Heart with life line. The Job Retention Scheme.

More Information On The Job Retention Scheme…

More information on the job retention scheme …

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise known as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What does ‘furloughed’ mean

This is a term which is typically used in the United States. It means putting employees on temporary leave of absence where they do not work but are retained on payroll and resume their duties when they are needed again.

Q2: Is any work allowed?

Furlough means that the employee does not carry out any work

Q3: Can directors of a company be furloughed?

At first it was thought that directors could not be furloughed. However, Martyn Lewis announced on his programme on Friday 27 March that he had contacted HMRC  and they confirmed that company directors can be “furloughed” even though still carrying on their statutory duties as directors e.g. filing returns at Companies House.

If this is officially confirmed it will be good news for thousands of directors, particularly those running personal service (IR35) companies.

Note that the 80% grant would only apply to directors salaries, not their dividends.

Q4: Does the scheme apply to all employers?

Yes, all employers can access the scheme provided they have a PAYE scheme in operation, there is no restriction on size or type. It also applies to not for profit organisations.

Q5: What actions do employers need to take?

You will need to designate which of your workforce will be furloughed employees and then submit that information to HMRC, along with each employee’s earnings.

Q6: What if only certain employees are furloughed?

Employers need to designate which employees are furloughed,  If you are not placing everyone on furlough, you should consider carefully which employees it applies to.

It may be worth getting advice from employment law/ HR specialists as the decision may result in discrimination claims from those who allege they were made to do it because of their age, disability or pregnancy.

Think about those workers whose skills will continue to be in demand. This may help justify why some were furloughed and why others were not.

You might also consider asking for volunteers across the workforce

There does not appear to be a maximum number of employees who can be furloughed.

Q7: How much can employers claim from the government?

When employers have designated which employees are furloughed and notified HMRC of their earnings the employer will then receive a grant to cover the 80% their wages. The grant will be liable for income tax and employee national insurance contributions (NICs).

As at 26 March we are still awaiting more information from the government on the online portal to be used to submit the information and what other information may be required. The Chancellor stated that he hopes the first grants will be paid by the end of April 2020, and they will be backdated to 1 March 2020.

The scheme is initially intended to run for three months but may be extended.

Q8: What is the 80% grant based on?

The maximum grant will be calculated per employee and is the lower of:
• 80% of ‘an employee’s regular wage’ and.
• £2,500 per month.
Plus the associated employers’ national insurance contributions (NIC) on this amount and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.
This gives a maximum cap of £2,500 +£245 (employers’ NIC) + £59 (auto- enrolled pension contribution) = £2,804 of total possible grant that can be applied for per employee per month.

The grant is only available in respect of employees on the payroll at 28 February 2020.

Q9: What about bonuses, commission, fees and overtime?

Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included in the calculation of the employees regular wage. It is unclear at this stage how overtime will be treated.

Q10: What about workers on zero hours contracts or irregular hours?

The Chancellor said the intention was to try to cover as broad a group of people as possible. It has been suggested (as yet unconfirmed) that the 80% test would apply to such workers’ February 2020 pay.

Q11: Do employers still need to pay the full salary to the employee?

No, there is no requirement to do this, employers can do so if they wish. They would need to make up the other 20%. Many employers will chose to reduce the employee’s pay to the amount funded by the government.

Q12: What about employees on short-time working?

Furlough requires the employee to not carry out any work, so short-time working could not continue during furlough.

Employers should consider re-organising work patterns to allow for some of those on short-time working to go back to full hours and the others to be furloughed. This should be discussed with employees first. This may have employment contract implications and employment law/ HR specialist input may be required – See Q6.

If you have any more questions regarding the above please email jade@1accounts.co.uk

Prison sells - lockdown

How to survive Lockdown.

How to survive Lockdown.

Being on ‘lockdown’ and staying away from others can be a lot harder and more challenging than we probably could have imagined. The majority of us come into contact with people many times a day, even if we aren’t ‘socialising’ we come into contact with strangers all the time. From a visit to the shop, collecting a coffee, getting some petrol, visiting the gym, most of us have some form of social contact daily. For most of us staying in either alone or with just our families can feel very strange and difficult.

There are things that can make this easier, less stressful and anxiety provoking. Here are my top tips:

Routine, routine, routine!

