WITH ALL THAT’S
NEW AT PM+M
In this issue:
A brief look
HOME THE BEST
FIRM OF THE
YEAR GONG AT
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ON PAGE 9
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ON PAGES 1 AND 2
Lancashire contains a number of distinct
regions and is home to a wide variety of
businesses both in size and sector. At the
most westerly part of the county, the coastline
is home to a number of maritime businesses
and Blackpool is still a very popular holiday
destination for many, supporting leisure, hotel
and retail sectors. It is also the host of many
national and international conferences.
Moving easterly across the county highlights
a change in the economic dynamics and the
businesses supporting those local economies.
East Lancashire is not itself a defined region but
what is clear is the level of investment that continues
to be made demonstrates that it is a key area for
future business and economic growth.
The three main political parties have all outlined the
significance they foresee the North West having in
the growth of the UK economy during the next term
of government. It was only in January that David
Cameron and George Osborne were in the North
West to discuss the development of a ‘northern
powerhouse’. Ensuring that East Lancashire is a key
part of those plans is something we should all actively
give support to.
There are a large number of sectors served by
businesses located in East Lancashire, many of which
are world leading providers. Aerospace and precision
engineering are just two examples of where the region
is home to the best in the provision of specialist
services and products. Having such high
calibre businesses retains and attracts highly skilled
individuals. This leads to higher levels of overall
spending and increasing prosperity.
The last five years have witnessed a large level of
spending cuts within the public sector and East
Lancashire has not been sheltered from them. It is
essential that the private sector continues to grow
and generate new roles, reducing the impact of
the reduction in public sector jobs. To attract new
business to the region and retain those already
located here, we must have a persuasive proposition.
We have benefitted from grants but a general election
brings a period of confusion. The grant assistance
that will be available under the next government is
a very grey area and clarity on this is required as
soon as possible to enable businesses to plan with
There is however a general feeling of confidence
within the East Lancashire economy and this has led
to a number of businesses choosing to relocate to
the area, regardless of grant availability. This is due
to a combination of factors including the businesses
already located here and the transport links. The
people and the culture of the area are also other key
factors that attract business owners to this part of
As outlined above, there is a continually growing
technical skill base within the region which is an
attraction in itself. However, employers want more
than just people who are technically competent. They
want the workplace to be an environment for both
career and personal development. This culture is
moulded by teams working together. Lancastrians are
optimistic, full of good humour and have a ‘don’t give
up’ attitude. This is a strong asset for the region.
People are an integral part of any business and
having the right, readily available people is a key
factor when businesses are preparing to grow and
potentially relocate. East Lancashire must continue
to be part of those plans.
The region has performed relatively well over the last
few years and the prospects in East Lancashire look
very promising. We are open to new ideas and quick
to adopt new skills. This ‘can do’ attitude (and a good
sense of humour) are vital in the future success of
East Lancashire and the North West.
If you are looking to grow or relocate your business
but don’t know where to start, turn to page 7 to
find out more about possible funding options.
Alternatively, call Tim Mills (Corporate Finance
Partner) on 01254 679131.
DON’T DESTROY THOSE RECORDS
Now that the dust has settled on last year’s
Autumn Statement, we will recap some of the
key measures introduced, together with other
measures due to take effect this year. All of
this is, of course, subject to the Spring Budget
on 18 March and the fact that the General
Election means we will probably have a number
of smaller Finance Bills in 2015, rather than
one big one.
For individuals, there are no major changes to income
tax or capital gains tax and the stamp duty land tax
reforms are a welcome change for those buying all
but the most expensive houses.
The much heralded reform of trust taxation has
been watered down and replaced by some specific
anti avoidance provisions. This means that wealthy
individuals will be able to continue to gift surplus
assets to trust on a 7 yearly cycle to get repeated
use of their inheritance tax nil rate band.
The trust anti avoidance measures concern the use
of multiple pilot trusts. Any that have previously set
up should retain their original benefits, but any new
property added, either during lifetime or on death, will
fall foul of the new rules. Anyone with such trusts set
up to work alongside their will should take advice on
whether their will needs updating.
For businesses, the change to entrepreneurs’ relief
which prevents goodwill being sold tax efficiently on
incorporation of a business came as a blow to many
partnerships preparing to incorporate. Many are now
reconsidering their options and deciding whether a
corporate structure is the way forward or whether a
limited liability partnership might be preferable.
