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As the end-of-tax year 2023 approaches, businesses face a pivotal moment: optimising year-end budgets while fostering holiday joy for teams and clients. We share strategies for leveraging budgets during the festive season and underscore the vital support of a reliable accounting partner, such as Grenfell James, offers.

End-of-Tax Year 2023 Budget Strategies: 

  1. Prioritise essential expenses: 
  1. Tax planning for the end-of-tax year 2023: 
  1. Employee bonuses and incentives: 
  1. Client appreciation: 
  1. Invest in employee development: 

Unlocking Potential: The Role of Your Accountancy Partner 

  1. Financial forecasting: accountancy partners, such as Grenfell James, specialise in accurate financial forecasting. Their expertise enables businesses to predict cash flow and expenses, ensuring a well-managed budget and preventing financial surprises in the new year. Collaborate with your accountancy partner to strategically plan for future expenses and ensure that your budget aligns with your business goals. 
  1. Tax efficiency: accountants provide valuable insights into tax-saving opportunities specific to your business. Their knowledge allows for strategic navigation of the tax landscape, optimising your budget while maintaining compliance. Work with your accountancy partner to devise a strategic tax plan that aligns with your budgetary goals and financial objectives for the upcoming year. Read our End of Tax Year: Essential Checklist.
  1. Expense management: accountancy partners often recommend and assist in implementing efficient expense management systems, such as Xero and Dext. These tools streamline processes and provide better control over finances, contributing to effective budget management. Work collaboratively with your accountancy partner to regularly monitor expenses and make necessary adjustments. This proactive approach ensures that your budget remains aligned with your business objectives. 
  1. Strategic decision support: accountants serve as critical advisors in strategic decision-making. Their expertise, backed by a deep understanding of your financial landscape, aids in identifying cost-saving opportunities and recommending smart investments. Utilise the data and insights provided by them to inform key business decisions. Whether it’s identifying areas for improvement or exploring investment opportunities, their guidance is invaluable. 

At Grenfell James, our expert accountants are ready to help you make informed decisions that benefit your business. Get in touch today to discover how we can revolutionise and simplify your business processes. 

Maximising your end-of-year budget at Christmas requires a delicate balance of financial prudence and festive generosity. You’re not just managing your budget; you’re unlocking the full potential of your business. Make this festive season a celebration of smart financial decisions and strategic planning. Happy budgeting! 

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The Autumn Statement 2023 brings pivotal changes impacting entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, and employers across the UK. At Grenfell James, we’re committed to empowering businesses with insights that matter. Let’s delve into the key takeaways from Helen Gill our Client Manager:

Self-Employed Individuals: Tax Reforms

Abolishment of Class 2 National Insurance (from April 2024)
For the self-employed, this means a lighter tax load to HMRC. Moreover, entitlements like the full state pension remain accessible without this additional tax.

Reduction in Class 4 National Insurance (8% from 9%)
Expect reduced tax obligations for profits between £12,570 and £50,270, offering more financial flexibility.

“I said we would cut taxes when we could – but only responsibly and only in a way that did not fuel inflation.”

Jeremy Hunt, speaking in the Commons: Autumn Statement 2023

Wage Adjustments

National Living Wage Increase (April 2024)
With the hourly wage rising to £11.44 for individuals aged 21 and above, employers need to review wages accordingly. Employees will witness a slight increase in PAYE but enjoy a higher take-home pay.

Reduction in Employee National Insurance (from January 2024)
Employees will experience an uptick in take-home pay due to reduced tax deductions, a welcome aid amid the current cost-of-living crisis.

Tax Relief and Childcare Support

Full Expensing Capital Allowance Threshold
Limited companies investing in qualifying assets (e.g., IT equipment, vans) can benefit from 100% tax relief on expenditures up to £1 million, offering substantial corporation tax benefits.

Continued Free Childcare Plan
The existing childcare support remains intact, phased to provide 30 hours of free childcare for children over 9 months by September 2025. This phased approach begins in April 2024 and aims to support working parents with additional cash and flexibility.

