online presence. However, it appears that HM Revenue & Customs has left […]
In their most recent bulletin, the Office for National Statistics reported a 15% increase in self-employment since April 2017. This brings the total figure of self-employed Britons to a substantial 4.8 million, and in austere times this freelance workforce has been the mainspring of British economic growth. Some experts attribute this dramatic hike in self-employment to the […]
Not only have Cottons Chartered Accountants launched a new Tax and Accounting Drop In Surgery, we are now also running regular and informative sessions on hot topics for businesses of all sizes. On Wednesday 12th of July we launched the first in this series at a co-working space near our London office, gathering small business owners and freelancers to […]
At Cottons Chartered Accountants we have the solution for businesses who are a bit under the weather. We have launched a drop-in surgery for business troubles and we’re taking it on the road. We have teams of tax advisors and accountants in London, Northampton, Daventry, and Rugby and our new tax and accounting drop-in surgery will be coming to […]
Cottons Chartered Accountants are proud to announce that in 2017 we have assisted a client in achieving an important round of funding in record time. Our client, a household name in the manufacturing industry with a turnover over £1.5m, came to us for advice as the company began to go through a change in ownership. Business […]
4 in 5 businesses that could be claiming R&D Tax Credits are not. This could be attributed to a lack of understanding among the small business community of which businesses are actually eligible for the relief. Contrary to popular belief the HMRC Research and Development Tax Credit scheme, one of the most lucrative tax relief systems […]
Hot on the heels of our move to a new, larger home in Northampton, Cottons Chartered Accountants are pleased to announce, we have further expanded to London. In a move which sees the introduction of new Associate Partner, Oliver Warne ACA, the brand will now be focusing on growing a presence in The Capital, extending our tax, accounting and audit […]
The way businesses operate in the digital age is changing. Companies are offering workers fluid options like remote working and flexi-time and, in this fast changing economy, businesses who have recognised this already are proving most ductile as the millennial workforce become core. As an extension of this workers are furthermore opting to offer their […]
Over the last couple of years, the amount of tax free dividends available to small business owners and freelancers with Ltd Companies has reduced significantly. The reduction, which has seen the amount of dividends which can be extracted from a company without tax free go from £30k to just £2k (starting April 2018), has left some business owners […]
After starting out in Daventry, Cottons Chartered Accountants moved to Northampton in 1991. The Northampton branch is now our brand flagship with three out of seven of our partners and more than twenty staff working there. Unsurprisingly our growth in the area has meant that we have had to move premises over the years and last month saw […]
Incorporating a Limited Company and operating the new legal entity can bring with it many advantages, however, there are compliance obligations that you must be aware of to ensure you that your business is organised and stays on the right side of HMRC and Companies House. New companies who are not compliant run a risk of being fined by […]
Once you have decided a Limited Company is the way forward for your business you need to incorporate the new entity at Companies House. Naming Your Company Your business will need a name. Ideally this will be the same as that you trade under but does not have to be. Be careful not to trade […]
Every individual in the UK who is eligible to receive a salary can earn a certain amount of money before they start paying tax. This is called the Personal Allowance, eligibility is normally subject to an individual having a National Insurance Number. The Basics Whether your income is from employment, self-employment or property you will […]