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)

Crowe calls for manufacturing support in Budget

National audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe is calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support the manufacturing sector in his Budget on Wednesday 3 March.

Johnathan Dudley, Partner and Head of Manufacturing at Crowe, said: “The government has secured billions in COVID-19 corporate debt, most of which is at least a medium term risk to the Exchequer.

“To reduce and manage this risk, it is important for manufacturers to be productive and competitive and for the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supply chains to be secure for the former to survive and the latter to have the incentive to stay around. This requires investment and simple tax relief alone will not justify it.”

He said that investment is needed in digital equipment and production processes, skills, reshoring, exporting and more in innovation.

“Using the R&D mechanism will enhance this as a credit against COVID-19 debt to reduce gearing and increase industry viability and security of the government’s debt along the way.”

He added that if corporate tax rates were to be increased, then so must the incentive for UK business to modernise and create long term sustainability. This, in turn, will mitigate the government’s risks in terms of lending guarantees.

And he called on the government to reinstate some kind of job retention cash bonus, or even credit against debt repayment, VAT or PAYE deferral.

“Incentives and support for UK banks to open new accounts for new customers or for customers expanding overseas (exporting rather than importing or offshoring) would also be a welcome move.

“Innovation grant funds that are genuine should be put forward.  ‘Competitions’ are over-subscribed and are routinely taken up by big businesses before SMEs get a chance to apply. The process, freed from the restrictions of EU red tape, needs to be simple and provide a clear route to qualification and remove uncertainty of eligibility, quickly,” he said.

Crowe is holding a post-Budget webinar on Friday 5 March at 12 noon. 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 (347 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)

UK manufacturers call for urgent support to get sector back on track

Some 55% of UK manufacturing businesses say that the government’s COVID-19 support measures are inadequate with further funding for the sector urgently needed, according to Crowe’s Manufacturing Outlook Report 2021, produced in collaboration with the Confederation of British Metalforming and sponsored by Hornby.

 Johnathan Dudley, Midlands managing partner and head of manufacturing at Crowe, said: “The past year has been dominated by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and in keeping with the campaign which we have been running throughout the year. “Getting back on to a new and safe track’ is the theme of this year’s survey.

“We very quickly realised that after the initial shock to the manufacturing supply chains back in March 2020, there was a need first to stabilise businesses, then ‘heath check’ them to prepare for a return to what would be a new way of working.

“These latest results paint a clear picture and message from the industry – existing support levels are not enough. If supply chains are to be safeguarded, which is essential for removing uncertainty in the short-term, and for providing support for growth in the longer-term, manufacturing businesses which have been the backbone of the British economy for so long, must not be left behind.

“The Retention Bonus U-turn has been particularly harmful. In conducting this survey, we heard from businesses who were expecting support reaching up to £400,000. Funds which would have been directed towards growth and investment are now being urgently diverted to keep staff in jobs and the wheels just about turning.

“The nature of manufacturing supply chains heightens the urgency of government action. You are only as strong as your weakest link and it only takes one company to slip for the whole supply chain to come crashing down.

“In terms of exporting assistance, in an economic environment where most commentators and  government agencies see the future prosperity of the UK manufacturing sector as being ‘export led’, government assistance to increase exporting and to encourage businesses even to make a start is key.

“We urge the government to provide more support the manufacturing industry.”

Stephen Morley, president of the Confederation of British Metalforming, added: “These results very much mirror the views of CBM members, which shows the effects have been widespread across all manufacturing sectors.

“There was still some indication of positivity for the future of the sector, which we hope will become reality as the year progresses, with 83% of companies expecting turnover to grow. However, we have to be realistic and say they are working from a very low starting point, mainly down to the effects of the pandemic.”

Lack of effective government support is not the only issue keeping UK manufacturers up at night. Additional results from Crowe’s Manufacturing Outlook report saw 31% of respondents reporting either an attempted or successful cybercrime attack in the last 12 months and 12% of respondents confirming that they had experienced incidents of suspected fraud in the last year.

It is worth noting that these results record just what respondents know to be the case and there may be further instances of fraudulent activity that remain undetected. 

Jim Gee, partner and Head of Forensic Services at Crowe, said: “Fraudulent activity historically always increases in times of economic hardship and an increased reliance on digital systems will further extend this trait as there is no longer a physical need for a perpetrator to ‘put their hands in the till’.

‘With the spotlight increasingly coming on supply chain accreditation, it is highly likely that companies will have to prove that they have carried out fraud and cybercrime assessments of their businesses, much in the same way as they have previously sought BS and ISO accreditations’

“Fraud and cybercrime now represent over 40% of all crime in the UK and the financial and reputational risk from falling victim to such crime can be devastating.”

