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£600,000 funding to buy premises

Cutting the cost of Property Finance As an accountant, you will be fully aware of the advantages of buying your business premises. Financially, it will provide an appreciating asset. In terms of professional status, having the right premises can be important when dealing with high net worth individuals and corporate clients.  You will need: Ample space for partners, for support staff, for waiting clients and for records Parking for yourself and your staff, and for clients. An environment that is appropriate for a professional practice The size and location requirements will mean costs will be high. Getting the most competitive funding for your premises is, therefore, vital for the continued profitability of your practice.  We recently helped arrange £600,000 funding to help an established accountancy partnership cut the cost of buying their premises. The client's challenge Our client was a partnership based in a large town in the south of England. They had their premises in a Georgian building in an ideal position close to the town centre, with car parking at the rear.  The partners were buying their premises with the help of a loan from a high street bank that had been negotiated more than 15 years ago. There was around £600,000 remaining on the Commercial Mortgage and the partners, of course, saw that that rising property prices had ensured that they would now be entitled to a substantially more attractive LTV - and a more attractive rate.  “We were paying 6% for the property. It was pretty clear to all of us that we should be paying rather less than that for a  commercial mortgage these days. Rangewell had helped some of our clients find better rates for finance, so we decided to see what they could do for us.”  Looking to purchase your premises or even remortgage? Find out how to get the most cost-effective finance for your individual needs What is a Commercial Mortgage? Commercial Mortgages are among the most common forms of finance for commercial property.  They operate much like a residential mortgage, with a large loan secured on the property itself. However, while residential mortgages are designed as a standard offering for a mass market, all Commercial Mortgages are arranged on an individual basis. This means that lenders will look at the practice as a business, and scrutinise its accounts and forecasts to ensure that its long-term prospects are positive. Good trading history and good prospects for the future may help a borrower secure preferential rates.  For accountancy professionals with their own practice, it may be particularly simple to secure a Commercial Mortgage at a very attractive rate. This means that - with the help of the Rangewell team - it may be possible for accountants to secure a commercial mortgage at a preferential rate and significantly reduce monthly outgoings. Why there are savings with remortgaging? We saw that remortgaging could save our client's money for four reasons: The value of the property had appreciated, allowing for better Loan to Value ratios Interest rates, in general, are at close to record lows The accountancy profession can expect particularly favourable rates It would allow us to use our expert knowledge to find the most competitive quote across all lenders We looked at the figures and searched our lenders. We found a high street bank who could offer a remortgage at 2.5% above the base rate. In addition, the new lender was able to spread the loan over a 20-year term, further reducing their monthly outgoings.  Existing Mortgage £600,000 at 6.00% above base rate currently 0.75% with a remaining term of 15 years Existing monthly repayments  £5,309 Annual cost £63,708. New monthly payments of £3,403, 2.50% above base rate  Monthly saving £1,906  Annual saving £22,872  At Rangewell, we can find better answers to your property funding needs. Our experts will find the most appropriate solutions while our network of contacts and our unique online tool let us find the most cost-effective rates.  That means, whatever the need, a call to us can save you money and help your practice do more. Our service is independent, fast and absolutely free.