This is more important than you probably realise. Firstly, distinguish between your ‘work’ days and your ‘off days’ if you can. Having a timetable will make your day go quicker and give it structure and purpose. Remember to factor in breaks, exercise and fresh air. These are all more important than ever, especially with the added stresses this pandemic brings. Take your time over things that you would normally rush, take time to find the recipe, chop the ingredients, do those hobbies you’ve never had time for.

Limit the News and Social Media Feeds

There is only so much that can happen in a day. Checking and rechecking can become addictive, destructive and all consuming; at the very least keeping your stress levels high and not allowing you to function. Also it is best NOT to check it upon awakening, you are likely to set yourself up for a stressful day, or before you go to sleep at night, we know that blue light can hinder restful sleep and that together with anxiety provoking news is not going to help you sleep well. Sleep is super important now more than ever to help you be calm and productive in the days ahead. I was listening to a podcast by Dr Judd who used the analogy of negative social media being like socially sneezing over people. This is a great analogy at the moment as we have all witnessed the sharing of the empty supermarket shelves causing more and more empty supermarket shelves. He describes it as a ‘social contagion’ whereby we are sneezing on others brains causing panic; the panic pandemic! Limit social media and unfollow/unlike people or groups that spread negativity.

Out of your head and onto the page….

Many suffer from anxiety and already know techniques to help. However for many this pandemic has caused new and unfamiliar feelings of anxiety. If you are feeling anxious I would highly recommend writing down your thoughts and feelings either as you wake up or before you go to sleep, or both! Many keep paper or a journal by the bed for this reason. By offloading these feelings you can set yourself up for a productive day or good nights sleep. This can be even more important if you have more limited social contact and haven’t been able to talk things through like you would normally.

Move It!

We all know that movement and exercise is good for our physical bodies, and it is widely known that it is good for our mental health. Whatever it is that you enjoy, timetable it into your day. You could dance to music, skip in the garden, there are loads of FREE workouts online now across loads of genres, many now streamed live, so you can join in with others ‘virtually’. Go for a walk, run or cycle, get off the beaten track if you can to avoid others and make sure you keep your distance if you can’t. While you are outside, make the most of it, take time to really appreciate nature, pay attention to what you see, birds, trees, flowers, use all of your senses, deep breathe the fresh air, be in the moment.

Stay Connected.

Social media and the internet have had a bad reputation over the last few years and sometimes with good reason. But where would we be without it now? Use the phone, email, Zoom, Facetime, Skype to stay in touch with your family and friends. Speak to people everyday. The possibilities are endless, our local pub is arranging virtual dinner parties and quiz nights! If you know of those who aren’t so technology savvy please pick up the phone and give them a ring and have a chat. Just because we are separated it doesn’t mean we have to be isolated.

Touch is important.

This is tricky while we are all socially distancing, but touch is still important, take time to cuddle your loved ones that you can at home, and don’t forget your pets. Giving them lots of love and attention is not just great for them but for you too!

There is no doubt that this is going to be a challenging time for most of us. Many are worried about their loved ones and many are concerned about their livelihoods, keeping their businesses going and paying their bills. However, there are some positives if you look for them. We will get to spend some quality time at home with loved ones and learn to appreciate things that get forgotten about in our busy and hectic lives. Try to appreciate the benefits of this time while you can as it will soon be just a memory we can tell future generations about.

We Make Pictures Logo

We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends

We get by with a little help from our friends.

This classic Beatles song has never rung more true. Right now we all need a little help from our friends. In the current circumstances it is time to work together and pull on whatever resources you can. We are always humbled by the help and support from our clients even when times are tough. We have been trying to help business owners from Sole Traders to Limited Companies during this current crisis. To get the message out Paul has been using his home video set up which was working OK – he thought.

Since the success of our evening group zoom calls, Paul was keen to start developing some You Tube Videos to help clients. During one of our Zoom sessions Edd from We Make Pictures kindly offered his help to set Paul up properly. On Sunday morning inspiration hit and so Paul contacted Edd for some help. Paul wanted to make a video for Sole Traders. In a short period of time Paul learnt a lot about lighting, sound and picture composition, which takes a lot for a humble accountant!

