SBC19 – A Hyper-effective business for the time poor

Chris Pickles from the F1 Group will be giving a talk at our Small Business Conference on Thursday 7th March at the Lincoln Drill Hall.

Ever wanted to do tasks quicker with less resource? Would that drive profit into your business or allow you to do something more meaningful with your life when you get home. 

Well…you could make your business hyper-efficient by automating workflows, removing administration and using electronic filing. 

Looking tirelessly at reports to spot anomalies and trends, why not let the system contact you when there is something for you to look at instead of having to go through the chaff. 

Still, spending hours travelling each day….with modern tools can now interact with your customers and access your business information from any location, at any time by every device. 

I’m happy for you if you live to work and enjoy burning your hard earned cash, you earnt it…. but if you want to become a Hper-Effective Hyper-Efficient business, we need to talk….

Chris Pickles, F1 Group

To hear more about what Chris has to say – book your place at our Small Business Conference today.

Farming Forum – Thursday 7th February 2019 at Market Rasen Racecourse

Following the success of our 2017 Farming Forum, Nicholsons and Perkins George Mawer & Co are pleased to invite you to our 2019 event, which will be informative and interesting and is aimed at the farming community of today.

In the past the event has attracted over 100 delegates from the farming community across Lincolnshire and further afield. This year we have already seen an increase in bookings.  The event is free to attend.

Doors will open at 9am when there will be an opportunity to network, have a coffee and look round our stands.  There will be a range of trade stands who will be able to offer you support and advise with the agriculture sector.

Our keynote speaker is Jonathan Gill from Harper Adams.  Jonathan is a qualified robotic engineer with ten years of experience specialising in mechatronic systems.

With the charges that farming has gone through over the last few years and with yet more to come, Jonathan will give you an insight into “hands free hectare and vision for agriculture of the future”. Hands free hectare has been the most recent project and boldest attempt at fusing automation, agronomy and agriculture together operating drones and drone technology to achieve a world’s first.

Jonathan will be joined by a team of speakers, who are all experts in agriculture and will be covering a range of topics key to the agriculture sector..

Nicholas Sharp – Perkins George Mawer & Co – Brexit, What Next?

Elton Moulds – PGM – Grant Aid update

Phil Gibson – Natural England – Catchment Sensitive Farming and Countryside Stewardship update

Richard Grayson – Nicholsons – Making Tax Digital and upcoming tax changes

Catherine Harris – Wilkin Chapman LLP Solicitors – Farming today for tomorrow

Keynote speaker – Jonathan Gill – Harper Adams – Hand Free Hectare and vision for Agriculture of the future.

Come along and join us by booking your tickets today.

Call Linda on 01522 815100 or email

Steve Robinson Client Manager – a week from ordinary to extraordinary

Senior Accountant, Steve Robinson has recently been appointed to the position of Client Manager. He has been at Nicholsons Chartered Accountants for nearly 6 years and is based in the firm’s Lincoln office.

Although Steve works in general practice, his area of expertise is in taxation, pensions and audit for mainly Limited Companies, Partnership, Sole Traders, Pensions schemes and high net worth individuals within the agriculture, charities, trades and marketing sectors.

After joining the firm in 2013 as a senior accountant, Steve continued with his studies and qualified in February 2015 after completing his Professional Level ACCA exams. Although Steve works within a team, he also has a responsibility for his work colleague Aimee Harrison.

When an opportunity arises, Steve like nothing more than to take on a challenge. Having recently worked on a project for one of the firm’s largest clients, Steve felt a great sense of job satisfaction, and gave himself a pat on the back for leading the team to bring the project to a successful conclusion. But going from an ordinary working week, Steve went into the most extraordinary week of his live, from taking his audit exam on Monday to his grandma’s funeral Tuesday, his wife going into labour Wednesday, to the birth of his daughter Isobelle Thursday and taking his Tax Exam on Friday – now that deserves a pat on the back.

As a member of BNI, Steve takes his leadership role seriously. He is always happy to attend other networking groups as it gives him the opportunity to meet new people.

Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and two beautiful, but mischievous little girls. Although he has retired from playing Rugby, he is still enjoys watching most sports.

Nicholsons welcomes Elizabeth Cheesebrough to the team

Nicholsons Chartered Accountants is delighted that Elizabeth Cheesebrough has joined the team based at the firm’s Lincoln office. Liz’s role within the team is as a Bookkeeper and Management Accountant.

After completing a very successful management career spanning over 23 years within the hospitality industry, working within most of the major cities of England and Wales, in 2014 Liz decided to have a career change and commenced her accountancy journey.

Studying AAT Foundation Certificate level 2 and Advanced Diploma level 3 at Grantham college whilst working within a family run accountancy practice to gain experience to assist her studies. She then worked within Credit control for a couple of large companies. Liz is now furthering her career by studying her AAT Professional Diploma level 4.

In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dog out in the countryside of the village that she lives in.



Lincoln City season update

A 1-0 away win against recently relegated Northampton Town, with Josh Vickers excelling in goal, was followed by a 4-1 home win over Swindon Town. A great start to the new season.

A tough away draw at local rivals Grimsby was followed by 2 home wins against Bury and Notts County, who promptly sacked their manager after the game.

After beating Port Vale 4-0, August finished with the Imps out of the EFL Cup having lost to Championship side Blackburn Rovers 4-1.

September started well with a 3-0 away win at Exeter City. However, a defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy to Mansfield and a home loss to Crawley, where Imps captain Lee Frecklington was sent off for a dangerous challenge, were setbacks.

2-1 wins at Macclesfield and at home to MK Dons, saw recent signing Jason Shackell scoring a last minute winner. The month finished with a comfortable 2-0 win at Cheltenham Town.

October was a mixed month. Starting with 1-0 losses away at promoted Tranmere and at Colchester. Home draws against Carlisle and Cambridge were interspersed with a 1-0 win at home to Crewe and a 6-2 win at Port Vale.

The Imps started November beating Forest Green 2-1 and Northampton 3-2 in the FA Cup with Bruno Andrade scoring a fantastic last minute winner, which was voted goal of the round nationally. Drawing 1-1 at home to Mansfield and away at Oldham finished a steady month.

December was a success with 4 out of 5 league wins against Stevenage, Morecambe, Newport County and Cambridge – the latter attracting over 2200 away fans sent Lincoln to the top of the table. Only a 1-0 loss to Crewe on Boxing Day holding them back.

Unfortunately, the team lost to Accrington Stanley on penalties to go out of the Checkatrade Trophy, the cup which we won at Wembley last year.

New signings are required to maintain the push for promotion, especially with last years top scorer Matt Green departed for Salford.

Optimism for 2019 is high with a FA Cup 3rd round tie against premiership Everton with 5500 supporters travelling to Merseyside.

On-line Tax Returns – deadline 31st January 2019

The big deadline for submitting your online tax returns is 31 January 2019

Failure to meet HMRC deadlines will result in penalty fines or extra interest charges, or both!

How do you know if you need to submit a tax return?

Most UK taxpayers have tax deducted from their weekly or monthly pay – that is called PAYE.

But around 10million people need to complete a self-assessment tax return and send it to the tax office or complete it online.

People with the following status are obliged to complete a self-assessment tax return.

  • You are self-employed, a business partner, or director of a limited company
  • You’re an employee or pensioner with an annual income of £100,000 or more
  • You have a pre-tax investment income of £10,000 or more
  • You are a minister of religion
  • You’re a trustee or representative of someone who has died
  • You’re a ‘name’ at the Lloyd’s of London insurance market

I don’t even know where to start – how do I get the relevant forms?

If you need to file a tax return the relevant paperwork will usually be sent to your home address. If not, you need to notify HMRC that you meet the criteria for self-assessment and they will then send you the forms.

People with the following status are also usually required to fill in and return the forms.