Teeth whitening and your practice

Smiles are a powerful tool for anyone looking to attract a partner, to make a sale or simply to get along in a busy world. For you as a dentist, they are therefore also big business. If you are not offering teeth whitening, you are losing patients to cosmetic dental practices that are opening up in every town. You may also be putting your patients' dental health at risk, especially if they resort to home whitening kits. The popularity of teeth whitening has led to a booming industry, but one with products and practitioners that are not regulated as well as they might be. Professional teeth whitening in the dentist’s chair has become a popular service. But turning a yellow grin into a sterling smile is a little more complicated than your patients may believe. You need to explain the facts. Don’t let your patients buy off the shelf kits There are a lot of teeth whitening products on the market. Any teeth whitening products found on the shelves of the local supermarket can do more harm than good if used improperly, and with some, even following the instructions could risk permanent damage with repeated use. Do-it-yourself pastes made of fruit are marketed as “natural” but are in fact corrosive to tooth enamel due to the high acid content. Fruit acid can whiten teeth but does so at the cost of eating at the enamel, accelerating the ageing process. Instead of pearly whites, teeth will soon start to appear more discoloured than they were originally. Laser whitening services offered through shops or kiosks can be downright dangerous, with an unskilled operator with a poor aim leading to gum damage or tooth sensitivity. For this reason, only registered dental professionals are allowed to carry out tooth whitening in the UK. It’s illegal for places like beauty salons to whiten teeth (or even provide professional-strength whitening kits) unless there is a dentist present. Patients also need to be warned about whitening mouthwash, which is rarely effective and potentially toxic if swallowed. A professional dental practice like your own will offer high-quality teeth whitening services patients can trust. But you may need to explain why. Do you have a growing dental practice? Or are you wanting to introduce new services to improve profitability? Find out what finance options are available to dental practices Intrinsic and Extrinsic discolouration Patients may understand that teeth become discoloured - or ‘dirty’ - though contamination. Smoking, coffee and wine are often thought of as the main problems, and whitening is thought of as simply a more energetic version of daily brushing. You need to explain that tooth discolouration doesn’t always start on the surface. Depending on the cause, it may start within the inside of teeth and reflect outward through the surface. These types of stains are intrinsic, meaning they originate inside of the teeth. The hard outer layer of enamel is naturally translucent, and it’s the yellow dentin beneath which actually gives teeth their yellowish colour. The whitening solution soaks through the enamel to lighten the dentin, which in turn makes the teeth appear brighter. In order to treat this, you may need to use a form of hydrogen peroxide gel. Sometimes this is called “bleach” or “whitening gel”, but these terms refer to the same formula. When applied, hydrogen peroxide gel is absorbed by the teeth, penetrating the stain where it originates and lightening its tone. This method is safe and extremely simple - if it is done professionally. Explaining the dangers of a mouthful of bleach is usually simple enough. Discussing why it is vital to use professionally made trays to apply the gel is then straightforward. Of course, extrinsic whitening really is about the stains on the surface of teeth, and you - or possibly your hygienist - can use a polish to clean them.   The key to planning successful treatment is an examination which will identify the type and cause of your patient’s tooth discolouration. Using the most appropriate treatments will restore the natural brightness of the teeth, giving a natural whiteness which will allow the patient to feel comfortable with the results There is a higher level of patient satisfaction for whitening carried out at a dental clinic. A 2018 report found that 69% of patients were happy with their results – compared to just 42% of those who had used a home whitening kit.  Common Questions About Teeth Whitening Patients who have never had a teeth whitening appointment may have a lot of questions. You need to reassure them that the treatment you provide will be 100 per cent safe, that their teeth will not be damaged by the treatment, nor will you have to worry about any short-term or long-term risks. You will, of course, need to reassure patients that teeth whitening is a painless process - and that it doesn’t defend against future stains. As time goes by, teeth will start to acquire new stains thanks to age, diet, or other influencing factors - but if they have professional treatment, there is no reason why they can’t repeat it in six months to 2 years. What treatment will you provide? Talking to your patients about their hopes for a whiter smile and the importance of using your practice to provide it could help you understand the demand that you could be answering. Remember you could be charging as much as £1500 for a fast-acting treatment such as laser whitening, or a similar amount for LED whitening. Older style treatments such as UV whitening are no longer current, as they can cause sunburn and contribute to the aetiology of skin cancer, so using it in the mouth can damage gums, cheeks and lips. Laser and UV is better and safer for you as well as your patients. Of course, you will need to invest in the equipment.  At Rangewell, we can help you find the  most cost-effective source for the finance you need when you are ready to bring new equipment into your dental surgery. Asset Finance can be a particularly cost-effective way to provide equipment of all kinds, from sophisticated treatment systems - to the seating in your waiting room. We have a specialist team working with the dental profession - and solutions to all your funding needs. Simply call us to find out more.

So you want to set up a gym?

