Charity Begins at “Cardiac Hill”

Lewis Smith & Co. director-duo complete 8.5 fun run

Dudley accountants charity fun run

Andrew Smith and Craig Beale from a previous Fun Run

Directors Andrew Smith and Craig Beale yet again dragged themselves around the Great Midlands Fun Run recently.

The run, which starts and finishes in Sutton Coldfield town centre, is renowned for its “tricky” moments as it traverses Sutton Park including the oh-so steep Cardiac Hill at mile 6.

This year Andrew was running in support of Cancer Research while Craig carried on the tradition of supporting local charity the Friends of Alfie Johnson.

Although your memories of June 5th will almost certainly include blue skies and hot sun, it was surprisingly cold on the start line.  Things only hotted up as the course approached the entrance to the park, and the clouds parted.  Fortunately there were a large number of spectators on hand to offer encouragement and, in some cases, sprays of cold water to keep people going.

In previous years the rivalry between the dynamic duo has seen some very close finishing times.  This time around Craig took a family-oriented view of proceedings and made his way round, children in tow, at a comfortable 2 hours plus.  Andrew on the other hand showed his normal determination and shaved a minute off last year’s time to make it round in 1 hour 23 minutes.

As always Craig provided words of praise for his colleague:

“It was a fast time by Andrew’s standards.  But there were still 1, 623 people ahead of him. Better luck next time.

Most importantly their efforts have contributed greatly towards their chosen charities.  This year Team Alfie’s ranks were swollen by the addition of over 200 students from Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls.  This is likely to have massively increased the amount of donations they receive to help disabled children when the final tally is made in November.

Lewis Smith & Co. is continuing with its community spirit as it sponsors two tables at the forthcoming Friends of Alfie Johnson Summer Ball in July.

You may not want to contact us for advice on running but we are available to help you on accountancy, tax and business advice matters.  Just call 01384 235549 or email info@lewissmith.com.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountants for Dudley business

 

 

 

Logistics Client Drives 60% T/O Increase

Making Sense of the Numbers

Birmingham pallet freight businessLong standing Lewis Smith & Co. client “Möbile – people.powered.logistics” is reaping the benefits of a modernisation and rebranding programme it started last year.

The Birmingham-based company, which was founded 35 years ago under the name Mobile Freight Services, has seen turnover increase by nearly 60% to £4.1m.  That is an incredible achievement in such a competitive industry as transport and logistics.

Commercial Director Ian Jolly says that the company’s new name holds the answer to its success:

“We added to our vehicle fleet and the technology that goes with it, but more importantly we continued to invest in our people.

Möbile has an excellent working environment that brings a high standard of customer care and low staff turnover.  We are known for getting deliveries right first time and sorting out queries straight away.”

Palletised Freight Distributors in Birmingham - Send it Möbile 2016-06-03 10-28-14Lewis Smith & Co. has been able to help the company manage through this growth phase by providing regular financial analysis and reporting.  It’s very much a hands-on service with our people operating as part of the Möbile team.

Ian says that Möbile benefits from Lewis Smith & Co.’s objective financial perspective:

“Andrew (Smith) and his staff supplement our understanding of the business with their skill in making sense of the numbers.

The detailed budgets, clear forecasts and effective reporting that Lewis Smith & Co. have helped us develop are key tools in enabling our expansion.”

Möbile is heading towards a further 25% increase in turnover by the end of the year as it continues to win contracts for palletised freight distribution and dedicated transport systems.  It is showing its commitment to growth by setting up a driver apprenticeship scheme to develop the skills of some young recruits.

Andrew Smith, director at Lewis Smith & Co. believes that Möbile is a great example of what happens when you put passion and precision together:

“Möbile is really serious about delivering excellence.  The business operation is set-up to exceed customer expectations and the financial operation makes sure that what happens is profitable.  This is a company that will go far.”

For more information about Möbile – people.powered.logistics visit www.senditmobile.com.

