Hawsons makes history after 165 years in business

Hawsons Chartered Accountants is 165 years old

Hawsons Chartered Accountants was founded in the city of Sheffield in 1854 – more than 25 years before the creation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales – by Alfred Allott and John Hewett.

Hawsons remains one of the longest-standing independent firms of chartered accountants in the UK. One of the main reasons why clients choose Hawsons is not just because of our experience and expertise in accountancy but the high-quality advice and service our team delivers.

Our mission is to provide our clients with service of the highest quality and value in a professional, friendly, and responsive manner, to assist them to develop their business, to develop the maximum potential of our people and thereby be the leading independent practice in the area.

Our unrivalled history demonstrates that through many periods of change, we have evolved as a business to ensure we continue to remain relevant to our clients, providing them with the quality and breadth of service they need.  Clients understand that irrespective of how small they are when they become a client or how large they will grow, Hawsons will always be there for them.

Our belief in long-term client relationships is why we offer all prospective clients a free initial meeting so we can really get to know you and your business and you can get to know us.

Chris Hill, Senior Partner at Hawsons, said on the firm’s development: “We’re proud of our extensive history and the success we’ve achieved since we were founded in Sheffield 165 years ago. To have reached such an age and still be going strong is a great feat. Despite our company’s growth and expansion into other areas across the UK, we’ve stayed true to our philosophy that no matter what size or sector, every business we work with will always receive the same high standard of advice and service from our team.”

If you are looking for an expert accountant book your free initial meeting with us here.

If you would like to find out more about us visit our website here.

 

Free initial meeting

SRA Accounts Rules 2019

SRA Accounts Rules 2019

SRA Accounts Rules 2019

The SRA has just published a statement relating to residual balances that cannot be repaid under rule 2.5. of the new 2019 SRA Accounts Rules which become effective for all firms from 25 November.

The statement can be accessed from the SRA website https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/withdraw-client-money/

The publication is a ‘mandatory statement’ which must be complied with by all SRA authorised firms and their staff. Essentially it allows firms to deal with individual client matter balances, up to £500, in the same way that they have been able to do under Rule 20.2 of the 2011 rules.

The statement written in a very reader friendly way and there are probably a few points worth highlighting:

  • residual balances only exist if the firm has failed to comply with rule 2.5 (‘old’ rule 14.3) and cannot now return the monies;
  • by that token residual balances should be relatively rare;
  • firms must not deduct out of pocket expenses incurred trying to trace the owner of the funds;
  • there is no specific requirement to choose a charity that provides an indemnity, although if that is the case the firm remains liable should the client reappear and request their money;
  • appropriate records are to be kept and you should be able to evidence the efforts you have made to return residual balances to the client as has been the case in previous versions of the rules.
  • Reporting Accountants are likely to need to review the records detailing any payments to charity as part of their work;
  • While not detailing the statement does make reference to the issues for the firm to consider when deciding what will be reasonable steps to try and trace the client and repay the funds, as well as a few suggestions on ways to trace the client: social media, Companies House or Probate Registry searches; DWP letter forwarding service, internet searches.

It is fair to say that this has not been an area where firms have excelled and is an area where we often identify breaches. Most would benefit from looking carefully at their existing polices to deal with file closure procedures and repaying funds promptly in order to avoid residual balances arising. Regular review of exception reports of files with no movement should be part of the accounting routines.

If you want any further guidance on this matter please contact any of the following:

Martin Wilmott – Doncaster Office [email protected]

Simon Bladen – Sheffield Office – [email protected]

David Owens – Northampton Office – [email protected]

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

Martin Wilmott

Partner, Doncaster

01302 367 262
David Owens, Partner

David Owens

Partner, Northampton

01604 645 600

[email protected]

£8m campaign launched to help hauliers with Brexit Preperation

£8m campaign launched to help hauliers with Brexit Preperation

£8m campaign launched to help haulier with Brexit Preparations 

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced that a multi-million-pound campaign is being launched in the UK and Europe to make sure that businesses and hauliers are prepared for a potential no deal Brexit on 31 October 2019. This campaign will make sure that hauliers have everything they need to get through borders, which will reduce delays.

The campaign will include:

  • A billboard and media advertising campaign.
  • The establishment of 150 pop-up centres across the 10 countries covering the nationalities that process the most UK-bound road freight.
  • The distribution of millions of multi-languages information handbooks and pocket guides.

On the 9th September 2019 an email was sent to 70,000 UK operators and industry bodies, containing vital information for those driving to the EU after 31 October.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said “This campaign is another example of the extensive preparations we are making for leaving the EU on 31 October. As an outward-facing global trading nation, the efficiency of our ports is of paramount importance. This multi-million-pound initiative ensures the UK will remain open for business, with goods continuing to move freely”.