At Grenfell James, we understand the importance of these changes and their impact on your business. If you’re a small business owner seeking guidance on navigating these developments, our team is here to help. Reach out today to explore how we can simplify and revolutionise your business.

In the world of business, securing your future is a must. Without a solid estate plan, you’re leaving a lot to chance – which can significantly impact your efforts. Grenfell James has gone the extra mile from numbers to offering essential estate planning services. We caught up with Kerry Murphy, Trust & Estate Practitioner at GJ Estate Planning, to get the scoop on how she’s making sure every client receives a personalised plan that truly fits.

Tell us about your background. What drew you to specialise in this area?

My professional journey began at a respected probate provider, where I gained deep insights into the repercussions of incomplete estate planning. I’ve seen the aftermath of people passing without wills or with errors in their wills, often leading to further legal actions and unnecessary complexities.

But the impact goes beyond finances. Poorly crafted wills can trigger estate disputes, leading to costly legal battles and probate delays. With 17 years of experience in the private client sector, I’ve developed the expertise to navigate these challenges.

I’ve covered various areas within the private client sector, including will writing and estate planning, estate administration and probate, trust administration and taxation and LPAs. I hold the distinction of being a Chartered Legal Executive and a Full Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

What drives the Wills and Estate Planning team’s success?

Our vision centres around creating a team that excels not only in technical expertise but also in compassion, innovation, and a sincere dedication to enhancing the lives of our clients and their families through strategic, holistic estate planning solutions.

How do you make estate planning a comfortable journey for clients?

Family dynamics can be complicated; I have seen and heard it all! Our conversations are strictly confidential and judgment-free. As a trusted accountancy partner to many – we’re already well-acquainted with their financial aspirations. So, we focus on turning estate planning into a smooth, stress-free chat.

We dive into each client’s unique estate, crafting tailored and comprehensive plans. With personalised consultations and a deep understanding of their needs, we design strategies that fit their situations, desires, and worries. Starting with addressing death planning, we seamlessly move on to inheritance tax planning in the following stages.

Estate Planning should be a top priority for business owners. Neglecting this critical aspect can have far-reaching consequences for your business and your loved ones. Using an independent third party like GJ Estate Planning can also help smooth conversations around succession planning.

Tell us about your progressive approach to estate planning.

We’ve integrated the latest legal software for will writing into our workflow. This streamlined approach enhances efficiency and allows us to provide meticulously crafted wills that cater to your specific needs. This technology is a game-changer in an industry that sometimes relies on outdated methods, ensuring our clients a modern, customised experience. At GJ Estate Planning, making a will is simple. We equip you with everything you need to know to make a will.

How do you stay in the loop with legal and industry updates?

I meet annual Continuing Professional Development criteria – a requirement for maintaining my qualifications and memberships. Staying in the know about estate planning’s latest laws and trends isn’t just crucial; meeting those CPD goals is mandatory. Gaining this knowledge isn’t just for me. I can pass it on to the team so they can continually refine their skills, find innovative solutions, and serve top-tier advice and strategies for clients.

It’s a bit of a wild west out there regarding will writing. Not everyone’s qualified or experienced enough to give out estate planning advice. But at GJ Estate Planning, we’ve got that covered. We are proud members of the Best Foundation – accredited will writers, estate planners and probate practitioners.

How do you inform clients about estate planning and available options?

We start with a free will review and chat to understand their needs – like bloodline planning, asset protection, or inheritance tax.

We’ve also got transparent fixed fees for our documents. Basic wills are simple but might not cover everything. We’re here to protect what they’ve worked hard to achieve. And remember, every will is unique, based on individual needs and assets.

Give us some examples of how you positively impact your client’s lives.

Recently, we guided a client to employ a Deed of Variation. The result? Her late husband’s estate qualified for the residential nil rate band, a golden opportunity that wouldn’t have been there on her passing due to exceeding the thresholds. We saved her around £70k in Inheritance Tax (IHT). Now that’s a success story!

