Audit Manager appointed at Nicholsons

The Directors at Nicholsons are pleased to announce the promotion of Rebecca Betts to Audit Manager. Rebecca is based at the firm’s Lincoln office and is a member of the Audit and Accounts team.

After finishing her GCSE’s, Rebecca attended Lincoln College three days a week to do her AAT exams whilst also working for the NHS on the administration bank for 2 days a week. During this time she completed her AAT levels two and three.

Upon joining Nicholsons in April 2008, she continued with her training and completed her AAT level four before moving up to the next level. Rebecca took her first ACCA exam in December 2014 and took her final exam in March 2017 becoming a fully qualified accountant. Rebecca’s area of expertise is audit, academies and charities although she also has experience in working on accountants and personal tax work.

Commenting on her new role Rebecca said “I am pleased with my promotion and that my work has been recognised. Although I will still take an active role within the accounts team, my time will be prioritised towards helping us meet our auditing deadlines and client expectations.”

Rebecca will work alongside Directors Emma Murray and Jo Brown in managing the audit assignments.

Emma Murray, Head of the Audit and Accounts department, said “We are very pleased to have appointed Rebecca as Audit Manager. The team have helped and supported her over the time she has been with the firm, giving her to opportunity to develop the skills, experience and knowledge she needed to help achieve her goals. All the directors recognise the importance of developing and retaining our employees and our aim is to provide our clients with a consistent and recommendable service, which we are sure Rebecca will continue to do.”

Away from the office Rebecca likes to go travelling as well as shopping and socialising. If you would like to contact Rebecca call 01522 815100 or email


XERO launches new expenses feature?

One of the new features announced at XEROCON was a new expenses tool. It sounded pretty cool, so I was excited to be accepted on to the limited roll out to give it a go.

Luckily I had my London trip receipts to process, perfect. So jumping straight into it I opened the new XERO expenses app and selected the “+” button. By sizing up the receipt in the frame the app highlights it in blue, takes a picture and asks you to confirm you want to submit it.

As I was logged into XERO I selected the new expenses tab under accounts. The expenses screen already showed the items I had submitted with a note saying “processing”. A few minutes later I got a notification on my phone to say one of my expenses needed further info. When I opened it the details were missing of the account that it needed posting to. It was pretty easy to correct, and to add a label. Labels are a sub description. We post all travel costs to one account. The labels tool will help monitor the split between; taxi’s, rail etc. They are customisable too, which is great.

Now in XERO they can be reviewed, approved and paid.

This new feature really does look good. I processed around 15 invoices in 3-4 minutes and that was opening the app for the first time and checking what they looked like in XERO.

I’m confident that XERO expenses will be pretty easy to roll out across the business and with the ability to add other people’s expenses there shouldn’t be too much resistance. Once in we can approve & process them quickly and efficiently.

I’m also sure that I’ll capture more of my expenses as I’ll snap and submit, there and then. I can’t wait to try it next week when I meet my tech networking group.

Richard Hallsworth Lincoln Accountant and Business Adviser LinkedIn





LCFC – the season so far…

It has been a season of much anticipation, with the recent release of the DVD ‘Impossible Is Just An Opinion’ Lincoln City’s unbelievable achievements are still fresh in the minds of the fans.

Whilst the team at Nicholsons’ welcomed popular goalkeeper Paul Farman to the office with the National League trophy; the sale of season tickets were almost reaching 6,000. Team Nicholsons’ look forward to the season, ready to attend both home and away games.

New players arrived for the start of the season including former Peterborough ‘player of the season’ Michael Bostwick and the former loanee, Harry Anderson. Defender, Sean Raggett, was sold to Norwich and has been loaned back to Lincoln City until January. Hopefully the loss of a number of last years’ players, including Captain Alan Power and two goal Macclesfield hero Terry Hawkridge, will not hinder the team. The player’s pre-season warm up included a sponsored warm weather trip to Portugal and a game against Benfica.

The fixtures were out and the first match back in the Football league was a trip to Wycombe. With a hard fought 2-2 draw followed by a narrow 2-1 defeat at Rotherham set the team up for their first home match against Morecambe – despite chances aplenty, it finished 1-1. This was followed by a disappointing loss at Exeter, a home win against Carlisle, was a must – the 4-1 result was followed by another good performance against Luton (0-0). With 2 away games – Stevenage 1-0 down with 10 men and half an hour to play, the mighty imps turned it around winning 2-1 and with a 1-0 victory over Forest Green on Tuesday they were up to 5th.

Three local derbies followed, firstly a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Mansfield. Closely followed by a 4-1 away defeat to Notts County, a result that didn’t do Cowley’s team justice, as they were the stronger side until Billy Knott was controversially sent off at 0-0 after half an hour. This game was watched by over 4,000 imps fans, an unbelievable figure considering the average home gate was only around 2,500 2 years ago!

