Wednesday, 23 November 2016

What is Management Coaching? How does it work?

Coaching - NOT an implication of failure

In the past, coaching was not offered as a benefit but mandated to those who were failing to achieve their workplace goals. The term "coaching" was synonymous with "remedial training" and carried an implication of failure. Fortunately, those days have passed and savvy business leaders and HR professionals have realised that coaching can be a great benefit for high performers.

Traditionally employers have turned to training programmes to develop talented employee’s skills. However in recent years that trend has been shifting towards a newer tool for talent management: management coaching.

What is Management Coaching?

Technically the term "management coaching" applies to the act of coaching C-level employees; but more recently this type of support has been offered to mid-level managers and high potential employees across firms. Regardless of the intended audience, the goals are largely the same - to improve the effectiveness and enhance the performance of the individual, with the intent of improving the business as a whole.

How does it work?

The core value of coaching is in its ability to focus on the specific needs of the individual as viewed through the lens of their firm’s ecosystem. While training can develop general skills such as time management or planning, coaching allows the manager to focus on the exact challenges of their personal environment, and to develop targeted strategies to overcome them. This combination of the trusted adviser relationship and intense focus on applicable skills makes coaching one of the fastest and most effective tools in resolving workplace performance issues.

A further benefit of management coaching is its focus on the development of skills by the individual being coached. Rather than forming a dependent relationship where the manager must always rely on (and have access to) their mentor, an effective coach will work to reduce the amount their client depends on them, thus building confidence and self-sufficiency in the recipient of the coaching.

GROW Model for Coaching

Some coaches employ the Goal, Reality, Options and Will (GROW) model. By defining the goal, accounting for the current realities of the environment in which the individual operates, finding options to achieve the goal and then applying the individual's will or commitment to complete the process, coaches can lead managers through a structured process to achieve their targets.

Other coaches use a holistic model to incorporate aspects of self-awareness and personal growth into the process of developing the manager's leadership abilities.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

What is Flexible Working? What are the Business Benefits?

The businesses that will thrive today and tomorrow are those that can be truly flexible. Businesses that are embracing flexible working can use it to help cut costs, attract talent and radically improve productivity.

Technology has changed the way we communicate and it is currently changing the way we work. Gone are the days when office workers spent every working moment in a cubicle or at a desk. The rise of digital communication tools, collaboration apps and productivity suites, coupled with the benefits of the 'always on' nature of the web, have set the modern business free.

Flexible working is the natural evolution of work in the brave new digital world. Today, businesses large and small can operate anytime, anywhere.

What do we really mean by Flexible Working?

Essentially, it means freeing up your employees to work in the way that suits them best. That can mean mobile working via a smartphone or laptop, working from different locations thanks to remote access to the business network, holding meetings through video conferencing, home-working and flexi-time, which allows staff to tweak their working hours. Underpinning it all is the technology that helps your team to work in a way that suits them best, from any location.

Benefits for business

By putting the technology and processes in place to facilitate flexible working, rigid and old-fashioned infrastructure can be overhauled, allowing businesses to install more efficient systems. Flexible working can also be invaluable in both staff recruitment and retention, especially for those with family commitments. Beyond parents, flexible working can help keep work/life balance in check for all employees, as they have the right systems and technologies in place to better manage their workload.

By cutting the time your staff spend travelling and by giving them the tools they need to work on the go when they do travel, dead time is converted back into productive time. These hours add up. And it's not just businesses that benefit, people do too. The boost to morale and productivity generated by scrapping an employee's commute or their endless travel to and from meetings cannot be underestimated.

☎ 020 89310165 | ☏ 07900537459 | ✉

Monday, 14 November 2016

4 Key Tips for an Effective Business Presentation!

Most of us will have to give a presentation at some point. You will probably use PowerPoint, which can be a good thing, if it is used correctly. Here are a few top tips.

1. Engage your audience

When it comes to delivering a presentation, your goal is to engage your audience. The presentation itself is only the start - your aim should be that your audience will want to continue to interact with you again in the future. This will give you the opportunity to work on your business relationship with them, positioning yourself as a subject matter expert, and building trust.

2. Encourage your audience members to interact 

Using PowerPoint becomes much less of a crutch if you have an interacting audience. Instead, it becomes a nice tool to help you along. The real catalyst in that situation is the discussion itself and you should use your slides as discussion points. They will help you to keep your thoughts organised and act as a framework for the discussion.

3. Ask thought-provoking questions 

Asking the right questions will help you to bring your presentation to life. You want your audience to think about the points that you are making and engage in conversation. Make it clear that you value the views of your audience and encourage them to share their opinions with the rest of the room.

4. Follow up in a new way

It is important to follow up with your audience after your presentation. However, you could think of new ways to follow up. For example - set a PDF of the key points on a timer so that it is automatically emailed to your attendees at the end of your presentation. Another option would be to send a hand written thank you note with a USB key attached containing the slides. The key is to be a bit different, and therefore memorable.

Effective presentation will set you apart from the generic crowd and keep your audience engaged.

☎ 020 89310165 | ☏ 07900537459 | ✉

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Quarterly Report By Employment Intermediaries!

