How to combat rising wages and staff shortages

It’s no secret that hundreds of small businesses are suffering from increased wage costs and staff shortages. These issues span multiple industries, from hospitality to construction, and have only intensified since the beginning of the pandemic.

So, how do you handle rising demands with limited labour?

To help you navigate these challenging times, we’ve curated a list of strategies to boost your staff retention, improve your recruitment processes and increase your profit margins.

Here are our 5 strategies for combating rising wage costs and staff shortages:

1) Hire graduates, and interns, and apprentices

Graduates and interns offer an effective and inexpensive solution to staffing shortages.

Straight out of college or university, these young adults are primed for training, ready to be moulded to your company’s exacting needs. What’s more, studies have shown that hiring graduates can significantly increase your staff retention rates. Approximately  57% of graduates still retain their position five years later.

Hiring an apprentice, whilst quite an investment in time, can also be beneficial for many companies.

Although hiring a graduate may not be a quick fix, it’s a brilliant way to source new talent – plus, the ROI is second to none.

2) Invest in your employees

Loyalty is a two-way street. Therefore if you want your employees to remain loyal to your company, you need to invest in their development.

Provide them with opportunities to upskill, fund their training and encourage them to diversify their skillset. Not only will it improve your retention rates by 30-50%, but it will also allow you to cultivate a team of highly skilled professionals.

3) Utilise mergers and acquisitions

More and more companies are deciding to partake in mergers and acquisitions. Why? Because resources are limited and successors are few and far between.

By combining forces the parties involved gain access to a larger workforce, a greater array of talents and more viable candidates to succeed their business.

Plus, with an increased market share, companies are better equipped to manage rising wage costs as they acquire more capital and increase their profit margins!

4) Delegate administrative tasks

With labour dwindling and demand rising, our employees are really being pushed to their limits. So don’t exacerbate the problem by burdening them with non-essential responsibilities. Instead start automating repetitive tasks and hiring administrative staff to handle any paperwork.

Although investing in new employees and tech can be costly, they can notably increase productivity, profits, and employee engagement. Stop placing unnecessary strain on your staff and start streamlining your administrative tasks!

5) Update your recruitment style

Now more than ever you need to be investing your resources into your recruiting process. After all if you want to solve your staffing issues, you’ll need to attract and attain new employees. So what can you do to improve your recruitment style?

Firstly, you need to be harnessing the power of social media. This allows you to broaden your search whilst offering applicants an accurate insight into your business.

Secondly, you want to focus on your company culture as this can quickly attract or deter applicants. Ask yourself, what makes your company the place to work? Do you offer impressive employee benefits? Do you accommodate flexible working?

Whatever it is that makes your company attractive and unique, make sure to funnel that into your recruiting process.

Take care of your employees

Running a business is never easy, but our current climate is making things even more challenging. We wanted to end this discussion with some words of encouragement.

If your business can survive Brexit, a global pandemic and an inflating economy all in quick succession, it can also survive these labour shortages. Just remember to streamline your processes, adapt your recruitment methods and take care of your staff, as they will take care of your business.

6 key changes businesses should have made over the past 2 years

The pandemic has been transformative in many ways. It has changed how we view our health, how we communicate and, of course, how we run our businesses. Whilst we certainly wouldn’t want to do it again, it has taught us a lot of valuable lessons. In light of the lesson we’ve learnt, we thought we’d share 6 key changes we believe all businesses should have made since the pandemic:

1) Hybrid Working

Before the pandemic hybrid working was a lot less common, however this is no longer the case. Recent studies have shown that 76% of companies have adopted a hybrid working model since the pandemic because it has proven to be so effective!
Employees are more productive, more engaged and generally happier when provided the opportunity to choose their work environment. Your employees and your profit margin will thank you for adopting a more flexible working model!

2) Internal Communications

Learning to navigate a business in social isolation has really highlighted the importance of effective communication, not only between team members but between firm owners and partners too.
We made sure to have daily zoom meetings with the whole team throughout the pandemic so that we all had a chance to see and talk to each other, even if there was nothing particular to report. Without these open streams of communication we would not have been able to adapt our businesses, engage our teams or maintain operations during the Covid-19 crisis.
Therefore, you must continue to prioritise and invest in your internal communications. After all, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that effective communication is a valuable commodity.

3) Digital Processes

Working from home forced us to adapt in more ways than one. However, the most notable difference has been the global shift towards virtual working and digital processes.
Adopting cloud-based software has innumerable advantages, but perhaps the most noteworthy is its ability to increase efficiency. In a recent survey, 48% of respondents agreed that cloud computing increased their efficiency thanks to cloud automation and broad network access.
So, if you haven’t already, do yourself a favour and start streamlining your processes by using a digital payment process and introducing automation tools to your workflow.