For companies, the corporation tax rates finally
become aligned at 20% for any size of company
on 1 April, thus eradicating the corporation tax rate
anomalies that can arise where companies
R&D tax credits continue to be very generous and
we are seeing them being claimed by an increasingly
wide range of companies. It is well worth checking
whether there is scope for claims to be made.
The patent box, which reduces the corporation tax
rate from exploitation of qualifying patents down to
10% has sadly proved to be too generous and is to
be phased out following EU wide agreement. The
scheme will close to new entrants from June 2016
and will be phased out altogether by 2021. Any
companies with UK or EU patents should take advice
now to see if they can benefit from the regime before
Most business owners will be familiar with
the requirement to retain accounting records
for 6 years in case of an inspection visit by
HMRC. But what does “accounting records”
Of course, it includes the actual accounting system
records together with supporting invoices and
reports, but it can also be much wider than that.
For example, if HMRC inspect your business they
will want to trace cash all the way through from
customer receipts to the bank and accounting
records. That means that till rolls, daily reconciliation
sheets, evidence of cash checks and other ancillary
documents need to be retained, as well as the
accounting system entries. Likewise, if you use
PayPal or other online payment methods, all those
reconciliations should be retained. If you do not
retain such documents, it can be much more difficult
to demonstrate to HMRC that your business has
appropriate controls in place over cash and we have
seen recent examples of this adding cost and stress
to HMRC enquiries.
If in doubt, ask us what you should be retaining
and we will be happy to advise. You might also
want to find out about our optional tax investigation
professional fee insurance which covers our fees
for supporting you through a tax enquiry.
For further information or for any tax enquiries, please
email Jane Parry (Tax Partner) at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call a member of the tax team on 01254 679131
3 pmm.co.uk @pmm_acc
IS THE REINVENTION
It seems hardly a month goes by without
another announcement on pensions, and,
assuming recent proposals are passed, pension
reinvention will be complete! Individuals will
have complete flexibility over how income
is taken, and new death benefits will mean
pension funds can be passed down the
generations without incurring punitive
Taking tax free cash and income
If you die before the age of 75
Tax free cash 25% of fund value 25% of fund value
• Capped drawdown
limited to 150%
• Flexible drawdown
• Uncrystallised funds
– tax free.
• Crystallised funds
– 55% tax.
• All caps removed
- can take up to
100% of the
• All tax free.
The Financial Reporting Council has replaced
current UK GAAP with FRS102: The Financial
Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and
Republic of Ireland with effect from periods
beginning on or after 1 January 2015.
FRS102 will apply to all medium and large sized
companies; it will also apply to financial institutions
(including charities) and Limited Liability Partnerships.
The starting point for applying FRS102 will be to
restate your opening balance sheet at the date of
transition. For example if a company prepares its
first accounts under FRS102 for the year ending
31 December 2015, its date of transition will be
1 January 2014. FRS102 does however include
provisions to ease this transition.
In theory FRS102 is a major change and many of the
changes could directly affect profit figures meaning
that companies will need to consider its impact
on profit sharing agreements, banking covenants,
tax liabilities and the level of reserves available for
dividend distribution. However for the majority of
business in our area, we believe changes will be
more of a presentational nature.
The impact of any changes will vary from business to
business. We recommend you assess the implications
for your business now, to prevent a last minute
exercise when preparing your 2015/2016 accounts.
Considering decisions dating back two years and
assessing the impact these had at transition could
become arduous and costly.
An overview of major changes can
be downloaded from our website
or scan the below QR code.
We can help by providing you with an impact
assessment report, which will demonstrate
a “before” and “after” summary with options for
any alternative presentation available. For more
information, please email email@example.com
From April 2015, gone are the requirements to
purchase an annuity and the restrictions on how
much you can withdraw from your pension fund.
The Government has recognised that in order to
encourage people to save for their future, greater
flexibility is required.
The tax free cash element remains the same
and you can still take up to 25% of your fund
value as a tax free lump sum. The remaining
fund is taxable at your marginal income tax rate.
However, there are no longer any restrictions on
income withdrawal, and you can withdraw up to
100% of your fund value.
What’s the catch? The price for savers will be that
access to their pension pots will be pushed back, at
the same pace as the State Retirement Age. Initially it
will move from 55 to age 57 in 2028. This could affect
those around age 40 and under.