Paul had some basic equipment around him. He used his Canon 80D camera for the video, a USB Blue Snowball Ice microphone and a photography light. Edd spent time with Paul over Zoom advising on how to light the scene and record good quality audio with the equipment available.  Edd then helped to sync all the elements together

Paul's set up

Before Edd’s help 


After Edd’s Help 


Before picture of Paul

This is Paul’s first Vlog and he hopes to record some more next week wearing a branded polo-shirt from Kiiwii clothing. Edd’s input was huge and made a significant difference to the output of Paul’s Video. Paul found it very interesting speaking to Edd as he has a huge amount of Knowledge and passion for his industry.

If you would like Edd’s help to create a video, he is offering all of our clients a free consultation to help you get set up! – How nice is that! His email address is INFO@WEMAKEPICTURES.CO.UK

At this time we all need to support each other and if someone offers you help – TAKE IT! When we come through this, we are certain that those of us that have tried our very best to help will come out stronger.



What did Rishi mean I get 80%?

What did Rishi mean I get 80%?

The government has at last announced a package of support for self-employed individuals and clarified more about how to access the coronavirus job retention scheme.

Let’s start with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

In terms of the clarified advice on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, we have learnt:

  • You can claim for any employees who have been PAYE on your payroll including part-time or full-time employees, flexible or zero hours employees, employees on agency contracts who are now NOT working
  • If the employee is currently on Statutory Sick Pay, e.g. because they are self-isolating, they are not eligible for the scheme until they have come off Statutory Sick Pay
  • You will get a grant for the wages you will pay out to Furloughed employees
  • The “up to £2500 per month” is actually “up to £2500 per month + associated Employer NI contributions, and minimum enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage
  • The scheme is not yet live, but when it is we will be in contact for how you can make a claim.

Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

A quick summary of the grant being made available for self-employed individuals:

Self-employed individuals will be eligible of a taxable grant up to £2500 per month for at least 3 months, which will be equal to 80% of their profits. And the self-employed can carry on working to access this grant. So far so good. But with all these things there are caveats, namely:

  • If you are a director of a limited business, or operate through a personal services company then this scheme does not apply to you
  • You need to have a trading profit of less than £50, 000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
  • More than half your income in these periods must come from self-employment. If you started trading between 2016 – 2019, HMRC will only use the years that you filed a self-assessment tax return
  • You need to have submitted your personal tax return for 2018/19 (and if you haven’t you must do so by April 23rd 2020)
  • You have been trading in 2019/2020
  • You need to have lost money due to COVID-19

You may be thinking, but I’m self-employed but get paid as a mixture of dividends and salary. Why can’t I access this scheme? The government may have put IR35 back for a year for the private sector, but they do seem to be making a point here!

Full details of the scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

How will HMRC work out what I can claim?

HMRC will take your trading profit for the last 3 years you have traded, then divide by 3 and divide by 12 to get your average monthly profit.

Example: Dave is a self-employed plumber who has been trading for 3 years. In his self-assessment tax returns he declared a profit of £48 000, £35 000 and £45 000. His average monthly profit is: (48 000 + 35 000 + 45 000)/(3*12) = £3 556. This means he would be eligible to claim for £2500 per month of grant.

Example: Sarah is a mobile hairdresser and started trading in May 2019. Her self-employed income was 20% of her income for the year, so she is not eligible for the scheme, as her trading profits in tax year 2018/2019 was not more than half of her taxable income for 2018/2019.

Example: Rishi is a taxi driver and started trading in April 2018. His trading profit in 2018/2019 was £20 500. He got all of his income from self-employment in 2018/2019. He would, therefore, be entitled to £20 500/12 = £1708.33 of a monthly grant.

How do I make a claim?

If you are eligible, HMRC will be in touch.

What help is available to me as someone who is self-employed but operates through a limited company and doesn’t have premises?

In this scenario then you may be able to access a grant via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. I.e. if you pay yourself a salary through payroll, then you may be able to get 80% of this salary. However, you would need to prove you are no longer working and have Furloughed yourself to access the scheme.

If you have any questions please email jade@1accounts.co.uk and she will be happy to help!

The United Kingdom

Here to Help You and Your Business Together.

