Category Archives: News

Racing to Beat Cancer

A big WELL DONE to the wonderful ladies of Lewis Ballard who have once again done themselves proud by throwing on their running trainers and raising loads of cash at Cardiff’s Race For Life.

It was great to see a bigger team than ever taking part this year. Thank you to everyone who has donated, they have smashed their target and raised over £2,300!

If you would like to donate, please follow this link https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/team-lb THANK YOU!

 

Making Tax Digital

To the surprise of many, the rollout for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for businesses has been pushed back to 2020. Those above the VAT threshold will have to start filing with MTD-compatible software from April 2019, but small businesses below the threshold “will not be asked to keep digital records, or to update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes until at least 2020,” the Treasury said. It would seem that HMRC will now be encouraging people to opt into MTD, rather than compelling people to use it.

As a Lewis Ballard customer, you will know that we like to stay at the forefront of technological changes, so you really couldn’t be in safer hands.
As we already encourage our clients to utilise our cloud accounting packages as much as possible, this will be a relatively pain-free change for many. And, of course, we’ll be here to guide you through every step of the way.

We’re Hiring!

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to join The UK’s Most Inspiring Accountants?

Are you dedicated to helping people succeed and making a difference, with a genuine commitment to always giving brilliant customer service?

Will you enjoy being challenged, in a fast moving business and are you enthusiastic, flexible and keen to develop new skills in a cooperative team environment?

Yes?

Then you’re perfect for us!

Do you love meeting new people and building the positive, effective relationships that grow businesses?

Are you looking for a company that encourages you to excel and offers you exciting opportunities to progress?

Do you want to work for a firm that’s passionate about cloud accounting?

Yes?

Then we’re perfect for you too!

As committed employers we are ACCA, CIOT and AAT affiliated and have Investors in People Gold award and ACCA Platinum Trainer status for our continuous focus on developing our team.

Take a look at the roles we have available below:

Client Account Manager 

Join our team and you’ll enjoy a varied role, building client relationships and advising them on all aspects of building a business including, Accounts, Tax, VAT, Payroll, Business Growth, Funding and Sales & Acquisitions. You’ll need exceptional communication and technical skills to help your clients succeed and the organisational and business awareness to ensure profitability. Develop your full potential with great opportunities to progress.

Required experience:

  • 6 Years Practice Experience
  • ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Accounts Technician/Graduate Accounts Technician

Are you keen to develop your accountancy and business skills alongside a highly qualified team? We’re looking to expand our busy accounts department. In this varied role, you will be preparing accounts, VAT returns, cash-flow forecasts and company and personal tax returns, as well as providing support and training to clients on a variety of cloud accounting packages and working in support of the Client Managers to provide an excellent business development service to clients.

We are looking for both graduates and those who already have practice experience and AAT/ACCA qualifications.

Salary is dependent on experience and qualification.

**To join The UKs most inspiring accountants & AVN’s Firm of the Year please provide a CV with a covering letter to info@lewisballard.co.uk**

                   

25 Years of Hurdling to Success

To celebrate an excellent 25 years of Neil as a partner in Lewis Ballard, team LB headed out to the races at Chepstow.

There were victors running away with the winnings, and others who fell at the first fences, but overall a very successful afternoon all round that made it a win for the office. Congratulations to Neil for his continued, steadfast leadership and success.

Auto Enrolment

Auto Enrolment has been coming for a long time and our wonderful Payroll team have been hard at work getting options ready for you that keep you compliant and your staff well looked after. The important thing to remember is that we take care of the details to make sure that you don’t get caught out, taking care of that one extra thing on your business plate. That being said, there is still a decision to make about what works best for your company.

Option 1

An excellent pension scheme that comes with extra employee benefits, this pension comes with access to an IFA directly, who will visit your business and an discuss any employee or employer queries directly. This pensions comes with –

  • A portal so your employees can decide how their pension scheme will be managed.
  • Excellent returns.
  • A website with extra discounts and personal tool incentives.
  • Direct access to an IFA.
  • We administrate everything to make sure your company complies with all aspects of auto-enrolment.