Often, clients worrying about paying more in IHT than they should is a common concern. While we can’t erase IHT, we ensure they claim every possible relief. Second marriages also bring extra considerations. Many parents worry about their children possibly missing out if their surviving spouse or civil partner were to remarry. Second marriages can also bring additional complexities and post-death disputes. It can all turn into a costly courtroom saga, heightened by the emotions of grief. We’re here to simplify things and ensure your loved ones are protected.

What makes GJ Estate Planning stand out in the estate planning industry?

Our personal and progressive approach to making a will and crafting personalised estate plans is at the heart of our initiatives. We’re not just about ticking boxes but empowering individuals to secure their legacies effectively.

Workshops are on our radar, creating a space to connect and share insights. An open-door policy for all client queries is paramount. It’s all about making estate planning accessible and empowering everyone while maintaining our commitment to service excellence.

Kerry Murphy is the Trusts & Estates Practioner at GJ Estate Planning. For advice and support in making a will or estate planning, call Kerry on 07833 207913 or contact the team at 01789 294 484. Please also feel free to connect with Kerry on LinkedIn.

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Succession planning is the cornerstone of securing the future of your business. As a visionary business owner, you’ve poured your heart and soul into building your enterprise, and now it’s time to protect its continuity and success proactively. Join us as we delve into estate planning, wills and succession to help you make your wishes clear and protect your business, wealth and the future of your loved ones.

Why do I need an estate plan, will and succession plan?

When protecting your legacy, estate planning, making a will, and succession planning form a powerful team. Together, they ensure a well-organised strategy for managing your assets, dealing with taxes, and securing the success of your personal and business affairs. This integrated approach safeguards your legacy, ensuring your wishes are carried out seamlessly. Let’s take a look in detail at each element:

Why does succession planning matter for your business?

Succession planning matters for your business because it seamlessly transfers leadership and responsibilities. Importantly, it maintains business continuity, minimises risks associated with unexpected departures and develops a strong leadership pipeline. Additionally, the process preserves corporate culture and knowledge, boosts employee morale, attracts top talent, and demonstrates preparedness to stakeholders. Ultimately, it enhances long-term financial stability. It confidently empowers your business to navigate future challenges, safeguarding your vision and values for sustained success.

70% of family-owned businesses fail to transition successfully to the next generation.

– Source: Family Business UK

The next step is crafting a detailed succession plan outlining roles, responsibilities, and timelines. You should engage current leaders, ensuring their commitment to the plan. Communicate openly with potential successors, addressing their aspirations and career paths.

Finally, implement the plan, monitor its progress, and adjust as needed. Regularly review and update the plan to adapt to changing circumstances. Consider external talent if required, and document the plan for accessibility and transparency. These strategic steps will pave the way for a seamless leadership transition and long-term success for your business.

Who should be involved in your succession planning?

The process involves a network of critical stakeholders, each playing a crucial role in shaping its success. Engage your current leadership team and human resources professionals to ensure expertise and alignment with strategic goals. Involving potential successors fosters open communication and aligns their aspirations with the company’s vision. Seek guidance from your board of directors or advisory board to ensure strategic alignment.

55% of family businesses worldwide do not have a formal succession plan.

– Source: PwC

While talking to family members about this sensitive matter can be challenging, their involvement is vital for family-owned businesses. External consultants and legal/financial advisors bring valuable perspectives and expertise, objectively supporting the process and facilitating difficult conversations. By embracing the collective wisdom of these stakeholders, you can forge a resilient succession plan that secures your business’s legacy and nurtures its growth into the future.

When is the right time to start succession planning?

The right time to start succession planning is now. Don’t wait for uncertainties to arise; be proactive and empower your business’s future. Early planning ensures a smooth leadership transition, whether you’re a small business owner or leading a large enterprise.

Prepare your successors, develop a strong leadership pipeline, and instil confidence in your team. Embrace the present moment to secure a thriving future for your business, leaving a lasting legacy that withstands the test of time.

As a passionate business owner, your legacy deserves the utmost care and foresight. Succession planning is not merely a business practice; it’s a testament to your dedication to your business, employees, and loved ones. By embracing the power of estate planning and succession planning, you can empower your business to thrive for generations to come.

