National acclaim for Parris named as a rising star in the private client sector

Parris Britton, a manager in the Midlands (Oldbury) office of national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe, has been recognised as one of the leading young stars in her sector.

She has achieved national recognition in “eprivateclient 35 under 35 – Women”, the definitive and original list of rising stars in the private client sector.

Mrs Britton joined Crowe in 2013 after completing an Accounting and Finance Degree at the University of Central Lancashire.

While working full-time in the Midlands office Private Client Department, she studied for her ATT qualification and continued on to study for her CTA qualification.

Having specialised in inheritance tax, trusts and wealth planning, Crowe supported her when she aspired to study for her STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates (England & Wales).

In her role at Crowe, she provides tax advice to various types of clients from business owners to high net worth individuals, while also ensuring her clients meet their tax compliance obligations.

She said: “I am extremely grateful to have been chosen as one of the 2021 eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35 – Women.

“It is an honour to have my hard work and accomplishments recognised by this organisation. I have always been passionate about the advice I provide and maintaining quality client service, as I genuinely enjoy helping people and guiding them through the sometimes complex areas of taxation.

“Having joined Crowe UK in 2013, I have been mentored by some incredible people, which has enabled me to develop into the professional I am now. Today, as a Chartered Tax Adviser and STEP member, I am able to be the trusted advisor my clients need.

Rebecca Durrant, Crowe’s National Head of Private Clients, said: I am delighted that Parris has been recognised in the top 35 under 35.

“Parris is a very talented tax advisor and an integral part of the Crowe team. Her knowledge and expertise is well known and appreciated throughout our national practice and by her clients.

“She is always generous with her time in support of her colleagues and can always be relied upon to deliver a project.

“Parris is also very much a part of the work we do in the wider firm to support our ED&I initiatives and is an outstanding role model for the next generation of advisors. I believe Parris has an exceptional future ahead of her and am very proud that she is part of our Crowe National Private Client Team.”

Mrs Britton is also an active member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiative and takes leadership roles in both the Women’s Empowerment Programme and the BAME & Allies network.

Nominations for the awards are invited for young and upcoming stars within the private client advisory professions from the UK and Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man), including private client and family lawyers, accountants, trustees or residential property buying agents.

Ends (478 words)

Contacts:

  • Miriam Sherwood, Senior Manager, National Marketing and Communications, Crowe UK. Tel: (0)121 543 1900, miriam.sherwood@crowe.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk


Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2021)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Likewise appoints former KMPG regional head as independent non-executive director

Likewise Group plc, the AIM-listed distributor of floorcoverings and mattings, has appointed the former Midlands head of accountancy giant KPMG as an independent non-executive director.

Mike Steventon joins Likewise’s audit committee as chair, and also the remuneration committee, with immediate effect. He retired from KPMG in 2020 and has since taken a small number of non-executive and consultancy roles.

Tony Brewer, chief executive officer of Likewise, said: “We are very pleased that Mike is joining the board of Likewise.

“He has a wealth of experience in finance and industry, and his knowledge will be a huge benefit in working with the board to steer us through our growth aspirations, and for Likewise to achieve its goal to be a leader in the flooring industry.”

Mr Steventon, aged 58, has over 34 years’ experience in the professional services industry at KPMG, rising to partner in 1998, with a focus on auditing international listed groups.

Based at new headquarters at Radial Park, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull, Likewise Group plc has grown rapidly since its launch in late 2018, with a series of acquisitions.

These have included William Armes Ltd and the trade and assets of Bruce Starke & Co Ltd, plus Lewis Abbott Ltd, Heatseam Ltd and H&V Carpets BVBA in 2019, and A&A Ltd in Manchester in 2020.

The business listed on the UK’s Alternative Investment Market in August 2021.

Ends (229 words)

Issued on behalf of Likewise Group plc, Unit 4, Radial Park, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham B37 7YN

For further information, please contact:

Andy Skinner, at ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Editors’ Notes 

Likewise Group plc is a distributor of floorcoverings and mattings established with the intention of consolidating the domestic and commercial floorcoverings markets to become one of the UK’s largest distributors in this sector. The UK floor and wall covering market is worth circa £3.2 billion and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 2.1% from 2019 to 2024 to reach £3.5 billion, split between the residential, commercial, public and industrial markets. Likewise Group’s strategy is to focus on the residential and commercial sectors.