Fitness is big business. There are more gyms and sports clubs in the UK than ever before. As many as 1 in every 7 people in the UK has a gym membership, and attends more or less regularly, with around 300,000 more signing up each year. According to the 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, health clubs and gyms in the UK now generate £4.7bn market revenue. People are willing to invest a great deal of their time and money on getting in shape. “People don’t mind paying for a good gym. So that’s what you need to offer.” With obesity levels rising, there’s a high demand for gyms and fitness facilities. The UK health and fitness industry is continuing to grow, and setting up a gym to cater for this demand could provide plenty of opportunities, especially if you can offer proven training skills, or have a sporting reputation. If you are an ex-olympian or a sporting personality it could be a big draw for your gym business – but even if you are simply a qualified trainer with skills honed in the forces or educational sector, there could be plenty of scope for you. The big chains, with their big budgets, are popular but a smaller, more independent gym could offer a more personal service. You might be able to concentrate on a niche, such as a particular sport, and to attract a loyal clientele. Even if you start small you have plenty of opportunities to grow your business, attract a wider range of members, and increase your turnover and profits, as you bring in new and better equipment and facilities. But starting a gym is not without its challenges. Running a gym is hard work If you are interested in fitness, the chances are that you will be capable of working long hours and putting in the sometimes hard work of providing training on the gym floor. Unless you’re planning to hire a full range of staff from the outset, you’ll be spending a lot of your time on the premises – opening early and closing late. Most people who can afford to use your gym will have jobs, which means you’ll need to be open before they start in the mornings and long after they finish at night. “You have to be open when people want to come in - if you’re not, they will be going to a gym that is” 14 hour days, 7 days a week are not uncommon – and you will have to fit in the cleaning along with providing training for your members.   You will also have to work hard with people skills and marketing if you expect to attract and retain people. Running a gym means rules and regulations A gym is a potential minefield for injuries and accidents but there are no firm safety guidelines for the industry. You will have to conform to the standards of Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which cover both your members and your staff. If an accident occurred, the HSE would investigate. However, the FIA’s code of practice details the minimum requirements for any fitness centre to be awarded their stamp of approval. Under the code, all staff must have adequate safety training and there must be an appropriate number of first-aiders for the size of the club. All fitness instructors must be trained to the standards set by the Register of Exercise Professionals. All equipment must be kept in a safe condition and regularly inspected and maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, with all checks and maintenance documented, and records kept on site. It’s also advisable that you get public liability insurance. As your business comes into contact with the public this will protect you if someone blames an injury or property damage on your business. Buildings and contents insurance, while not a legal requirement, should also be another consideration. The right location can be vital Location is critical if you’re starting your own gym. You need a big potential pool of customers. 100,000 people within a ten-minute drive might be essential – and you need to look at what other gyms there are in the area. Looking for ways to fund a start-up gym business?  See more about how we can help here “People don’t want to have to drive for miles to do a workout. They want your gym on their doorstep.” Some gym operators even suggest that the business has reached saturation point, and that the big players are in most of the areas where there’s a market already. If you can find the right location – and one that is not already over-supplied with gyms – you will need to find the right premises. Somewhere central, close to public transport and commuting routes could be ideal, but you will also need ample parking. You will need to open long hours, so you should ensure that you are not too close to homes. Finding a suitable building, such as a small school, to convert might provide the best solution, although a modern business park might also provide an ideal venue if it had the right transport links. Opening a gym can be costly Opening a gym will, inevitably, be expensive. A home gym can easily cost over £10,000, so the start-up costs for opening a commercial gym may be massive. Large group gyms frequently have £1million set-up budgets. It’s not just the gym equipment you need to fund, there will be there’s changing rooms, showers and, possibly, saunas to build and equip. However, the more you invest, the more you can offer your members. You may not be able to charge £50 a month for your basic club when a bigger, established gym is also charging £50 - but offering the latest machines, a cafe and sauna. “Location and costs are the most important factors to consider before you even think about acquiring a site to open a gym.” Buying an existing gym Buying an existing gym may involve a bigger upfront investment than starting from scratch, but it means reduced risks. You have a business that should be profitable from day one.   The purchase price will reflect the kind of turnover and profits the business is currently generating. It should also take into account the size and condition of the premises, the existing membership and the potential for growth. Writing a suitable business plan, outlining the current state of the business and your plans to grow it, is vital. You should involve your solicitor and accountant to get a professional view. Why you need Rangewell to capitalise your gym business If you have a sound business plan and relevant experience, you may find that there are many lenders who will be happy to lend to you when you want to open a gym. But not all lenders will offer the most competitive terms. Looking for the most appropriate deal across the entire market takes time and expertise. We work with both traditional and alternative lenders,  and we know the lenders who can offer the rates and terms that are most appropriate for you. However, with the right lender, you can find an understanding approach to your financial needs. At Rangewell we work across the sector and have found lenders who are able to give you the support you need. If you are looking at setting up a gym, you can see more about the help we can offer here or call us now to get our experts working for you.

Could a franchise help you make the most of your veterinary practice? 