Option 2

A pension scheme directed more at smaller businesses looking to comply with The Pension Regulator. This is a great option to make sure your employees’ pensions are put into a compliant scheme. This pensions comes with –

  • A portal so your employees can decide how their pension scheme will be managed.
  • We administrate everything to make sure your company complies with all aspects of auto-enrolment.

What will the monthly contributions be?

Pension contributions at 1% (Employer & Employee) until 05/04/2018
Pension contributions at 2% Employer, 3% Employee from 06/04/2018 until 05/04/2019
Pension contributions at 3% Employer, 5% Employee from 06/04/2019 until further notice

(Above costs vary for different sized companies.)

Minimum Wages Rates from 1st April 2017

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
2016 £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40
2015 £6.70 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30
2014 £6.50 £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73
2013 £6.31 £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
2012 £6.19 £6.19 £4.98 £3.68 £2.65
2011 £6.08 £6.08 £4.98 £3.68 £2.60
2010 £5.93 £5.93 £4.92 £3.64 £2.50

But I have more questions?

Want to know more details about auto enrolment, or maybe the specific pension options available? Give us a call and we can go over with the details.

Vouching for Vouchers? Or Tax-Free Childcare?

The Childcare Voucher scheme is coming to an end in April 2018, making way to the Tax-Free Childcare scheme. While this isn’t a huge problem for many, it won’t be better for everyone, as some people who are eligible would benefit more overall from Childcare Vouchers. Would you benefit more from signing up to the new scheme, staying with vouchers, or signing up to vouchers before it ends?

Who Benefits more from Childcare Vouchers?

  • If you are part of a couple and only one parent is employed, as both parents must be employed to benefit from Tax-Free Childcare.
  • Parents with only a single child, as lower childcare costs save more from this scheme, as long as your total childcare costs are less than a value which varies based on your tax-paying rate.
  • Anyone who earns £100,000 or more, as they aren’t eligible for the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

Who Benefits more from Tax-Free Childcare?

  • Self-employed people or couples who both earn, but earn less than £100,000+ each, as they aren’t eligible for Childcare Vouchers.
  • Parents with more than one child, as the help available increases with the number of children you have, where as Childcare Vouchers are limited regardless of how many children you have.

What if Tax-Free Childcare is better for you?

If you already claim Childcare Vouchers, you need to provide your employer written notice that you want to permanently leave the voucher scheme, and you need to do this within 3 months of signing up for the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

If you aren’t signed up to any scheme, you simply need to sign up to the new scheme. Parents with older children might want to look into Childcare Vouchers in the meantime as the new scheme will be rolled out to parents with older children first.

What if Childcare Vouchers are better for you?

If you are already signed up to Childcare Vouchers, you can continue to claim them until your employer stops offering them or you change jobs.

If you aren’t signed up to any scheme, you will need to sign up before the end date in April 2018. However, to do this your employer must be offering this scheme. If your employer doesn’t offer this scheme you will need to try to persuade them but as there is less than two years for this scheme to run, it will probably be a hard sell to get them to put in the effort to make changes to the payroll.

For more information about the changes with Childcare Vouchers, check out this link to a fuller breakdown at moneysavingexpert.com.

 

 

A Fabulous Charity Dinner

For the past few years, March has been a very important month for us – and not just because of the rugby. This year was no different as we gathered together (during one of the 6 Nations breaks of course) to raise money for the wonderful Velindre Cancer Centre. After the huge success of last years’ dinner, this year had big shoes to fill, but as always we were blown away by the amazing generosity of our friends and clients. Our theme this year was ‘Fabulous Fifties’ and boy did our guests look fabulous.

  

 

 

 

 

 

We started the night with a drinks reception before we took our seats for the delicious meal put on by The Mercure Hotel. Between courses, we collected the raffle donations, generously matched £ for £ by Barclays and drew the prize-winning names. As everyone finished their dinner, it was time for comedian Lea Roberts to take the stage. He instantly captured the room with his friendly personality and soon had everyone in stitches with his many stories and gags.

