Accounts Assistant

Accounts Assistant Job Description

We’re not the average accountant – we merge traditional accounting with innovative thinking to add value to our clients’ businesses. This philosophy sets us apart; you’ll see it echoed in the people we employ and the products and services we offer.

We focus strongly on accounting for small to medium businesses in Putney, Fulham, Wimbledon, Chelsea, Richmond (and surrounding areas) and Central London. We provide a wide range of both financial and business support services, as well as individual advice for directors and high net worth individuals.

We are looking for an excellent candidate with good all-round experience or having studied subjects in accounts and finance. Working in a small team, you will be reporting into a qualified Accountant, assisting them on projects and day to day jobs.

Required skills:

  • Strong Excel skills;
  • Experience with any accounting software (Sage, Xero, QuickBooks and FreeAgent) is preferred
  • Ability to work autonomously or as part of a team;
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English;
  • Good attention to detail, accuracy, problem-solving skills; and
  • Ability to build internal and external relationships.

Finally, the candidate should have ambitions to complete the ATT, CTA or ACCA qualifications.

The spectrum of work includes:

  • Preparation of Financial Accounts and Corporate Tax Returns
  • VAT Returns
  • Management Accounts
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • Self Assessment Tax Returns
  • In conjunction with principal/senior colleague:
    • Taxation consultancy;
    • Financial valuations and consultancy to include advising on management & sale of businesses


HMRC Foreign Income Disclosure

Case Study: When HMRC asks about your foreign income

The UK has Automatic Exchange of Information agreements with over 100 countries, so HMRC knows if you have declared your foreign income or not.

According to the UK Parliament, there were 6.2 million people (9% of the total population) living in the UK who had another nationality. Within our Central London, Putney and Richmond offices, we also have foreign-born colleagues who had previously worked in another country. With international migration now a common trend, it is not uncommon to see some people struggling with foreign tax issues, particularly when they thought they had reported in another country but received a letter from HMRC pertaining to the overseas income.

HMRC Foreign Income DisclosureOne of our clients, Victor from Richmond-Upon-Thames, had previously lived and worked in Singapore for a decade, during which time he acquired some shares and a few assets. When Victor came to work in London, he didn’t pay much attention to his tax affairs as he is on PAYE. It also didn’t cross his mind that he had to report the small (and irregular) income he still receives and remains in his bank account there.

But one day Victor received a letter from HMRC about his foreign earnings which he had not reported in the UK. Panicked, Victor came to our Richmond-Upon-Thames office and asked for our help. Our personal tax accountants  analysed Victor’s position and advised on the correct remedy to rectify his tax filing requirements. Seeing how swiftly we acted and provided him with a satisfactory result, Victor has now engaged us to report his future foreign income through Self Assessment tax return service.

Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF)

If you have foreign interests, chances are you need to make a disclosure through the WDF, and preferably you do it before HMRC sends you a letter. If you aren’t sure if a disclosure is required, talk to our qualified personal tax accountants. We can review your specific circumstance and make the best recommendations.

The WDF users

HMRC wants anyone needing to disclose a UK tax liability that relates wholly or partly to an offshore issue to use the WDF. An offshore issue includes unpaid or omitted tax relating to:

  • Income arising from a source in a territory outside the UK
  • Assets situated or held in a territory outside the UK
  • Activities carried on wholly or mainly in a territory outside the UK
  • Anything having effect as if it were income, assets or activities of a kind described above

The WDF should also be used when you have funds connected to unpaid or omitted UK tax that you have transferred to a territory outside the UK or are owned in a territory outside the UK.

Examples of tax liabilities that you need to declare

  • Income from letting residential property or land
  • Capital Gains from assets that increased in value between the time you bought them and the time you sold or transferred them
  • Income from running a business
  • Income from freelance or commission-based work
  • Income from accepting credit card or debit card payments
  • Investment income
  • Any other incomes that you should have paid tax on

Call Tax Agility on 020 8108 0090 about disclosing your foreign income on the Worldwide Disclosure Facility today.

