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10 Ways to Improve Your Cashflow and Stay on Top of Your Finances

10 Ways to Improve Your Cashflow and Stay on Top of Your Finances

We’ve all heard that old adage ‘cash is king’ but it is still relevant today or perhaps, in this competitive, fast-moving world, it is even more important. Without a steady flow of cash, your business will run into serious trouble. You won’t be able to pay bills or your staff, make purchases or plan for the future. Here are 10 ways to improve your cashflow and boost your financial efficiency: Forecast your business’ cashflow It may sound obvious, but it is surprising how many businesses don’t maintain an accurate cashflow forecast. Look at how much cash is coming into your business each month (cash inflow) and how much is going out (cash outflow). With a regularly updated forecast in place, you should be able to identify seasonal peaks and troughs and plan business activities to ensure the... »

It’s Time to Start Saving

It’s Time to Start Saving

For many of us, times are a little tough. Our finances are in the spotlight more than ever before with a number of people in the UK struggling to save. In fact, on average just under a quarter of people in the UK aren’t saving anything at all, while on average those who are only manage to put away £87 per month. But when times are tough it’s exactly when you should be putting something aside each month to save for your future. Whether you’re a first time buyer, looking to make the next move on the property ladder or even saving for a wedding you need a plan in place. So, you know you need to start saving, but where do you begin? Here’s a quick guide on putting something in place from ISA tax benefits to easy access saving. Be Realistic How much can you part with each month? For many of us ... »

Avoiding The Credit Card Debt Trap

Getting yourself into serious credit card debt is so easy to do and every year thousands of people in the UK run into financial difficulty because of excessive spending on their plastic. Credit card debt can affect anyone from single mother to rock star to successful businessman and it is estimated that out of the 60 million or so credit cards in circulation in the UK, 70% still have an outstanding balance on them. In addition, it is thought that around 5% of people in the UK have put mortgage or rent payments on their credit card in the last year. So what can be done to avoid getting yourself into a credit card mess? Here are some tips: Live within your means Tip number one seems obvious but debt problems normally start when an individual increases their expenses every month without doing... »

IVAs: 6 Facts You Should be Told Before Entering an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is a legally binding agreement.  This means that if you are in an IVA, any company you owe money to is unable to take any further action against you and are not allowed to contact you about repayment as long as you keep up with your payments to the plan.  Creditors have no legal right to pursue you beyond the IVA, so any letters or phone calls that make payment demands should stop. Your debts can be written off after 5 years. 60 monthly payments are usually proposed and once this is complete you will be free of debt, although if you are unable to release any equity in your property you may have to make 12 further payments. You risk your IVA failing if you do not make all of your payments; your debts will not be written off and interest charges would probably be re-applied. The IVA s... »

Tax Relief for Intangible Fixed Assets

Companies can obtain a corporation tax deduction for certain expenditure incurred on intangible assets... Newly created or purchased intangible assets can attract a corporation tax deduction provided they meet certain conditions. What are intangible assets? The term intangible asset covers not only intellectual property such as patents, trade marks, copyrights and know–how, but also a variety of other assets with commercial value like agricultural quotas. In the case of companies, the accounting standard FRS 10 defines intangible assets as: “non–financial fixed assets that do not have physical substance but are identifiable and controlled by the entity through custody or legal rights”. FRS 10 makes it clear that an intangible asset can be purchased on its own, as pa... »

Tax Relief for Research and Development

Relief is available on Research and Development expenditure, which means that a company can claim enhanced relief on qualifying costs against its profits. To qualify as Research and Development (R&D), an activity must be treated as R&D under generally accepted accounting practice, and fall within any guidelines issued by the Treasury. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued guidelines on what it considers is treated as R&D for accounting purposes. What reliefs are available? Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) may claim: R&D tax relief – which increases the deduction to 175% of the qualifying expenditure (150% prior to 1 August 2008), or payable R&D tax credit – which allows companies who are not in profit to take the relief up front in t... »

Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is chargeable on the proceeds received for the disposal of chargeable capital assets by UK residents. For tax year 2012/13, a basic rate taxpayer will suffer CGT at 18%, and for an individual with taxable income or gains over £34,370 (and so subject to higher or additional rates of income tax) the CGT rate is 28%. However, Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) reduces the rate of capital gains tax payable on disposals of “qualifying business assets” down to 10%. This relief can apply to the first £10 million of qualifying gains that an individual realizes in his or her lifetime, and because the top rate of CGT that would otherwise be paid is 28%, ER can currently give a total potential tax saving of £1.8 million. ER is a very important relief for ... »

Wills & Estates

A Will is a legal document, that states how you wish your estate to be divided after your death. The estate is administered by executors who distribute it to the people or organisations named in the will, known as beneficiaries. Who is affected? Everyone who has an estate is affected in some way because they will have possessions that will endure after their death and which will pass to succeeding generations. The only requirement for a person to make a will, subject to certain exceptions, is that he or she must be mentally capable and 18 years of age or over. What happens if I don’t make a will? If a person dies without a will, then they die intestate. This means that the estate is divided up according to specific rules that are set out in UK law. The distribution of the estate unde... »

Enterprise Management Incentives

The Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) scheme is a tax–favoured share option scheme targeted at smaller, entrepreneurial companies. What is the EMI? The EMI is a share option scheme aimed at small entrepreneurial companies that meet certain conditions. It has been designed to assist such companies to recruit and retain both directors and employees, this factsheet will refer to ‘employees’ for simplicity. The scheme offers attractive opportunities for equity participation by employees in recognition of the fact that smaller companies may not be able to match salary levels paid elsewhere. The Enterprise Management Incentives scheme is also flexible enough to allow for the option share to be geared to future capital growth, and performance targets to be used in the schem... »

Self-Directed Pension Funds

Self Directed Pension Funds (ISA) offer the tax efficiency of pension arrangements combined with control over the underlying investments. A Self Directed Pension Fund is any pension arrangement where the member has control of the underlying investments. Up to 5 April 2006, such arrangements were available either as a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or a Small Self Administered Scheme (SSAS). A SIPP was a personal pension with widened investment powers and a SSAS was an occupational pension scheme where the members were trustees and able to control all investment decisions. These distinctions are still used today but are technically incorrect as all arrangements are registered pension schemes, governed by the same rules. The arrangements are now either trust based arrangements or cont... »

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