We’ve had a lovely few days of weather and summer is around the corner. As the weather heats up this time around we talk about the hottest topic at the moment. By now you probably have heard everyone mention about General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

 

The regulation has been passed to protect an individual’s privacy. If you hold a person’s name, email address, address or contact details, you will now need their permission to hold these types of data. If you do not have permission, then you will have to delete the data you hold. This will be law by the end of this week (25th May 2018) and there are fines that will be imposed for any sort of breach. If you are worried about GDPR you can read up about it here.

 

Here at Cross Accounting, we are currently password protecting documents containing sensitive information when sending internally and externally. Since the document has an individual’s data on this ensures we are complying with GDPR rules. All our clients will have their own unique password to open their documents. This ensures privacy in case it is sent to an unintended recipient or a breach in security from hackers. Encryption is the key to adhering to the regulations.

 

25th May is when all this starts to kick off, there are companies that can help and provide training for GDPR but it is making sure you’re being responsible with the data you hold. People have the right to be forgotten, so any contacts that you do not have their permission, you cannot keep. If you take car in to applying security to your business, then your are ready to tackle GDPR.

The New Year has begun in the financial calendar. This is the time of year where the Government implement the new rules and laws. Changes have been made to your allowances, pension and minimum wage. In our blog we will touch up on the most popular and usually most important changes. Keeping you informed and up to date!
 
Your personal allowance has gone up to £11,850 from £11,500. Your personal allowance is the amount of income you can make before you must pay any tax over. The tax you pay over will depend on which income band you are in.

Income BandTaxable IncomeTax Rate
Personal AllowanceUp to £11,8500%
Basic Rate£11.851 - £46,35020%
Higher Rate£46,351 - £150,00040%
Additional RateOver £150,00045%
 
If your income is over £123,700 then you do not get a personal allowance. Dividends allowance has unfortunately gone down from £5,000 to £2,000. If you own shares in a company and receive dividend you will have to pay tax. You only pay tax if your dividends go above your dividend allowance in the tax year. The tax rate is different for dividends.

Tax BandTax Rate on Dividends over your Allowance
Basic Rate7.5%
Higher Rate32.5%
Additional Rate38.1%
 
There has been changes to the ever-changing employment tax laws. If you employ staff, you will have to adhere to these rules. As there can be heavy fines if the rules are broken. You will have to supply a workplace pension for all staff members that qualify. A percentage of the member of staffs pay is put into the pension scheme automatically every payday. The minimum employer contribution is 2% and the minimum employee contribution is 3%.
 
The national minimum wage and living wage have increased. As an employer you are legally obliged to pay the correct rate to staff. Wage is worked out on the age an employee is. Minimum wage bands are Under 18, 18years-20years, 21-24 years and 25 years old and over.
 
Take a read of our employment law blog where we go in to the finer details of pension contributions and the national minimum wage rates. This is the time of year when company accounts are due as the next financial year rolls over, if you are stuck with yours or want more information on what steps you need to take visit our website on www.crossaccountingservice.co.uk or call us on 02920 653 995

The Employment Tax laws are changing again, and they will take place from 6th April 2018. It is important that all employers are aware of these changes and consider how this will impact your company. You should also make any necessary communication with your staff.

 

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All employers will have to provide a workplace pension for all staff members that qualify by the April 2018 deadline and most already do.

Take a look at the table below to see the minimum contributions that must be met by both the employer and employee:
 

 

 Minimum Employer Contribution

 Minimum Employee Contribution

 Total Minimum Contribution

 Currently

 1%

 1%

 2%

 6th April 2018

 2%

 3%

 5%


For more information on work place pension please visit the gov.uk website or click here

 

National Minimum Wage and Living Wage

There are different hourly rates of National Minimum Wage and this depends on the age of the members of your team. If staff are 25 years and over, then they will get the National Living Wage. As an employer you are legally obliged to pay the National Minimum and Living Wage.
 

 

 25 and over

21 to 24

18 to 20

Under 18

Apprentice

 Currently

£7.50

£7.05

£5.60

£4.05

£3.50

 1st April 2018

£7.83

£7.38

£5.90

£4.20

£3.70


Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they're either aged under 19, or, aged 19 or over and in first year of apprenticeship. Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they are both aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship. More information can be found here or if you want to see previous years minimum hourly rates

 

If you would like to speak about these changes that are to come in to place or what steps you need to take, then please call us on 02920 653995

We are well in to 2018 and the financial year is coming close to its end. You should have an indication of how you want to take your business going forward. In our previous blog we talked about goals and achieving them with your strengths and opportunities. This time around we talk about the best ways to expanding your business.

 

We are finding this is the time of year a lot of our clients are needing budgets and cashflows. A detailed cashflow can inform you when cash is available to spend or if cash is running low ahead of time. Knowing this ahead of time can avert any crisis and indicate to you when action is needed so you are well prepared.

 

Knowing your cashflow needs at least a year in advance will give you a more accurate picture of your finances. Regular maintenance of this important as you don’t want to rely on old figures in this ever changing environment.

 

Budgets are equally as important as a cashflow. If you have expansion plans in mind, then you need to master your budget. Are you looking to get a second office? Or are you looking to get a bigger office?, do you need new equipment.   Having an up to date budget can give you clarification on which may be the best way to expand your business. Budgeting is also a great way to indicate where overheads may need to be cut down. You may be over spending on some things but then neglecting the investment in other departments of your business. This is where a budget will help balance your business.

 

With any expansion plans you may have, you’ll need the cash to back it up. There are many ways to obtain the finance, but the most conventional way is to get a bank loan. With your cashflow and budgets shiny and polished will keep the bank manager sweet. You can then enforce your plans to expand and grow!

Our busiest season has passed with the self-assessment deadline and now it’s the season of love. With love in the air, its time to make your business your valentine. Take the time to make a plan of action for your business. What do you want to achieve in the next 12-18 months?

 

Are you looking to expand your business and grow a larger list of customers? or are you trying to cut back on the amount of expenses your business pays out ? These are all goals that should be in the clear to you. Write down your plan of action, top tip, something that is written down will be more likely to be achieved than something that you have stored in your mind.

 

Having it written down and somewhere in sight will give you the reminder and motivation to try and achieve this. Think of the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Refresh and re-train on yourself in terms of, what are your strengths, work on weaknesses to learn and help achieve your goals.

 

Loving your business will give you opportunities to take it to the next level. However, with opportunities you also must weigh up the risks. This is where you need a forecast for your business, a cashflow can help make the deciding factor whether its time to hold back and watch the spending, or if there is spare cash around to invest back in the business.

 

We are at the start of 2018.   Make it a good one.