Take the first step towards securing your legacy by exploring the art of succession planning today. Contact our dedicated team, GJ Estate Planning, at 01789 294 484 to discuss your business’s unique needs. Together let’s craft a tailor-made strategy for your business’s continued success.

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As a business owner, you wear many hats and juggle countless responsibilities. Amidst the daily business demands, it’s easy to put estate planning on the back burner. However, neglecting this critical aspect can have far-reaching consequences for your business and your loved ones. Join us as we examine the importance of estate planning for business owners and explore why it should never be postponed.

What is estate planning, and why does it matter for business owners?

Estate planning involves distributing assets, addressing tax implications, and safeguarding loved ones’ financial futures. For business owners, this goes beyond personal considerations, preserving the continuity and success of your business beyond your involvement.

What happens if business owners delay estate planning?

Delaying the process can lead to uncertainty and potential disputes in the future. Without a clear plan, your business may face legal challenges, leaving your loved ones with unnecessary stress and financial burdens. Taking proactive steps now can ensure a smooth transition and avoid unintended consequences.

How can planning for your succession benefit the business?

Planning for your succession offers numerous benefits for your business. These benefits may include seamless operation in your absence, protecting assets from potential creditors, and minimising tax liabilities. A well-crafted estate plan can secure your family’s financial well-being and provide for their future needs.

What steps should business owners take to protect their legacy?

Start by taking inventory of assets, including the business, and identifying key individuals for its future. Consult with experienced professionals, like GJ Estate Planning, to tailor your business plan and help make a will.

New research has found that 54% of UK adults don’t have a will, and 5.4m people have no idea how to make one.

– Source: Which.co.uk

Why should business owners act sooner than later?

Time is of the essence in estate planning. Unexpected events can happen, and procrastination may lead to missed opportunities to protect your business and your loved ones. Moreover, acting sooner rather gives you peace of mind. You can secure your legacy and protect what matters most by taking action promptly.

You have dedicated your time and energy to building a successful enterprise as a business owner. Don’t let planning your business legacy take a backseat. It is crucial to preserve your business legacy and protect your family’s financial future.

GJ Estate Planning empowers business owners to create a robust and comprehensive estate plan. Take the first step by calling us at 01789 294 484 to discuss your business’s unique needs. Let’s secure your business legacy and ensure a prosperous future for your loved ones.

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Commercial finance can be a game changer for businesses looking to scale. Growing companies face numerous financial challenges. Access to the right commercial finance can ensure you are in the best place to seize opportunities and maximise the growth potential of your business.

We spoke to Liam Chandler of G&S Financial Solutions to determine how ambitious companies can secure their working capital to hit their targets and thrive. 

What is commercial finance?

Commercial finance, including factoring, invoice discounting, and asset-based lending, offer businesses alternative funding options based on their assets. Essentially it improves cash flow and meets financial needs, unlocking growth opportunities. Ultimately, small business owners can rely on commercial finance to access working capital, fund expansion, and achieve their goals.

How does commercial finance work?

Commercial loans can be a game-changer, fueling business growth and prosperity. Similar to personal loans, they offer flexibility and tailored repayment plans, empowering you to succeed. With fixed interest rates based on your creditworthiness, commercial loans are the key to unlocking your business’s full potential.

What are the current financial challenges facing businesses?

British business owners have displayed remarkable resilience and entrepreneurial spirit in the face of significant challenges. The impact of COVID-19, economic uncertainty, and a cost-of-living crisis have tested their mettle, making it challenging to navigate harsh trading conditions.

With consumer spending affected and inflation on the rise, ambitious businesses face limited lending options, making cash flow maintenance crucial. That said, news of the UK avoiding a recession will improve lender confidence.

How can commercial finance help businesses stay resilient?

Many businesses face the challenge of lacking funds to pursue growth opportunities like acquiring equipment, expanding premises, or hiring key personnel. Despite their ambitions, their immediate finances need improving. Crucially, by securing the right commercial finance solution, you can overcome these obstacles and take the crucial next step towards growth.