Running a veterinary practice, like any other business, means risks. The main risk comes not from your clinical skills - you studied for years to develop them. It comes from the business itself. If you don’t get your business model right, if you don’t have enough clients and work to keep you busy, your practice could become unprofitable, lossmaking - and eventually need to close up altogether. When it’s your own business, you must avoid that risk. But how can you become an expert in the challenges of running a business as well as a hands-on vet?  The answer may be to take on a franchise. Franchising is becoming an important factor in the veterinary profession and for a very good reason - among many other benefits, it can provide you with the expertise you need to run your business better. Becoming a franchisee within a major veterinary group could allow you the freedom and independence to run your own practice while giving you the benefits of a proven business model and practical support. Running your own franchised veterinary practice could put the resources of a nationwide group and a major marketing force behind your business. It could help you increase client numbers and support you in providing the standards of care you set yourself. "I’ve worked as an associate, as an emergency vet and as a locum - and I was looking for the next step up in my career. But I am a vet, not an entrepreneur, and the business side looked daunting. I found a franchise that allowed me to own, manage and run my own practice but without all of the headaches and stress of going it alone.” The positives and the negatives Buying a franchise will require a major investment. The precise costs involved will vary, and the different franchisors have very different arrangements. Most will include a substantial initial fee and expect you to commit to substantial investment to bring your practice in line with their branding and provide the appropriate level of equipment and facilities.   There may be a monthly fee and additional expenses to consider once you are up and running. In return, you will get support at every stage. Some franchises will provide marketing which can equate to a guaranteed level of referrals each month. Others will set out to provide a complete support package - from helping you find premises and staff, to the software you need to run your business, from appointments to bookkeeping and accounts, and ensuring that you meet all the requirements of industry regulators and the taxman.  “By becoming a franchisee you are part of a large successful veterinary group and brand - but you stay in complete control of your business.” These days it can provide access to substantial marketing budgets, with email campaigns, appropriate sales funnels and paid ad placements all managed on your behalf. Marketing experts can help you to identify local marketing opportunities and run targeted marketing and PR campaigns, with initiatives like managed client reminders and recall letters to ensure healthy footfall and build client loyalty. There will be opportunities to save on supplies by taking advantage of group buying discounts. Many franchisors will offer financial administration, including paying your invoices and managing your cashflow, running payroll, VAT and tax responsibilities. In most cases, a franchise can include detailed monthly KPI (Key Performance Indicators) to set business targets and identify important areas of opportunity to keep your development on track, and the ongoing support of an experienced business mentor.  It can remove the business risks of running your vets practice. Wanting to start your own practice but drawn to the benefits of joining a veterinary franchise? Take a look at what options for finance you have or apply today Dealing with the costs You are unlikely to find a veterinary franchise with funding less than £50,000, and most franchises will require an investment several times that. Despite the costs, there can be a sound business case for franchising, and many vets have found that it has provided a real boost to their business.  However, many business lenders, such as banks, may not be able to help. Even if you have run the practice for years, with a new franchise your business is technically a start-up, lacking a business history. The cost of taking on a franchise can be substantial, with an initial franchise fee, training fee, rent on premises, shopfitting, vehicle costs, stock, equipment, working capital and promotional costs to cover.  This means that a specialised Franchise Loan package may be essential. At Rangewell we can help you find the funding you need with a specialised Franchise Loan package. How Rangewell can help you become a franchised vet If you are considering a franchise, getting the necessary finance in place is vital and needs to be arranged as early as possible. We believe that it should actually be one of your first steps if you are considering a franchise for your practice. At Rangewell, our team of business finance experts have an in-depth understanding of the levels of funding required by many of the major franchise providers. The money you borrow to set up your franchise will have to be repaid, with interest, from the profits you make. You must be able to demonstrate that your franchise is capable of generating sufficient funds. Our team will be able to explain the sums involved even before you have settled on the franchise you want. They can certainly use their expertise to find you the most appropriate lenders and to help you secure the funding to support your plans. “It was a big investment, but we found ways that we could afford it with Rangewell’s help.” We know the specialist lenders who can help with purpose-built Franchise Loans. They will look at your experience, your business proposal and the potential of the franchise you have chosen - giving you the chance to benefit from their expertise, as well as the finance you need. Simply call us to discuss your plans and turn your practice dreams into reality.

