The View – October 2022
Staff Focus – Rob Ward
Business Support Unit Manager
Rob took the position of Accounts Junior at a local firm of accountants in September 2003 and spent the next couple of years learning the ropes of accounts, tax and VAT preparation, whilst also completing his AAT qualification. In November 2005, Charterhouse took over the practice, and Rob built strong and enduring relationships with clients and outsourcing partners as a member of the accounts department. As his client portfolio and responsibilities grew, Rob maintained the reliability, efficiency and keen eye for detail that he was known for.
In 2019 he was promoted to the role of Client Manager, which gave him his first taste of staff management duties. A year later, he moved up to manage a newly formed Small Business Unit – whose remit included managing bookkeeping and VAT work and continuing the rollout of the firm’s advisory services, as well as promoting cloud accounting offerings, which he is a strong advocate of. In 2021 the team was rebranded to the Business Support Unit, which he continues to manage today.
Away from work, many of Rob’s interests are linked to his passion for music, from playing the guitar to travelling the globe to watch his favourite bands in concert. Over the last decade or so, he has taken multiple trips to various countries to follow Metallica and Iron Maiden on tour. Amongst his many highlights is attending a special 30th anniversary event in California for Metallica. Tickets to this event could only be won and not bought, and the event took place on his birthday. The celebratory night included special guests, live debuts, and many other magical moments.
When he is not working or listening to music, he can be found taking part in quizzes, keeping in touch with friends from around the world, and watching a variety of documentaries, movies, and sports. He loves NFL, where his team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and supports Tottenham Hotspur, who he has followed since the early nineties.
Business Support Unit – Software and how it can help your business
As a small and medium business owner you often have to take on many different roles within the business, sales, marketing, operations, HR and finance. Trying to juggle all these roles together with actually doing your job is often the hardest part of running a business.
In the modern, technology driven world this can sometime be made even more complicated or, if you look at it differently it can give you an opportunity to be more efficient if you use the technology effectively.
Over the past few years, we have been constantly looking at what systems and software is available, not just for us, but for our clients as well. The aim of this work has been to make our work more efficient as well as helping reduce the time needed by our clients and us and consequently the costs.
The challenge is identifying what software and technology is beneficial and will help. Through our ongoing work to review all the new technology we have created a list of recommended solutions that we want to share. Here are the key new platforms we think are worth you considering:
- Joiin – this is our the latest in the software apps we have adopted – the tagline to this is “consolidated financial reporting made easy”. This applies to clients/businesses who have more than one company. It integrates with Xero/Sage/Quickbooks but also spreadsheets. This allows you to get a consolidated view of all your accounts to see the overall financial picture.
- Dext – this is split into three areas;
- Dext Prepare (formerly Receipt Bank) – this is the app for capturing expense receipts. Uainf Dext Prepare to capture your receipt information will increase your accuracy and reduce time spent on manual data entry. Being compliant with HMRC requirements, it also allows users to save on physical space;
- Dext Precision, this is an analytics tool to check the “health” of data and give useful insights into the figures
- Dext Commerce, New to Charterhouse, this is of great benefit to businesses who sell on digital platforms such as Amazon, Etsy, Woo, Paypal, and others
- Fluidly – this is an app we use to help provide cashflow forecasting so we can help businesses plan for the future with scenario planning.
- Last but not least the old friend Xero where all of the information generated from the above apps together with others is consolidated to ensure you and us can see the information we need and create any reporting you need quickly and efficiently.
These are by no means the only software platforms we use but are the latest ones we have adopted to help further evolve the service we offer.
To find out more about these and the other software we use and how it can help you contact Rob Ward in our BSU and he will explain all.
For more information on Charterhouse and the services we offer have a look at our website.
NI changes – what does it mean to me?
Small Business Owners can now pay themselves more as the National Insurance threshold change came into effect from 6 July 2022
As of the 6 July this year there has been an increase to the primary threshold (PT) from £9,880 to £12,570.
This change aligns the NI rate with the income tax personal allowance and means that many small business owners will now be able to pay themselves more without having an increased employees NI burden.
The HMRC NI Calculator provides the ability to see what your employee and employer contributions will be.
The increased National Insurance Primary thresholds for tax year 2022/2023 are as follows:-
Effective from 6 July 2022
HMRC require that National Insurance (NI) is calculated period by period rather than as a year to date basis. This means the NI amounts calculated using the new rates are not affected by any NI calculated prior to 6 July 2022.
The new NI thresholds are applied differently for Directors and will be calculated at the end of each tax year or if the director leaves.
To find out how this will affect you and your business contacts us and speak to one of our Tax Advisors.