4) Advisory Services

If guiding our clients through the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that our advice is both valuable and scalable. Developing your advisory services is something you need to make sure you are doing.
Offering tailored advice can be a simple way to utilise your expertise, enhance client relations and increase revenue. So don’t limit yourself to debits and credits – expand your services by offering relevant business advice!

5) Outsourcing

In a time when we had to adapt quickly many businesses had to outsource labour and resources to operate, and that continues to be the case. Labour shortages have forced us to seriously evaluate what we can and can not deliver in-house.
Yet, despite the great resignation and the global pandemic we’ve come to find there are actually many benefits to outsourcing.
Outsourcing can improve revenue, increase efficiency, and reduce operational costs. What’s more, it enables you to delegate tasks outside of your expertise, allowing you to channel your energy into what you do best. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as you’ll need it if you want to scale your business.

6) Refined client base

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. Whilst the pandemic did present us with many hardships, it also allowed us to take a good look at our client base.
If you’re yet to do so, we highly recommend reviewing your client base as well. Who are your high-value clients? Which clients drain your resources? The aim is to identify which clients you can afford to let go in order to save yourself both time and money.
Although culling clients is never easy, refining your client profile can be extremely beneficial if done respectfully. This will help you make space for more clients that fit your ideal client profile!

Future-proof your business

Unfortunately Covid-19 won’t be the last challenge we face. There will always be another bump in the road or another fire to put out. By implementing these suggestions you have the ability to streamline your business, optimise your performance and keep up with your competitors, all of which are essential when preparing your firm for the future.
Try not to be despondent when times get tough. Remember, challenges are also opportunities for growth and innovation.

How to recharge your batteries

How to recharge your batteries

Whether a post-lunch slump or screen fatigue, we have all experienced an energy drop during our working day.  For a quick recharge, try some of these tips to increase your energy levels without that caffeine fix!

Tip 1 – Keep Hydrated

Dehydration is the most common cause of fatigue and when working on an all-engrossing piece of work, we can often forget to keep our fluid levels topped up.  When experiencing fatigue, drink a small glass of water and take a glass (or refillable bottle) back to your work area to keep you topped up for the rest of the day.

Tip 2 – Make a playlist

Whilst many have a playlist to help them with exercise, we don’t do the same for working.  Create a playlist that you find energising for those times you need a boast and consider a playlist as background to help maintain energy levels whilst you work.

Tip 3 – A breath of fresh air

Whether a short walk or more rigorous exercise, even 10 minutes outside and away from your desk will help restore energy levels.  If possible, being outside in a green space is even more beneficial.

Tip 4 – Change your focus

If you are finding a task draining then temporarily swap to a task that gives you energy.  Alternatively, rethink how you are tackling the task, is there another way that you would find less draining?

Tip 5 – Try a brainteaser

Sudoku, brainteasers, quick quizzes, crosswords, dingbats; the options are endless.  If you are someone who enjoys a puzzle then taking a short break to indulge in this hobby is likely to recharge your batteries and enable you to return to that task with renewed vigour.

Tip 6 – Talk to someone

Having a call or video call with someone who has a positive outlook can help boost your own energy levels as well as ensuring you keep in touch with those that matter.

Tip 7 – Give yourself a reward

If you have a task that does not allow you to try any of the above techniques (due to tight timelines) then give yourself a reward for completing it.  From taking the rest of the day to do a task you enjoy or even taking some time for yourself to that cupboard treat you have been resisting all week, a reward can renew energy through the added motivation it gives.

Additional Tip – Being mindful of your energy levels and the energy needed for particular tasks

Understanding your own body clock and those times of the day where your energy is at its highest and when it drops and tackling tasks that suit those energy levels will help reduce mild fatigue that is often experienced.


Cyclist - The cycle to work scheme

Is the new electric bike grant right for your business?

Boris Johnson announces grants for Electric Bikes, but are they a good idea for small business owners?

Bikes (including E-bikes) costing over £1000 will now be included in the Governments ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme. If any of your team members are keen to cycle to work, this is a great opportunity for your business to get involved.