£75,000 cash advance - with no need to make repayment

Cashflow can be a challenge in many sectors, but particularly in retail - and chemist shops are not immune.  Competition from supermarkets and the chains can mean tight margins. Keeping a positive cash flow can be difficult, even when there is apparently a healthy turnover and plenty of customers coming in. We recently helped a chemist shop owner raise the additional funding his business urgently needed with an innovative method.   It is a solution which could provide a lifeline for many chemists who are struggling with high costs and tight profits. It can help provide much-needed investment in the business - and there is no need to make any repayments. Sadly, chemist shops are not immune from the downturn on the high street. The economic power of supermarkets and the large chain chemists makes it difficult for small operators to compete on price. Keeping prices low while bringing in top quality goods and proving a professional service is a constant challenge - one which requires investment, often with an injection of capital. However, tight margins mean that profits are small, and there is little spare cash left over to deal with loan repayments.  Turning to Rangewell for help with funding We were recently approached by a chemist whose business had an apparently excellent turnover in excess of £1 million each year, but which, because of tight margins, was facing continuous cashflow worries.  The owner had first arranged an Unsecured Loan of £7,500 to help deal with his cashflow issues and bring in stock - but at 2.5% per month, the repayments were simply making his cashflow problems even worse. He called us at Rangewell for a solution. We always work closely with our clients, and we looked at his accounts with him. We saw that turnover was seasonal - there were simply more people coming in during the winter months. Some of the summer season was particularly challenging, and that would mean problems for the affordability of traditional loan repayments.  We were able to find a lender able to offer a Secured Loan of £25,000 for 7%. This might have provided a short-term solution, but it might still mean the pharmacist would need to borrow again in a year or two, while being faced with ongoing repayments.  Fortunately, we knew there was an alternative. A Merchant Cash Advance The need to make fixed monthly repayments during slow months might present problems with a traditional loan. A Merchant Cash Advance, or MCA, presents no such problem. They can be ideal for any business that receives a high proportion of its takings from card payments - and provide funds without the need to make regular repayments - or indeed repayments of any kind. With an MCA, the provider works with the card payment processing company and can offer a cash advance equal to the monthly card takings of a business. They will then take a percentage of every card transaction made to the business until the cash advance and their fees are paid off. The advance is paid back automatically as customers make card payments. It can provide a simple way for businesses, and especially those in the retail sector, to raise the funds they need, simply because there are no fixed monthly payments. Instead of causing problems with a fixed drain on your cashflow, the MCA will keep pace with the level of business that you do. It means your customers repay your cash advance for you - and the more business you do and the more customers pay by card, the faster the advance is paid off.  Like most retailers, our client was taking an increasing proportion of payments by card. This made it simple to provide an advance of £55,000. It meant that he could pay off his existing debts, and have a reserve to call on when cashflow was causing problems. How we helped With the growing use of payment cards, there is an increasing number of lenders providing MCA funding. Their fees and the percentages they take to fund repayment will differ. Getting the agreement that is right for your business can be essential to keep costs down. We found the MCA provider who was prepared to offer the most attractive fee structures to our client. We helped him make the necessary arrangements - which brought his business the funds it so vitally needed in a matter of days.  At Rangewell we can help you arrange all types of business funding - including MCA arrangements. Call us if you face a funding challenge - we can help you find the answers. 

Money laundering and your accountancy firm

As a major international trader, the UK has a problem with ‘dirty money’ - the proceeds of crime or corrupt activities - whether in this country or abroad. Criminals may set up legitimate-looking businesses to ‘launder’ this money – and your practice has a role to play in preventing it. Professional services firms of all types need to take immediate action to meet requirements of amended anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, that came into force on the 10 January. At the end of last year, the Government introduced the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), which will come into force this month. The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 update the UK’s Anti-money laundering administration and will bring the UK in line with the latest international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The regulations are designed to help tackle rising levels of fraud and eliminate money laundering, things that are likely to be a key priority for everyone in the industry this year. The new directive aims to close any remaining loopholes, and areas open for creative interpretation, that could be found in 4MLD – the previous iteration of AML legislation. It will require instant action from businesses operating in the financial services sector. What it means in practice is that everyone in the industry, from partners in accountancy firms down to bank counter staff, will be required to be on the lookout for money laundering activity. Professional service firms will be required to enhance their due-diligence checks and provide full AML training for their staff, as well as make use of electronic verification as required. Failure to do so will result in prosecution and heavy fines for practices and for individuals. Electronic verification The new legislation states that businesses must use electronic verification for anti-money laundering checks wherever possible. Looking at paper documents such as passports and driving licenses is no longer sufficient – most of us have seen examples of fraudulent documents which we have been able to identify. The current thinking is that there may be many cases where the fraudsters have produced documents that simply cannot be told from the real thing. The wording requires information to be obtained from a reliable source which is independent of the person whose identity is being verified, and ideally by an electronic identification process, including by using electronic identification means or by using a trusted service. The need for electronic verification is likely to take most people by surprise. Any legal or other professional services companies who do not already have a trusted means of doing this will need to implement this immediately to ensure they are compliant and save themselves from the potential of a heavy fine. An Anti-Money Laundering (AML) check is an identity assessment to ensure all investors are who they claim to be, and are not investing on behalf of somebody else. In some cases, these checks can be completed in the background using electoral data. Where customers are based overseas, a higher degree of vigilance will be required. Customer due diligence The new regulation stipulates that firms will need to consider a number of high-risk factors, including: Evidence of transactions between parties based in high-risk third countries The customer is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy The customer is seeking residence rights or citizenship in exchange for transfers of capital, purchase of a property, governments bonds or investment in corporate entities Transactions related to oil, arms, precious metals, tobacco products, cultural artefacts, ivory or other items related to protected species, or archaeological, historical, cultural and religious significance Remote  business relationships or transactions without certain safeguards set out in regulation 28 (19) concerning electronic identification processes Firms will also be required to update their records relating to the beneficial ownership of corporate clients, understand the ownership and control structure of their corporate customers and record any difficulties encountered in identifying beneficial ownership. What can you do if you are suspicious? If your business is regulated by the Money Laundering Regulations you must try to identify any activity linked to money laundering. If you know about or suspect money laundering or terrorist financing you must consider telling the National Crime Agency (NCA) by sending a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). Any discrepancies between information a firm holds on their customers compared with the information held on Companies House should also be reported to the OPBAS (Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision), which is part of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You also must consider whether you need NCA consent before you proceed with a suspicious transaction. The NCA will tell you if you are granted a defence against money laundering charges. You must consider whether you need a defence against money laundering charges from the NCA before you can proceed with a suspicious transaction or activity. You’ll find out if the NCA have granted a defence when they reply to your SAR. If you do not get a reply from the NCA within 7 working days and think you’ve correctly reported the activity, you can choose to assume a defence is granted. Turning a challenge into an advantage You may find that the new regulations increase your administrative burden - but with the right it systems and software in place, you may be able to not only deal efficiently with the demands of AML, but with all the other challenges of an increasingly digital profession.  You may need to invest in IT, and training - and to find a source to fund that investment  We have a dedicated accountants partnership team for you to call – and once you have, you can have our nationwide resources working to help answer the challenges of AML - and of growing your practice. To find out more about //landing/partner-with-rangewell, call us now. Our service is free.