       

 

 

 

 

 

Before we opened up the dancefloor it was time for the Auction, filled with great prizes, from signed rugby shirts to football tickets, fitness sessions, and an interior design consultation. Our professional Auctioneer, Andrew Morgan oversaw the proceedings and we collected an amazing £3,500! Much to the ladies’ delight, it was then time for them to hit the dance floor and show off their fabulous dresses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sums were completed Monday Morning and our final total came to an amazing £10,717.60! We’re so proud to have raised this for a charity close to our hearts and we really couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of our families, friends and clients. Special thanks to The Mercure Hotel, Lea Roberts, Barclays Bank, Andrew Morgan and Ian Jessop. Until next time…

 

The Spring Budget 2017

The Chancellor’s first and last Spring Budget before it is moved to the Autumn has been dubbed a “Brexit Budget” centered around strengthening the country’s finances before we embark on the process of leaving the EU. We have summarised the key points below. For more detailed information on how the changes might affect you please call the office on 02920 735 502

Individuals 

Personal Allowance is increasing from £11,000 to £11,500 in April 2017.

National Insurance Contributions for Class 4 (Self-employed) are to rise to 10% in April 2018 and 11% in April 2019.

Tax-Free Dividend Allowance is to be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.

NS&I Investment Bond with 2.2% interest rate over 3 years will be available from April 2017 for a maximum of £3,000.

VAT registration threshold rising to £85,000 and deregistration threshold falling to £83,000 in 2018.

Marriage Allowance will allow for the transfer of up to £1,150 of personal allowance to a spouse or partner from 6 April 2017.

LISA – A new savings product (Lifetime ISA) is available. It is designed to help young people save flexibly for the long-term throughout their lives and receive a bonus of up to £1,000pa.

Business

Corporation Tax rate will be reduced from 20% to 19% for the 2017/18 tax year and to 17% by 2020.

Annual Investment Allowance of £200,000 per annum remains available for companies and for unincorporated businesses.

Making Tax Digital rollout will begin from April 2018; however, for unincorporated businesses with a turnover below the VAT registration threshold, there will be a delay of one year to the introduction of quarterly reporting.

Relief from business rates increases  The Chancellor has announced funding of £435 million to support small businesses affected by the business rates relief evaluation. The help comes in the form of a standard cap on the actual increases and also discretionary relief from local authorities.

Payroll Pointers

National Living Wage – From April 2017 workers aged 25 and over will be entitled to a minimum of £7.50 per hour.

Employment Allowance (EA) will remain at £3,000 per annum from April 2017.

Company Cars HMRC will not be updating the P46 Car for in year reporting. In April 2018 HMRC will introduce a new version of the P46 along with a new P11D which will ask for details of any salary sacrificed.

Salary Sacrifice Schemes will, in some cases, no longer offer the same savings on tax and NI contributions.

Benefits in Kind – We will shortly be sending our P11D letters in the post to all Limited companies. If your employees receive any benefits in kind from the company please respond to the letter no later than 1st June 2017.

Apprentice Levy is being introduced to help young people get into apprenticeship schemes. It will be based on 0.5% of a company’s pay bill, with an allowance of £15,000.

Wow…10 Years!

This week our wonderful Payroll Manager Sharon is celebrating 10 years working for Lewis Ballard.  She is our in-house Payroll guru and with her experience and excellent organisational skills, she ensures the busy department runs smoothly. A firm favourite with clients and always keeping the team smiling!

How to Grow your Business in 2017

 

 

 

 

If you are involved in running a business in South Wales, you won’t want to miss this event!

While the world may seem uncertain around us, it’s more important than ever to ensure our businesses are thriving and ready to face whatever challenges the future may bring!

With this in mind, on 9th March 2017, we’ll be joining forces with fellow Award-Winning Businesses and UK Export Finance to bring you a one-off seminar. This FREE event will be packed with insights to help strengthen your business.

The speakers will be talking about:

·      The availability of support and finance if you are exporting or looking to start exporting. This support is available to both product based and service based businesses.

·      Tips for how you can drastically improve your future business results.

·      How you can get dynamic finance solutions, even where your existing Bank relationship has exhausted options, or if you have credit restrictions or problems.

·      How you can use business trusts to protect your personal position as an owner or director of a business.

PLUS an additional guest speaker will be sharing some Top Marketing Tips to help you attract more customers and clients for 2017.

Thursday 9th March 2017. 7:30am – 10:00am
Vale Hotel Golf & Spa Resort, Hensol Park, Hensol, CF72 8JY

Click Here to Register for this Fantastic Event