Social media

@LikewisePlc

linkedin.com/company/79711376/

@likewise_group_plc

facebook.com/Likewise-Group-PLC-109865531380022

Foot to the floor as Likewise launches on AIM to drive further growth

Likewise Group plc, the fast growing UK floor covering distributor, has announced it is to float on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange.

The company was founded by two former Headlam directors Tony Brewer and Andrew Simpson in December 2018 and initially listed on The International Stock Exchange (TISE) in Guernsey, raising £7 million. The company has also raised a further £7.5 million on TISE.

On listing on AIM, Likewise will seek to raise approximately £10 million to help accelerate the group’s growth aspirations.

The directors, including non-executive chairman Paul Bassi, have invested a further £1 million.

In its first two years, Likewise has grown rapidly, acquiring William Armes Ltd and the trade and assets of Bruce Starke & Co Ltd which have both now been fully integrated into the group.

Further acquisitions have included Lewis Abbott Ltd, Heatseam Ltd and H&V Carpets BVBA in 2019, and A&A Ltd in Manchester in 2020.

Likewise chief executive officer Tony Brewer said: “The group has developed rapidly during the last two years and the foundations are now in place to build a substantial business in the UK flooring industry, maximising our relationship with our manufacturing partners, along with flooring retailers and contractors.”

He said that while the financial year to December 31, 2020, had been a challenging one due to the global pandemic, Likewise was now producing consistent profitability which, alongside control of working capital, had resulted in the company now being cash generative.

He added that since its establishment in 2018, the group had attracted excellent management, sales representatives and staff.

Likewise’s logistics network was significantly improved in January 2021 with the opening of the Morley Distribution Centre to augment regional centres in Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sudbury and Peckham.

In addition, the group has just signed a leasehold agreement for Unit 4, Radial Park, at Birmingham Business Park which sits on the junction of the M6 and M42 and will accelerate growth in the Midlands and South West.

Tony Brewer said: “The Likewise trade brand is becoming well established in many parts of the UK through the effort and customer relationships of our excellent people. There are huge opportunities to develop further this in existing and additional geographical areas.

“We have long established supplier relationships and a global supply base of 79 suppliers in 19 countries, including leading manufacturers in the UK, Europe, Turkey and the Far East.

“Our listing on AIM will provide us with the potential to drive this growth and enhance Likewise’s position as a market leading provider of floor coverings.”

Ends (427 words)

Issued on behalf of Likewise Group plc, Unit 4, Radial Park, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham B37 7YN

For further information, please contact:

Andy Skinner, at ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Editors’ Notes

Likewise Group plc is a distributor of floorcoverings and mattings established with the intention of consolidating the domestic and commercial floorcoverings markets to become one of the UK’s largest distributors in this sector. The UK floor and wall covering market is worth circa £3.2 billion and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 2.1% from 2019 to 2024 to reach £3.5 billion, split between the residential, commercial, public and industrial markets. Likewise Group’s strategy is to focus on the residential and commercial sectors.

Social media

@LikewisePlc

linkedin.com/company/79711376/

@likewise_group_plc

facebook.com/Likewise-Group-PLC-109865531380022

The Midlands is losing almost £19 billion to fraud each year

Fraud is costing businesses and individuals across the Midlands £18.9 billion, and £137 billion nationally every year, according to research published by national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe.

The Financial Cost of Fraud Report, developed by Crowe in conjunction with the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth, draws on more than 20 years’ extensive research across a range of industries, organisations and countries, to reveal the true scale of this problem.

Johnathan Dudley, managing partner at Crowe’s Midlands office, said: “In every sector of every country, fraud has a serious and detrimental impact on quality of life. At a time when COVID-19 has put strain on the quality of life, and financial wellbeing, of individuals and organisations alike, the importance of managing fraud losses has never been greater.”Since the start of COVID-19, there has been a 19.8% surge in fraud both directly related to the coronavirus and general economic-crisis driven fraud.