What signs might indicate a need for financial support?

Signs that a business may require a commercial financing solution include insufficient funds for critical investments or struggles in meeting financial obligations. At G&S Financial Solutions, we offer tailored financing options to address these needs and help businesses achieve financial stability and growth. 

Why use a specialist commercial finance broker?

A specialist commercial broker offers impartial advice and access to a wide network of commercial lenders and private banks. These lenders are actively looking to support viable business propositions, providing a genuine alternative to traditional high street lenders.

If your bank falls short in offering the support you need, a specialist broker can help. By quickly assessing available options, a commercial broker will find a workable and affordable business solution.

How do you help businesses secure the proper funding?

At G&S Financial Solutions, we offer a wide range of financing solutions to support businesses needing financial assistance. We offer Commercial Mortgages, Property Development Finance, Business Loans, Short-Term ‘Bridging’ Finance, Factoring, Equipment Leasing, and guidance on Grant Funding and the Government Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (EFGS).  

With a track record of securing funding where others fail, we help clients save significant amounts of money over the course of the loan. Many specialist lenders in the current market prefer to work with qualified and packaged mortgage and loan proposals from brokers like us.

Every business is unique. We take a tailored approach to match the right lending option to their specific needs and goals. Our expertise and personalised guidance empower businesses to make informed decisions and confidently pursue financial success.

Perhaps you’re buying or starting a business, securing long-term capital for commercial property, funding a project, or exploring alternative financing. Whatever your circumstances we can match you to the right commerical finance solution.

Tell us how you’ve helped a client achieve financial stability. 

We recently helped a group of companies facing credit finance issues by implementing an invoice factoring solution in collaboration with a trusted lender. By leveraging their outstanding invoices, we were able to give the client access to immediate working capital.

In this scenario, invoice factoring proved effective in improving cash flow, alleviating financial strain, and ensuring timely payment of staff. The solution brought ongoing stability by relieving the firm of invoice collection and management responsibilities. The company could concentrate on core operations and growth. Ultimately, invoice factoring addressed the financial challenges and delivered long-term stability, empowering the enterprises to regain control of their finances.

What factors should be considered if pursuing commercial finance?

It is crucial to consider several factors. Gaining a thorough understanding of your recent accounts is a must. Doing this, will allow us to assess your financial situation and identify any challenges. We recommend consulting with your accountant who will provide valuable insights and help paint a clear picture of your company’s financial landscape.

At G&S Financial Solutions, we believe in doing right by the customer. We’re open to clients seeking other opinions. There is a funding solution for almost everyone, and we are committed to helping businesses find the right one.

What sets you apart and makes your services unique? 

At G&S Financial Solutions, we focus on trust, transparency, and comprehensive guidance. Ensuring our clients understand the options and potential outcomes is critical. The commercial financing industry lacks the same regulatory framework as personal finance, we uphold the same high standards.

We are qualified and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to offer Residential funding solutions. And we take the same approach on the Commercial side, ensuring that our clients receive expert advice and guidance. We believe in doing the right thing, always acting in our client’s best interests. 

By working with commercial finance brokers like G&S Financial Solutions, Grenfell James can support you to revolutionise your business finances. Connect with Liam Chandler on LinkedIn or call 07833 303 776 for a no-obligation chat – tell him we sent you!

As the UK tax year draws to a close, it’s essential to get your financial affairs in order. Importantly, doing this will give you the confidence to make sound business decisions. With looming tax return deadlines and other tax-related responsibilities, managing everything on your own can be overwhelming. This is where a trusted accountant can help.

At Grenfell James, we are a progressive accountancy firm that uses the latest technology to revolutionise our clients’ businesses. By combining our expertise with cloud-based accounting software, we streamline processes and provide real-time financial information to our clients. Our approach gives our clients the confidence to make informed business decisions.

When does the tax year start and end?

