Here’s the latest quarterly update for all our Your Finance Team (YFT) community. As we move through 2021, and through another lockdown, we understand the uncertainty and business disruption this brings to many of our clients and want you all to know we are on hand for help and advice anytime.
2020 has been a tough year for all of us and we have seen first-hand the problems the pandemic has caused for small businesses. We been incredibly busy supporting businesses to take advantage of the ongoing government support in terms of furlough/grant claims and the extension of these initiatives as the situation has evolved.
We’ve also been looking at bringing in more technology partnerships across the board to support our clients as a result of the pandemic. One of the key areas of support has been accurate cash flow forecasting which has proved invaluable during these unpredictable times and, as well as the traditional methods, some of our clients have started to use one of our partners – Fluidly – to assist them in this area. Fluidly uses artificial intelligence real-time software to connect to a Xero or QuickBooks account and utilises the data to automatically build a cashflow forecast in an easy-to-understand chart.
We have also been working hard with our preferred cloud accounting partner, XERO, and achieved gold partner status. You can read more about what that means and why it’s good for you HERE.
Many of our clients are working from home, and the link below gives you more information about claiming tax relief, as well as some specific expenses, which will be relevant to many for the 2020 tax year. It may not be a huge amount (£6 p/week), but it is absolutely worth claiming, and HMRC have made it very easy to do so using their dedicated site (for PAYE employees) and your government gateway ID (you can create one as part of the process): https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home. If you complete a self-assessment tax return each year, you can’t use the dedicated site, but you can claim the allowance as part of your self-assessment form. In either option, HMRC simply ask you the date that you started to work from home; they have stated that the working-from-home situation is naturally very fluid this year so are accepting claims for the full year’s expenses, even if people have only worked from home for some of the year.
The government has confirmed that a new tranche of grants will be available to businesses effected by the national lockdown this month, in addition to ones for previous restrictions. The range of grants available in Reigate and Banstead can be found here http://bit.ly/3nJVLHy and the equivalent for each region on their Borough Council Website.
We thought it would be useful to share a few highlights from our regular blog, covering themes we have been asked about. You can find more HERE. If there are any specific topics that you would like details on, or that you feel would be useful to your business, do let your YFT contact know or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Our Client….
of BONDS Newland Development Services Ltd
At YFT it has always been part of our ethos to introduce our client community to each other in order to mutually benefit from synergies and learnings and share contacts and business advice. We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of our clients.
BONDS Newland Development Services Ltd provide a range of development and consultancy support services to the construction industry. They work across the UK at a diverse range of sites from public projects such as hospitals to private leisure venues and residential homes. They have been a client of Your Finance Team’s for 4 years, since inception. We chatted to their MD Richard Newland about his business.
The above photo is of Surrey’s Godstone Farm Re-development
What’s been a personal high point since inception?
After enjoying a successful corporate career at ISG, being able to step away from that and use my skills and contacts developed during my tenure to start BONDS in 2016 is definitely a personal high point. In addition, delivering great service and consistent value to our clients whilst creating and building a dedicated team that has grown and diversified in skillset as the business has grown. This has allowed us to diversify our business areas to include the development stages of construction projects.
This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster for many businesses to say the least. How has it been for you?
It’s certainly been not what we expected, but the beauty of owning an agile small business is the fact that we have been able to adapt quickly to the changing conditions and regulations. We have been fortunate that our big construction projects have been allowed to continue once COVID secure. However, inevitably the restrictions have meant that there have been some delays regarding supplies etc. and we have had to manage our supply chains and delivery timescales carefully whilst adapting quickly when needed.
What’s your ambition for the next 5 years?
Over the next five years we’d like to continue to grow the business sustainably, scaling up as appropriate. An aim is also to diversify our client base into new areas.
Key challenges your business has faced?
Managing workflow and resources is always a careful balancing act, and this year has been particularly difficult in this respect. We manage this issue by ensuring solid forecasting and resources are in place, as well as having appropriate contingency plans and resources should the forecast change.
Any key hints and tips you can pass on to other prospective and existing business owners?
From the start of any project, making sure contractual T’s & C’s are watertight with suppliers and end clients is essential, helping to ensure cashflow and resources on large scale projects keeps to schedule. It is also important to allow breathing space on all projects as, even with the best will in the world, with large construction projects there is likely to be some movement on schedules as the project unfolds.
We’ve also found having fantastic I.T. and financial software systems, like XERO, in place to track data has been invaluable.
Meet One of The Team…
Specialist Cloud Bookkeeper
At YFT we strive to make sure our team is always accessible to our clients and they receive a personalised approach. We thought we would take the opportunity of this communication to introduce you to the team by sharing the profiles of one of our core team members each time.
Debbie has worked in finance for over 15 years, gaining a vast experience within the accounting profession. She has worked in various roles, from Accounts Assistant up to Management Accountant, across a range of industries including property developers, commercial sales and oilfield services.
Debbie is AAT qualified, Xero certified and has started studying towards her CIMA qualification. Debbie focuses on VAT returns, producing year end accounts and payroll. With great communication skills, Debbie can interact with both finance and non-finance minded people, cutting through the jargon and keeping things simple.
Spring-time, running, exercise classes as well as the finer things in life like sunny holidays, weekend breaks and a glass of wine or 2!
Cold weather, fast rides and cleaning windows.
A bit more…
As well as running around after 2 young children and playing the housewife I am fortunate to have a great network of family and friends, so weekends are often busy. I am also involved with the PTA at my children’s school and help organise and run the fundraising events. When I get some down-time I enjoy turning the music up loud or getting gripped by a good TV series.