Thomas Coombs says that SMEs should get back to doing what they do best

UK SMEs are spending over 600,000 hours a year on company administration rather than core business activities.

That’s according to research carried out for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) which reveals that a significant number of SME leaders perform a lot of tasks outside their job descriptions, instead of outsourcing these to specialists.

The Populus-conducted survey of 500 directors, senior managers and owners of British businesses with between 10 and 249 employees, says that 26 per cent of SME leaders deal with IT issues, which costs them on average 52 hours a year. Most time consuming of all was HR, which costs 23 per cent of SMEs more than 60 hours per year.

Christopher Darwin, Partner, at Thomas Coombs said: “This research shows that an astonishing amount of time is being wasted conducting tasks when SME leaders could be serving their customers and generating income. If we scale this up for the UK’s 5.2 million SMEs, then around 624,000 hours are wasted each week on non-business critical tasks.

“Frequently, SME leaders are handling tasks that fall outside their specialist knowledge, but this is where Thomas Coombs can help. We can assist SMEs with issues such as payroll services and can provide advice on tax, auto-enrolment and financing,” added Christopher Darwin.

Thomas Coombs can take an holistic approach to the needs of your SME and advise on how you can focus on running your business. If you would like more information, please Christopher Darwin at Thomas Coombs, The Yorkshire Accountants. 

Stuart Adam, Thomas Coombs

More UK start-ups survive first year of business than European counterparts

Leeds based Thomas Coombs has commented on a recent study that shows more of Britain’ start-ups are surviving their first year of business than their European peers.

The research conducted by Rosseau Associates highlights that of the 234,000 UK businesses launched in 2011, 93 per cent of start-ups survived their first year of business. This compares to an average survival rate of 83 per cent across Europe.

Britain’s start-up scene has enjoyed considerably more robust health than Europe’s other major economies of France (79 per cent) and Germany (78 per cent), and has experienced the strongest economic growth in Europe as a whole.

Stuart Adam, Partner at Thomas Coombs said: “This is very encouraging news for Britain’s SMEs and shows that we really are leading the way. Despite the tough economic conditions of recent years, the recession appears to have created innovation and entrepreneurs, so Britain’s start-ups are clearly flourishing. Add to that the recent Enterprise Bill and perhaps we will see an even higher survival rate in the coming years. “Business Secretary Sajid Javid said last month that small businesses are ‘Britain’s engine room’ and at Thomas Coombs, we’re proud to be able to assist SMEs and offer a range of services for business owners.”

If you would like advice on how to grow your business and achieve success, please contact Stuart Adam, Partner.

Thomas Coombs is reminding people to renew their tax credits on time

Hundreds of people could miss out on tax credits if they fail to renew their claim by the deadline next month, says Christopher Darwin, Partner at Leeds-based Thomas Coombs.

The deadline for renewing tax credits is 31 July 2015, but Thomas Coombs is advising claimants to get their information in before this date to avoid complications.

The advice comes after the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales’ Tax Faculty received reports that a number of claimants had struggled to get through to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Tax Credit Helpline.

Renewing a tax credit claim gives HMRC the information required to finalise tax credit awards for the previous year and renews the claim – if claimants remain eligible – for the next year.

People who claimed tax credits in 2014/15 should already have received a renewal pack earlier this year, which is designed to help with the application.

Christopher Darwin said: “Tax credits are an important part of many people’s lives and failing to renew your claim could represent a significant loss of income.

“While tax credits were traditionally handled over the phone, people now have the option to renew their claim online, but they need to do so soon to ensure that they continue receiving payments in 2015/16.”

Before renewing online, claimants need to register with Verify, an identity-checking process, which requires claimants to answer a number of questions and submit identification information.

If you would like assistance with any claims for tax credits or would like assistance resolving issues with HMRC, please contact Christopher Darwin.