For clients looking to pass on their pensions to future
generations and unmarried partners, the prospect
of a 55% tax charge will be reduced to nil, making
pensions a very attractive wealth transfer wrapper.
The changes can be summarised as follows:
• Option only
• Taxed as income.
If you die after the age of 75
• Tax free if taken via
new flexible income.
• Option available to
Lump Sum • Subject to 55% tax. • Subject to up to
45% tax (marginal
rate from 2016/17).
• Option only
• Taxed as income.
• Taxed as income.
• Option available
to any beneficiary.
What does this mean for advice?
Whilst the new rules undoubtedly provide greater
flexibility, care will need to be taken to make sure you
have sufficient assets to last throughout retirement.
Holistic cash flow planning has never been more
important and advice will be required to make
sure investment returns are maximised and the tax
payable is minimised.
*The GAD rate is the rate of income someone can take from a pension
using income drawdown. The rate is based on age and gilt yields from
the Government Actuary’s Department.
For further details or to discuss your retirement
planning contact Antony Keen on 01254 679131.
5 pmm.co.uk @pmm_acc
A BRIEF LOOK INTO 2015
RUN MY BUSINESS
IS YOUR MANAGEMENT
UP TO SCRATCH?
In the recent past, management information
(MI) was something that was produced by
the larger, corporate and more complex
businesses. MI wasn’t needed for the smaller,
less complicated businesses – or was it?
With most businesses now using one of the
many available software packages to record their
transactions, the production of MI has, in theory,
become much easier.
As we start a new year, the corporate finance
team takes a quick peek at some of the key areas
for consideration in 2015 for business owners.
Funding should become more readily available
with the variety of funding sources continuing to
increase. There will be a greater use of crowd funding
and peer-to-peer funding and the impact of more
independent invoice discounters will be felt. With the
increasing popularity of these funding options, it will
be interesting to watch how the banks and smaller
private equity funds position themselves as more
and more business owners become aware of the
An increase in funding will invariably lead to a rise in
the number of owner managed businesses being sold.
Acquirers will include trade buyers and management
buy-out teams. There will also be a number of part
disposals, with business owners selling a percentage
of their shareholding. This will enable them to extract
some value from the business whilst retaining some
interest in its future performance.
For several years, many business owners have not
had the economic conditions to allow them to sell
at an acceptable value. Improving market conditions
will allow them to look at de-risking their own
position. On the flip side, this will also lead to some
excellent buy-in opportunities for many during 2015
With an improving economy and increasing
opportunities, business strategy will be key.
All business owners should have a robust business
plan with clearly defined targets and these should
be set whilst giving consideration to any personal
goals they may have.
PM+M Corporate Finance foresee a busy 2015
across a variety of transactions, with business owners
looking to achieve their goals either through a sale
or an acquisition.
Please feel free to give either Tim Mills or Jim
Akrill a call on 01254 679131 to discuss any of the
above or to have a chat about your future plans.
So what are the properties of quality MI?
• Accurate – MI should be prepared by somebody
who knows what they are doing.
• Cost effective – whether the MI is produced
internally or externally, the benefits should outweigh
• Complete – each month end should be like the year
end, all relevant adjustments should be considered
such as accruals, prepayments, depreciation etc.
• User defined – MI should be targeted to the end
• Relevant – information supplied for the user should
be relevant and meaningful.
• Available – should be made available to those
who require it.
• Timely – late MI is as useful as no MI. MI should
be produced within 2 weeks of the period end.
• Easy to use – avoid the use of jargon,
keep it simple.
So what should be included in regular MI?
Well, this depends on the size, nature and complexity
of the business. For some, a simple profit and loss
account and balance sheet is sufficient. For others,
a cash flow statement, key performance indicators,
ratio analysis and a cash flow forecast may be
required. It really does depend on the tools the
management team need to make decisions and take
a business forward to achieve its strategic objectives.
The production of meaningless reports that do
not contribute to the management and control
of a business should be avoided at all costs.
Without doubt, ACCURATE MI is crucial for the
management of any business large or small,
complex or simple.
For more information as to how PM+M can
help your business produce timely and reliable
management information, contact the Run
My Business team on 01254 679131 or email
PM+M TAKE HOME THE BEST
ACCOUNTANCY FIRM OF THE
YEAR GONG AT THE LANCASHIRE
It’s been a fantastic 2014 for PM+M. We have
seen significant growth over the last couple of
years and we expect this to continue. Last year,
the firm grew by 19% and this is primarily down
to our work ethic and our culture. We are proud
to say the hard work of the PM+M team has been
recognised, yet again!