The UK tax year runs from April 6th to April 5th of the following year. This differs from other countries that use a calendar year for their tax year. In the UK, the deadline for filing online tax returns is January 31st, following the end of the tax year. According to the latest data from HM Revenue & Customs, over 11.5 million tax returns were submitted on time for the 2022 tax year deadline, and just over 1 million were filed late.

We’ve put together an end-of-tax-year checklist to help you prepare for the end of the tax year. This includes reviewing accounts and financial statements, ensuring employee salaries and wages are accounted for, reviewing expenses, making pension contributions, reviewing VAT returns, and more. Completing this checklist will ensure you comply with tax regulations and take advantage of all available tax-saving opportunities.

Revolutionise Your Finances: The Essential End of Tax Year Checklist

  1. Review your accounts and financial statements to ensure they are up-to-date and accurate.
  2. Consider any outstanding debts and take steps to recover them before the tax year-end.
  3. Review your stock levels and write off any obsolete or damaged stock.
  4. Ensure all employee salaries and wages are accounted for and included in the payroll for the tax year.
  5. Review your outstanding invoices and ensure they are included in the year-end accounts.
  6. Review your expenses and ensure all legitimate business expenses have been claimed and included in the accounts.
  7. Consider making pension contributions to reduce your taxable profits.
  8. If you are eligible for research and development (R&D) tax relief, claim it before the end of the tax year.
  9. Consider investing in new equipment or assets to take advantage of tax allowances and reduce taxable profits.
  10. Ensure you have kept accurate and complete records of all transactions throughout the year.
  11. Review your VAT returns and ensure you have accounted for all VAT correctly.
  12. And finally, seek professional advice from a qualified accountant or tax specialist to ensure you fully comply with all tax regulations and take advantage of all available tax-saving opportunities.

Streamline Your Tax Year with Grenfell James

Working with Grenfell James means our clients don’t have to worry about managing their finances independently. Our team of experts is always available to answer questions, provide guidance, and help our clients navigate the complexities of tax laws and regulations.

As the end of the tax year approaches, it’s essential to have a plan in place. By working with Grenfell James, you can rest assured that your financial affairs are in order, giving you the confidence to make informed decisions about your business.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for the end of the tax year and beyond. Let’s revolutionise and simplify your business today!

As we approach the Spring Budget announcement for 2023, there is renewed hope for small business owners across the UK. Here we explore what the upcoming reports may mean for small businesses in the UK and share our Spring Budget Wish List.

With better-than-expected self-assessment tax receipts and falling wholesale energy prices, the government has reported a small fiscal surplus of £5bn in January, reducing the year-to-date deficit to £117bn, which is £7bn more than the comparative period in the previous financial year.

Furthermore, the lower-than-expected spending on the UK energy support scheme has resulted in less borrowing than forecasted by the OBR in November.

Against this backdrop, small business owners hope the Chancellor will use the Spring Budget to announce measures to support their businesses further and help strengthen the UK economy. But can the Spring Budget boost the UK economy?

Spring Budget Wish List: Expectations and Predictions

The Chancellor is facing pressure to announce measures that could stimulate growth, such as potential cuts to corporation tax and an extension of the super-deduction scheme for new plant and machinery investment.

The government’s focus on reducing inflation continues, but additional surprises may happen on March 15th. For example, one issue the Chancellor may address is the high number of workers over 50 wanting to retire early, particularly in the medical profession. One possible solution could be raising the current cap on pension savings, currently set at £1,073,100.

Spring Budget Wish List for a Stronger UK Economy!

Scrapping the Corporation Tax Increase

The upcoming Spring Budget has many small business owners concerned about the potential impact of the corporation tax increase, set to rise to 25% for businesses with profits over £250,000. Some companies, such as AstraZeneca, have already cited discouraging tax rates in their decision to open new facilities in countries with more favourable tax regimes, such as Ireland.

Our Spring Budget Wish List includes scrapping the corporation tax increase and providing a roadmap for gradually reducing the rate over the next five years. This move would give a positive signal to businesses and boost confidence in the UK economy. It is unlikely that the rate increase will be scrapped entirely. Still, we hope the Chancellor will consider alternative measures, such as adjusting the tapering and bands, to help support small businesses.