The WDF process

To use the WDF process, you must first register and HMRC will issue you a unique disclosure reference number.

After the registration process, you have 90 days to:

  • Gather the information you need to fill in your disclosure
  • Calculate the final liabilities including tax, duty, interest and penalties
  • Compete the online form

As the WDF process may not be straightforward, we do encourage those who have foreign assets to come to us for professional advice first or allow us to file on behalf of you.

Don’t underestimate the implications

HMRC wants to send a strong deterrent message to those who don’t disclose their foreign assets. Accordingly, if you fail to make an accurate disclosure or refuse to provide supporting documents allowing HMRC to check the accuracy, you may receive a higher penalty and have your details published on the gov.uk website. Also, HMRC may choose to launch a civil or criminal investigation against you. To save yourself from the headache and unwanted attention, it is best to speak to our qualified personal tax accounts first.

Personal tax accountants at Tax Agility

Tax issues are never straightforward and things can get complicated quickly if you have foreign assets which you may not know that you need to declare and pay tax on.

Fortunately, our personal tax accountants are here to assist. We will first seek to understand your tax affairs and identify what needs to be disclosed through the Worldwide Disclosure Facility (or not).

Should a disclosure is needed, we can help to register you, prepare and submit your disclosure, work out how much tax, interest and penalties you may need to pay, and negotiate a payment arrangement if it is needed. Working with you every step of the way, we can help to make sure that you aren’t paying more than you should, and the disclosure matter will be completed quickly, efficiently and professionally.

Call us today on 020 8108 0090 and speak to a knowledgeable tax specialist in either our London Richmond-Upon-Thames office or our London Putney Office.


Small business planning considerations for 2022

As the summer draws to a close, that is of course if you noticed summer or not, we enter a time of year where thoughts turn to next year’s business prospects. As an accounting firm, we’re mindful that businesses need to be looking hard at their bottom line and how they can operate as efficiently as possible.

2022 planing and strategy for small businesses in Richmond and PutneyEach year, we work with local businesses in the Richmond and Putney area, helping them plan for the following year, ensuring maximum tax efficiency and operational efficiency. Here are a few of our thoughts on what challenges business owners need to be looking at in 2022.

Covid business protection measures come to an end

There is a perfect storm of events nearing as September 30th approaches and earlier next year. On this date most of the governments business protection schemes come to an end.

Job retention scheme ends.

Known to most as the ‘furlough’ scheme, this ends after September. This means that business owners will once again bear the full brunt of employment costs. Think of this as a stress test for businesses that made heavy use of the scheme, as they will now need the cash flow to support employment costs.

Many businesses in the hospitality, health and leisure industries have relied heavily on the furlough scheme to survive. Although experiencing some return to normality since restrictions eased, business for many has not yet returned to pre-covid levels.

Ensuring outstanding receivables from customers are collected is going to be a significant factor underlying a businesses short-term viability. Also a challenge, will be working around potential new customer requirements and necessary adjustments to business models and practices brought about by the pandemic.

In a recent study by Santander, many small business owners surveyed said they did not believe they would see a return to any form of normality until mid-2022. That’s a long time to manage already damaged cash flow prospects. It’s perhaps not surprising that debt collection agencies and insolvency practitioners are readying for an increase in activity later this year and early next year.

Debt collection and insolvency

Business owners looking to recover debt owed to them during Covid, have been frustrated several times through government extensions to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act. However, these are now due to end on September 30th 2021. Debt owed before March 2020, when restrictions were implemented, can still be pursued though.

Figures from the Insolvency Service, suggest that unpaid business debt will reach £8.6b in 2021. In 2019 more than 17,000 companies shuttered their doors, with much debt written off and companies facing even more write-offs later this year. With the impact of business restrictions in 2020, some suggestions by financial analysts are that debt could reach £24b. But these figures do not factor in the impact of the lifting of financial support and debt recovery restrictions at the end of September. It’s likely that many businesses will simply not have the strength to continue, having been artificially supported by government schemes.