A 2-1 home win v Barnet and a 0-0 away Lincolnshire derby draw against Grimsby put the team in a mid-table position – a pretty good start to life in the football league having played a number of the more favourable teams.

Junior Accountant donates hair to Charity

Last night Aimee Harrison, let her sister cut off the length of her hair – it was all for a good cause though!

The Little Princess Trust is a charity that provides free real hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other illnesses. Their aim is to provide children with wigs as close a match to their original hair as possible. If they cannot source suitable donated-hair wigs then they have to buy them and the cost of just one wig is on average between £350 – £500. In order to keep on supplying these wigs to children the charity relies on hair donations and fundraising, by people like Aimee, who decided to do both.

Aimee,  at Nicholsons Chartered Accountants said “I’d seen so many videos of brave young children (girls and boys) who had grown their hair to have it cut back up to their chins or shorter. This is where I first heard about the Little Princess Trust. I started researching the charity and found out just how much hair they needed and the impact it had on the children they help. I have had long hair since I could choose my own hair styles and have never liked having it cut.  At this stage I realised how much long blonde hair I had and decided to keep growing it. I knew it would take a few months before I had enough hair so I thought about fundraising in the meantime.”

Not only has Aimee donated her hair but she has raised over £235.00 for the charity.

Directors visit the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance base

The directors from Nicholsons Chartered Accountants received a warm welcome from the team at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance when they recently visited the helicopter at RAF Waddington.

The Charity has taken delivery of a brand new state-of-the-art helicopter. Strategically placed in Lincolnshire, the helicopter can fly at 190 mph, getting to the further flung and more remote parts of the county within 15 minutes, delivering specialist critical care which impacts on the patient’s chance of survival and recovery.

Director, Emma Murray, from Nicholsons, specialises in the Charity sector said “Jane and the team at Waddington made us feel very welcome and gave us a better understanding of the essential service the team and helicopter provide.   We recognise the importance of supporting a local Charity and having the opportunity to go along to meet some of the people that are on the front line 365 days a year helps to inspire our fundraising for this worthy cause.”

Earlier in the year staff at the firm were asked to nominate a charity and then cast their votes. In a closely contested internal poll the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service received the most votes.  The firm has already carried out various fundraising activities and has more planned throughout the year.

Nicholsons Chartered Accountants has offices in Lincoln and Market Rasen. The firm has been serving local businesses since 1923.

Recruitment and the new grading system for GCSEs

Some of you may remember the old GCE O Level examinations which worked alongside CSE examinations. It was widely accepted that a Grade 1 in CSE was the equivalent to an O level. We then had the introduction in 1988 of GCSEs with an A to G grading system. There was also a “U” classification which meant that the examination was ungraded.

From August 2017 there is a new grading system and those of you involved in recruitment will need to be aware of and understand the changes.

The change is that GCSEs will be graded on a scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade and 1 being the lowest. This will apply to English language, English literature and mathematics in 2017, and will be followed in 2018 by 20 other subjects including all sciences, French, German, Spanish, geography, history, religious studies, art and design, drama and PE. Most other subjects will follow in 2019 so that by 2020, all GCSEs will be graded under the new system.

So, from a recruitment position, during this three-year transition period you will come across students who will have a mixture of letters and numbers in their GCSE grades. The good news is that from 2020, all grades will be in numbers.

I am told that the top grade available under the new numbered system, which is a “9”, will be a higher level grade than the current A*. The U classification is to be retained. Ofqual has said this has been done to recognise the fact that the new style GCSEs are more challenging.

I am also advised that the new grade 4 is considered to be a standard pass and is broadly equivalent to a grade C. So if you currently look for GCSEs grades A to C this will change to grades 9 to 4.

Living in Lincolnshire we have a good number of students who move around the country (for example, students of parents who are in the RAF) and you need to be aware of some geographical issues. These GCSE changes only apply to England. Wales and Northern Ireland are not introducing the new 9 to 1 grading system; their GCSE grading systems will retain grades A* to G. Scotland is not affected as its students sit Nationals, not GCSEs, so please remember that when you advertise for GCSEs of a certain grade you need to make it clear that you will accept an equivalent level of qualification.

Head of Human Resource at Nicholsons Chartered Accountants Lincoln HR

The savings habit gets stronger with age

People who are aged 55 or over have twice as much saved for the future than the UK average, according to March 2017 research by SunLife.

The Cash Happy report found over-55s have an average savings balance of £47,237, compared to the overall UK average of £26,180. One in five people in this age group have more than £100,000 stored away for their future.

That doesn’t mean older people are always making the best decisions for building up their savings. 30% of over 55s still keep some of their savings in a jar or biscuit tin, with one in 10 having more than £500 stashed away at home.

73% state they have savings stored in an instant access account – two-thirds of these people have more than £20,000 held in this way. This is despite the fact interest rates are at record low levels. 57% of over 55s surveyed said they are saving for their long-term future, but less than a quarter have a stocks and shares ISA.