Reverse the Planned Dividend Tax Increases

The planned increases in dividend tax are causing concern for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Many OMBs (Owner Managed Businesses) structure their remuneration through a dividend/salary structure, and this increase will only add to their already heavy burden.

Our Spring Budget Wish List includes reversing the planned dividend tax increases to support the survival of UK SMEs. Doing so would help alleviate the financial strain on these critical contributors to the UK economy. We hope the Chancellor will consider this measure to ensure a more prosperous business environment in the UK.

Postpone Fuel Tax Rise

Small business owners across the UK face increasing challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help support these entrepreneurs and their companies, we suggest postponing the planned rise in fuel tax. This would provide much-needed relief for SMEs that rely on transportation for their operations, such as haulage companies, delivery services, and tradespeople. Delaying the fuel tax rise would help these businesses stay afloat and contribute to the UK’s economic recovery. We urge the Chancellor to consider this measure part of his Spring Budget to support small business owners during difficult times.

Extend Energy Support to Help with Rising Costs

Small businesses are struggling to cope with skyrocketing energy costs, and the situation is set to worsen from April, when the support will become significantly less generous. This could force high-energy use businesses to review their options and may even lead to job losses. To help these businesses weather this storm, we suggest extending the energy support level in the upcoming Spring Budget. This would provide critical relief for SMEs already stretched to their limits and allow them to continue operating effectively. We urge the Chancellor to consider this measure to support small businesses and safeguard jobs in the UK.

Can the Chancellor Deliver on our Spring Budget Wish List?

Overall, Spring Budget predictions have small business owners across the UK hoping for measures to instil confidence, drive economic growth, and create job opportunities. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer prepares to announce the latest fiscal and monetary measures, there are calls for support that will help small businesses stay afloat during these uncertain times. From reversing the planned increase in dividend tax and postponing the fuel tax rise to extending energy support, some measures can be taken to help small businesses succeed.

We look forward to seeing what the Chancellor has in store for the UK economy and if it will deliver on our Spring Budget Wish List!

If you are a small business owner in the UK looking for guidance on navigating the Spring Budget announcements, the team at Grenfell James is here to help. Get in touch today to discover how we can revolutionise and simplify your business.

The government recently announced a new energy support scheme for business customers, replacing the current one, which expires on March 31, 2023. We spoke to Joshua Greaves, Managing Director at Acorn Energy, to understand what this means for businesses.

A new energy scheme for businesses, charities, and the public sector was confirmed (January 9) ahead of the current plan ending in March 2023. The new scheme will be referred to as the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) and will continue until March 31 2024.

What is the Energy Bill Discount Scheme, and what does it mean?

The Energy Bill Discount Scheme will mean all eligible UK businesses and non-domestic energy users will receive a discount on high energy bills until March 31 2024.

The scheme dramatically scales back discounts for business customers and will only support businesses who sign gas or electricity contracts when wholesale prices are significantly higher than they are today.

For businesses locked into contracts signed before recent substantial falls in the wholesale price, they will be able to manage their costs, and the new scheme will reassure others against the risk of prices rising again.

How will I be charged when the Energy Bill Discount Scheme starts?

To get a discount, the wholesale price on the day of signing the contract must be above 30.2p/kWh for electricity and 10.7p/kWh for gas.

For reference, the wholesale price published last week (week commencing January 23, 2023) was 17.25p/kWh for electricity and 5.71p/kWh for gas. Therefore, to qualify, they effectively must double.

Even if the wholesale market exceeds the new higher benchmark, the discounts available are minimal. The maximum deal for electricity will be 1.961p/kWh and for gas 0.697p/kWh, resulting in higher customer bills.

Some energy-intensive industries will receive higher discounts of 4p/kWh for gas and 8.91p/kWh for electricity. Still, they will only apply to 70% of their energy consumption.

Example 1

A customer signed an electricity contract on January 19, which starts on April 1 2023, for 38p/kWh. The reference wholesale price is below 30.2p/kWh; therefore, no discount is applicable.