Here to Help You and Your Business TOGETHER

On Friday the 21st of March the Chancellor set out a package of measures to support public services, people and businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The package of measures to support businesses includes:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax Payments
  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SME’s
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SME’s through the British Business Bank.
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

We will keep you informed about the details of each of these packages and how to apply. Be safe and stay strong.


Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. All UK businesses are eligible.

Positive mind


You will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.


The Government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.


For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

VAT on ipad


For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

If you are self-employed you are eligible. This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.


The Government will make legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

You are eligible for the scheme if your business is UK based and your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.


Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:
    • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme:

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

See: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-business-rates where you can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay and further guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-retail-discount-guidance


The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000. For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Accessing the scheme:

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

To find your local authority: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council


The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

To find your local authority: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council


A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch this week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

How to access the scheme

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.

You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

The scheme will be available from early next week commencing 23 March.

We will keep you informed on how to apply as the details emerge.


Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.


This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. All UK businesses are eligible. he scheme will be available early in week beginning 23 March 2020. We will provide information on how to access the scheme here shortly. More information is available from the Bank of England: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/market-notices/2020/ccff-market-notice-march-2020


All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

Clock on grass
Alarm clock

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. You are eligible if your business pays tax to the UK government and has outstanding tax liabilities.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you’re worried about a future payment, please call them nearer the time.

Alarm clock on yellow background


Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

The copy has been taken and edited from the Government COVID-19 Web pages:   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-deferring-vat-and-income-tax-payments

Electrician and number 1

What help is there for the Self-Employed?

What help is there for the self employed?

It seems that every day the realities of the situation the economy is in just gets worse. I am sure you are like us you are pleased that the government is pumping money into small businesses. But what happens if you are self-employed or trade as a sole trader rather than limited business?

So, included in this blog is a summary of what help is available for you if you are self-employed or worried about your personal financial affairs.  We are monitoring this closely and will be in touch once we know more.

Universal Credit 

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. It is available for anyone, even if you are self-employed. But as always you need to meet fairly specific criteria; namely you are on a low income or out of work.  If you’re expected to look for and be available for work, then it needs to be identified whether you’re ‘gainfully self- employed’.

Gainful self-employment means that:

  • your main employment is self-employment
  • you have self-employed earnings
  • your work is organised, developed, regular and in expectation of profit

As you would expect, you must provide evidence about your business and what you are earning through your business.

Money tree in hand

If you’re gainfully self-employed, your Universal Credit payment may be calculated using an assumed level of earnings, called a Minimum Income Floor.  It’s based on what an employed person on minimum wage would expect to earn in similar circumstances. If you earn more than this, then your Universal Credit amount is based on your actual earnings. If you earn less, the Minimum Income Floor is used to work out how much you can get. You may need to look for additional work to top up your income.

To check if you are eligible for Universal credit go to: https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit

Mortgage Repayment

From 17th March you can ask for up to a three-month repayment deferment on your mortgage to give you some breathing space. This deferment applies to homeowners and buy-to-let landlords, to allow them to pass on the payment reduction or deferment to their tenants. It will not affect your credit score. However, you must agree your repayment deferment with your bank, otherwise you may skip a payment and it will show a default on your credit score. Please speak to your bank if you want to organise a deferment on your mortgage.

House key ring

Talk with your network and get creative

Now is not the time to lie low. Now is the time to get talking to your network. Firstly pick up the phone, otherwise email or message via social media. They may be aware of some opportunities for you to generate some work. Now, is also the time to be creative with your skill set. For example, if you run a hospitality business and can’t work from home, how about offering skype one-to-one cooking classes?

Event cancellations

If you lost money due to an event being cancelled the outline is:

  1. Contact the organiser first
  2. Organisers that postpone events don’t have to refund until they announce the new date
  3. Ask your ticketing platform about refunds
  4. If you are struggling to get a refund then your credit card provider could help with a refund

You might not get all of your money back – but it’s worth fighting for.

Event plan written on notepad

Time to Pay Arrangement

Lastly, a dedicated Helpline has been set up to help businesses & self-employed in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities. Call this helpline to be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC. This is where you agree with HMRC a bespoke payment plan for your outstanding tax liabilities. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, talk to us first as we can help you plan your call to HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

July 2020 payment on account

As announced on Friday you could defer this payment but as it is 22 March, I would keep this option on the back burner as you may still have to pay it in January 2021, it is effectively a loan.