Have your clients paid enough tax?

HM Revenue and Customs may be upping the number and intensity of their investigations – which could mean that your clients could face an unexpected call from the taxman. It is understandable enough from the point of view of the treasury. They collected an extra £9.8billion through investigations into the UK's biggest 2,000 firms last year, more than £1 billion more than in the previous tax year. How can you help your clients avoid problems? Who is getting investigated? It looks as though HMRC is focusing on those sectors that have faced heavy criticism over tax avoidance in recent years. This means clients in the tech area and finance firms - which have both come under increasing scrutiny and criticism over tax avoidance. Bigger UK and foreign businesses trading in the UK may find themselves under the most intense scrutiny from HMRC over the next year. Investigations seem to be focusing on companies that underpaid corporation tax, which helped bring in £2.6bn. VAT underpayments seem to have also come under scrutiny by HMRC. This means that companies in the new sectors – e-businesses in particular – may be among the most likely to come under scrutiny. It can mean rich picking for the inspectors: an investigation launched into iconoclastic taxi firm Uber earlier this year could cost it up to £1bn. The ride-hailing platform does not pay VAT on fares and has always argued that it is a facilitator rather than a service provider. However, HMRC does not agree and being classified as a transportation provider would mean a 20% VAT bill slapped on Gross Bookings, or on the service fee that the Company currently charges its drivers, both retroactively and prospectively. But your clients do not have to be an international, headline-grabbing, new wave business to be investigated. Many smaller clients are likely to be looked at closely over the next few months. Financial businesses in the firing line HMRC may also be targeting financial services businesses. Large areas within the sector are of course not covered by the normal exemption from VAT: M&A advice, portfolio management fees ( however they may be structured) and some investment advice and research services are all taxable. What’s more, since the beginning of the tax year, VAT exemption rules were changed: as a result, insurers and providers are no longer allowed to treat pension fund management services as exempt from VAT. What is prompting this initiative? The latest Government spending pledges may be good news for the taxpayers who will benefit - but they mean HMRC and the Treasury will be under pressure to raise more money to deliver them. Of course, there is the downward pressure on the economy from Brexit. This means that revenue is a little slower coming in than the chancellor would like – but he seems to be taking the view that big businesses will not be put off investing in the UK simply because of the tax environment. It means the net result is that HMRC has been urged to continue to push very hard wherever it sees the possibility of underpaid tax. Are your clients concerned about tax issues with HMRC? Would you know how to advise them on a finance product to ease cashflow issues due to a tax investigation? Find out more about partnering with Rangewell to find finance solutions for your clients What are they looking for? In an inspection, HMRC inspectors will be looking for anything that suggests any kind of tax has been unpaid. This can, of course, include corporation tax, although this may be fairly straightforward, and any errors easy to sport before the knock on the door. In fact, VAT may be an even more important focus for inspectors than other types of tax. VAT has become complicated and, as a result of these complications, underpayment of VAT is now believed to be a major problem for the treasury. HMRC estimates more than 9% of all VAT due is unpaid. This is believed to be around £12.5billion in the current year, and showing a steadily upward trend. What can you do to help? Making sure that your clients pay all the tax that they are obliged to do is, of course, the simple answer. With some kinds of business - and particularly those in the new sectors that have opened up in recent years, where business models can be very different from traditional models - understanding and interpreting the rules and regulations can be a challenge in itself. But what can you do if, despite your best efforts, an inspection uncovers a large unpaid liability? Having to find a large cash sum in a short period can mean major problems for any of your clients who have been tripped up by complex rules. The answer is to partner with Rangewell. At Rangewell, we are experts in business finance. We help all types of business access all types of funding - including funding for tax bills. We have an expert team made up of specialists in business funding and we work with all types of business finance products from lenders across the entire UK market. So when you have a client who runs into a problem with their tax bill you can simply call on us to help you find the solutions they need. We can find solutions that will spread the cost of VAT, or help find a cash lump sum when the shortfall is a big one. Not only are our services free for you to call on, we make no charge to your clients. In fact, we are able to pass commission from lenders on to your practice. To find out more about working in partnership with Rangewell to find better answers to your clients' funding needs, simply call us.