For many organisations, fraud is a problem that can be tackled. The report reveals that losses can be, and have been, reduced by up to 40% within 12 months. It is estimated that, were organisations in the UK to correctly measure and introduce actions to reduce fraud, savings of up to £55 billion could be made annually. This sum is greater than the UK government’s spend on defence in 2019-20.

Dudley continued: “New and diverse threats have meant all business, from SMEs here in the Midlands to huge multi-national conglomerates have suffered rising losses each year, and action to prevent, mitigate and combat fraud has not kept pace.

“Fraud needs to be viewed as a business cost. In almost every other area of business life, organisations know, measure and manage their costs. Fraud should be no different, particularly considering the numbers involved.

“The numbers are staggering, but may be hard to grasp. In the Midlands alone, the amount lost to fraud almost matches the net worth of Jaguar Land Rover, while the amount lost to fraud globally represents more than twice the UK’s entire GDP.”

To tackle this fraud epidemic, organisations can implement certain actions and practices to reduce the prevalence and impact of fraud losses. These measures cover internal culture change and external support provision, including:

  • changing the balance of human behaviour by educating the workforce and mobilising the honest majority
  • deterring and shrinking the dishonest minority to reduce fraud attempts
  • removing weaknesses in systems to reduce opportunities for fraud (prevention by design)
  • harnessing data science techniques to improve detection of fraud
  • engaging professional investigative support if fraud has occurred and been detected
  • invoking a range of sanctions, including criminal and civil law, disciplinary, contractual and regulatory sanctions
  • recovering losses with the aid of professional support.

Where these actions have been implemented, organisations have successfully reduced fraud losses from an average of 6% of expenditure to around 1% of expenditure.

Jim Gee, Head of Forensic and Counter Fraud Services at Crowe, said: “Too many organisations adopt a reactive approach to fraud, seeking only to tackle it once losses have already occurred. That’s an out-dated viewpoint and a change of perspective is needed. Fraud is an ever present, high volume, low value problem and only a small proportion is detected. The question is not if it is taking place, but at what level.

By understanding the nature and scale of the cost, we can reduce its impact – enhancing the profitability of companies and ensuring better funded public sector and charitable organisations.”

Download Crowe’s Financial Cost of Fraud Report here: https://www.crowe.com/uk/insights/financial-cost-of-fraud-2021

Ends

Contacts:

Miriam Sherwood, Senior Manager, National Marketing and Communications, Crowe UK. Tel: (0)121 543 1900, sherwood@crowe.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk


Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2021)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Government needs to help business ease loans burden as crunchtime nears

Johnathan Dudley, Crowe’s National Head of Manufacturing at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe, is calling on the government to take action to help businesses navigate their way through debt repayments now facing companies as the UK’s £75 billion loan guarantee programme starts to unwind.

Dudley said: “We need to steer a sensible path between debt servicing as required and not stifling investment in the plant, machinery, innovative processes and skills and leadership this country will need if it is to ‘build back better’.

“We propose a Coronavirus Business Recovery Offset Scheme (CBROS) which provides 130% enhanced credit against COVID-19 debt (CBILS, BBILS, CLIBILS, Time to Pay) as an immediate deduction against amounts owing on COVID-19 debt.”

In his role as chair of the ICAEW Manufacturing Community, he and his colleagues have worked up case studies, demonstrating how CBROS could make a significant difference to the recovery prospects of a wide range of manufacturing companies.

It is proposed to work like the R&D scheme for SMEs at an effective rate using the current corporation tax rate as a base,(though the credit rate need not necessarily be tied to the corporation tax rate) of 43.7% – effectively, 230% of the original expenditure, at corporation tax rates, currently 19%.

Dudley added: “Grant schemes can be cumbersome, but a relief system is necessary. We propose using the mechanism already in place for R&D tax credits with HMRC to provide a targeted reward/incentive to businesses for ‘doing the right thing’’ and to address the very real issues facing businesses.”

He said the proposals also addressed the issues of UK businesses being too over-geared by debt to attract future investment and “at risk” government investment in lending guarantees and unsecured time to pay arrangements that are expected to have a significant call on the failure of the borrower.

“Reducing gearing makes businesses a better lending and investment proposition.”