VAT Deferment

VAT on ipad

We do not know enough about this, but again it is a deferred loan that may help you now.  If you are going to take advantage of this “loan” I would take it, put it in the bank and pay it back once business is back as usual, treat it like a quick safety net but it is a loan.

Our Advice

As your accountants we can help you as part of our service (no extra charge at all!) we can help you to plan initially for the next four months by looking at your business online and helping you to forecast.  We can also negotiate with HMRC or the banks for you and anyone else that you want us to, we are here to help.

I would also suggest that you list all of your household bills including leisure time (restaurants, shopping etc) and make decisions about what you are paying for, again we can help.

Once we have done that the next step is to Plan Plan Plan and Plan even more.  We will all get through this together and once we are back to business in full with the right planning and staying on top of your business you will without doubt be stronger and in a great position to thrive.

Working From Home where POSSIBLE

Working From Home where possible

Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, the government has issued measures stating that everyone should work from home if they can. It is important to recognise that for many businesses, working from home is impossible as they are customer facing or perform manual work that requires employees to be present.

However a lot of businesses can be completely of partly moved to home working with some very minor changes. Administrative departments for example should be able to move to home working relatively easily. This way of working could turn into the new normal, with team meetings at hubs and offices a thing of the past. Whatever happens, our lives will definitely be different after this global health crisis.

As accountants it is our job to help our clients adapt to a changing business environment. We are pleased that we can lead the way in working from home, below are some tips for how to best optimise your business to be able to work from home.

Technical Tips:

Get laptops.  Ditch the desktop computer and buy yourself and staff members laptops, this gives you the flexibility to work anywhere. Our team all use Surface Books with small hard drives as we use the cloud for all our storage. Each desk at the office has a docking station which allows any staff member to use any desk with the same set up which allows for flexibility in the office as well.

Go Online. Get rid of your server and look at having all your software and storage online.  Our IT partner Platform 365 have helped us to ensure we can operate 100% online and provide us with much needed remote support.

  Microsoft 365. Changing to subscription-based Microsoft 365 has helped us so much. We store our files on One Drive and have access to the online versions of Microsoft Office’s programmes such as Word and Excel. This allows our files and documents to be securely shared and accessed by our team on our laptops and smartphones from wherever we are working.

Accounting Online.  Our preferred software is Xero, partly as it is an online platform and allows you to run your business from anywhere, but we also work with other platforms that have a similar function. Having your accounting software online with tools such as Receipt Bank makes working online and communicating with your accountant very easy. For example, we can remotely cover your book-keeping team should they fall ill and be unable to work. This will give you peace of mind that your business will still be able to manage its cash.

Online tools. There are many online tools that can help your business to thrive and make you more efficient, we are more than happy to help and advise you with these. We use Karbon to keep track of our work and see where the team are on our clients jobs, Futurli to see trends in our business and our clients, and Zoom to keep in touch with our clients and the team.

Personal Tips:

Paul regularly works from home on a Wednesday and many of our team also have at least one working from home day a week. Here are our top tips for working from home for you and your employees

Limit Distractions. Try not to work where the family are, they are distracting and you won’t get much done. It can be tempting to have family and friends pop round for a coffee whilst you are working, but you need to be strict and politely tell them when you will be available.

Get Dressed.  Make sure to change into your daytime clothes and don’t be tempted to sit working in your PJ’s all day, especially if you have video calls! This will have the psychological effect of getting your brain ready for work as opposed to chilling out all day. The same goes for working from your bed.

Keep moving. Exercise is important for keeping both your body and mind healthy, especially when working from home. I try to not spend sustained periods of time sat in isolation at my desk, I have found that even going out for a coffee or sitting in another part of the house or garden helps to break up the day. Taking the dog out for a walk at lunchtime or going for a morning run are great ways to include exercise into your daily working routine.

Flexible Hours. For us a working day is 7 1/2 hours and as long as the work gets done they can be completed at any time in the day. If it suits to do something during the day and finish in the evening that is fine.

Communication. Keep in regular contact with the rest of your team. We have a scheduled group call at 10am every morning to catch up with our team members who are working from home during this time.  It helps us all stay on the same page and allows us to continue to work together well.  It also stops us from getting lonely!