GCI founder Rob Howes said in the Forbes article ‘E-Bikes And Other £1,000+ Bicycles Added To U.K. Government’s Money Saving ‘Cycle To Work’ Scheme’ :

We think the electric bike has an enormous part to play and making it possible to get one using the popular Cycle to Work scheme is a step in the right direction by the Government. We have multiple clients who have given up their cars and swapped to e-bikes, and we have helped lots of people who now have a cargo bike instead of a second bike

Rob Howes


Many cyclists will say that the electric bike is not for the ‘true cyclist’. However for the people who can’t keep up, need a little push up the hills or just don’t want to be sweaty when they arrive at work the electric bike is perfect and keeps cycling inclusive for all abilities.

There is also a myth that electric bikes are heavy, ugly things with wires hanging off the frame linking to a large battery that you have to get your legs around. This is not the case. Paul visited our local bike shop Aerocycles  and he was amazed at how good the electric bikes looked. They are definitely worth checking out.

Electric Bike


The Governments Green Transport plan aims to reduce pollution, promote healthier lifestyles and makes cycling to work cost effective. All companies in the UK qualify for the scheme (providing they are UK tax payers). Earnings must remain above the level of national minimum wage after the salary sacrifice has been deducted. Unfortunately sole traders do not qualify for the scheme. The scheme gives employees a tax exemption. The savings are typically about 25-39%. You can implement this as a ‘salary sacrifice’ or as a ‘company perk’.

The added health and environmental benefits of cycling to work are huge. We would definitely recommend this scheme to get you and your work force cycling.

For more detailed information please look at

If you have a bike already don’t forget the £50 voucher to get your bike back on the road.

Happy Cycling

Plants growing from coins

Being Green = More Green

Going Green = More Green

Going green can help your business in more ways than one. Making changes can seem overwhelming, but just small changes can make a difference.  Many of these changes will also help your businesses bottom line. So what are you waiting for?

How can it save me money? 

We understand that as a business owner your time is limited. However depending on the size of your business, you could save a substantial amount of money by just making a couple of small changes.

  • Switch to eco-friendly lighting – LED bulbs can use up to 30% less energy and last longer than your average bulb.
  • Use eco-friendly paper or go paperless – If you are using paper processes this can save money and time. If you are not ready to go paperless, you can reduce paper use by printing double sided and asking your team to take messages on scrap paper.
  • Reusable Products – depending on your industry you can implement using reusable products. If you are in retail, you can offer reusable bags or if you are in an office simply offer your team a reusable bottle.
  • Working from home – Allowing your team to work from home can save money heating and powering your office space. Also educating everyone to turn off their appliances before leaving the office will help cut costs too.
  • Recycle your WEEE 

Tax Incentives 

The government are trying to become carbon neutral by 2030. This will rely on businesses making changes to help make the change. Therefore they are applying tax incentives to encourage businesses to operate in an eco-friendly way.

Eco Product on peg
Reusable Bag

First Year Allowances 

This means that if you buy an asset for your business that is eco-friendly you can claim 100% capital allowances within its first year. This allows you to deduct the full cost of the item from your profits before tax. Items that qualify can be; Cars with low CO2 emissions, energy saving equipment, water saving equipment, plant and machinery for gas refusing stations, new zero-emission goods vehicles and gas, biogas and hydrogen refilling equipment. To find out more about these allowances take a look at HMRC’s website.

Electric Cars

We are expecting a high increase in clients purchasing electric cars this year due to the new benefit in kind rates. The rate for the tax year 6 April 2019 – 2020 is at 16% however the benefit in kind for the tax year 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021 is just 2%. That could be a huge saving. Take a look at our blog on the Jaguar i-pace. 

Electric Car Charging Point

Employee Retention 

Employees are putting more and more value into sustainability. By making an effort to become eco-friendly you could both attract team members and keep them. It also creates a great team moral, as everyone can work together to achieve a goal.

Brand Reputation and Publicity 

Toms Logo

Brand awareness is becoming increasingly important. Publicising the changes your business is making to become eco-freindly can only be a good thing.

For example the shoe brand Toms uses the tag line ‘every purchase has a purpose’ and they give £1 away for every £3 of their profits.  This idea was not only very generous, but it has helped develop and create their brand.

Recycle your WEEE

Recycle your WEEE

Technology is a rapidly advancing sector, with new developments and devices being made all the time. This leads to a fast turnaround of electronic equipment, but what happens to our old tech? Unfortunately, the amount of electronic technology that we throw away is also growing.

WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is the term used to define redundant or faulty electronic equipment waste produced within the UK and includes most products that have a plug or need a battery. It is estimated that the UK discards 2 million tonnes of WEEE a year.

The WEEE directive 2013 regulations define how WEEE needs to be handled, transported, refurbished and recycled. One of the key objectives of the WEEE regulations is to reduce the amount of WEEE that goes into our landfills, and a good way of doing this is through recycling schemes.

