Case studies

With you all the way

An Edinburgh business took our advice on setting up and we steered them from start to finish throughout their long business life. With 240 employees at the height of their success, we provided weekly payroll services and at the same time dealt with the annual accounts and company and personal tax requirements. When the director’s retirement approached, we provided clear guidance in evaluating alternative exit strategies and hand-holding, thereby maximising the return to the shareholders.

Buying out a business

A few years ago we advised on the acquisition of an established retail business. This was the buyer’s first venture into this trade. We did the compliance work over the next few years but became concerned when the business fell into a period of poor trading. There was pressure on overdrafts and difficulty meeting VAT & PAYE liabilities. We suggested a business review and produced a plan and action points. The implementation of these resulted in an immediate improvement in the company’s trading results. Our client was so delighted with the progress that we have been asked to continue to carry out regular reviews.

Management buy-ins

Having seen significant annual losses swiftly change to satisfactory profits with one of our clients, we identified the opportunity for a management buy-in. The value of the business was established and a new business plan was implemented. The company continues to trade successfully.

Keeping it brief

A prospective client approached us for a clear understanding of the advantages of transferring a partnership into a limited company. We gave advice that was succinct and appropriate to our client’s circumstances rather than just sweeping generalisations. We summarised the key points with clear guidance in a one-page email. The client responded that this one-pager gave him more advice than he had had from his existing accountant in the past five years. He remains a client of ours.

Company car or not?

We’ve had a number of clients in recent years who complained that the current tax-free mileage rates did not cover the running costs of the car used for their business. We have undertaken a number of reviews, with successful results, to help clients consider alternative options. If you are concerned about the company car costs to you and your business, you could benefit from a similar personalised review.

Management accounts: necessary evil or business opportunity?

We became concerned that a new client was not aware of how her business was doing. Before our appointment, annual accounts were done so far in arrears as to be meaningless. We suggested quarterly management accounts. Initially there was some resistance in view of the cost and management time involved. However once we presented the figures with comparatives and key ratios relevant to her business, she was overwhelmed. She could not wait for the next period results to monitor and make improvements to her business, which continues to thrive today.

Do I really need to have my tax payments checked?

We come across lots of examples of taxpayers paying the wrong amount of tax, with no suggestion of a refund from HMRC. These errors often emanate from notices of coding which are clearly incorrect. There are also numerous examples of allowances unclaimed. In one week alone, we uncovered over £5,000 of tax repayable to our clients.

I need a Finance Director

Well maybe you don’t! Our partner has worked with medium-sized companies for a number of years and assists as a part-time Finance Director. He attends meetings and is available whenever you need him. Our clients value this relationship. Clients see improvement in bottom line results at a fraction of the cost of a full-time Finance Director.

Pay less tax

HMRC normally treats income from property held in joint names as taxable equally, regardless of actual ownership. Using a 50:50 split can lead to tax liabilities being higher than necessary for a higher rate taxpayer who has a lower rated spouse. For a couple who jointly owned property, we advised a change in beneficial interest in the joint property to maximise the lower rate band. A client who took this advice saved a substantial amount of tax.

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