MIND in Harrow – how we are supporting them this year
Charterhouse continue support of MIND in Harrow
Having decided to support Mind in Harrow as our Charity of the Year 2021/22 we have now decided to continue this support and keep them as our chosen charity for the coming year 2022/23.
Whilst we have been able to provide some support to the charity over the past twelve months, the support and results have been restricted due to COVID. As a result, the team here decided to build on the relationship and support them to further increase the support they deliver to the local community.
Specifically for the coming year we will be supporting them to deliver their Volunteer Training and support – many Mind in Harrow services including Befriending, Harrow’s only Mental Health Helpline, Harrow User Group and their young people’s project HeadsUp are reliant on dedicated, trained and supervised volunteers. Many of these volunteers have experience of mental health, which aids the recovery and which service-users repeatedly tell them is reassuring as “they get where I am coming from”.
The volunteer programme is key to delivering their services in the long term and fits with our values and will help expand their ability to help more people.
If you want to find out more about our support for Mind in Harrow and other charities visit our website or contact us.
The Charterhouse Charity Day
Over the past few years, CSR (Social Responsibility) has been at the heart of out business, focusing us to ensure that the people arounds us are supported and that we make a positive contribution to society. The focus helps us to ensure that our staff, the community around us and the wider community have the best support we can offer and part of this approach is supporting a number of charities and community projects.
Because of the impact of COVID on charities we decided that this year we would hold our first charity day, during which all of our team would volunteers for their chosen charity to help them with much needed resource.
The three charities we chose to work with on the day were:
Our team split up into three groups and spent the day working with the charities to help them. The work was very different to our normal work but, as they say, a change is as good as a holiday. Whilst the work was more manual than we are used to it gave our team an amazing sense of purpose and achievement and when we got everyone together in the evening for something to eat the atmosphere was buzzing.
With the team at MIND having collected a huge pile of clothes to donate, they then helped out in the shop for the day, getting the store ready for the new season. Cem Soydaner our team lead for the day commented “who knew that such a different form of work could be so rewarding, the team were fantastic and hopefully we have helped MIND in Harrow get ready for the new season and give them more clothes to help their fundraising.”
Meanwhile in Wendover, Bucks, the team at Lindengate were helping the charity prepare their conservation area. As a mental health charity they provide those with mental health challenges the change to experience and work in a beautiful, calming space and are a leading conservation organisation in the local area. Krisztina Simko said “the charity is an amazing secret garden and whilst we were there to help, the calming impact on the team that were there helping was amazing. There might be some sore bones though as we had to put some hard work in for the day.”
The last team were heling at Kids Can Achieve, working with them to clear their outside space which is essential to give children and their families much needed outdoor space. Like the team at Lindengate, the KCA team got their hands dirty clearing and weeding but left the space set up for the colder months so the children can enjoy some fresh air space. Shelley Vincett, our team lead there summed the day up “KCA are a charity that help disable children and their families bring some normality and fun to their lives, so being able to help them in any way was a superb opportunity. Taking us out of the office to do some hard manual work was a shock to us all and the aching limbs the next day proved it. The smile it brought to all of us though was worth it. Thank you to KCA for giving us this opportunity and hopefully we can do the same again next year.”
The day has proved to be a huge success, giving our team something to be proud of whilst at the same time helping out charities in great need.
Watch this space next year for our next event.
Super Wellness – the programme continues
Super Wellness got us ready for summer and started preparing us for the colder months.
Over the past couple of years we have been very conscious of the health and wellbeing of our team and implemented a number of initiatives to help them, not just through the pandemic but in the longer term as well.
A key to this work was the Super Wellness program that was put in place before COVID hit and has become a favorite for the team.
Over the past few years we have had several groups that have focused on many different elements of the individual health and well being including mental health and diet.
In our most recent session we ran a one hour seminar for the team with the focus on “Beating Anxiety”.
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe and the session aimed to help everyone achieve the following:
- What is anxiety
- Common symptoms and causes
- What the brain is doing when someone has anxiety
- What the body does
- Practical tips to help support those with anxiety
The session leader shared some interesting facts that really brought the message home:
- In any given week in England 6 in 100 people will have generalised anxiety disorder
- Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety
- 2% of 5-19 year olds experience an anxiety condition
- The NHS in England spent £14.3 billion on mental health services in 2020/21 – 14.8% of local NHS funding allocations.
Our aim is to ensure our team are not one of these statistics and that anyone who does suffer with any kind of mental health challenge has all the support they need. In addition, during the session all the team had the chance to have body composition testing, and we were provided with full body composition report and practical nutrition/lifestyle tips. We were all reminded that in times of stress your diet and nutrients are important to ensure you have all the strength needed to overcome the challenges.
To find out more about our staff programs and how Super Wellness gets us ready for the summer get in touch and we can explain more.