Example 2

We see a dramatic rise in gas prices during March 2023, and the wholesale cost increases to 13.2p/kWh. A customer then signs a contract for their gas supply, and as wholesale prices are higher than the benchmark of 10.7p/kWh, they are eligible for the discount.

The discount, however, is only 0.697p/kWh and will not offset the market increase. If you signed contracts at a fully delivered price of 17p/kWh, your supplier would discount your energy invoice to 16.303p/kWh.

Key takeaways

In summary, current wholesale prices are way under the price point where businesses will receive support from the Energy Bill Discount Scheme. And even if they do increase, the discount will not offset those increases. We suggest that customers take advantage of the current lower wholesale prices and lock in contracts, providing price certainty whilst markets remain volatile.

We suggest that customers take advantage of the current lower wholesale prices and lock in contracts, providing price certainty whilst markets remain volatile – Joshua Greaves, Acorn Energy.

You can find further information on the scheme at www.gov.uk.

At Acorn Energy, we understand this can be overwhelming for business owners. Whether you have fixed your renewal this year, are out of contract and are wondering when it would be best to renew, we’re here to help.

We can answer all questions and explain what the latest announcements mean for you and your business. Please get in touch today at 01789 777725 or visit acorn-energy.com so we can help you keep your energy costs low.

About the Author:

Joshua Greaves is the Managing Director at Acorn Energy, offering honest and credible advice to save you time, effort and money on your utilities.

Grenfell James Technology Adoption Index

How does your business perform against others adopting financial tech? Find out with our interactive diagnostic:


How does your business receive invoices?


Invoices are mainly received in paper form


Invoices are mainly received by email


Invoices are emailed then automatically forwarded to a designated mailbox


How are purchase invoices processed?


Invoices are entered manually


Invoices are attached to manually raised invoices


Automated software (e.g. ReceiptBank, 1Tap, HubDoc etc) collates invoices


How are accounts processed?


Using Excel/paper-based


Using Computer-based, offline software


Using cloud-based accountancy software


How often is business data revised?


Data is updated annually


Data is updated quarterly


Data is updated monthly or more often


How is banking updated for your business?


Banking is updated manually


Banking is updated by imports


Banking is updated via a live feed


How are bank payments made?


Bank payments are manual


Bank payments are made using bulk imports


Bank payments are made directly via accounting software


How are bank receipts reconciled?


Receipts are chased and reconciled manually


Receipts are chased and reconciled automatically


A third-party platform is used to chase debts and collect fees


How often are management reports produced?


No reports are provided


Reports are provided but often too late to be valuable


Reports are automated with real-time information

Score 8-12:

Curious Exploration

Your financial technology phase is Curious Exploration

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Switching accountancy systems may seem like an upheaval, but can be much more straightforward than most businesses imagine. From talking to our clients, they have found moving from paper invoicing and desktop-based accounting software to the cloud and apps quickly makes the transition process a worthwhile investment of time. Digital accounting solutions bring in streamlined processes, up-to-date business data and greater confidence in the accuracy of information when making financial decisions.

Grenfell James works with your team to fully assess the needs of your business and minimise the impact of any transitions for solutions we recommend.

Find out more about App Advisory


Score 13-19:

Measured Discovery

Your financial technology phase is Measured Discovery

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Once cloud accountancy software is in place, there’s still plenty of scope to improve your accountancy processes and make sure your business is maximising the benefits of adopting a digital accounting solution. Grenfell James assesses each business to understand how any implemented solutions are being used, identify areas for improvement and the needs of the business overall to support your business goals and achieve success.

Our team of experts can discuss a range of time-saving automation and get different apps and cloud-based solutions talking to create and manage a digital accountancy eco-system to help your business grow.

Find out more about App Advisory


Score 20-24:

Bold Innovation

Your financial technology phase is Bold Innovation

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

You know the benefits of accounting technology and the impact it can have on your business goals. If you want to take it a step further, our team can conduct a systematic review of your processes, apps and business goals to ensure your digital accountancy ecosystem is keeping pace with the changing needs of a growing business.