Dudley is proposing that the CBROS arrangement could be put in place for R&D expenditure, export activity, skills outside the apprenticeship framework, and capital expenditure focused on investment in enhancing the resilience of UK-based supply chains.

Dudley said: “Though our proposal is seen to be of most attraction and use/benefit to the manufacturing sector, it is likely to provide assistance to entities in the service and other sectors also adversely affected by the impact of lockdown and challenging trading circumstances experienced and still to be experienced in the coming months.”

                        He explained that CBROS will assist in:

  • Promoting positive recovery investment, in the short term, by reducing gearing and increasing lending attractiveness.
  • Ensuring that as much as possible of the government’s commitment in supporting business through COVID-19 debt measures and security is put to sustainable use and not called in, in the event of insolvency.
  • Helping to promote the long-term benefits of the research and development tax credit scheme to a wider corporate audience.
  • Ease of application.
  • Providing rapid assistance without needing to establish a specific grant scheme.
  • Inbuilt accepted audit and evidence process.

More information on how CBROS would work and its application in your business is available by emailing johnathan.dudley@crowe.co.uk or calling 0121 543 1900.

Ends (520 words)

 Contacts:

  • Miriam Sherwood, Senior Manager, National Marketing and Communications, Crowe UK. Tel: (0)121 543 1900, sherwood@crowe.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk


Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2021)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Businesses need to plan now for proposed future increases to Corporation Tax

Rishi Sunak’s decision to raise Corporation Tax to 25% for “larger companies” in 2023 could have implications for many small businesses, according to Johnathan Dudley, Midlands & South West Managing Partner at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe.

In his Budget announcement last month, the Chancellor said that he considered it “fair and necessary” for businesses to contribute to the economic recovery. He also announced a small profits rate which would maintain the current 19% rate for firms with profits of £50,000 or less – claiming that about 70% of companies, around 1.4 million businesses, would be “completely unaffected” by the tax rise.

In addition, there will be a taper arrangement above £50,000 with only those businesses recording profits of £250,000 or more being taxed at the full 25% rate – affecting around 10% of companies.

However, Dudley commented: “Raising the Corporation Tax to 25% will, as it stands, actually affect many small businesses where the proprietors distribute income in the form of dividends which do not get a Corporation Tax deduction.

“It will mean that regardless of any future changes in dividend tax rates, there will be a need once again to consider whether a business’s profits fall into the low rate, the full rate or the marginal rate, before they decide to pay dividends or PAYE’d salary/bonus to working shareholders.

“Given the changes come into effect in 2023 there is still time to plan, but this needs to be on the boardroom agenda with immediate effect so that full appreciation and understanding can be made of how SME owner managers reward themselves in the future.

“I encourage anyone who thinks they may be affected by this increase, to contact a professional. Crowe is always ready to advise our clients and any businesses looking for support. Contact us today by emailing johnathan.dudley@crowe.co.uk

Ends (267 words)

Contacts:

Miriam Sherwood, Senior Marketing Manager (Regions), Crowe. Tel: 0121 543 1900

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, the eighth largest accounting network in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk

Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of the 8th largest accounting network in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2020)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Uber decision could open door to unification of tax and employment status

Tax specialists at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe are cautioning that the decision by Uber to pay its 70,000 drivers in the UK the national living wage, holiday pay and pension contributions could have implications right across the gig economy.

Andy Hamman, director in the Employers Advisory Group at Crowe, said: “Uber had argued that as it was a third party booking agent, its drivers were self-employed.

“However, the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers are workers and therefore should be paid at least the minimum legal pay, holiday and pension rights.”

He said the decision could prompt Chancellor Rishi Sunak to tackle the current disparity between employment law and employment tax status.

“In employment law, you have three categories. Employee, worker and self-employed. But when you turn to the tax application, there are only two categories. Employed or self-employed.

“The ‘worker’ category is currently a grey area and at present companies have to decide whether workers are employed or can be self-employed.

“This forces businesses to make a decision, and the introduction of new IR35 regulations from 6 April 2021 for larger businesses will also offer an opportunity to address this area.”

Hamman said Rishi Sunak had signalled in a 17:00 TV briefing in the early stages of the first lockdown that he was supporting the self-employed as well as employed but he thought there was a case for addressing the difference in terms of tax status.