To discuss how Lewis Smith & Co. can help you grow your business set up an appointment today. Call 01384 235549 or email info@lewissmith.com.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Moving accountants is easier than you think. Try us today.

Concerned about tax inspections?

You don’t have to do anything wrong to be inspected

tax inspection protectionHMRC has the right to investigate your financial affairs whenever it likes.

Enquiries can be started entirely at random whether you have done something to arouse their suspicion or not.

This means that businesses of all sizes and categories have been subject to investigations of business records, tax returns, and PAYE/NIC/CIS/VAT compliance.

Even if your records are completely compliant and you have clearly done nothing wrong this can be a time consuming and potentially costly experience.

Lewis Smith & Co. has offered a Tax Enquiry Fee Protection Service, Taxwise Plus, to help you mitigate the costs of an investigation should you be selected by HMRC.

For an annual fee starting at only £125 exc. VAT you’ll get all of Lewis Smith & Co.’s considerable experience in dealing with the tax man without paying a penny more.

  • Lewis Smith & Co. will represent you for all compliance visits.
  • We will defend you against HMRC enquiries into your business or personal affairs.
  • You are covered for up to £75,000 of our fees in representing you.
The service has saved a number of our clients several thousand pounds on the costs of responding to enquiries and compliance visits. It has also more than paid for itself for other clients when they have needed to respond to initial enquiry letters and provide explanations of accounts and tax returns.
If you want more information then check out the Fee Protection page on our website or contact Andrew or Craig to arrange a free informal discussion of your needs.  Call 01384 235549 or email info@lewissmith.com, today.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Providing accountancy services for Stourbridge businesses for nearly 30 years

Quarterly Returns

Can you handle it?

Quarterly digital tax returnsAt the end of last year the government published a corporate report titled “making tax digital” (PDF opens in a new tab), which set out how HMRC would make the tax system “more effective, more efficient and easier for taxpayers”.

A lot of what report has to say may be broadly welcomed by businesses, large or small.  The report lays out a desire to simplify taxation by, for instance, making sure all of the systems that held relevant data are joined up.  It seeks to encourage further digitisation to speed up transactions, improve accuracy and reduce the opportunity for fraud.  It also seeks to make sure that HMRC offers a single point of contact to customers what ever their query.

As the Americans would say there is a lot of “motherhood and apple pie”.

One of the points raised in the report has raised alarm bells in the business community and amongst the accountancy profession. The point is stated blandly “businesses will keep their records using digital tools and send that information at least quarterly to HMRC”.

Although the “R-word” isn’t used, many commentators have said that this means quarterly returns will be required from limited companies, the self-employed and landlords. Software and apps may be made available to help the process but it may require greater on-going, diligence in collecting and managing data, and having more to do with us as accountants.

Lewis Smith & Co. will keep you posted on any news of what the government does on this topic, although the EU referendum and the Summer recess means that it will probably be Autumn before any formal activity.

As partners for both Xero and KashFlow online accounting packages we can offer help and advice on the process of going digital.  As to the advent of quarterly returns, you can be assured that we will do our best to minimise any cost implications.

If you have any questions about the impact of “making tax digital” on your business call us today on 01384 235549 or email us at info@lewissmith.com.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – A complete tax planning service for businesses, partnerships, sole traders and social enterprises.

 

Directors Loans or Dividends?

charge interest on directors loan account credit balances instead of using dividends Could you save tax?

The shake-up of dividend taxation announced in the last budget lead us to to say that the key to tax planning now is to look at “total tax liability”.

That means it is worth us introducing a new tax saving angle to consider: using your directors loan account.  It doesn’t apply to everybody but it could present a good opportunity for some of you.

Paying a market rate of interest on directors’ loan account credit balances is now more tax efficient than paying dividends, once the new £5,000 dividend allowance has been used. This is because higher rate tax payers face a 32.5% tax rate on dividends.

Note, the company is still required to deduct 20% basic rate income tax and pay this quarterly using form CT61.