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE  https://www.crowe.com/uk/croweuk/industries/manufacturing

Ends 

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)

Could the government support businesses with CJRS and rates relief refunds, potentially worth billions?

With pressure on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide more support to businesses in the latest lockdown, the Midlands managing partner of national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe has suggested the Chancellor could recycle the repayments of financial support made by many major businesses.

Johnathan Dudley, who is also National Head of Manufacturing at Crowe, said: “In the very early days of the pandemic, the government committed huge sums of money to support packages such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

“Many businesses – particularly larger organisations – have found they have fared better than they originally anticipated. As a result, by September last year, the UK government saw volunteer repayments of CJRS totalling over £200 million.

“In addition, some major supermarket chains have repaid the business rates relief they accepted from the UK government to help to deal with the pandemic – totalling more than £850 million.”

Dudley pointed out that this is an unexpected windfall for the government and, across all sectors of business, involves substantial sums that are now back in the public purse.

“There has been a lot of comment in the media asking for more help for businesses in need, but few suggestions as to where the money should come from.

“Repaid funds could be earmarked specifically to offer more targeted support to businesses most adversely affected by the lockdowns, of which there have now been three on a national scale. These funds provide a further option to the government, to offer financial support to business, in addition to the existing extensions of CJRS and the loan guarantees schemes.

“It is a time for creative thinking. At Crowe we are committed to helping our clients understand how they can support their businesses through the next three to six months, until a significant number of the working population have received their vaccinations.”

Contact Johnathan Dudley on johnathan.dudley@crowe.co.uk or call 0121 543 1900.

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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)

John Truslove on target with Arrow Court home for Zoo Accounting

An ambitious young accountancy firm has bought its own offices in Alcester in a £155,000 deal aided by commercial property agents John Truslove.

Just three years after it was launched by partners Wayne McCormack and Zeta Hewings, Zoo Accounting has moved from renting office space to acquiring a permanent base to cater for its growing team, with two more staff due to be recruited before the end of the year.

The move comes as Zoo Accounting was named “Most Innovative accounting and business consulting firm, West Midlands”, in the prestigious SME News Finance Awards 2020.

Ben Truslove, joint managing director at John Truslove, oversaw the sale of the 1,320 sq ft offices at 3 Arrow Court, Arden Road, on Springfield Business Park in Alcester.

And the Zoo Accounting founders are already eyeing further growth.

Wayne McCormack said: “The new offices have enough space for around a dozen people, but we might need even more room in the next 18 months or two years. We are very ambitious.”

Catering for businesses of all sizes, from sole traders to multi-million pound operations, Zoo Accounting has grown rapidly through its combined focus on personal service and effective technology, using cloud accounting software such as Xero to work closely with clients.

“Things have gone far better than we could have hoped over the last three years,” said Wayne.

“We had grown to six people at our previous offices and we just had no space.”

After 12 months looking for new premises, they came across the offices at Arrow Court just as the team at John Truslove were being instructed to handle the sale.

Mr McCormack said: ““The offices were clearly ideal, so it was job done. Ben Truslove and his team were very helpful and supportive, always available to handle any queries. They provide a really good service.”

Zoo Accounting is now established in its new offices and handling a constant stream of new clients in the wake of Covid-19.

Mr McCormack added: “At the height of the crisis we were providing our clients with a daily update on the issues that effected them. That got around through word-of-mouth and as a result, a number of business owners and firms who felt they weren’t getting that kind of support from their existing accountants have now come on board.”

Ben Truslove said: “It is always satisfying to help an ambitious young business find the right premises and be able to secure a sale on excellent terms for both parties. Zoo Accounting is continuing its growth and we look forward to helping the firm with its future property needs.

“Arrow Court is a modern courtyard scheme of offices beside the River Arrow providing high quality space for growing businesses. It is yet another example of the kind of premises available across this region to suit businesses at every stage in their development.”

Simon Cooke of MFG Solicitors advised Zoo Accounting. The vendor’s solicitor was Paul Kettle of George Green LLP in Cradley Heath.

Redditch-based chartered surveyors and valuers John Truslove was recently named Most Active Agent in Worcestershire in the Radius Data Exchange survey produced in conjunction with EG, the commercial property market magazine.

Joint managing director Ian Parker was also named Worcestershire Dealmaker of the Year AND Warwickshire Dealmaker of the Year for 2020. The survey year, which runs from August to August, saw John Truslove record a 36% increase in deals negotiated over the 12 months.

Ends (572 words)

For more information, contact:

John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ

01527 584242

Issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01608 651203, mobile 07990 978257.