“A year ago the Chancellor made it clear this was an area under the spotlight and the latest developments come at a time when the government clearly needs to collect more tax revenue.

“While this government is rather hamstrung by its manifesto pledge not to raise mainstream taxes, this could be a handy side door to raise more money for the Treasury.”

A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies in January this year asked why someone’s legal employment status should make any difference to their tax bill. Subsequently the Treasury Select Committee has been discussing future tax policies after COVID-19.

Richard Bull, tax partner at Crowe’s Midlands office, said: “If the Chancellor was looking for a strong case for reforming this area, the Uber decision has handed it to him.

“It is likely the IR35 changes in April will filter further down the economy in time, and we suspect that change could be afoot.

“The government has to plug the gap in its finances, and other than outright headline tax rises, which it is currently pledged against, it would seem that any and all revenue raising methods are on the table.“Changes to align employment law and tax status could be branded as ‘much needed reforms’ rather than overt tax raises, and this would sit well with everyone with the possible exception of those currently rated as self-employed,” he said.

Bull stressed that it was vital that businesses owners and those currently self-employed kept the debate under review .To discuss these issues, contact richard.bull@crowe.co.uk / andy.hamman@crowe.co.uk

Ends (494 words)

Contacts:

Miriam Sherwood, Senior Marketing Manager (Regions), Crowe. Tel: 0121 543 1900

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 global  accounting networks in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk


Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 global accounting networks in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2021)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Risk Consultancy of the Year 2021 for the second consecutive year (InsuranceERM)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Crowe calls on banks to offer more support to new business

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s determination to drive UK enterprise and innovation as part of the country’s “bounce back” strategy risks being paralysed by a lack of access to new business bank accounts, according to national audit, tax, risk and advisory firm Crowe.

Johnathan Dudley, Midlands Managing Partner said the pandemic had led many would-be entrepreneurs to consider launching new business enterprises, but many banks were still declining to consider applications for new accounts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had many side effects, one of which has been that many staff working from home or furloughed have taken the brave decision to branch out on their own.

“Others want to invest their redundancy cheques in their future.

“The UK is a hotbed of innovation and we can deliver – as our rapid vaccine development and deployment has demonstrated.”

In 2020, many high street banks stopped accepting new business customers.

Dudley said: “They all cited similar reasons, such as the wish to support existing customers during the pandemic, and I can well imagine that other issues such as anti-money laundering measures which require physical proof, and meetings also contributed to their decision.”

At the same time, in the quarter April-June 2020, Companies House recorded 176,115 new incorporations, the largest increase, year-on-year, ever seen.

Dudley added: “Lockdown has given many people the time and encouragement to progress their plans.

“However, if it is difficult to open a new business bank account, how are you expected to trade? It is not just UK individuals who want to start their own business, there are a number of companies in Commonwealth countries who want to open subsidiaries in the UK in order to trade here.

“Those banks that say they are still accepting new applications for business bank accounts are being swamped and in any event there is a distinct lack of competition among banks for new business customers, which cannot be good for fairness and value in the market.”

He said that challenger banks are invariably more expensive and usually only offer online services, which does not suit all businesses, particularly those that still handle cash.

He pointed out that start-ups and the self-employed launching new businesses played a key role in the recovery from previous recessions, and the exit from the coronavirus pandemic would be no exception.

“It is absolutely vital we turn the tap on to provide essential business banking facilities if we are to achieve the rapid return to growth which is vital to the UK’s economic recovery.”

He is calling on The Treasury and the Prudential Regulation Authority, the part of the Bank of England which oversees the banking industry, to sit down with the major high street banks and encourage them to back new businesses.

“The bank account is the artery of any business, and we need competition for new business as  a means to ensure that good value is offered by all banks to those who need it most at the beginning of their business journey.”

He urged would-be entrepreneurs who need to open a bank account to talk to Crowe.

“We have our ear to the ground and constantly monitor the policy of banks towards new business accounts. Some doors are shut, others ajar.”

If you would like advice on how to manage the challenging early days of your new venture, please contact johnathan.dudley@crowe.co.uk or call 0121 543 1900.