Ever since 6 April 2015, employment agencies and other intermediaries have been required to make quarterly reports of payments made directly to workers or via partnerships, LLPs and companies where no tax has been deducted from the payments.

HMRC have recently updated their guidance to intermediaries to make it clear that, where an employment intermediary has supplied no workers in a specific quarter, a “nil report” must still be filed by the reporting period's deadline.

From 6 April 2015, employment intermediaries must use the template to send information about workers where they don't operate Pay As You Earn.

Separate HMRC guidance on how to use the employment intermediaries online report template has also been updated. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Don’t Miss Out On Tax Relief On R&D

The government is concerned that many small companies are missing out on generous R&D tax credits.  For the last year HMRC have been offering companies an advance assurance scheme to check whether or not their activities qualify before they make a claim. So far over 200 applications for advance assurance have been made.

There is a general misconception that R&D involves scientists in white coats but it should be remembered that R&D may be necessary to resolve a problem with a product or a process.

So some of the work by your engineers or technical staff may qualify as R&D. For Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) the tax credit is 230% of the expenditure on qualifying R&D, and where the company incurs a trading loss, HMRC will provide an immediate cash refund rather than waiting until there is a profit in a future period.

By applying for advance assurance the company’s R&D claim will not be subject to an HMRC enquiry and HMRC will then accept the first three years of claims.

Companies eligible to apply for advance assurance:
turnover below £2m
fewer than 50 employees
no previous R&D claims
Then claim “patent box” in respect of your innovation

If the R&D results in a product or process that can be patented there is a further tax break available. The “Patent Box”, introduced in 2013, will provide a 10% rate of tax on profits derived from that product or process.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss whether these generous tax breaks could be available to your company: 
APJ Accountancy | ☎ 020 89310165 | ☏ 07900537459 | ✉

Monday, 7 November 2016

Have You Declared All Of Your Credit Card Sales & Your Overseas Income And Gains?

Credit Card Sales

Where credit card sales have been omitted from business takings, HMRC are encouraging taxpayers to come forward and make a disclosure of the income that has been omitted to avoid incurring interest and penalties on top of the unpaid tax.
As you may be aware HMRC now receive information from third parties such as banks and credit card companies and will then match that data with business accounts, and will then open detailed enquiries if the figures appear to be inconsistent. They can go back up to 20 years and the more serious cases can lead to criminal prosecution.

If you have other undeclared income or gains that don’t relate to credit card sales, there are other HMRC disclosure facilities to enable you to bring your tax affairs up to date.

Please get in touch with us if you wish to discuss this as full co-operation can help minimise penalties.

Overseas Income And Gains:

Where an individual is resident in the UK, he or she is generally taxable on worldwide income and gains whether or not it is brought back into the UK. Again, there can be significant interest and penalties on top of the unpaid tax if HMRC find out.

HMRC now exchange information involving savings and investments overseas with about 90 other countries and again match that data with individuals’ tax returns.

There is a special HMRC worldwide disclosure facility to allow taxpayers to bring their tax affairs up to date.

Note that there are special rules for individuals who are resident but not domiciled in the UK and those people’s tax status is likely to change from April 2017.

Please contact us if you need advice on this matter: 
APJ Accountancy | ☎ 020 89310165 | ☏ 07900537459 | ✉

Friday, 4 November 2016

Splitting The Income Of Married Couples

Where a married couple hold savings accounts and other investments in joint names, the income from those investments is split 50:50 for tax purposes, unless there is an election to allocate the income in accordance with their beneficial interests. This is particularly important where the couples' marginal tax rates are different now that there are different personal savings allowances.

Where the husband pays tax at 40% and the wife is only a 20% basic rate taxpayer, there can be significant tax savings.

HMRC need to be notified that the split of income is other than 50:50 and we can of course help you complete the appropriate forms.

Note that in the case of buy to let properties, the election can only be made where the property is owned as “tenants in common” and you may need to get your solicitor to check the ownership position.

☎ 020 89310165 | ☏ 07900537459 | ✉

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Christmas is Coming - New Rules for Gifts to Staff!

From 6 April 2016 new rules were introduced to allow employers to provide their directors and employees with certain “trivial” benefits in kind, tax-free.

The new rules are a simplification measure so that certain benefits in kind will not need to be reported to HMRC, as well as being tax free for the employee. There are of course a number of conditions that need to be satisfied to qualify for the exemption.

Conditions for the exemption to apply:
the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50
the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher
the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of any contractual obligation such as a salary sacrifice scheme
the benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties (or in anticipation of such services)

So this exemption will generally apply to small gifts to staff at Christmas or on their birthday.
Prior to this change in the rules, the benefit in kind would have had to be reported on the employee’s P11D form at the end of the year, or alternatively the employer would have dealt with the tax and national insurance under a PAYE settlement agreement. Under such an arrangement a £50 Christmas turkey to a higher rate taxpayer could end up costing the employer nearly £95!

Note that where the employer is a “close” company and the benefit is provided to an individual who is a director or other office holder of the company, the exemption is capped at a total cost of £300 in the tax year.

Please feel free to contact us if you are considering taking advantage of this new exemption.
☎ 020 89310165 | ☏ 07900537459 | ✉