Are your clients chasing £50bn worth of late payments?

A recent survey has shown that small and medium-sized British businesses are tracking down late payments worth more than £50bn. The research suggested that SMEs - including your clients - are chasing an average of five outstanding invoices at any one time. They are owed an average of £8,5000 each - and spending more than an hour a day in the chasing. A serious burden It is a serious burden for your clients, and even sole traders are owed an average of £1000 in late payments. Self-employed and working alone individuals are also facing a huge amount of late payments being owed, having an average of four outstanding invoices at any one time – nearly reaching up to £1,000. They claim to be spending an hour a day chasing these invoices, while medium-sized businesses are waiting for late payments in five figures. Back in 2016, research led by the Federation of Small Businesses indicated that 50,000 SMEs had shut up shop due to cash flow and other problems. It looks as though things have not got any better, and in some sectors, they may even have become even worse with payments being kept back as a large customers preserve their own cash reserves at the expense of small suppliers.  Maintaining cash flow is crucial for SMEs, and just a few late payments can tip many of them into the danger of insolvency. It is easy to see that late payments mean that your clients are, in effect, funding their customers' business while their own suffers. The combination of chasing invoices and bad payment practices means small businesses can run out of cash, impacting their ability to take on new work or pay suppliers, employees and even themselves. Lack of capital is the main reason for SMEs failing and as companies grow, take on larger clients or customers and look to expand their teams, access to cash becomes more crucial. It is the single biggest factor in determining long-term success. Many are forced to turn to other cash sources – which could be savings, loans or overdrafts - or even credit cards. A single, large late-payer can cause problems for dozens of suppliers.  And it’s not just businesses that suffer. Chasing payments not only eats into productive working time, it means longer hours away from families as well as extra stress for small business owners.  Are your clients struggling with late payments? Do you want to add a high-value service that will benefit both your clients and your practice? Find out more about partnering with Rangewell But what can you do to help? Optimising cash flow and preventing late payments represents a real challenge for SMEs, and many will turn to you as their accountant for help.  There are several ways that you can provide support.  One is to help ensure that payment terms are negotiated properly at the beginning of a business relationship or new contract.  You should remind SME owners to credit check all new clients and take action accordingly. Most will not want to turn work down, so they may need to offset any high-risk clients, perhaps by considering upfront payments, deposits or part-payments, for example, 50% at the start of a project or job and 50% on completion. This type of split payment is becoming more common in many sectors. Another is to use the government's initiatives on the late payment problem. Last summer, the government unveiled some ways to hold debtors more responsible and encourage them to they pay for goods and services in a more timely fashion. These include proposals for strengthening the powers of the Small Business Commissioner to hold larger businesses accountable when they are late on payments with small businesses. Possible new powers could also entail imposing financial penalties or binding payment plans for businesses found to have unfair payment practices. But many of your SME clients will not have the luxury of turning down orders from large customers, even when customers are known to be poor payers. In those cases, a call to us at Rangewell may help.  A Cashflow Loan may be one answer if the client is in crisis - but this may be a costly solution that fixes the symptom - not the underlying problem. For many clients, and especially those who operate in the B2B space, Invoice Finance may be the best solution, providing prompt payment - and, if required, the support of a credit control team at no extra cost.  Becoming an Invoice Finance expert with Rangewell There are, of course, many types of invoice finance, and many providers - getting the most cost-effective solution for your client may become a major task for you. Fortunately, there is a simple way to become an expert in Invoice Finance provision, simply by contacting us at Rangewell. We are business finance specialists. We help businesses of all kinds find the funding they need - whether it is from traditional sources such as the high street banks, or innovative new solutions from the alternative lending market. Our expertise includes Invoice Finance.  A call to us can get our experts working to find the Invoice Finance solution your clients need It means that you can provide your clients with the answers they need to late payments. Our service is free, for you and for your clients - in fact, we may even be able to provide an additional revenue stream for your practice. We have a dedicated accountants partnership team for you to call – and once you have, you can have our nationwide resources working to help you grow your practice. To find out more about working in partnership with Rangewell to find better answers to your clients' funding needs, simply call us to discover your options.  