Hands in the middle with 1 Accounts logo

Tough Times Ahead – We Are All In This Together

Tough Times Ahead – We Are All In This Together

Without doubt we are facing an unprecedented difficult time. Small business owners are trying to make money for themselves, their family and staff. It is looking likely that we will have to make some cutbacks and decisions that go against the grain.

As a small business we have a team to pay and clients to look after. We could just throw in the towel and say that we are all doomed; but we have sat back, feet on the table and reflected on the situation. We have looked at our own business, how we should respond and what new opportunities are available.

1 Accounts is a family run business with Paul, Jenni, Jade and Katie Donno all working in the office. They all depend on 1 Accounts as well as the fantastic team around them. We have very strong family values and we hope that this comes across to our clients in all that we do.

Unfortunately we will know someone that may well loose a loved one and we will be there to help them and support them in the best way we can. Pauls dad has been in poor health and the Donno family are continuously worried about him contracting the virus. We have found ways of supporting them with Paul’s mum phoning him nearly everyday with her food shopping order.

We are being told that 80% of the population will catch the virus. Experts have said that it is actually a mild flu and most people will recover. This means that at the end of this pandemic we will need to live again. The 1 Accounts team are looking forward to going back to the pub for a beer of three.

Here are our top tips for small business owners: 

Be Positive 

There is a lot of fake news out there and the media loves to sensationalise what Boris says. On March 16th Boris announced that where possible work from home. He used the phrase where possible as it is not possible for everyone. We would suggest you limit the news, especially Facebook (hard we know) so you can stay positive.

Smiling Child

What do your customers need?

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We have seen some great examples in and around Haverhill. Nine Jars are delivering coffee and paninis to the high street for £5, they are also offering food deliveries from their normal menu; for every 10th meal they deliver they will donate one to the local food bank. This is a great example of how to think ‘outside of the box’. Another local business Ben & Ella’s Farm Shop are offering an ‘Isolation Box’ that they can deliver.  If customers can’t come to you – go to them.

Even Domino’s have a ‘no contact’ delivery service now – so even the big boys are adapting.

Small Wins

Look for the small wins and keep your overheads covered. When this finishes in a couple of months people will want to engage with you and will be craving human contact. You will need to plan, plan, plan to be able to survive the next couple of months. It is a good idea to watch China and see what they are doing, they are in front of us and will be showing the rest of the world what is next and how there economy is starting to bounce back. Also watch out and listen to people who have had the virus and how quickly they have recovered from it.



Tell your customers what you are doing and if you are suffering, tell them that too. Being open will help to gather the support you need. Also keep your team informed, this is a worrying time for them too. You need them as much as they need you.

Don’t cut back on your Marketing!

If anything increase your marketing and keep your message going. Tell your investors and suppliers what is happening and ask for help if needed.

If you are stuck on your social media speak to Jade and she will be happy to help you free of charge whilst the crisis is on. We want to help you in anyway we can to keep your business afloat. Afterall we need your business to keep going, to keep ours going.

Cash Is King 

You will need more cash now more than ever before. Securing your cash is paramount. The government has announced that it will help small businesses with Statutory Sick Pay and government back lending; we will update you on this when we know more.

HMRC are extending their time to pay arrangements for PAYE, VAT and Corporation Tax to help you through this. We again can help you to organise this.

Check your business interruption insurance to see if you are covered and work with your broker to see how you can claim.

Look at your personal position and see if you can cut costs. Sky sports are not showing the Football or Rugby, now is the time to discuss this and get a reduction. Do you need the cinema and Gym membership if you can’t go?

We can help you and have changed our business model to treat your immediate needs above our normal day to day work.

We are all in this together.

Think Outside Of The Box

Your business will change by the end of this and hopefully for the better. We have lots of ideas and would be happy to brainstorm with you free of charge to help you get through this difficult period.

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Be Kind

Above all, help your fellow small business and they will help you now and in the future. Do not take this opportunity to sell hand gel or toilet rolls at an inflated price, you will possibly have a more comfortable time now but you will not survive when business returns to normality. Paul still avoids a garage that inflated costs during the fuel crisis. Harming your reputation could be detrimental in the future.


Please give us a call – even if it is just to vent and we will be more than happy to help.

We are all in this together