BEN NEVIS IS NO MATCH
FOR RUN MY BUSINESS
PARTNER JACKIE FISHER
In November 2014, Downtown in Business hosted the
annual Lancashire Business Awards at Stanley House
in Mellor. PM+M were nominated for two awards,
Best Employer of the Year and Best Accountancy
Firm of the Year.
We are delighted to announce that PM+M won in the
Best Accountancy Firm of the Year category! When
asked about the achievement, Stephen Anderson,
PM+M Managing Partner said: “We are extremely
proud to have won this award. It confirms that the
PM+M team is doing the right things in the changing
market for accounting services and that we are being
seen as a great partner for our clients.”
Congratulations to all other LBA winners. We are
looking forward to defending our title this year!
Towards the end of 2014, Run My Business
Partner Jackie Fisher undertook one of the most
gruelling physical challenges in the UK, climbing
Supported by her husband Rob, son Scott and some
friends, Jackie raised over £1,500 for Preston based
ABF The Soldier’s Charity, which provides lifetime
support to serving and retired soldiers and their
Jackie said “We were delighted to reach the summit
and the climb was most certainly a challenge.
However, raising money for a charity that we believe
in so passionately was our inspiration and that really
helped us to get to the top.” Well done Jackie!
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR
2014 CHRISTMAS PRESENT APPEAL
THE PM+M TEAM
CONTINUES TO GROW…
Over the last few months we are delighted to have
welcomed 7 new members to the PM+M team –
giving us a total of 14 new people in 2014.
We have strengthened our Run My Business team
with the appointment of Lorna Hargreaves (Accounts
Assistant) and Luke Irving (Accounts Trainee).
Both Lorna and Luke are studying towards their
Accounting Technician qualification.
Laura Fort joined our tax team in August. Laura is
studying towards her Tax Technician qualification.
Also during August our Marketing Team went from
strength to strength with the appointment of Faye
Hughes (Marketing and Business Development
Manager) and Daniel Hill (Marketing Assistant).
Since starting the Christmas present appeal four
years ago, the PM+M team, clients and friends
have donated hundreds of gifts to children in the
The 2014 appeal was no different, and on 5th
December, Councillor Frank Connor came to collect
over a hundred presents which were distributed to
struggling families in Blackburn with Darwen in time
The PM+M team would like to take this opportunity
to thank everybody who donated to such a fantastic
cause. Without this kindness and generosity, our
appeal would not be successful.
Within our support team we have seen the
appointment of Lauren Ainsworth as Administration
Assistant. Lauren has commenced studying for her
Business Administration Level 2 Apprenticeship.
We have also welcomed Sharon Pye (Tax Department
Administrator) to our team.
How long have you been with PM+M?
When I leave it will be 25 years.
What made you stay so long?
I only ever intended to stay a couple of years but
before I knew it over 5 years had passed and I felt
comfortable and happy. PM+M are good employers
so why try to fix what isn’t broken!
One thing you’ll miss?
I will certainly miss the people and the lunch time
One thing you are looking forward to?
I am looking forward to not having to drive to work
in winter when it’s cold, dark & icy.
How will you be spending your time?
Retirement brings a freedom to do what you want,
when you want. But one thing I won’t be doing is
sitting at home waiting to grow old gracefully!!
SUCCESS IN THE
We are pleased to announce the following promotions
to Assistant Manager; Jonathan Cunningham (Tax),
Lucy O’Gorman (Run My Business) and Ben Thornley
SUCCESS IN THE
The recent months have seen some great
examination and qualification success.
Congratulations go to Jane Parry who has obtained
her STEP qualification (Society of Trust and Estate
Practitioners) and to Lucy O’Gorman who is now
a qualified chartered accountant.
Sarah Clancey has been successful in her final
examinations and has qualified as an Accounting
Technician. In our Wealth Management teams
Richard Hesketh has qualified as a Chartered
Financial Planner and Laura Bolton has gained
the Certificate in Financial Planning.
Greenbank Technology Park, Challenge Way,
Blackburn BB1 5QB
Telephone: 01254 679131
Facsimile: 01254 681759
Lodge House, Lodge Square, Cow Lane,
Burnley BB11 1NN
Telephone: 01282 438035
Facsimile: 01254 681759