£50,000 equipment funding for a pharmacy

Bringing in a robot Even the most seasoned or careful individual can and will make a mistake sooner or later. But when that person is a pharmacist the results of that mistake can be catastrophic. The wrong medication or an error in dosage can cause adverse effects or even kill a patient. Automating the process of selecting and measuring out medication greatly reduces the chances of that type of error. Pharmacy automation is not new — large pharmacies have had some automation since the 1970s. But artificial intelligence and machine learning, combined with the lower cost of automated systems, have put automation within reach for even smaller pharmacies. With sizes available ranging from that of a large fridge to that of a small truck and prices varying from £50,000 up to £500,000, pharmacists can have the system they need to automate their business - providing they can call on the funding required.  We were recently approached by a pharmacist looking to streamline the operations in his busy London pharmacy. With over 10,000 prescriptions being filled each week, he saw that automating the dispensary could have a big impact on his profitability.  “Automated dispensing offers an opportunity to change how the pharmacy works. With it, I was certain that we could work more efficiently, fill more scripts and, at the end of the day, enjoy greater profits. And there is always the concern that if I didn’t do it, someone else would, and they would have a business advantage because of it.” The pharmacist talked the idea over with a specialist consultant and was keen to go ahead - but he wanted to spread the cost.  The dealer was able to offer a Hire Purchase plan, but the pharmacist was concerned that the finance plan offered was more costly than necessary. Wanting to spread the cost of essential equipment or simply concerned that you may not have the most cost-effective funding source to grow your pharmacy? Find out how we can help pharmacists like you, or apply for funding today Hire Purchase and Leasing Asset Funding solutions can often provide the most cost-effective ways to help provide equipment you need and can help buy outright or lease all types of equipment, from hand tools to vehicles.  With Hire Purchase, you effectively hire your dental equipment until you’ve paid enough to purchase it. You’ll normally pay a deposit plus fixed monthly repayments. When you’ve made all the repayments, your business will own the equipment outright. This can be ideal for durable items that you will want for the long term. Leasing gives your practice more flexibility, making it easy to regularly update equipment to ensure you always work with cutting-edge technology. In some leasing arrangements, you have the option to own the asset at the end of the term, upgrade it, or simply give it back. You can also decide whether you want maintenance and insurance to be included and whether you need the item for its whole working life or a shorter, agreed period. There are many lenders providing Asset Finance. Our expertise can help secure the most competitive rates - frequently undercutting those offered by equipment dealers. Getting a better deal with Rangewell The pharmacist approached us at Rangewell. “I wanted to buy the system outright rather than lease it. I was concerned that leasing would mean open-ended costs, and my accountant suggested that a purchase might have some advantages for the business.” We can provide all types of business funding, and we know the solutions that are most appropriate for the pharmacy profession - and the lenders who may be best positioned to provide it.  We found a specialist lender working in the medical equipment sector which could provide the £50,000 funding at a preferential rate of 5.25% above base rate over 4 years. The funding Rangewell arranged: £50,000 at 5.25% above base rate 0.75%* over 4 years Monthly £962.95 (annually £16,536)‬ Total cost for loan £7,776.95 At Rangewell, we can help pharmacists find better answers to all their funding needs. Whether your business is looking for a loan, Asset Finance, Commercial Mortgage, or any other kind of finance - our expert teams find the most appropriate funding solutions while our network of lender contacts and our unique online tool let us find the most cost-effective rates. Our service is independent, fast and absolutely free. If you're looking for better ways to run your pharmacy, find out what solutions are available, or apply today.

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