Ends (559 words)

Contacts:

Miriam Sherwood, Senior Marketing Manager (Regions), Crowe. Tel: 0121 543 1900

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, the eighth largest accounting network in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk


Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of the 8th largest accounting network in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2020)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Crowe advises Herefordshire specialist care business on sale to national group

The corporate finance team at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe has advised the owners of a Herefordshire residential and supported living care business on its sale to Choice Care.

Inspiration Care, based in Leominster, was established in June 2007 by Martyn Titcombe and Karen Kenny and provides care for clients in The Marches area between Ludlow in Shropshire and Hereford.

It has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Choice Care Group, one of the UK’s foremost specialist care providers, operating over 60 residential homes and a variety of supported living services across the South, the South West and the Midlands.

Chasz Coulsting, associate director in the corporate finance team, said: “We were first engaged by Martyn and Karen a few years ago through an introduction from their lawyers.

“It has been a pleasure to assist  them with the ultimate sale of Inspiration Care to Choice Care Group, acting as lead corporate finance adviser on the deal.

“We are sure that Choice Care Group will be a good home for a business which they have built and nutured over the last 14 years.”

Martyn Titcombe, a director of Inspiration Care, said: “I was relieved when we were introduced to Chasz from Crowe, as it took tremendous pressure off us.

“He worked closely with our solicitor to ensure a fair and just outcome on our behalf. If you want one less stress to worry about during the due diligence process, then I would highly recommend Crowe to anyone who is considering selling their business.”

Andy Kay, corporate finance partner at Crowe, said: “This is a wonderful result for all parties. The Midlands corporate finance market has been increasingly active for a number of months now, and we are anticipating a surge of interest in acquisitions as the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic gathers pace through 2021.”

Inspiration Care was advised by Penelope Sankey of HCB Solicitors and Choice Care was advised by Acuity Law and accountants Hazlewoods.

Ends (330 words)

Contacts:

Miriam Sherwood, Senior Marketing Manager (Regions), Crowe. Tel: 0121 543 1900

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, the eighth largest accounting network in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk


Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of the 8th largest accounting network in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2020)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Business owners must act before Budget to protect personal wealth

Company directors with significant cash balances in their companies need to take action before the Chancellor stands up to deliver his Budget on Wednesday 3 March, tax experts at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe are warning.

Sue Daye, tax partner in Crowe’s Midlands and South West tax team, said Rishi Sunak’s 2021 budget was highly unlikely to be a giveaway budget, given the £350 billion cost of the coronavirus pandemic on the public purse.

“The Chancellor has to tread a fine line between encouraging industry to get back on track, business owners to invest for recovery and growth, and beginning the long haul to cover the huge national debt incurred by the costs of Covid-19.

“He will be seeking a number of ways of raising money without increasing mainstream taxes on employees too much. He has previously indicated he is minded to address the difference between the tax paid by employees and that paid on dividends by business directors.”

She said it was likely he would go further and seek to create a level playing field, possibly in one step in this budget.

Currently directors have an annual tax-free dividend allowance of £2,000, with any surplus income taxed at 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1% depending on whether they are a basic, higher or additional rate tax payer, which is a more generous tax rate than that enjoyed by employees taxed on a PAYE basis.

Mrs Daye said: “Capital Gains Tax is another tax that could be on his radar.

“If you are currently sitting on significant capital reserves up to £100,000 then you need to take action before the budget, but we strongly advise you seek professional advice in order to maximise your savings and protect your cash.

“How and when you pay dividends to you and other family shareholders is of paramount importance and you have limited time to take action,” she stressed.

She can be contacted on sue.daye@crowe.co.uk or by calling 01242 234421.

Crowe is holding a post-Budget webinar on Friday 5 March at 12 noon which will assess and analyse the Chancellor’s actions. Attendance and participation in the event is free and registration is available by emailing nathan.sanghera@crowe.co.uk or calling 0121 543 1900 for details.

Ends (368 words)

 Contacts:

Miriam Sherwood, Senior Marketing Manager (Regions), Crowe. Tel: 0121 543 1900

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, the eighth largest accounting network in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk


Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of the 8th largest accounting network in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2020)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Leading advisors to the UK mid-market, ranked 8th AIM and Main Market auditor (By number of audits of listed companies, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 38, October 2020)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, October 2020)
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)