WEEE for Business Owners

Whether you are a sole trader or a large limited company, you will more than likely have at least one computer that you use to help run your business, and probably one for personal use as well. In order to keep up with the advancements in technology, it is necessary to upgrade these computers to newer models from time to time. This means at some point you will be left with an old machine to dispose of, or several old machines if you have a larger company with staff all wanting newer technology. However, in many areas, including Haverhill and West Suffolk, you should not throw away electric and electronic items in the regular waste. So how do you dispose of one or multiple computer systems legally and ethically in 2020?

One way of doing this is by selling your old laptops and computers to a recycling scheme that will either resell or recycle your old machines. Computer system recycling is an important part of The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE); a governmental initiative designed to reduce the amounts of waste reaching landfill. Recycling your laptops and computers is one of the most important aspects of the directive as:

  • Systems contain toxic materials & substances deemed unsuitable for landfill.
  • The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) has been brought it to tackle landfill pollution.
  • Computer system recycling is the dismantling and raw material recycling of laptop parts. Nothing goes to landfill and nothing is incinerated in the process.

If your laptop is in good condition without any cosmetic damage, it will have the highest value, however computers in worse condition can also have reasonable value. Different parts and components inside your computers such as CPU and memory can still hold value, even if the machine is very old or damaged.

This option is great because it reduces the amount of electronic equipment ending up in landfill, and you will also get the bonus of being paid for your unwanted tech.

Recycle Your Tec

Our friends at Recycle Your Tec can recycle your redundant computer systems for free, complying with the strict information security and environmental standards in the I.T recycling industry.

They offer a service which includes collection via a dedicated courier, and data wiping or destruction. All hard drives are either wiped or destroyed onsite depending on your preference and full documentation is provided to confirm the safe removal or destruction of your sensitive data.

Your unwanted systems will be carefully & properly recycled without the need to worry about pollution and permanent environmental damage. In most cases the items are reused by giving them a new home,  but some items may also have their working parts stripped out and used to repair other systems.

What about my data?

Where possible, you should reset all laptops and desktops to the default factory settings before sending them to be recycled. In theory this will leave only the operating system and pre-installed programs on the device.

It is essential to make sure you have backed up all the files you want to keep before you begin this process. Store them safely on one or more types of storage such as an external hard drive, your new computer or online cloud storage.

At Recycle You Tec your data will be completely wiped using software from White Canyon, which is certified to the standard of the US and in accordance with GDPR regulations. Full documentation is provided to confirm complete sanitation of the data held on your hard drives.

Good Service and Good for the Environment

Recycle Your Tec aim to provide first class service to individuals looking to recycle used technology, be it coming from you personally, a school, business or charity and turning them into cash donations quickly, while removing all data on the technology to comply with current data protection and environmental regulations. They accept WEEE such as laptops, PCs, tables, mobile phones and more.

  • Courier Collection.
  • Highest standard data wiping and destruction.
  • Fast payment for items.
  • Full certification.
  • Highest value for items recycled.
  • NO minimum disposal amount, all quantity no matter the size is accepted.
  • Fully accredited by the Environmental Agency.
  • T11 license holder (highest accreditation that any limited company can have that isn’t a recycling centre, such as like council-run tips)

By recycling these items not only do you give them a second home or use, but it’s good for our environment too by keeping toxic waste out of our landfills.

Better still, your business can make some money which can be put towards next year’s budget or help with buying replacement stock. Gone are the days of just giving old items away and making do with what your budget allows, sell unwanted items to us and upgrade to better technology.

Please feel free to contact Gary Ward on and on 01440 710700 to book a collection today.

Laptop on the grass

How can your business become Eco-friendly?

How to make your business more eco-Friendly.

Since the industrial revolution both carbon levels and global temperatures have increased dramatically. The carbon pollution stays in our atmosphere and consequently traps the heat from the sun. This can cause extreme weather such as intense flooding or droughts. 97% of climate scientists agree that man-made pollution is warming our climate. In May 2019 the UK declared a Climate Emergency with many local areas stating they want to become carbon- neutral by 2030. To do this we need to work together, making a few small changes to our businesses.

Reusable Plastic Bottles

Plastic convenience products have made a huge contribution towards climate change. However the sales of bottled water are still on the rise. Look around your office, are your employees drinking bottled water now? Plastic bottles take hundreds of years to decompose if they make their way to landfills. One of the simplest ways to make a difference is to get rid of the disposables and purchase a reusable water bottle for your team. You will spot in our 1 Accounts office that each of the team have pink bottles from Hyd8 m8.