With a clear focus on improving cash flow, companies will want to chase down as much business debt as possible. A dilemma exists though. Chasing down client debts is a double edge sword. If you’re lucky, important clients will want to clear debts if they can and establish normal relations again, even if this is through a payment plan. Other’s though, may not be in a position to do so, or may simply be holding out, hoping your business will write it off. This will force businesses to look closely at the real value of their client base and force them to choose, as pushing hard will likely end a business relationship.

Commercial eviction ban ends

Many badly affected businesses that have been unable to pay rent since March 2020, face the prospect of eviction proceedings from April 2022 onwards, as the current ban on evictions was extended to March 25th 2022. Unless they can start paying off the rental debt or come to arrangements with their landlords, many will face insolvency proceedings.

Covid Loan repayments

In July, the government reported that it had made £80b in loans to businesses, including both Business Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans. This equated to around 1.6m business borrowing money through the banks. As mentioned earlier, we already know that insolvency practitioners are readying for an extent raft of new insolvencies, but the Banks too are believed to have invested heavily in strengthening their debt recovery teams, as it seems they are expecting a raft of defaults on these loans.

The main concern here is the potential for a cascade effect with some businesses, as one business relies on another. Very quickly, an insolvency in one firm could have a dramatic effect on several others.

Covid continues

Even though government assistance is drawing to a close, Covid is not done yet. While the severity of cases is lessened by the vaccination program, cases of Covid will still impact businesses and their staff throughout 2022.

Just as the virus evolve and introduces new complications, so too must businesses evolve. As we look forward to 2022 in our planning, we must make allowances for further interruptions. This may equate to keeping much more cash on hand or ensuring business models adjust and adapt to accommodate changes in the work force.

As Plato said: "Necessity is the mother of invention". New technologies that have been adopted to lessen the impact of Covid on business, such as the growth or home working technologies, have changed the way businesses work. This impacts other businesses too. One example is shared office space, networking hubs, and business office landlords in general. These are all highly sensitive to the circumstances we have experienced. As such businesses will need to adapt, else they may die.

Furthermore, we have already seen several large brands adopt different attitudes to staff working practices. Some declaring that nobody need be in the office for the foreseeable future, to others looking for a return to something close to pre-covid office attendance. This is sure to create a negative dynamic in many companies, especially where business owners need to foster close interworking that may have been a kingpin in supporting its brand persona or teams, placing even more pressure on perhaps a fragile business.

Job vacancies

With a record one million job vacancies reported in September, one might think this was a sign of business growth. However, there are also around one million people on furlough, many are young people too. However, it is highly unlikely that the two will just balance out or indeed if employees will still have jobs to go back to after the furlough ends.

Many industries have found that they now have a skills shortage, a lot to do with Brexit, but also as businesses shift their business models to adapt to new realities, people also need to adapt. For some, this may be problematic.

The reality is then, that businesses will likely struggle for some time due to staff shortages, just as the transportation sector is suffering currently.

Higher taxation

Business support for the past 18 months ultimately needs to be paid for. The chancellor unveiled plans to increase taxes on dividends and National Insurance by 1.25%. It may not seem a lot, but for businesses already squeezed by cash flow problems and directors who have probably not been paying themselves too well over the past year, this represents a further hit on cash flow and a reduction in income.

Planning for 2022

It’s clear that business owners, large or small, have much to consider and plan for in 2022. There are many unknowns, which of course makes planning very difficult. Ensuring your business is making best use of the financial resources available, tax efficient and is in good shape to take on the challenges of 2022 is where Tax Agility can help.

The team at Tax Agility in Richmond and Putney has many years of experience working with companies to help them structure and streamline their business to adapt to changes and to be resilient in coping with future challenges too. Our business consultancy service could be just what you need to close out the year and cement your plans for 2022, so contact us and discuss how we can help.