If you are unsure whether this applies to you just get in touch for a no-obligation discussion.

We’ll be able to tell you very quickly whether more detailed tax planning will help.

Call 01384 235549 or email info@lewissmith.com today.

 

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Tax planning service. Income tax, CT, CGT and VAT

 

Employment Allowance – Single Director Companies

Employment allowance no entitlement for single directors£3,000 allowance is not for you

You may have seen in our budget coverage that the allowance for employers to set against their National Insurance liability has been increase to £3,000 in this tax year.

However if you are the director of a limited company where you are the only employee being paid above the secondary threshold for class 1 NICs, then sadly you won’t be able to claim it.

If you are unsure about the implications of this on your tax position then get in touch today.

Call 01384 235549 or email info@lewissmith.com to arrange an appointment.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountants for Brierley Hill businesses.

 

Image source: Flickr courtesy of Dave Crosby

Client Success Update. Impact Metals

Impact Metal Services: Making an impression online

Impact Metals aluminium stockholder client management accountingIt’s time to celebrate another good news story about one of Lewis Smith & Co’s established clients, Rowley Regis based Impact Metal Services Ltd.

In 2008, as the financial crisis hit the Black Country’s traditional business hard, the company was close to going under. Eight years later Impact Metal is achieving success with some clear management thinking and innovative sales and marketing.

The company has become a leading supplier of aluminium sheets and extrusions with in-house finishing capability including anodising, powdercoating and polishing.  With a key focus on architectural door furniture and roller shutter components it is benefiting from the ongoing, but uncertain, improvement in the economy.

With growth being somewhat hesitant, close scrutiny of financials has become key, according to managing director Chris Potter:

“I asked Lewis Smith & Co. to give us quarterly management accounts.  It gives me the financial picture I need to make decisions about hiring people or investing in new equipment. It also means I get unbiased guidance from Craig and the team – very helpful”.

Lewis Smith & Co provides management accounts to Impact MetalsWhile Chris has shown healthy caution in financial matters, the resurgence of the company’s fortunes is down to some clever use of new technologies.

Impact Metals were amongst the first in the industry to offer an ecommerce facility for aluminium sheet and extrusions. They then added an eBay store to enhance their digital presence.  Chris believes it’s a strategy that has helped to increase orders and enquiries:

“We know that the challenge is to get in front of people so that we can show them what we do.  Making some of our basic products available to buy online gets attention, and some sales.

It also opens a conversation with the people who need someone to fulfil a different requirement or a bigger one.”

Lewis Smith & Co. director Craig Beale says that Impact Metal’s provides a clear example of how it is possible to combine prudence with progress:

“Accountants sometimes get accused of dragging businesses back. We see our role as giving clients as much information as we can guide them along the path safely and successfully.”

Find out more about Impact Metal’s aluminium sheet and extrusions, and roller shutter components online.

To find out how regular management accounts could help you manage business performance call 01384 235549 or email info@lewissmith.com today.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Stay in control with our management accounting service

Xero Software Partner

Xero in the Media

There’s been lots of media activity around the Xero cloud accounting software package recently.

So it’s a good time time to remind everybody that Lewis Smith & Co. is a qualified partner for Xero.  We ‘ll help you set it up so that you can run your business more efficiently. Xero allows you to reconcile bank transactions, pay invoices, create purchase orders and pay bills, amongst other things.

xero online accounting softwareUsing Xero allows Lewis Smith & Co. to support you more effectively too.  Whether you want regular management accounts prepared or simply annual compliance work, we can access your accurate, up-to-date data.

Xero is ideal for small and medium sized business.  For start-ups and micro businesses we also support KashFlow, which provides a cut down version of the functionality.

All you need to use Xero is an internet connection. It’s easy to move to Xero from Sage or Quickbooks and you can even get a 30 day free trial.

Find out today how Lewis Smith & Co. can help you use Xero.

Call 01384 235549 to arrange an appointment or email us at info@lewissmith.com.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Why not try our Xero-based bookkeeping service?