  • You have untaxed income from investment, land or property, or from overseas
  • You make capital gains above the annual exempt amount (£11,100 for 2015-16)
  • You were required to fill in a tax return last year
  • You’re a pensioner over 65 who gets reduced age-related allowance

Those who receive the self-assessment tax return forms from HMRC must return them by law.

This can be done by submitting a paperwork tax return by post or by submitting the forms on-line.

Paper tax returns

Individuals are required to give details of their income from various sources in this eight-page form.  It’s called a “self-assessment tax return” because people have to fill it in themselves and return it to HMRC.  They then work out your tax liability. The address you send it to is on the form itself.


Online tax returns

The digital forms are very similar to the paper ones but the process has a handful of advantages.

The key benefit is that you have an extended deadline which allows you three extra months to return the forms.

Another advantage is that your tax is calculated automatically as you fill in the return, and you get paid faster if the HMRC owes you money.

You also receive instant confirmation that your return has been filed.

The online service is also personalised so that as you answers questions, certain sections are removed if they don’t apply to you.

If you haven’t submitted your forms online before then you need to register in advance.

To sign in or register visit the “Self-Assessment tax return” section of HMRC’s website. 

Those who have to file their tax return can submit it by post or online

Will I get fined if I return them late, and how much?

If your tax return is between one day and three months late you will be usually be slapped with a £100 fine.

If it’s later than that your penalty will be even greater, but this can vary depending on just how late you are.

If you file your return more than three months late you can use a tool on the HMRC website to estimate how much your fine will be.

Can I appeal if I do get fined?

If your tax return forms are filed late you will receive a penalty letter.

Your appeal will only be successful if you what the HMRC class as a “reasonable excuse”.

For a comprehensive guide on how to challenge your penalty take a look at our handy guide.

If you believe you’ve been unfairly fined, you can have it overturned if you have a “reasonable excuse”

What if I’ve submitted my return but now I need to change it?

After you have filed your tax return you may need to alter it at some stage.

It can be updated within 12 months of the original deadline or you can write to HMRC for any changes after that.

How you update your tax return depends on how you filed it in the first place.

To change an online tax return log in in to your HMRC online account. 

For paper tax returns download a new tax return.

What if all this is too complicated for me?

This is where we come in! We can help you meet all your Tax Return filing obligations and look at ways to minimise your tax bill whilst doing so. We have many years of experience of this type of work and would be very pleased to help you.

Call our office today to speak to one of our experts – 01522 815100.



Get your business ready for 2019

What should you be doing over the next few months to strengthen your business and get it ready to take advantage of any upturn? The most profitable businesses we act for have two key things in common:

1.         They plan and budget ahead and monitor how they are doing monthly

2.         They understand that in business, as in life, unexpected situations arise and they need to have spare resources to protect themselves or to invest in a new opportunity.

So what should you be doing now to plan ahead?

It’s a good idea to set aside a half day for this activity and to think about where you want your business to be in twelve months, what your turnover and profit would be and write these down.

Remember, the easiest way to grow your business is keep your existing customers happy, so ask yourself “How are we doing in this area, what are our competitors doing, can we improve, how do we get recommendations from existing customers, how do we exceed customer expectations”?

Consider how you attract new customers to your business, what marketing do you need to do and who is going to do it?

Write an action plan and EVERY MONTH review how you are doing against the plan. Use the plan as your key indicator of how well you are doing towards your annual target.

What if something unexpected should occur?

Plans change, sometimes for the good and sometimes the other way. The first rule of business is always put some of your profit away for that unexpected opportunity or event.

How much should you have in reserve? This depends on a variety of things such as the volatility of your industry, market conditions and your own personal circumstances, but as a rule of thumb, think about what would happen if you lost your largest 5 customers?

What money would you need to have in reserve to go out and replace them, or if you have many smaller customers, what would happen if your suppliers went out of business – would you need to resource the product elsewhere? Essentially think about the risks you face that you cannot insure against.

If you need to talk to one of our experts who will be able to help and advise you, please call a member of our team today – Tel: 01522 815100


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