How can we help

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of specialist transport and logistics accountants in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton. We act for a large number of clients in this sector across our three offices, ranging from hauliers to international couriers, and understand the challenges this dynamic sector faces.

To find out more about our transport and logistics accountants click here.

To book a free initial meeting click here.

 

 

More from our transport and logistics experts

You can find all of our latest transport and logistics sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Free initial meeting

Scott Sanderson

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

Paul Wormald

Paul Wormald

Partner, Doncaster

01302 367 262

David Owens

David Owens

Partner, Northampton

01604 645 600

[email protected]

Grants for food and drink manufacturers in the East Midlands

Grants for food and drink manufacturers in the East Midlands

Grants for food and drink manufacturers have been made available by ‘The Food and Drink Forum’ along with the FEAST project. ‘The Food and Drink Forum’ has secured funding for the next three years which offers a range of useful services.

What are these services?

There are a total of five services on offer, and these are:

Grant Funding

The grant funding enables food and drink manufacturers to claim a minimum spend of £2,500 and a maximum of £80,000. This allows them to purchase new equipment to grow as a business and create new jobs.

Technical Support

The Food and Drink Forum’s technical team offer two days of free technical support to eligible businesses. These industry experts offer a range of support from shelf life extension to factory layout, along with much more.

Business Mentoring

Industry experts are keen to share their experience in running food and drink manufacturing businesses, and this will be fully subsidised for eligible businesses and they will also receive mentoring in any aspect of the business.

Technical Apprentices

Technical apprentices will be made available by the Forum in order to bridge the skills gap in the sector. They will be trained by the Forum’s team of technical experts and will be employed by the Forum at no extra cost to the business, as well as the apprentices gaining hands on experience in this work placement.

Industry Events

Throughout the course of the project, The Food and Drink Forum will host a number of events where like-minded people in the industry can share experience and knowledge.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the funding by the FEAST project, businesses must be:

  • A food and drink manufacturer
  • Based in D2N2, NEP or SEMLEP Areas
  • An SME Business (Small/Medium Enterprise) – THIS ONLY APPLIES FOR ACCESSING GRANT FUNDING

The eligible are areas are:

  • Amber Valley Borough
  • Bolsover District
  • Chesterfield Borough
  • Derby City
  • Derbyshire County
  • Derbyshire Dales District
  • Erewash Borough
  • High Peak Borough
  • North East Derbyshire District
  • South Derbyshire District
  • Ashfield District
  • Bassetlaw District
  • Broxtowe District
  • Gedling Borough
  • Mansfield District
  • Newark and Sherwood District
  • Nottingham City
  • Nottinghamshire County
  • Rushciffle Borough
  • Daventry District
  • Kettering Borough
  • Corby Borough
  • East Northamptonshire District
  • Northampton Borough
  • Northamptonshire County
  • South Northants District
  • Aylesbury Vale District
  • Bedford Borough
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Cherwell District
  • Luton Borough
  • Milton Keynes

For further information, please visit: foodanddrinkforum.co.uk/web/xfdf/feast.cfm or contact us at [email protected].

David Owens has extensive knowledge of the issues that impact on the legal and transport and logistics sectors. David became a Partner in 2015 and acts for a large number of our clients, encompassing sole traders, partnerships and audit clients. For more information, please contact David on [email protected] or 01604 645 600.

Paul Wormald is a partner at Hawsons, working in the Doncaster office. He worked previously with two national firms of Chartered Accountants prior to joining Hawsons in 2001. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Paul on [email protected] or 01302 367 262.[/author_info]

Chris Hill Senior Partner

Chris Hill acts as commercial partner for both corporate and non-corporate clients and has worked for Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Chris on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

Where are the drivers of the future for transport?

Where are the drivers of the future for transport?

Just 2% of all HGV drivers are under 25 – where are the drivers of the future for transport & logistics?

It is fair to say that over the last few years there has been a shortage in the number of young drivers entering the transport & logistics sector. A report published earlier this year found that just 2% of all HGV drivers are under the age of 25, with nearly 60% over 45. The report also found, staggeringly, that there are marginally more managing directors within the transport & logistics sector who fall within the under 25 age bracket than there are drivers who do.

David Owens, Transport & Logistics Partner at Hawsons, notes: “There is a real concern among many transport & logistics companies as their ageing workforces approach retirement age, or will do in the next 5 to 10 years.”

“There is very much a driver shortage – particularly young drivers – and that is leading to an ageing workforce. The fact that just 2% of all HGV drivers are under 25 is an extremely striking and worrying statistic. There are simply not enough younger people entering the sector. Transport & logistics firms are the linchpin of the UK economy…and drivers are at the heart of those businesses. So where are the drivers of the future going to come from?”