Plastic Bottles

Reduce Paper Waste

Paper being thrown in the bin

Technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. Whilst some businesses are embracing how technology can help, others are stuck still using paper processes. Moving to the cloud can not only help the environment but will help streamline your business processes too. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of human activity causing businesses with paper processes to be less efficient and under scrutiny from its customers.

Leave the car at home

Road transport contributes 22% of total UK emissions of CO2. Only 6% of the UK population are walking to work and only 3% are cycling. Walking & cycling can have great health benefits and can help reduce the carbon emissions that are caused by commuting to work. From the 1 Accounts team, Jade, Katie, Kerry & Paul all walk/wheel to the office. For some people walking or cycling to work will not be possible however encouragement to those who can cannot hurt. For those meetings where you have to drive a long distance or even fly, consider using a video call using software such as Skype or Zoom. You can also bring in a work from home policy, allowing you & your employees to work from home even if only on a part time basis. This will reduce the energy used in your office spaces each day both saving money and cutting your businesses carbon footprint.

Man riding a bike

Office Space

Small changes such as changing to LED Lightbulbs can conserve energy reducing your electricity bills and will help protect the environment. You can also improve the air quality of your office by investing in office plants. Plants will help to clean the air and specific plants such as peace lilies, rubber plants and snake plants can help to remove contaminants too.

Power Off

Many businesses unnecessarily waste energy by not turning off their computers or appliances. To help you both save money and conserve energy make it compulsory for your employees to turn off their computers. Then identify any electronics in your office that stay on overnight, such as the printer and assign someone to shut these off at the end of the day.

Power Button

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Recycle sign

The three rules of protecting the environment are reduce, reuse and recycle. Set up a recycling bin for your employees. This will help avoid any recycling going into the waste bin due to an absence of recycling bin in the office.

Making your business eco-friendly does not have to be a big chore, by just making a few small changes you can really make a difference.

Watch this space for our next blog on how your business being eco-friendly can help your business:

  • Save money
  • Attract customers
  • Utilise tax incentives
  • Increase employee retention
  • Build a good brand reputation and increase publicity
  • Keep up with competition
  • Expand revenue opportunities.

1 Accounts helping the environment

Green is the new black – why go paperless?


Trees. Water. Carbon emissions. Time. Money. The environmental impact of paper production in the financial industry is significant and yet completely avoidable. In an age where nearly everything is digital and in the cloud, we needen’t use so much paper. Using an online calculater we have esstimated that as firm we save the following per year:

  • 450kgs of Wood
  • 10,900 Litres of Water
  • £146.80K
  • 7000 hours

The Facts 

Worldwide the use of paper has risen by 400% in the last 40 years. The paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy in the world. Going paperless can help:

  • Save trees – Trees provide habitats for animals, covert CO2 to oxygen and help clean our water.
  • Save water – To make 1 A4 peice of paper it take 10 liters of water. Being paperless can help conserve our worlds water sources.
  • Reduce polution – Making one tonne of paper emits more than 1.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Using elss will help reduce the number of pollutants in our atmosphere.
  • Fuel – Documents need to get from A to B. The transportation of documents burns fuel and releases greenhouse gases. Eliminating paper documents will reduce the  amount of fuel used.
  • Save time – Printing, stuffing, posting, waiting & chasing all takes time. By going online you can get your time back.
  • Save money – Paper, envelopes, ink and postage all costs money.Imagain being able to eliminate this cost.

How We Work 

Emails not letters 

In todays era most companies are using email, however some still use ‘snail mail’ to send important documents. We however send all our emails via Microsoft outlook. If any include secure information we will send via Karbon. Emails not only save lots of paper they also save the time and money it would take to post each client queries. The only letters we send are to HMRC and to send goodies to our clients.

Digitally Sign Documents 

All our Accounts, Tax Returns and engagment letters have to be signed by clients. We do this digitally. For our engagment letters we use Practice Ignition and for accounts, tax returns and any other documents we use Docusign. These products have made our life so much easier, no more posting to clients and then waiting for them to sign and send it back to us.

Online Software 

All our clients use online accounting software, so not only are we paperless, we are helping our clients become paperless to. Gone are the days of manual books, paper records and bags full of receipts. With the online software we suggest to clients that they digitally send their invoices and request their suppliers to send their invoices directly to their Xero or receipt bank. This avoids the need for paper. We also use Xero and digitally send our invoices each month.

We love that being more efficent and saving money goes hand in hand with helping the envirnment and we love helping our cleints become paperless to!