A solution needs to be driven by both employers and government

“The solution to undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges many in the sector are facing is not an easy one. There are a number of strategies that individual companies (and the government) can introduce, but there also needs to be an overall sector push to motivate new, young and enthusiastic drivers to enter the sector. This is an issue that all companies across the sector need to address before the problem becomes insurmountable.”

“The shortage of qualified drivers is also, in turn, putting upward pressure on rates and wages. This, in conjunction with recent increases in the National Minimum Wage and the introduction of the new National Living Wage, will likely see costs rise for many hauliers.”

More from our transport and logistics experts

You can find all of our latest transport and logistics sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

David Owens has extensive knowledge of the issues that impact on the legal and transport and logistics sectors. David became a Partner in 2015 and acts for a large number of our clients, encompassing sole traders, partnerships and audit clients. For more information, please contact David on [email protected] or 01604 645 600.

SRA set to relax Reporting Accountants’ requirements

SRA set to relax Reporting Accountants’ requirements

SRA set to relax Reporting Accountants’ requirements 

Following a consultation period, which ran between May and June last year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced, in September 2014, that a three-stage process regarding the proposed new changes to the SRA Accounts Rules would be phased in. We covered the details, including why the changes are happening, in an article in March.

The details of Phase Two have recently been announced.

Phase Two – Reporting Accountants’ requirements relaxed

In March we looked at how Phase Two will redefine the circumstances in which an accountant’s report needs to be qualified and raised a pressing question; exactly what should the accountant be reporting on?

Following an announcement by the SRA, on 15 July 2015, the changes to the format of the accountants’ report for solicitors’ practices are set to relax from the existing rigid requirements. This should be a welcome announcement for law firms across the UK, both small and large.

The principle changes planned are as follows:

  • Accountants will no longer need to qualify reports for trivial breaches of the rules but will instead be able to focus on risk to client money.
  • A further tier of low risk firms will be exempt from the requirement to obtain an accountant’s report.

Accountants encouraged to use their professional judgement

The first of the planned changes announced by the SRA will see accountants given more scope to exercise greater professional judgement in the detailed testing that they undertake, as well as the removal of the need to qualify reports for trivial breaches of accounting rules.

Accounts burden set to be lifted from over 1000 small law firms

The second change, benefiting smaller law firms, will see the SRA expand the exemption (which currently only includes firms dealing exclusively with legal aid) to include all firms with an average account balance of less than £10,000 over a year and a maximum account balance of £250,000.

What does the mean for law firms in the UK?

Simon Bladen, Legal Partner at Hawsons, said: “The changes, if approved by the Legal Services Board, will indeed give accountants the scope to provide a more risk-focused, audit style approach to reporting; advising firms on potential risks and ensuring greater value for money for law firms.”

“The changes will move away from the obligatory ‘one size fits all’ approach which was, and is still, viewed as disproportionate and one that adds an additional regularity burden on law firms. Moving away from this disproportionate approach is the principle aim of the three-phase process.”

“These planned changes to the SRA Accounts Rules are certainly a step in the right direction, particularly the mitigation and relaxation of the mounting regulatory burden on smaller firms who are relatively low risk. The SRA are working towards an approach which is significantly more proportionate and fit for purpose, and these are welcome changes in meeting that goal.”

“The SRA also confirmed that Phase Three, which is likely to involve a fundamental reconsideration of the Accounts Rules as a whole, will begin in Autumn 2015. The next 12 to 24 months promise to be particularly important for both accountants and their solicitor clients and it is crucial that your principles, COFA and staff stay up-to-date with the rules in this period of significant regulatory reform.”

If the changes are approved by the Legal Services Board, the amendments would form part of Version 15 of the SRA Handbook, which is set to go live on 1 November 2015, and will apply to firms whose accounting periods end on or after that date.

SRA Accounts Rules training courses

The Hawsons specialist legal sector team provide in-house SRA Accounts Rules training courses – including a detailed overview of all 52 rules – for law firms of all sizes across the UK. Our SRA Accounts Rules training courses are suitable for all fee earning staff, compliance/risk officers, accounts and finance staff and practice managers working within a law firm.

Given the significance of recent developments and proposed changes to the current SRA Accounts Rules, it is important that you stay up-to-date with the rules, including common breaches and how to avoid them.

Find out the details of our SRA Accounts Rules training courses here.

More from our legal sector experts

You can find all of our latest legal sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Simon Bladen Partner

Simon Bladen is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s legal clients and has worked at Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Simon on [email protected] or 0114 226 7141.[/author_info]

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